Imaging Servers and Back up Recovery

KitTayTim
KitTayTim used Ask the Experts™
on
I am running Symantec back up exec, however its been recommended to me to image my server for quicker recovery in the event of a disaster. Is that necessary if you run a full system back up with back up exec?
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

Commented:
What does the server do for your organization? What info? What roles?

Author

Commented:
There are two that are backed up using the symantec one is a terminal server and one is the domain controller.

Commented:
To be able to do imaging, you need to have Backup Exec System Recovery - additional licenses/product from standard Backup Exec.With standard Backup Exec you can create full system partition backup and also system state backup, but for recovery you will need to reinstall OS, BE agent and then to restore it.

Bast way is to have both - Backup Exec System Recovery for system backup with fast restore (bare metal restore and also restore anywhere - you can restore image on different hardware) and Backup Exec for usual data protection.

best regards,
Vladimir
How to Generate Services Revenue the Easiest Way

This Tuesday! Learn key insights about modern cyber protection services & gain practical strategies to skyrocket business:

- What it takes to build a cloud service portfolio
- How to determine which services will help your unique business grow
- Various use-cases and examples

Top Expert 2010

Commented:
In my experience, recovering a server from backup using System State, etc. is not entirely stable. If it's possible, the best way to do server recovery is to use virtualization. Do you have a virtual environment at all?

I personally had a bad experience with System Restore (just didnt work, even with Symantec support!), but you should be able to use Symantec's ghosting technology for imaging and yes, it would be quicker than building up a server and restoring info from backup.

Regards,
~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
No there is no virtual environment, I am currently thinking about using Acronis, for the baseline then using the symantec back up exec to restore but wanted to be sure that this is what is required before purchasing the software.

Thanks for the advice
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
I am not too familiar with Acronis, but it sounds like you're on the right track...

~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Thank you, I'm not so sure at the moment, I have two back up servers that I want to use for DR so wonder if it would be better to save myself potential hardware/driver issues by loading building the servers now so that in a DR situation they are ready to go and only require the restore, but I suppose that doesn't consider updates and any new software being added. With imaging I suppose I can run it every couple of months to make sure everything is up to date but at the moment I'm not sure what is the best way.  

Commented:
The BEST would be to virtualize your current environment and setup replica boxes for your DR. I would encourage you to use VMware ESXi (which is free) and VEEAM backup. You can convert your current boxes to VMware and setup a workstation to control the VEEAM backup. You can setup daily/weekly/monthly replicas and this would be the ideal situation for disaster recovery. Plus, the VMware is free and VEEAM is VERY affordable. Sounds like you already have old servers to use for backup as well.

Let me know if you got questions. Hope this helps,
T
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Well, updates in a DR situation is fairly a moot point. You're primary concern is to get back up and going...you can take care of updates secondary. :) Imaging would be your best bet, but yes...you would have to create a reminder to run it every so often, depending on what you/your manager/your org. decides.

As far as virtualization goes, ESXi is a potential solution if you go that route, but there are limitations to it. Veeam has limitations when using ESXi as well (a VMWare limitation, not VEEAM's fault) when specifying destination of backup/replications, but again, is certainly a viable alternative. I use both ESX and ESXi in my environment and also have VEEAM perform my VM b/u & replications, and am quite impressed with the ease of use and quick recovery.

Regards,
~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Thank you going, virtual, I don't think is an option at the moment, I suppose I am looking for confirmation that imaging is my best bet and my confidence in that is growing. I'm just concerned over hardware compatibiity as one of the servers is a HP to a dell but I'm told that this is an option with the Acronis software - but will do plenty of testing once I purchase the software.

Thank you

Commented:
Acronis or you can use Backup Exec System Recovery (same thing) that integrates into Backup Exec - so you would manage images in more consistent way.

BR,
Vladimir

Author

Commented:
Thank you my concern with that is the comment from Coolsport00 when symantec weren't even able to help with a system recovery, my experience so far symantec support hasn't been great although I do rate the software. Do you have positive experiences with Backup Exec System Recovery?

Commented:
Thumbs up to Backup Exec, just need to ask for someone in support who speaks English. You can always recover your directory from a system state backup using AD restore mode. I would read up on it on the Microsoft site. You don't need much to do the basics of what you are looking for.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb727048.aspx#ELAA

Author

Commented:
Thank you, that's really helpful. I'll look at that.

Commented:
Learn anything good? Got any other questions?

Best,
T

Author

Commented:
Hi, Acronis trial seems good and I've managed a successful image on exact servers but they won't let you trial Universal Restore as disimilar hardware is my interest. Anyway thanks for the interest think I might have to close this one for the timebeing as it looks like I'm going to end up building the baseline then having to update it every couple of months as two licences don't appear to be in the company budget right now.

Also, completely put off by Symantec as spoke to them briefly only to be told they have no UK support or something! My thoughts are though that I don't want to make my back up exec redundant if I go for another symantec product.

Commented:
Sounds like a good plan. I was not aware that they had to UK support. Good luck!

Author

Commented:
Hi, looks like it might be in the budget afterall, but I just have one question, what is the norm for imaging - as in how often would you recommend an image be taken for DR?

Commented:
Hi,

If you are doing daily/weekly/monthly tapes I would say every 2 months, but it really depends on how much your data is changing and how much you can afford the downtime. If you can stand the downtime, the more often, the better!

Best,
Thomas

Author

Commented:
Hi, Last question :), is it ok to use universal restore to image from a 146GB SAS drive to a 250GB SATA drive?
Commented:
Shouldn't be a problem, you will have options during restore to expand the partition or keep it the same.

Best,
T

Author

Commented:
Thank you

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial