Question & Answer
Is it possible to restore a Microsoft Exchange database to a different version of Microsoft Exchange server? For example, restoring a 2010 database to a 2013 server.
Microsoft restricts recovery operations which utilize VSS and Recovery Databases to like versions. This means that a user cannot restore a database backup from one version of Microsoft Exchange Server, to a newer or older version of Microsoft Exchange. The following statement is taken from the Microsoft Exchange recovery database overview:
"Using a recovery database for a Mailbox database from any previous version of Exchange isn't supported. In addition, the target mailbox used for data merges and extraction must be in the same Active Directory forest as the database mounted in the recovery database."
To recover database backups using VSS or a Recovery Database, a user must restore to an Exchange environment that matches the Exchange version which the backup was taken from as noted above.
Alternatively, the 'Restorefiles' function can be used to restore the database outside of VSS. This will restore the data as flat files, which could then be used at a Microsoft Exchange layer, outside of the Data Protection application functions for recovery.
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17 June 2018