Windows Server 2012 - backup strategy ?

Posted on 2014-08-08
Last Modified: 2014-08-21
My SANS are getting old and I am thinking
about dumping them, just getting three servers
with bigger harddrives.

What options are possible when doing the below ?
       ** DAILY = "block level change" backup
       ** WEEKLY = "full" backup

I just want physical servers,
no VMWare/etc, no off-site replication,
just something I can restore from the two
times per year a "single-file" restore is needed
  ** Willing to use BackupExec/etc if needed
Option #1
  ** servers with multi-TAPE backup drive

Option #2
  ** servers with some type of "backup to DAS" ?

Option #3
  ** etc
Question by:finance_teacher
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    Are you asking for a Windows backup software recommendation or the best strategy to backup your servers? Windows backup works fine for me (wbadmin)--that is what I use and by default uses differential backup. I use the GUI but with the command prompt you have many more options. This link explains how wbadmin works on 2008 and 2012
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    I would go with StorageCraft, it's highly reliable, easy to configure, and backs up data faster than Acronis, AppAssure, and is less expensive. The two latter allow de-duping which is a great feature what you'll need though is twice the amounts of memory possible more for de-duping to work efficiently, 32G likely to begin with.

    I would go with PowerEdge servers with a RAID config and redundant power supplies for hardware.
    LVL 20

    Assisted Solution

    by:Svet Paperov
    How many servers we are talking about?
    There are many different backup models depending on your needs.

    I will give you an example for the model I use:
    -      Daily backup via Windows Server Backup to a directly attached storage – it could be a USB or iSCSI-attached disk – those backups are accumulative and differential by nature (even if the backup is configured as a Full backup); they are overwritten only when the disk is full. You can do a full server or application restore (in case of Hyper-V, Exchange, etc.) or a file restore with different versions (back to the oldest available backup)
    -      Weekly backup via wbadmin (command line version of WSB) triggered by the Task Manager to a shared folder – those are one-time backups and they are overwritten each time. Optionally, some tools, like BackupAssist (which works on the top of wbadmin), allow you to configure and keep several versions of the backup even on the NAS (I do not use this option because of the next step)
    -      The last step of my backup strategy is to copy (archive) the weekly backup on tapes – a weekly backup task runs on a stand-alone CA ArcServe, BackupExec, or your preferable backup software which supports tapes
    -      I keep the tapes in save location outside of the premises

    -      Very fast restore of different versions of individual files from the dedicated disk storage – useful with plain file server, thanks to the daily backup
    -      Full server restore in case of software issue – for example crashed update – and in case of hardware crash, again from the daily backup
    -      Multiple editions of the weekly backup on tapes – I consider those backups are disaster recovery solution because restoring from them take a lot of time
    -      The cheapest possible solution
    -      Disaster recovery could take a very long time because of the two stages – one restoring from the tape archive and the second restoring from restored backup
    -      Prone to restore errors because of the two stages – I mitigate that with keeping at least 4 good consecutive weekly backups and once monthly after

    I hope it helps, but as I sad, you should consider your backup solution depending on your requirements.

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