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Windows Server 2008 Backup Software

Posted on 2008-06-14
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Last Modified: 2008-06-15
I've just started playing seriously with Server 2008.  

What are people using for basic backups?  Windows Server Backup is useless.  NTBackup doesn't fuly work on 2008.

I'm not going to buy 3rd party software - its so expensive by the time you add on all the agents for SQL/Exchange etc.  Microsoft DPM is such an over kill.

What were Microsoft thinking!  This is going to cause lots of small business's to stick with 2003.
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Question by:-DJL-
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by:MiniDevo
MiniDevo earned 80 total points
ID: 21786283
Unfortunately we had the same problem. We ended up having to go with veritas backup exec. So now we only have one 2008 server, and the other ten are still on 2003.
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tigermatt earned 1840 total points
ID: 21786443
Actually, if you don't want to spend money on third-party tools, Windows Server Backup can be made to work reasonably well for simple backup jobs. You just can't use its GUI (which I will agree is awful) - the command prompt features are very good though for basic file operations.

At present, I have one Windows Server 2008 Server at a client configured to back-up over the network as a scheduled task using the following command in a batch file: wbadmin start backup -backupTarget:\\remoteserver\share\folderforbackup -include,C:,E: -allCritical -vssFull -quiet

That command does work quite well for just backing up the server - which is simply a file server and a Domain Controller. Unfortunately, the System State backup cannot be backed up to a network share - it must be backed up locally, so I do this and then run a task to delete all but the latest System State backup from the disk.

Windows Server Backup does not support backup to tape or backup of SQL Server and Exchange Server 2007 (the only version of Exchange which can run on Server 2008). If you intend on migrating these to Windows Server 2008, then you are going to need third-party software. I would firstly recommend you look into Symantec Backup Exec - it's possibly the best third party software I have come across and use regularly (http://www.symantec.com/business/products/family.jsp?familyid=backupexec). The other option is Acronis, another product which I have some knowledge of, although don't use regularly: http://www.acronis.com/. Both have their advantages, but from experience I just find the Backup Exec interface very easy to get to grips with and easy to access everything you need. It's particularly good when you start looking at its Remote Agent facility.

Windows Server Backup is good for simple backup jobs when you run on the command line - but for anything more advanced, I would recommend Backup Exec. Yes, it's expensive, but it's the only decent way of getting decent backups of Exchange, System State and SQL Server.

-tigermatt
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by:Netman66
Netman66 earned 80 total points
ID: 21787114
Don't laugh.

Windows Home Server will back it up quite nicely!

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Expert Comment

by:tigermatt
ID: 21789091
Ha, shame WHS doesn't support Active Directory or any of the other more "advanced" Microsoft server features!
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by:-DJL-
ID: 21789177
Thanks for all the comments.

I really think MS have made a big mistake not including NTBackup style backup functionality in Server 2008.  Its going to mean anyone currently using NTBackup is going to have to spend £££'s or ££££'s on backup software when they migrate to 2k8 - which along with all the other usual migration costs, is going to make a migration less appealing financially.

For all NTBackups faults, its a useful tool.  As far as I can see theres now no way to bulk decrypt EFS encrypted files with the recovery cert, or pre-stage DFS replication folders etc without using 3rd party tools.  

I cant imagine it would have taken much to modify NTBackup to work with 2k8.
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