I moved my blog and other sites to a hosting company called www.m6.net about 4 months ago.
They quote 99.9% uptime
Well my own monitoring shows a lot less than that - infact how often have you found this site down? My monitoring over the last 20 hours shows it down for 168 minutes.
Well I decided that my single monitoring solution is no good since it may be my ISP that is down or maybe one of their network partners. I found a free service called MonTastic that provides a free service to monitor up to 100 sites for free.
I am still at a testing stage but I would like to recommend their service. They have an RSS feed per account so you can use this to determine the uptime/downtime of your site - but I would like more.
I have offered to write a Windows Vista gadget to display the site status - we will see if they accept.
Check it out at http://www.montastic.com/
ps: I would be very cautious of hosting with www.m6.net
An offical solution - THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED ON 2 SEPTEMBER 2009
Now that Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 2 is available, this has changed. Amongst other new features and functionality, Microsoft has added a new backup plug-in that makes it possible to create snapshot backups using VSS from Windows Server Backup.
Read an article by Jaap Wesselius that explains the process with SP2
A WORK AROUND THAT WORKS - THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED ON 7 NOVEMEBR 2008
I received a comment from a user TIM on this post on 7th November 2008. His comment is listed below:
As posted on another board, there is a workaround.
Since NTbackup for windows 2003 supported Exchange 2007, it can be copied to Windows 2008 Server and used with Exchanged.
Copy ntbackup.exe, ntmsapi.dll, and vssapi.dll from Windows 2003
into a folder on your Windows 2008 server. Make sure to match x32 or x64 binaries! Once these 3 files are in the same folder, ntbackup.exe will
run just fine on Windows 2008, and even allow the Exchange services to be backed up. Life goes on for Windows admins.
Well I just tested this on my 64Bit 2008 server and my "First Storage Group" had more than 3500 files (log files). As you can see from the screen shot the exchange node does indeed show up in the NT Backup window and it does work. After the backup there was only 16 files in my "First Storage Group" so the logs are truncated properly.
Thanks Tim I am sure there are going to be a lot of happy people out there.
Microsoft - Pity you do not care about your customers!
To save people time they can download a zip archive of the 3 files from my server (or just copy from a 32bit or 64 bit server of your own)
Well I thought that I would install Windows Server 2008 and migrate my Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2007 SP1 at the same time.
The install all went fine and everything is working.
But then I wanted to do a backup:
Microsoft currently does not have a solution at all to backup Windows Server 2008 + Exchange 2007 from Windows Server 2008
Here is a part of a post from the Microsoft Exchange Server Team - http://msexchangeteam.com/archive/2008/03/05/448338.aspx
Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Server 2008 does not include a backup utility that supports the Exchange ESE streaming backup APIs. The Windows 2008 backup application, Windows Server Backup, cannot be used to take backups of Exchange. NOTE: For customers running the upcoming version of Windows Small Business Server 2008, Windows Server Backup will be able to take Exchange-aware backups.
Exchange still includes the ESE streaming backup APIs, but the absence of an Exchange-aware backup application in Windows may come as a surprise to many. Another change we made that may also affect you is the removal of remote streaming backup support on Windows 2008.
This leaves you with two choices for taking Exchange-aware online backups when running Exchange 2007 SP1 on Windows 2008:
Move to a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)-based backup application. You can use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 or a third-party backup application that supports Exchange-aware VSS-based backups of Exchange 2007 SP1 on Windows Server 2008. Windows Server Backup in Windows 2008 is a VSS-based backup application, but there are additional requirements for Exchange backups and restores beyond using the VSS Framework; for example, checking the database and log files for corruption during backups is not part of the VSS Framework and it is not performed by Windows Server Backup.
Use a Third-Party application that supports ESE streaming backups using a local backup agent on the Exchange server. Because the ESE streaming APIs remain in Exchange 2007, you can still use them to backup Exchange. But to do that, you must use a third-party backup application that runs a local agent on the Exchange server so that the streaming backup is made locally, and not remotely. You cannot take remote streaming backups of Exchange 2007 SP1 on Windows 2008 with or without a third-party product. Any streaming backups that are performed must be performed locally on the Exchange server. An ESE streaming backup application that uses an "agent" locally on the Exchange server to remotely backup Exchange is considered a local streaming backup and not a remote streaming backup because the application's agent component is running locally on the Exchange server.
So reading this I need to use Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007. So I downloaded this tool from MSDN Subscriber downloads - 1.8GB of it.
Well this does not even install on Windows Server 2008, so this is not a useable solution unless I run a Windows Server 2003 machine which in my case I do not want to. Let alone learn some monster of a product just so I can do a backup that use to be a checkbox in NTBackup.exe
One has to wonder who approves fundamental changes like this?
Buy a new Dell Server $4000
Buy Microsoft Windows Server 2008 - $2000
Buy Exchange Server 2007 - $3000
NO BACKUP FROM MICROSOFT - Priceless