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Windows Server 2012 R2 Native Backup

Posted on 2014-03-31
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I am getting ready to purchase a Dell T320 server for a client.  This is a small company that is growing, and are in the market to purchase their first server.  This server will house their Sage 50 database and client files.  They are happy with their current GMail solution, so an on premise or off-premise email solution is not an issue and managed elsewhere.

I want to know how well Microsoft's native backup solution works in that is it reliable and efficient on the recovery of files, databases, and the OS restore or even bare metal restore.  

Will it work with Dell RD1000 removable backup cartridges (two cartridge rotation).  

I would also like to know how is scheduling nightly backup as well.  

Finally, can it send an email of the backup completion status after each backup.

I am use to Symantec's Backup Exec, but I am having second thoughts making this initial and recurring annual investment.  

Essentially, I want the backup to run every weeknight sending the owner and myself an email of the backup status.  

I am also trying to convince the owner in purchasing a cloud backup solution that does require a costly on-site appliance.  Not a fan of Mozy or Carbonite, and am looking at Axcient's cloud backup solution.  I may even look into GFI backup solution if the prices are not ridiculous.
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Question by:cmp119
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by:Brad Bouchard
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I want to know how well Microsoft's native backup solution works in that is it reliable and efficient on the recovery of files, databases, and the OS restore or even bare metal restore.  
It is reliable and efficient on the recovery of files, dbs, and restoring OSes.  I have used it mainly in situations where we couldn't afford another license of the third party (Like Backup Exec) software we were using or where a client couldn't afford a paid for backup at all and usually backed up folders/files.  It does have its limitations though.

I would also like to know how is scheduling nightly backup as well.  
This is very easy and is done like this:
Use the GUI to create the schedule you want, or use command line (http://blogs.technet.com/b/filecab/archive/2009/04/13/customizing-windows-server-backup-schedule.aspx)



Finally, can it send an email of the backup completion status after each backup.
In short, yes.  But you will have to do a little tweaking for it, which isn't hard.  These will help:

http://bytesolutions.com/Support/Knowledgebase/KB_Viewer/ArticleId/37/Create-e-mail-alerts-for-windows-server-backups.aspx

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/7bba87d9-afdc-49b5-b203-2b35406d9725/email-notification-for-windows-server-2012-windows-backup?forum=windowsbackup


Overall Windows Server Backup is a great tool, but not the end all be all tool.  There are plenty of 3rd party software vendors that do it much better and more extensively, but if all you need is some files/folders, a few applications, and system images then it is a great free tool.
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by:cmp119
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Thanks for the response, but what about using removable backup cartridges (RD1000) drives?

One more thing, what about difficulty restoring the OS or a bare metal restore?  I usually work with Backup Exec, so I want to know how difficult is the process and its success rates.

In the mean time, I will at the links you provided.  Thanks.
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by:Brad Bouchard
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You can not back up to tape drives with Windows Server Backup, only to disks (both local and removable, or to a network location).  This link is the reference for that:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770266(v=ws.10).aspx


I can only tell you about my success rates, but I've had very good success with the backup actually taking place on time, restoring if need be, and doing an OS restore if need be as well.  Typically unless something is corrupt in the Windows NTFS file system then your backups will be golden; even then, it will backup corrupt files, it's just harder to know when the file became corrupt the farther down the backup path you go.
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by:cmp119
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Actually while looking at the link to setup an email confirmation, I noticed it was specific to Windows Server 2008/SBS 2011.  So I googled Windows Server 2012 backup, and found the following article.  I like the idea of integrating Windows native backup with Azure.  The cost appears reasonable.  

I thought that Azure was strictly for VM backups.  I could not see in the article that it works strictly with VMs.  So, maybe this would be the way to go eliminating backup media and storing all backups in the cloud.  The article did not mention anything about restoring OSs or bare metal restores, so I may need to investigate further.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/danstolts/archive/2013/11/06/windows-server-2012-r2-backup-full-integration-with-windows-azure-backup-whywin2012r2.aspx

Let me know what you think.  Thanks.
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by:Brad Bouchard
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The article did not mention anything about restoring OSs or bare metal restores, so I may need to investigate further.

Other than this, I think you're spot on.  I'd make sure of this with Azure though.
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by:cmp119
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I contacted them, and will schedule a conference call on this matter.

I may even implement a hybrid solution in that Windows Server 2012 backup will be used for the OS, and a cloud backup solution will backup the user's data.


Thanks
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by:cmp119
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Thanks for all your help Brad!
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Brad Bouchard earned 500 total points
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I may even implement a hybrid solution in that Windows Server 2012 backup will be used for the OS, and a cloud backup solution will backup the user's data.

I'd highly recommend this.
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by:Brad Bouchard
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Thanks for all your help Brad!

No problem my friend, and if you guys get a bigger budget for backups in the future, please let me know as there are two awesome products out there that I've personally used, have awesome track records, and allow for on-site and cloud storage hybrid setups.  Just in case you're interested here are their websites:

http://software.dell.com/products/appassure/

http://dattobackup.com/
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