7GB of space. Free. Upgradeable.

Microsoft SkyDrive makes for a pretty useful backup location, doesn’t it? More space than Dropbox, better privacy requirements than Google Drive. Your files are pretty safe (and accessible) on a SkyDrive account.

Why not use SkyDrive to backup Lync Server too?

Of course, 7GB isn’t enough to backup entire Lync Server roles. But it can hold several important files – like your topology, server configurations & (some) databases. So let’s try it out.

First, we’ll need a SkyDrive account. If you don’t already have one, go to http://skydrive.live.com/.

Next, we’ll set up SkyDrive as a Network Drive, so you can send files to it directly from backup routines. Tech Recipes.com has provided a nice easy walkthrough on how to do this.

For this post, I’ll refer to your networked SkyDrive folder as “S:”.

Ready? To the backups!

Backing Up Lync Server Configuration (Topology, E911 Settings, Etc.)

At the very least, use SkyDrive to store backup files of your Lync Server’s Central Management Store (CMS) configuration. It’s the simplest backup to do. All you do is enter this command into PowerShell:

Export-CSConfiguration -FileName “S:LyncConfiguration.zip”

That will export Lync’s topology, policies and configuration settings. And since we used S:, the files are saved to your SkyDrive network drive.

Likewise, it’s smart to backup your location information services (LIS) information. With a similar PowerShell command:

Export-CSLisConfiguration -FileName “S:LyncE911Configuration.zip”

This exports the information Lync Server uses for E911. Again, sent to S:, sent to SkyDrive.

If you want to automate this backup process, the Danovich.com.au blog has posted a PowerShell Script for daily Lync Server configuration backups. Set up a Scheduled Task and you’ll have a fresh configuration backup saved to S: (our networked SkyDrive folder) every day.

Backing Up Response Group Configuration

Let’s go further. We’ve got the space.

If you’re using Response Groups, they use configurations. Configurations which should be backed up as well. Lync Server provides a tool to do this, called RgsImportExport.ps1. You’ll find it in the Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit.

  1. Install RgsImportExport.ps1 by importing the script into Management Shell.
  2. Open a Management Shell prompt. Navigate to the folder where you saved RgsImportExport.ps1.
  3. Type in the following:
    Import-Module .RgsImportExport.ps1
    Export-CsRgsConfiguration -FileName S:RgsConfiguration.zip

  4. Verify that the new backup file is in your SkyDrive.

Backing Up Contacts, SQL Databases, and More – Automatically!

If you want to include more than just configuration in the backup – contact lists or SQL Server databases, for instance – then use these instructions.

Lync Backup Instructions – Traci Herr, “UC Mess” TechNet Blog

Traci’s guide walks you through creating batch files with backup commands, and scheduling them as regular tasks. (You’ll want to adjust the path in each script to S: so the backups are saved to SkyDrive, of course.)

The post sections cover:

  • Server Configuration
  • Contact Lists (using DBImpExp)
  • SQL Server Databases
  • Certificates with Private Keys
  • Voice Configuration

It even lists out how to create a scheduled task to run all of these backup scripts.

Having Lync backup files on a SkyDrive account means you don’t have to panic in the event of a crash. Even if every server goes down, your Lync Server configuration is backed up off-site. Safe. Waiting for a restore.

Where do YOU backup your Lync Server configuration?

How to Backup Lync Server Files to SkyDrive
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