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Recommendation on how to do a FULL webserver backup?

By acidosmosis ยท 10 replies
Aug 20, 2003
  1. I need to do some RAID troubleshooting and will need to make a full backup of our webserver. The method I hope to use is an external hard-drive. The webserver is using RAID-5 with 3x16GB SCSI drives. Also this would be helpful for many other reasons.

    The main concern I have is when I do this full backup, lets say that for some reason all three scsi drives were dead and I needed to use that backup to restore the webserver to 100% working condition.

    What would you recommend as the best way to do a backup like this? It will need to be a FULL backup, with all files, partitions, system files, configurations, etc.

    I am hoping I can do this without any 3rd party programs.
  2. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    i think

    it'z time for a Phanty Raid!............:grinthumb
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    you will be kicking yourself when you see what you have missed!

    Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup

    I expect you to give it a good try on your own, crack it, and post back here telling us what you did, rather than have me tell you.

    That's if you are a true Jedi, that is.....

    I would turn wizard mode off if that's what enabled by default (is with windows 2003 server that I am on here...)
  4. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    Phant; Yea I knew that was there :p I just wasnt sure if it was a good idea or not as far as doing a full backup and using that backup to do a full restore.

    We are using Windows 2003 Server on our webserver also :)

    Thanks again.

    If that works fine that way I believe I will go ahead and set a task schedule for each server to do this nightly once we get a few more external drives.

    I recommended getting PowerQuest V2i Protector 2.0 Desktop Edition for this, but I haven't gotten a response about it from the owner as of yet. You have any opinions on that program?

    Edit: http://www.powerquest.com/v2i/protector/desktop/
  5. JSR

    JSR Banned Posts: 592

    and, voila'

    just like magic :D
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    That will allow you to write your files to tape drive, I should imagine, with no problems.

    However, if its only user data files, and not the system state that you want to keep, best thing would just be copy it using explorer across the network to another machine.

    If you lost all computer data, because your RAID system died, you would then down the machine, rebuild the RAID array, format partitions, reinstall Windows Server and then start to restore the system you backed up. Everything should come back the way it was before you wiped everything, except that now your drive storage problems will be fixed.

    Jedi learner difficulty level - 52 %
  7. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    Phant, one thing I was kind of hoping I could do is doing a full backup as to where I could basically plug the external up, in case of a full HD failure and make the external our temporary storage with the Windows installation already on the drive, along with all other information. That way you could basically be back up quickly with minimum downtime at least until I am able to get new scsi drive(s) to replace the faulty ones and then rebuild the raid.
  8. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    You mean use the external drives (is that what you have?) as a kind of emergency drive system replacement that you could just swing into action when the internal RAID array was not functioning?

    Yes, you probably can. But Microsoft backup will want to write some kind of backup file to a disk location or tape drive, etc, rather than create a system mirror, as such. You probably can do what you describe, but it would probably go a lot better if you used PowerQuest's Drive Image or something....

    If you manage your servers properly, and configure them to do regular and reliable backups, then you should not have to make a mirror system in this way, though. The problem with maintaining a rescue plan like that is that the price that you pay for having a quick fix is that you are constantly updating the mirror. Its far better to configure a sensible backup configuration with regular incremental backups, etc, going on to a reliable tape medium, or to another mass storage device of some sort. That will have minimal impact on performance of the server, whilst allowing for a maximum downtime of a Windows 2000 server install and full backup restore, which is a few hours probably. That's acceptable if you are only having a disaster like that once in a blue moon, which should be the case.

    The kinds of backup stragies described in the Microsoft Material you should be reading ;) is probably the best, because its been tried, researched, tested and refined. If you really want to build in redundancy where your server can immediately die and have a backup system IMMEDIATELY kick back in, then you need to really think about clustering.
  9. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    LoL Phant, I am still reading those :p. I've started referring to the MSKB a lot lately too. Planning on doing a lot of reading in their also sometime.

    I'll refer to that material :p.

    Thanks again for the information Phant.
  10. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Yeah, stick your head in some Microsoft stuff for a few years, maybe even look at some Cisco as well. To a clever chap like you, it might become boring in about 5 years or so, but for the next while, I would give it all of your energy. All of this stuff is a solid basis for going on to becoming something more in a few years. Its also very sought after abilities, no matter how flooded the industry is with people trying to do it right now. The best works always win. Work hard and remember that.
  11. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,350

    Once I got full admin back I've been pretty much busting my butt at work. If I dont have something else to do I am usually seeing what I can do to improve our servers. I setup up a performance log on our domain controller today and plan on doing the same on the other three servers here soon. I set up a few different logs to run for 24 hours. The first log runs tomorrow morning, the next the following morning, and so on. I will check those to get a good idea of system performance from 10am-10am to see if we need to improve on anything.

    Also I set the time to sync with time.nist.gov (govenment time), and for all servers to sync time with that server (the domain controller is now the time server).

    Among other things I have done in the last few weeks :)
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