Backing up Active Directory Windows 2008 R2

Hey guys,

What is the minimal required files necessary to do complete restore of an active directory domain controller?  In other words what system files, config files, registry settings, etc. should be backed up in order to do a complete recovery in case a full blown failure occurs?

I know that in Server 2008 there is the Windows Server Backup tool which looks great for backing up the system state.  But that seems like it may take up more storage space that we would necessarily like.  Storage on our SANs is very finite and the senior engineers are very stingy with the storage space.

I guess what I'm asking, is there a different way to backup AD that would take the least amount of disk space possible?  Or is saving the system state pretty much the only/best option?  Thanks in advance.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
system state is the recommended solution. backups are a corporate requirement and you don't have to backup to the SAN.. You can probably become unpopular with the senior admins about not giving you space to backup if you go above their head.  But regular backups are a corporate responsibility and part of the cost of running a server that should have been budgeted for.  Here in a typical year we budget  for each 100GB server ( 7 daily / 4 weekly / 12 monthly and 1 Annual 24 (2.4TB x 2 different media, plus an offsite 2.4TB for each server = 7.2TB) Data deduplication reduces this considerably (by a huge factor)

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emag50Author Commented:
Thanks for your input!
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