We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Check out our new AWS podcast with Certified Expert, Phil Phillips! Listen to "How to Execute a Seamless AWS Migration" on EE or on your favorite podcast platform. Listen Now

x

Is it practical to have a server OS and data on separate drives and back them up separately?

Medium Priority
397 Views
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
One backup strategy I have used with a desktop pc is to install Windows and programs on one drive and data on a separate drive.    I take an Acronis image of the OS drive and update this image periodically after Windows updates or after adding new programs.  I back up the data daily.  If Windows gets scrambled I simply restore the OS disk using the image and then I have a clean system again without touching the data.  Because I am not backing up the OS, the size of the daily data backup is small.
Is this strategy practical with a server?  Why or why not?

I have a Dell PowerEdge 2900 server with a PERC 5i integrated controller.  Windows SBS 2003 and programs are installed on a RAID 1, and data (Exchange databases, SQL database for my accounting software, Users Shared folders, network shares, Client Apps, and WSUS database) are installed on a RAID 5.    I use BackupExec 11d.

Thank you.
Regards,
Cliff
Comment
Watch Question

Commented:
It's possible but I would not suggest it.

If you are using backup Exec then you already have everything you need.
(make sure you purchase the Exchange Agent)

In the case of a disaster, you would reinstall the server basic OS and then restore the data ontop of your OS.

The backup can be stored on an external HDD for safty. Athough I would suggest using backup media such as a backup tape.

Author

Commented:
Hi myhc - why wouldn't you suggest it?
I have backup exec agents for SQL and Exchange.  I also have IDR but I don't trust it from what I have read.
I have an internal tape drive and use DAT72 tapes.
Thanks.
Cliff

Commented:
Do you have more than one HDD in your server?

Config examples:
HDD1 - Mirror - OS C:\
HDD2 - Mirror - OS C:\
HDD3 - RAID5 - DATA D:\
HDD4 - RAID5 - DATA D:\
HDD5 - RAID5 - DATA D:\
---OR---
HDD1 - Mirror
HDD2 - Mirror
   Partition 1 OS C:\
   Partition 2 DATA D:\
---OR---
HDD1 - Mirror1 - OS C:\
HDD2 - Mirror1 - OS C:\
HDD3 - Mirror2 - DATA D:\
HDD4 - Mirror2 - DATA D:\
IT Manager
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
Unlock this solution with a free trial preview.
(No credit card required)
Get Preview

Author

Commented:
myhc - config is like your first example:
HDD1 - Mirror - OS C:\
HDD2 - Mirror - OS C:\
HDD3 - RAID5 - DATA D:\
HDD4 - RAID5 - DATA D:\
HDD5 - RAID5 - DATA D:\

Author

Commented:
Dextertronic - thanks for that.  What info needs to be moved off the OS volume so that the OS volume can be blown away independently and work seamlessly with the data?  I am concerned about there being a database on the data volume but a checksum or something on the OS volume that does not match causing problems when I try to put yesterday's backup of the data with last month's backup of the OS.

Where are you storing your OS images?  External drive? Tape?  Do you take them offsite?

I have Acronis for workstations, but not for the server yet.    I am considering buying a server version for maintenance imaging purposes but also for the value of universal restore.  But Acronis for SBS has a pile more features; i.e., it is a backup solution itself, which makes me wonder if I should switch over to Acronis solely for backups.  Any comment on that?
tankergoblinIT Executive

Commented:
Are you using database server to install your data?
if yes then you can do that. Because database server like MS SQL they have database management sys.

if u are using access then it is not recommended. Also  it will slow down your process if u use it as multiple user.
TristanIT Manager
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
Unlock this solution with a free trial preview.
(No credit card required)
Get Preview

Author

Commented:
tankergoblin - I don't know what you mean by "database server to install your data", sorry.  There are a few MS Access projects but all data is stored in an SQL database via MS SQL Server 2005.
tankergoblinIT Executive

Commented:
i mean where you store your database server? same with your application?
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
Unlock this solution with a free trial preview.
(No credit card required)
Get Preview

Author

Commented:
Dextertronic - can you tell me any of the scenarios you have come across in your experience where the separate OS/data backups don't work so I can avoid the pitfalls?

Sounds like you have a good setup.  I agree with keeping the data on tape, thanks.

Author

Commented:
tankergoblin - I have only one physical server, so yes my database server and applications are on the same server.  Thanks.

Author

Commented:
SelfGovern - thanks.
TristanIT Manager
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
Unlock this solution with a free trial preview.
(No credit card required)
Get Preview

Author

Commented:
Sounds robust.  Thanks for your help I will give it a go!

Author

Commented:
Dextertronic - is there any non-obvious data that I should move to the data volume?   I have moved Exchange databases, SQL database for my accounting software, Users Shared folders, network shares, Client Apps, and WSUS database.  Backup Exec uses an SQL instance, should I find that data and move it too?  Is there anything else you move to the data volume?
TristanIT Manager
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Commented:
Unlock this solution with a free trial preview.
(No credit card required)
Get Preview

Author

Commented:
I will not be able to test the solution for a while so I will close the question.  Thanks for your help.  Much appreciated!
Unlock the solution to this question.
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Please provide your email to receive a free trial preview!

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.