CloudBerry Lab Resources
Get started with cloud backup and management solutions
Exchange brick-level backup

Microsoft Exchange Brick-Level Mailbox Backup Guide

Microsoft Exchange Server brick-level backup means backing up the smallest possible information objects (which are mailbox items). Before performing the brick-level backup, however, there are a few things you should know about these “bricks”.

In this guide, we’ll explain the different brick-level Exchange backup approaches available, and show you how to perform a granular restore using CloudBerry software for MS Exchange backup.

To get more information on MS Exchange backup and recovery methods, please refer to our comprehensive guide.

Further reading MS Exchange Server Backup and Recovery Guide

What Is Brick-Level Backup in MS Exchange?

The brick-level backup method in Microsoft Exchange allows you to back up individual messages on the server.

This approach is different from a regular database-level backup, in which you would access the database as a data object using the Exchange API. Database -level backup is faster and simpler, but it generally does not allow you to restore individual mailbox items without performing a full database restore.

On the other hand, brick-level backup operates as a mailbox client (similar to Microsoft Outlook) and uses the MAPI protocol to access every user’s items separately. Of course, if you have many individual connections using the client protocol open, it will slow down your backup; for this reason, you cannot use the brick-level backup to replace normal database backup in all cases.

There is also a database-related logs mechanism that allows you to store any transaction made. You should take care when using these logs to perform database backup because a full database backup will clear log files, thus leaving the database consistent. If you do not perform full database backups on a regular basis, these log files will grow constantly, with the result that performing the data recovery process in the future will become tricky and time-consuming.

The ability to restore a separate Exchange server’s items allows you to recover accidentally deleted or modified emails, calendars, and other files with an expired Exchange retention period.

Moreover, you can rebuild damaged mailbox archival files more easily, as well as restore the data directly from a database backup.

With these considerations in mind, both backup approaches should be implemented separately. Let’s see how to get data back for a particular Exchange user.

Granular Restore in Exchange 2010 with CloudBerry

Unlike other solutions, CloudBerry Backup allows you to combine the benefits of both backup approaches: You can achieve good backup speed while still being able to recover individual mailbox items using granular data restore. This is possible because CloudBerry Backup takes regular Exchange database backups and then implements an internal recovery proxy that acts as a middleman between the database backup and the production Exchange server. As the user, you need only to choose the recovery point desired and point to where the target production server is.

Currently, CloudBerry Backup supports all versions of MS Exchange Server that Microsoft supports. Granular recovery, however, is available only with MS Exchange 2010, because Microsoft does not officially support the database-level recovery of individual mailbox items and does not provide a specific API for doing so. We, therefore, have to implement every single point of such a recovery scenario by ourselves.

Now let’s see how it works.

How to Perform a Granular Item-Level Restore Using Cloudberry Backup

1First of all, you need to create a database backup of the Microsoft Exchange Server. Please refer to our manual for this step if you have not performed it before.

2After the backup has been completed, navigate to your Exchange Server database backup on the left pane, and then select a particular database backup on the right:

3Right-click this backup and choose Item Level Recovery in the pop-up menu. The recovery wizard will prompt you to apply database logs, allowing it to have a consistent database with all emails (even those stored only in log files). It will also prompt you to enter a decryption password if you decided to encrypt the data during backup.

4In the Exchange, Item Level Recovery window navigate to the desired backup using the left pane, then right-click it and select Restore.

5You will see Exchange Server connection properties, such as server address, user email and password, and target folder. You should infill all of these fields using the credentials of the user with full mailbox access rights.

6After CloudBerry Backup finishes the message export to the mailbox you have specified, the recovery process is completed.


If you use Microsoft Exchange’s native backup tools, backing up individual mailbox items (or bricks) is possible only if you do the mailbox-level backup, which is much slower than a regular database level backup.

However, CloudBerry Backup solves this problem by using its own data restoration feature, allowing you to recover individual mailbox items for any user in your organization using only standard database backups, which are much faster. You can use the same backup job for any Exchange recovery scenario.

CloudBerry offers an easy-to-use and reliable solution for MS Exchange Server backup to the cloud or local storage.

Compression and encryptionCompression and Encryption

Compression allows you to reduce storage space (and thus save money) while improving backup time. With AES-256 encryption, you can be sure that all your backup files are protected.

Cloud and localCloud and Local

CloudBerry Backup allows you to store your backups on local storage and any of more than 20 cloud storage providers, including Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier, BackBlaze B2, Wasabi Hot Storage, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Cloud Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive.

Flexible retention and recoveryFlexible Retention and Recovery

Store as many versions as you need for as long as you need with flexible retention settings. Recover the latest version or restore to the point in time of your choosing.

Bare-metal recovery from USB or ISO fileEmergency Recovery for Windows Server

Protect and restore entire servers using CloudBerry’s image backup and bare-metal recovery features in case of a system or hardware crash.

Related Articles