Windows 2012 network server backup

New client - and they don't want to spend any money! New Windows 2012 R2 server has been installed but they also need to retain an application server and an exchange server. 1 domain controller and 2 member servers in total. What is the best way to backup the 3 servers (and most cost effective?).
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Curt PetriccaIT TechnicianCommented:
Are they virtual servers? Backup approaches are very different between the two.
jad2009Author Commented:
No they are physical servers....
Curt PetriccaIT TechnicianCommented:
Well you can use Windows Server Backup. That is a free tool included with 2012R2. Set that up with external hard drives and you have a local backup. I would recommend uploading those backups to a cloud site or off site location as well.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
They need to think of it like insurance. The better the coverage, the more they have to spend.
Important to ask questions like how fast do they need to be up and running if the worst happens.
Second how often should you back up? In other words, how much data can they afford to lose?
Third, the backups should be stored offsite in case the building has a fire or something like that.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Data is not backed up if there is only 1 copy.. use the 3-2-1 rule.. 3 copies 2 media 1 offsite. You must test and monitor the backups to ensure that in event of failure that the backups will actually restore
jad2009Author Commented:
Yes - happy to use rotation of drives - the windows R2 2012 will back up itself - but it wont back up the exchange server and app server? Do I need to set up individual backups for each of the servers. The premium backup suites will centrally backup the 3 servers but the cost is massive....Is the cheapest way to buy a rotation of drives for each separate server?
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
True windows backup won't copy anything that is locked, such as Exchange DB. You could probably get around it, but I wouldn't suggest it to your client. Especially if you are the guy responsible for fixing it.

I don't know how big the company is or how many Exchange users they have, but a cloud Exchange solution might be worth considering, even running in hybrid mode. However that = $$$ which at this point are probably better spent on a proper local backup solution.

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Curt PetriccaIT TechnicianCommented:
You can always work with shadow copy...

But I have to agree with Brian. A hosted exchange would be a better solution if they aren't willing to back up properly.
Why don't you try this free exchange backup tool if you're searching a cost effective solution for backing up exchange server. Try this free utility.

Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Well, it's not exactly "free", it's a free 90 day trial.
jad2009Author Commented:
Managed to convince them to go for a hosted exchange server. Windows backup can then be used for the data. Thanks for your comments
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
Given your related question, glad to see they went for a more modern approach.
But free version can be managed. I don't think there is any other cost effective option except Windows server backup.
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Windows Server 2012

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