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Windows Server Backup and Disaster Recovery

Posted on 2016-08-24
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Last Modified: 2016-09-13
I have set up several of my clients setup to use the Windows Server Backup on various different versions of Windows Server Products 2008 or later.

At the same time, I always encourage them to use a disaster recovery backup as well, such as Carbonite or Mozy, in the event of a fire or some disaster.  Most of them will agree to paying the extra for the cloud backups.  However, some of my clients can't afford to cough up $500 + per year for this.

So, my question is:  If I set them up using 2 or more destination (external) hard drives with Windows Server Backup, can I simply switch the hard drives and take most recent backup drive off site for disaster recovery?  I don't know if Windows Server Backup is making a new full backup when I switch the  hard drives.

Does anyone know the answer to this question?  I haven't been able to find any info on this online.  Just basic user instructions.
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Cliff Galiher earned 2000 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41769533
Yes, backups are always complete. Even "incremental" backups in windows use some shadow-copy magic so that the most recent backup is a self-contained full backup. There is never a dependency on older backups or other media.
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 41769560
If you like the idea of Carbonite, there may be a nice alternative.

I've used an inexpensive (usually a leftover XP or other machine) workstation as a file backup device.  I make sure it has a large enough (usually second) hard drive so that I can back up all of the shared files from the server.  I use robocopy on the workstation to do the copying, typically nightly.  Since it is a workstation, you can use the Personal ($60/year) version of Carbonite to back it up.  As I read the license a while back, it doesn't appear to violate it, but you should confirm that on your own.

This gives you an additional local backup (data files only) and also a cloud backup of the same files.  There are no shares on the workstation so it shouldn't be at risk of being attacked by a local computer.  If you don't do anything on the internet with it other than setting up Carbonite, it should be safe.

One significant issue to consider is the security of that workstation.  Anyone who can get to the computer can access all of the files that have been copied from the server.  Proper physical security may be adequate, but this shouldn't be overlooked.

This doesn't address your question directly (Cliff did an excellent job of that) but may be an approach that you'd find useful.
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Author Comment

by:byronfriendlycomputers
ID: 41769598
Thanks guys.  I was pretty sure, but have never had to do a restore from a multiple destination hard drive backup with the Windows Server Backup, only a single drive backup.  And it worked well.
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 41795680
The selected solution was accurate and complete.
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