Planning a Backup and Recovery for Disaster Recovery
==== ====For PC and MAC owners who want nothing more than easy, straightforward backup with a fewextra features on the side, MyPCBackup should be a feasible option. Learn more about pcbackups.http://www.mb01.com/lnk.asp?o=4567&c=53546&a=96497==== ====The Backup utility creates a copy of data on a hard disk of a computer and archives data onanother storage media. Any storage media such as removable disks, tapes, and logical drives canbe used as a backup storage.While taking a backup of files, the Backup utility creates a volume shadow copy of the data tocreate an accurate copy of the contents. It includes any open files or files that are being used bythe system. Users can continue to access the system while the Backup utility is running withoutthe risk of losing data.Volume Shadow CopyBackup provides a feature of taking a backup of files that are opened by a user or system. Thisfeature is known as volume shadow copy. Volume shadow copy makes a duplicate copy of all filesat the start of the backup process. In this way, files that have changed during the backup processare copied correctly. Due to this feature, applications can continue writing data to the volumeduring a backup operation, and backups can be scheduled at any time without locking out users.Types of BackupsThe Windows Backup utility provides various types of backups. While planning for a backupstrategy, it is important to choose an appropriate type or combination of different types of backups.The backup type determines which files are transferred to the destination media.Each backup type relates to an attribute maintained by every file known as archive (A). Thearchive attribute is set when a file is created or changed. When an archive attribute is set, it meansthat the backup of this file has not been taken or it is due.Note: When it is said that "The file is marked as backup", it means that the archive attribute of thefile has been cleared.Normal BackupsWhen an administrator chooses to use a normal backup, all selected files and folders are backedup and the archive attribute of all files are cleared. A normal backup does not use the archiveattribute to determine which files to back up. A normal backup is used as the first step of anybackup plan. It is used with the combination of other backup types for planning a backup strategyof an organization. Normal backups are the most time-consuming and are resource hungry.
Restoration from a normal backup is more efficient than other types of backups.Incremental BackupsAn incremental backup backs up files that are created or changed since the last normal orincremental backup. It takes the backup of files of which the archive attribute is set. After taking abackup, it clears the archive attribute of files. An incremental backup is the fastest backupprocess. Restoring data from an incremental backup requires the last normal backup and allsubsequent incremental backups. Incremental backups must be restored in the same order asthey were created.Note: If any media in the incremental backup set is damaged or data becomes corrupt, the databacked up after corruption cannot be restored.Differential BackupsDifferential backup backs up files that are created or changed since the last normal backup. Itdoes not clear the archive attribute of files after taking a backup. The restoration of files from adifferential backup is more efficient than an incremental backup.Copy BackupsA copy backup copies all selected files and folders. It neither uses nor clears the archive attributeof the files. It is generally not a part of a planned scheduled backup.Daily BackupsA daily backup backs up all selected files and folders that have changed during the day. It backsup data by using the modified date of the files. It neither uses nor clears the archive attribute of thefiles.Combining backup typesThe easiest backup plan is to take a normal backup every night. A normal backup every nightensures that the data is restored from a single job the next day. Although the restoration of datafrom a normal backup is easy, taking a backup is time consuming. Hence, an administrator isrequired to make an optimal backup plan. An administrator must consider the following pointsbefore creating a backup plan:·The time involved in taking the backup.·The size of the backup job.·The time required to restore a system in the event of a system failure.The most common solutions for the needs of different organizations include the combination ofnormal, differential, and incremental backups.
Combination of Normal and Differential BackupsAn administrator can use a combination of a normal backup and a differential backup to save timein taking a backup as well as for a restoration of data. In this plan, a normal backup can be takenon Sunday, and differential backups can be taken on Monday through Friday every night. If databecomes corrupt at any time, only a normal and last differential backup are required to berestored. Although this combination is easier and takes lesser time for restoration, it takes moretime to take backup if data changes frequently.Combination of Normal and Incremental BackupsA combination of normal and incremental backups can be used to save more time for takingbackups. In this plan, a normal backup is taken on Sunday and incremental backups on Mondaythrough Friday every night. If data becomes corrupt at any time, a normal and all incrementalbackups till date are required to be restored.Backing up a System State DataSystem State DataSystem State data contains critical elements of the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003operating systems. Following are the files included in the System State data:·Boot files, including the system files and all files protected by Windows File Protection(WFP)·Active Directory (on domain controller only)·SYSVOL (on domain controller only)·Certificate Services (on certification authority only)·Cluster database (on cluster node only)·Registry·IIS metabase·Performance counter configuration information·Component Services Class registration databaseFor backing up the System State of a computer, the System State node is included as a part of thebackup selection in the Backup utility.Note: On domain controllers, System State can be restored only by restarting the domaincontroller in Directory Services Restore Mode. NTDSUTIL is used to recover deleted objects inActive Directory.
System RecoveryIn the event of a system failure, the recovery of the system is difficult and tedious foradministrators. Recovery involves reinstallation of the operating system, mounting and catalogingthe backup tape, and then performing the full restore. To make this process easier, Windowsprovides a feature called Automated System Recovery (ASR). ASR is used to perform a restore ofthe System State data and services in the event of a major system failure. An ASR restoreincludes the configuration information for devices. ASR backs up the system data and localsystem partition.How to create an ASR set?Take the following steps to create an Automated System Recovery (ASR) set by using the Backupor Restore Wizard:1.Run Backup from Start Menu > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup.2.In the welcome screen of the Backup or Restore Wizard, click the Advanced Mode link.3.On the welcome page of the Advanced Mode of the Backup utility, choose the ASR Wizardoption from the Tools menu.4.In the welcome screen of the ASR Wizard, click the Next button.5.On the Backup Destination page, specify the location of the backup, and click the Next button.6.Click the Finish button.Note: An ASR backup does not include folders and files.Best practices for BackupAccording to Microsoft, administrators should take the following steps to ensure the recovery incase of a system failure:·Develop backup and restore strategies and test them.·Train appropriate personnel.·In a high-security network, ensure that only administrators are able to restore files.·Back up all data on the system and boot volumes and the System State.·Back up the data on all volumes and the System State data at the same time.·Create an Automated System Recovery backup set.·Create a backup log.·Keep at least three copies of the media. Keep at least one copy off-site in a properlycontrolled environment.
·Perform trial restorations.·Secure devices and media.·Do not disable the default volume shadow copy backup method and revert to the pre-Windows Server 2003 backup method.·Back up your server cluster effectively.·Back up the cluster disks from each node.==== ====For PC and MAC owners who want nothing more than easy, straightforward backup with a fewextra features on the side, MyPCBackup should be a feasible option. Learn more about pcbackups.http://www.mb01.com/lnk.asp?o=4567&c=53546&a=96497==== ====