Outlook 2003 Network Backup of users.

TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
Currently I use roaming profiles to accomplish this due to the ease of use. However, with the network getting larger I would prefer the profiles be stored locally on the computer due to the fact that the users use the same computer. We currently are having our email hosting outsourced so each user needs a backup of their .pst files on a centralized server. I was curious if anyone has found an easy way to do this besides writing a bunch of batch files.

Thanks.

Comments

  • kujayhawk93kujayhawk93 Member Posts: 355
    Any thoughts about moving to an Exchange server and hosting your own e-mail? That would solve your .pst backup problems.
  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Member Posts: 455
    TechJunky wrote:
    Currently I use roaming profiles to accomplish this due to the ease of use. However, with the network getting larger I would prefer the profiles be stored locally on the computer due to the fact that the users use the same computer. We currently are having our email hosting outsourced so each user needs a backup of their .pst files on a centralized server. I was curious if anyone has found an easy way to do this besides writing a bunch of batch files.

    Thanks.
    Easiest way is to move their pst file to a network drive. (ie. their home folder)

    We use a H: drive and create a subfolder named OUTLOOK (DO NOT DELETE)

    Back up the home folders on the server backup...

    Just open the outlook and point it to the PST when it complains it can't find it.

    COnfiguring a Home folder is easy within active directory.
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    doesn't that still rely on the user not to delete the folder? I want to be able to administratively backup the .pst files and not allow the users access to them.

    I guess I will just use a batch file...

    This is something i was thinking of.

    taskkill.exe /f /im outlook.exe /t

    CD C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

    COPY outlook.pst \\Severname\OutlookBackup$\%username%\outlook.pst

    This will kill outlook if it is open by the user so you can proceed with the copy process. The only bad thing is UNC Names arent supported by batch files, so I cannot run the batch files off of the server, the batch file has to actually be located on the desktop computer. Let me know if there is a way I can have this batch file centerally located on the server and still run under task scheduler.

    Let me know what you guys think.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    TechJunky wrote:
    doesn't that still rely on the user not to delete the folder? I want to be able to administratively backup the .pst files and not allow the users access to them.

    I guess I will just use a batch file...

    This is something i was thinking of.

    taskkill.exe /f /im outlook.exe /t

    CD C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

    COPY outlook.pst \\Severname\OutlookBackup$\%username%\outlook.pst

    This will kill outlook if it is open by the user so you can proceed with the copy process. The only bad thing is UNC Names arent supported by batch files, so I cannot run the batch files off of the server, the batch file has to actually be located on the desktop computer. Let me know if there is a way I can have this batch file centerally located on the server and still run under task scheduler.

    Let me know what you guys think.

    We also use a network drive (also mapped as H:) where we setup users pst files. In 3 years I have only had one user delete or otherwise mess with her pst, as they don't even know what it is. They only acccess it via Outlook, they never go to their H:\Mail folder through explorer. We run backups nightly against the server that hosts the H: drive.

    Your process has the potential to create a tremendous amount of network traffic depending on the number of users and size of the psts. I can't imagine our 400+ users with an average of 1GB pst's being copied every night across the network...

    In addition, if the task scheduler is being run as a local system acount it won't have access to network resourses anyway, so the task would have to run while a user is logged in. Our users would go nuts if Outlook was killed while they were using it, and they would re-open it immediately, thus potentially killing the pst copy process.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Very true. However, the largest .pst file here is 200mb. So its not really big. The backup of this file is done around 10pm when no one is in the office. We work 9am-5pm. I am using roaming profiles and it is working great for most of the users, however some users computers are slower and it takes a while for their roaming profile to load. So I wanted to set them up with a local profile and copy their .pst files in some way.

    The drive is already mapped (S:) So I guess I could use the batch file that way. But you are right, it would only work if the user was logged in.

    I guess roaming profiles are a greater advantage than a disadvantage, so I guess I will keep going with what is working.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Just keep in mind that Microsoft in no way, shape or form supports Outlook accessing PST files over a network share, because of the traffic and the potential for corruption.

    There is a PST backup tool from Microsoft that you can install on the PC's that will automatically push a backup of the PST (I'm guessing it does deltas, I don't know) to a location you specify. I forget what it's called. Then you can keep the copy local and back it up to a server that gets backed up at night.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    What I would do in this case is run a logoff script that backs up the PST file - works a treat :)
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote:
    Just keep in mind that Microsoft in no way, shape or form supports Outlook accessing PST files over a network share, because of the traffic and the potential for corruption.

    Correct. But we've been doing it for years with no problems. As a matter of fact, I saw more problems at my old workplace with local copies than I have seen here with network copies. Go figure!

    RussS wrote:
    What I would do in this case is run a logoff script that backs up the PST file - works a treat

    Doesn't that increase the log off time considerably? What size pst files do you typically deal with in that scenario Russ?

    We use (require) smart cards for log on here, and they can't remove the card until the log off process is complete or the computer will hang and need to be manually powered down/restarted. I would be concerned that users would "jump the gun" and get tired of waiting while a large pst was being copied. Of course that could be a problem unique only to our network.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Member Posts: 455
    On any large network, you would not want to be backing up pst's to a server over the network.

