Symantec System Recovery Server edition - Will this be easy to restore?

Posted on 2009-05-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I'm thinking of purchasing the symantec system recovery server edition as it allows bare metal recovery onto another machine, which I'd like to test out.

I have a few queries
1. When I set the thing up to backup the entire server, am I looking at a 1:1 in terms of disk space? Say my C drive is using 120GB, will it also back up 120GB?
2. What's normal practice? Is it thru to backing up to a tape drive or a seperate hard drive on the network somewhere?
3. If saving to hard disk is best practice, what about off site backup?
4. When restoring to a new server (different one), do I just boot it up with the CD and then plug in the tape or hard drive? Please advise.

Sorry, multiple questions in a question... hope this is ok.
Question by:binele
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Accepted Solution

PaperTiger earned 500 total points
ID: 24374881
There are many tools that can do "bare metal" backup and almost everyone of them can backup to tape, disk and anything you desire with compression. So for 120GB data, you can get a backup image probably about 70GB - why does your C drive use 120GB to begin with?

There are also multiple things to consider when setting up a backup strategy, notably, RTO and RPO.

RTO (Recovery Time Objective) - how long can your system be down?
RPO (Recovery Point Objective) - how much data can you afford to lose?

After you list out each piece of your information, answer both RTO and RPO, then you can decide whether a backup solution is a good fit or not.

People typically use a combination of backup solutions to serve my need.

Author Comment

ID: 24375098
Hi PaperTiger

Thansk for the reply.

The C Drive unfortunately has the Exchange Store sitting there.... not very smart thing to do but I have inherited this. Will be contemplating moving this off to another drive soon.

RTO - Probably nil because mission critical apps run off this server as well as MS Exchange
RPO - Worse case, half day or a day max

Would symantec recovery do the job?

What do you suggest

Expert Comment

ID: 24375599
Seriously, i hear this "nil" every time when I start to talk about RTO. smile.

No matter how you design your system, you WILL have some RTO, be it from 1 ms to 1 month. My suggestion is to take a hard look, come back and tell me REALLY how much time you can afford to be down?

Just give you an idea and assuming you only have 1 location and we are talking about complete system failure:

To set up a system that would has RTO of 1 second or less - basically no noticeable downtime, you probably would spend around $40,000 on related software and hardware alone to start.

For a system with RTO of 15 minutes, the price tag drops down to $20,000 or even less.

For 2 hours, you can probably rig up a system that cost you about 10k or less.

However, each setup calls for a different strategy.

Yes, Symantec System Recovery will have some use, but cannot give you 0 downtime. There are other tools similar to the Symantec thing, such as Acronis, Shadow Copy, etc.

Author Comment

ID: 24419612
Ok, I've done some discussions.

I'm thinking along the lines of this...

1. Backup using something like Symantec BESR and image the entire server on a daily basis (incrementally of course) onto an external drive.
2. Swap the external drive on a weekly basis and re-image the entire server when the new external drive is swapped. This is to ensure that we can do offsite storage.
3. Would also like to do an incremental imaging with retention of recovery point for say 3 months each time to an internal hard disk itself.
4. Also, backup to an FTP server online.

This way, I'm covered for everything that I can think of.

When disaster happens,

1. Recover from whichever is fastest and latest and possible (e.g. The internal hard drive may be fried or stolen as well)
2. Recover to a virtual image and run it on VMWARE workstation or ESX depending on budget to get things going asap on a seperate box
3. Once the original box has been rebuilt or new one purchased in case of a fire or something, we can get the VMWAre image converted to the server version.

I'm trying to limit the downtime to a minimal as much as possible but as cheap as I can as well.

Once I've established a good disaster recovery format / process, I want to do this and manage multiple unrelated sites.... which is for different companies which cannot co-exist data wise. All of the directors of those companies own an internal IT company which I'm in...

Cracking my brains on this and hope to get a simple doable, can be manual to a certain extent, budget conscious backup and restore process.

Also, to try to answer your RTO, I'd say 1 day would be max. So 8 hours. If disaster strikes, they call me, I get the proper data storage and restore onto a virtual image.

Please advise further.

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