We have one Unity Server running 4.2(1) and plan to upgrade to the latest version of 7. We also have a new Exhcnage 2007 server. Our current Unity is not intgrated with Exchange but we plan on integrating it during our upgrade. We do not have a new server but we bought hard drives to place in the server to perform the upgrade so if we run into problems and need to roll back we can easily do so by swapping the hard drives.
I have done some reading and some people suggest using COBRA and other suggest using DIRT. What is the difference between the two tools or what one should we use? Any other suggestions for our upgrade would be greatl appreciated.
DiRT and COBRAS are obviously very different tools. DiRT gets more data but takes longer to complete and is a bit more involved in terms of process. COBRAS is a selective backup/restore tool and takes less time, generally, than a DiRT backup/restore for upgrade. I prefer COBRAS, personally and have had great luck with it.
Key Differences Between DiRT and COBRAS
Works only for backing up and restoring Windows-based Unity or Connection installations.
Can backup Windows-based Unity and Unity Connection 1.2 and restore onto Windows-based Unity or Linux-based Connection 7.0 and later.
Backs up entire Unity directory including holidays, name lookup handlers, interviewers etc…
Backs up only information about subscribers, call handlers, public distribution lists, schedules and routing rules.
Does a complete directory synchronization on restore and forces any existing users in AD that match a subscriber in the Unity database to “point” to the new restored box.
Will create new subscribers or bind to existing users in AD but will not “force” a user in AD to point to the server if that user is already assigned to another Unity server.Does not force a full rebuild of the global subscriber and global location information.
Only allows restores onto the same version of Unity or Connection 1.x that was backed up.
Allows for restores onto different versions (the same or newer than the version backed up) of Unity and Connection regardless of the version or product that was backed up.Be sure to review the differences in data provided in the different versions of Unity or Connection you back up in the help sections that follow.
Must restore the entire backup.
Allows for individual objects to be selected for restore.
Backup is very quick because it’s getting entire SQL table as a single binary blob using MS SQL’s backup capability.
Backup is somewhat slower given it pulls data for each object one at a time and constructs a set of MDB files that contain the object data and messages (if included).
Uses ExMerge from Microsoft for getting entire inbox contents for messages.The account you use to run backups needs to have full send as/receive as rights for all mailboxes touched.
Uses MAL interface to get just voice mails (no emails, receipts or faxes) for message backups.This means you need to run the tool as the account associated with AvCsMgr service on the Unity server for message backups and restores.
Will not recreate membership information for public distribution lists in a new directory other than “top level” members.
Will create public distribution lists and include all members it can find in the new directory to that distribution list.
DiRT restores are very “heavy” in that they force an entire directory resync of all local and global object references.
Will ask for resyncs for only new subscribers or public distribution lists being created or when information about an existing subscriber that is being updated requires a directory sync.
DiRT wipes out the entire local installation during a restore.
COBRAS is designed to allow for “merging” objects from multiple backups into one Unity or Connection restore.No information is ever removed during a restore.
DiRT restores are very straight forward from an administrative standpoint because there are very few options.
Depending on the type and extent of the operation, the administrator may have quite a bit of legwork to do during a COBRAS restore.All references and conflicts must be addressed before the restore is allowed to continue.A 23 page wizard is involved and many items may need to be manually created to complete the operation such as COS instances and name lookup handlers.
COBRAS can be used for simply backing up all subscribers, call handlers, schedules, distribution lists, interviewers and routing rules and restoring them to a clean install of Unity or Connection after a failure.For just plain backup and restore scenarios where the version of Unity is not changing, however, DiRT (for Unity or for Connection 1.x) or DRS (for Connection 2.x and later) is the better tool since it’s faster and includes data COBRAS does not such as COS objects, name lookup handlers and holiday information.See the Data Not Backed Up section for more details on what’s not included with COBRAS backups.
For scenarios where Administrators would like to restore just a single object such as a subscriber, COBRAS is the ideal tool.It can be used to restore a subscriber that has been accidentally deleted or update the user’s settings (including greeting and voice name) if they’ve been changed or lost for some reason.COBRAS can also restore just that subscriber’s messages or even a single message for a particular subscriber as well.
This can be as many or as few objects of any type that COBRAS backs up.If an administrator accidentally deletes a schedule, you can restore just that schedule information.If a call handler or several handlers are deleted or someone changes the user input keys or whatever, those handlers can be recreated/updated.
NOTE: All settings for any object you choose to restore are updated based on the backed up version.You can select which objects you wish to restore but you can NOT select which data on those objects is restored.For instance you cannot JUST restore the user input key rules for a call handler and not also update the transfer rules.Subscriber messages are optional items for restore, of course.
COBRAS is unique in that it can take backed up data from a Unity 4.0(5) and restore it to a Unity 4.0(5) or later system.COBRAS can also move from Unity to Unity Connection 7.0.There are, of course, some items that cannot go between versions and products given the differences in features and data structures across them.Be sure to review the details in the Data Backed Up and Restored section below to understand what’s potentially lost when going across versions or products.
NOTE: When restoring a Unity backup to another Unity installation, the version can be different but must be later than the version backed up.You can restore to the same version or later only, you cannot restore to an older installation of Unity.See the Version Support table below.
Again, COBRAS is unique in that it does not require a clean installation of Unity to do a restore of some or all objects in the backup database.You can, for instance, take all subscriber data, including messages, from one Unity server and restore them onto another without damaging the existing subscribers.If you are collapsing multiple Unity servers into one, this is an ideal use of COBRAS.
NOTE: You may have to change aliases and/or extensions of subscribers to avoid conflicts.COBRAS does not allow subscribers with the same alias or extension number to be created on a restore.It does, however, allow you to change them to make those values unique during the restore process if you wish.When restoring into a Connection 7.0 or later system COBRAS does allow you to assign users, handlers, interviewers and distribution lists into separate partitions to keep extensions unique when merging multiple backups into one server.However aliases (for users and distribution lists) and display names (for handlers) need to be unique system wide in all cases.You can use the Data Viewer utility on the COBRAS home page to edit the alias and/or extension numbers of users prior to import if necessary to make this a little easier.
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