How to Properly Backup Your SmarterMail Installation?

Backup SmarterMail Server

Constantly backing up your SmarterMail is a good practice as the backup becomes a handy helper during the time when the server crashed, hacked or an upgrade has been performed which have major bugs that you will need to restore to the last good known configuration.

SmarterMail has been developed in a way that making the backup is so much easy. What’s important is to know where are those important files to be backup. Here are couple of ways to do that.

Option 1 – Super Manual Way

Involve manually login to your mail server via RDP and perform the backup. The risk is if you are away from your work, you risk on missing a day of backup gap. You can back it up to another disk drive which is installed on your server, mapping via network drive, FTP to another server or an external drive has been plugged to your server.

  1. When backing up a SmarterMail installation, include all .xml and .dat files found in the Service directory of the install path, which is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail by default.
  2. All SmarterMail domain folders must also be backed up. By default, SmarterMail domains are located in the C:\SmarterMail\Domains directory. If you change this to another folders during the location, remember to change your backup location accordingly.
  3. If you have custom skins, include the MRS\Skins folder of the installation path in your backup.
  4. No registry settings or databases are necessary to back up your SmarterMail install.

Option 2 – Automate with Script

This would have done much more better than the manual way as what’s needed is to get the script deployed and setup the schedule task on the server to execute the task daily. Backing up with this option will always replace the destination backup with the latest changes file. You only have the latest copy of the backup as it last run without any multiple restoration points.

  1. Download the Windows Resource Kit Tools package and install it. The package can be downloaded from here.
  2. Create a batch file in C:\ called backupsmartermail.bat.
  3. Edit it with notepad and enter the code below, replacing DEST:\FOLDER\ with the destination drive and folder of the backup:
  4. Save the file.
  5. Add a scheduled task to Windows to execute the .bat file on a regular basis.
@echo off
cd "C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\"
md "DEST:\FOLDER\service"
md "DEST:\FOLDER\mail"
echo Backing up config files...
robocopy "C:\program files\smartertools\smartermail\service" "DEST:\FOLDER\service" *.xml /ZB
echo Backing up mailboxes...
robocopy "C:\SmarterMail" "DEST:\FOLDER\mail" /MIR /R:6 /W:10 /ZB

Option 3 – Backup with Commercial Backup tools

If budget is allow, it’s always good to deploy a commercial backup toolkit to backup your SmarterMail / whole server. Backup tools like Acronis, R1soft and Veeam would be a good options to explore. Most of this commercial backup tools will give you the options to backup for multiple retention days giving you the flexibility to have multiple restore points. However, the limit will be on the disk space on your backup destination.

Any of the backup strategy posted are not something officially supported by SmarterTools as the reliable of the backup are bound to the method or backup software used. It’s always recommend to have a trial restoration from time to time to a different test environment to validate the backup status.

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