    "Hey, lets run a script that pushes 50 200mb files to the server at the same time."

    You also meantioned that you don't want users having access to their pst's?? Uh, don't they kinda need that to open their emails?

    As Sprky and I have stated, home folder is perfectly fine for locating a PST. Only issue we have is when they open outlook and the network isn't avaliable, they may create an additional pst on their desktop if they don't read. You also remap the my docs folder to the home drive also. I doubt even 10% of my users have ever found their H drive.

    You running a script at say 9pm is great, but what happens to the guy working late and you just killed his work?

    If you are in a small office, feel free to create a more labor intensive options for yourself. In a large office, you have to be structured and maintenance free. Scripts always cause headaches.
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    scripts always cause headaches? That is defiantly an opinion... I have many scripts that start on login and they are VERY helpful. As stated. I am sticking with the roaming profiles due to the large overhead of any other method.
  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Member Posts: 455
    Scripts are not highly successful at times. If you have spent enough time with large user environments, you would agree.

    A simple batch file doing an operation here or there, sure. Mapping printers and network drives for 100 people? Guaranteed to cause periodic problems. What happens when users attempt to run programs before drives map?

    The options you are selecting could work for a small environment. But when people tell you from experience that it causes problems, you may want to take some of their advice.

    But what do I know? Best of luck to you with whatever route you choose.


    You can look here for some script ideas. http://www.kixtart.org/index.asp
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Trailerisf wrote:
    Scripts are not highly successful at times. If you have spent enough time with large user environments, you would agree.

    A simple batch file doing an operation here or there, sure. Mapping printers and network drives for 100 people? Guaranteed to cause periodic problems. What happens when users attempt to run programs before drives map?

    The options you are selecting could work for a small environment. But when people tell you from experience that it causes problems, you may want to take some of their advice.

    But what do I know? Best of luck to you with whatever route you choose.


    You can look here for some script ideas. http://www.kixtart.org/index.asp

    Well, some may not call my previous environment of 1500 users large, but during the 4 years I worked there I thought it was pretty big. And I guess even I don't consider my current network of 400-450 hosts large. I will say that I find scripting VERY useful and not problematic at all if a guy knows what he is doing. What do you do? I bet that under the hood it's still scripting in some way, shape or form.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    I have worked in many large companies... We had more servers than most companies had users. I dealt with 2000+ citrix servers, 500+ Domain Controllers etc. Scripting is VERY useful. Again, this is an opinion due to the fact that others may disagree. However, I feel if you "know how to script" it works very well. For example, users would not launch a program before you mapped network drive due to the fact that the script to map a desired drive is placed in the login.bat of the users profile. I have never had a problem with users complaining about being unable to access their share due to this script. This was in a large environment of 3000+ employees.

    Another example... How would you backup a SQL databases every night without a script without having to be onsite and paying for someone to monitor each server? Scripting is the basics of all programs.
  • Tony SweedTony Sweed Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    To script or not to script ? But if you have some thousands of desktops you just physically can't use some hand writed scripts, for example for logon, when you need to map different drives or printers for different users.
    We use Scriptlogic's solution - Desktop Authority. This tool is for desktops management. It's based on kix scripts, but don't need learn scripting (or if are simply not very good at scripting) - you can handle all things with a gui interface. So it's a good alternative to suggestions above.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tony Sweed wrote:
    To script or not to script ? But if you have some thousands of desktops you just physically can't use some hand writed scripts, for example for logon, when you need to map different drives or printers for different users.

    Hi Tony,

    Actually we got off track a little. The question was not "to script or not to script" but rather a question of backing up Outlook pst files, and TechJunky already stated that he was going to continue to use roaming profiles for that issue. But to briefly reply to your statement, I (and several others) use scripts in large environments to map different drives and printers for different users. Group Policy is one easy way, the ifmember.exe utility is another, and vbscript also has numerous ways to accomplish the task.

    Your mention of Desktop Authority is also a very good alternative, so thanks for the suggestion. I'd love to see another topic started on good scripting solutions, tips and tricks if someone cares to start one. icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Script Logic seems like a well known tool. Our hospital here uses it and they have over 2000 users and over 500 servers. It takes forever for roaming profiles to load due to all the scripts it loads. But other than that it seems like a solid platform.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Desktop Authority is great. I'm hoping to get my hands on the lastest beta of v7.6 which officially supports Vista, Office 2007, and IE7.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • Tony SweedTony Sweed Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    We just migrated to Vista and already turned to this new DA 7.6 beta version - works like a clock as the old one. In addition of Vista, ie7 and office2007 this version supports virtual desktops.
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    You migrated a business to Vista?? Wow, and eww.... Thats just my opinion though. I would hate to run such a computer intensive OS considering all the other things that need to get done through out the day.

    Vista seems like a Mac with way more system requirements. I love the new mac commercial! They hit the nail on the head.
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Oh how I love early adapters icon_lol.gif

    I'll wait 6 mths until things settle down before I let any of my clients move to Vista - shoot, it will be another 3 months before they get IE7 icon_wink.gif
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
Sign In or Register to comment.