Windows Server Backup: An Overview
If you own a Windows server and do not take necessary steps to back it up, then you are probably risking all your valuable data. This is because you never know when a disaster might occur, may it be a hardware crash, some cybercriminal hacking your system, a natural disaster like flood or earthquake, or even a corrupted update of Windows. Something or the other will bring your server down at a least expected time, leaving you helpless pertinent to protecting your data.
The Server Backup feature offered by Windows is basically a data backup and recovery solution for all PCs and laptops that run the Windows Server 2008 operating system. Windows Server Backup makes known a new technology for backup and recovery, which substitutes the earlier Backup feature of Windows (Ntbackup.exe), which was existent with the previous versions of the Windows Operating System.
Windows Server Backup – What is it?
The Windows Server Backup feature available in your Windows Server 2008 system generally comprises of a command line and snap-in tools of Microsoft Management Console, shortly known as MMC, which offer a comprehensive solution for all your needs of everyday backup and recovery. You can make use of four different wizards that will help you throughout the performance of your data backups and recoveries. You can use the Server Backup feature of Windows not only to back up all volumes (a full server), but also to back up the system state, or just specific volumes that are of importance to you. You can also use the feature to recover files, folders, volumes, the system state, and also specific applications. And, when you encounter any form of disaster, may it be natural or man-made; you can use the feature to perform a full system recovery, which will basically restore your entire computer to a new hard disk.
The Windows Server Backup can be used to generate as well as to manage backups for a remote computer or your local computer. In addition, the feature allows you to schedule automatic backups, at a time that is convenient to you, like after office hours, and in order to enhance such scheduled backups, you can also carry out one time backups of your data.
Following are some of the most prominent enhancements included in the new version of Windows Server Backup:
- Restoration made easy: The improved version of Windows Server Backup allows you to restore data easily by just selecting a particular backup and then choosing all the files and folders you wish to restore from that backup. You can either restore only particular files from a folder or can even choose to restore entire contents of a folder. In the previous version, manual restoration was required by those items that were stored on incremental backups. However, the all new Server Backup feature of Windows does not require you to manually restore such files. Instead, the restoration can be done by just choosing the date when the backup was performed.
- Speedy backup technology: The technology used by Windows Server Backup for backing up and recovering your files, folders, volumes, and your entire operating system is referred to as block-level backup and Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). Once you create your first full data backup, you can then configure the backup feature to run incremental backups automatically after the end of each day or as per your wish, which will save only those data that have been altered or added since the last backup. Also, even if you wish to conduct complete backups every single time, the duration taken by those backups will be considerably less when compared to the older versions of Windows.
- Operating system recovery made easy: The all new Windows recovery tools used by the Windows Server Backup feature makes it much easier for you to recover your entire operating system. The recovery can be made either to the same server or even to a different server that contains similar hardware.
- Recovery of applications: The VSS component used by Windows Server Backup is usually put together with Windows applications like SQL Server in order to secure your application data.
- Enhanced scheduling: As mentioned earlier, you can schedule your backups on Windows Server backup at any time that is convenient to you. The feature comprises of a wizard that will lead you towards the process of performing everyday backups. And in order to protect your data from being lost during the event of a disaster, the feature makes sure that all your scheduled backups are automatically inclusive of system volumes.
- Supports different media: Windows Server Backup allows you to manually back up all your data volumes directly on to removable media as well as to optical media drives like CDs and DVDs. This is an excellent solution if you need your backed up data to be transferred offsite easily.
- Automatic management of disk usage: If you happen to set up a disk for performing a scheduled backup, the Windows Server Backup feature will automatically manage the usage of that particular disk, without you having to worry about dissipation of disk space as a result of continuous backups. The remaining space from previous backups will automatically be used by Windows Server Backup, when it creates new backups. All necessary information about disk usage and available backups will be displayed in the management tool. You can make use of this information to perform additional storage of volumes in order to meet up with your backup and recovery objectives.
Windows Server Backup can be used by an individual and also by a business organization that is in need of a fundamental solution for their backup requirements. However, the solution serves best for individual usage or for usage by small businesses rather than large enterprises.