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SBS 2008 Backup Solution

Posted on 2010-09-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi There,

I am currently comparing Symantec BE and Acronis products to back up our SBS 2008 Server.  I don't have much Exchange experience so I am trying to understand what agents we need to buy in order to have a full backup.

Is it true that for the Exchange server I will need an Exchange and SQL agent for the backup because Exchange uses SQL?  Or will I just need an Exchange agent without SQL?

Thanks,

Wayne
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Question by:Wayne88
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:sbo2002
ID: 33590867
Use the built-in backup utility included with SBS. It is the simplest and most effective backup solution you could want. I had to do a bare-metal recovery of an SBS 2008 server a few months ago and I could not believe how simple it was.

In the worst-case scenario like the one I had (bare-metal recovery), all you do is boot from the SBS DVD and select which backup you want to restore.

In the more normal "restore something that somebody deleted accidentally" scenario, you just select the backup you want to restore from and select which data to restore.

The SBS backup utility is incorporated into the SBS management console. Reporting of the backup success or failure is already included in the server health report that SBS generates. You don't have to worry about any agents of any kind. Everything you need to backup the OS, all applications (Exchange, SharePoint, etc.), and any user-generated data is covered by the built-in SBS backup utility. Don't waste money on backup software. The SBS backup utility really is top tier. I've worked with enterprise backup software that didn't get the job done as well as the SBS backup utility does.

All you need for the SBS backup utility is a supported external hard drive. I'd suggest buying two and rotating them so one is always off-site.
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LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Wayne88
ID: 33591556
Hi sbo2002,

Thanks for your reply.  I am sorry that I forgot to mention the SBS2008 is a VM inside ESXi so from my research it seemed as that people are having trouble in making this work with a USB External drive.  One I read that even if you can map the USB drive for backup then restoring may be a problem.

Any suggestions?

Wayne
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Author Comment

by:Wayne88
ID: 33592046
Hi sbo2002,

You brought up some good points and I am thinking about deploying SBS in a physical box instead of virtual.  Just a quick question, when doing a complete barebone restore did the backup utility also saved the installed applications?

Thanks,

Wayne
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LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Wayne88
ID: 33592145
Also, can you kindly advise what make/model of server are you using because the DELL servers apparent have issues with SBS backup.  Just my luck :(

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/1466/p/19259368/19433236.aspx
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Accepted Solution

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sbo2002 earned 250 total points
ID: 33596374
The server I had to recover was a Dell PowerEdge T300 with SBS 2008 pre-installed by Dell. I just scanned the first few lines of the link you posted and I didn't experience any of what that person described. The process was so simple that I literally sat there thinking "it can't be this easy." But it was. As far as what was restored, the SBS backup utility is effectively an imaging utility. The drives in the server I worked on were corrupted beyond repair due to a power failure, so I had to format them and rely on the backup. Every bit that was on the server when the backup ran was restored. It was like the power failure never happened.

Virtualization is the correct answer in many, many cases for the most efficient use of resources. But I would never recommend virtualizing an SBS server. The very nature of the SBS product means you have high density/utilization on one server. DC, Sharepoint, Exchange, RWW (and optional stuff, if you have it like SQL and ISA server or whatever it's called now)...that's A LOT of stuff on one server. In a datacenter, you would never put all those functions on one server. Small businesses can't afford the luxury of a rack of servers and somebody to maintain them, so the density that SBS provides is a necessary compromise.

Server 2008 itself is going to require a decent amount of CPU and RAM. Exchange is a RAM hog. Given how much of the host's resources that an SBS VM would consume, I just don't see the benefit of making SBS a VM. I say make your life easy and dedicate a physical server to SBS and use all the included utilities to manage it. Microsoft really did a great job with SBS 2008.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Wayne88
ID: 33599772
Thanks for your advice and points noted.
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