Good way to test my Domain Server SBS2003

February 7, 2013 at 18:43:45
Specs: SBS2003, 2.67 Xenon / 4gb
I was wondering what is the best way to test my backup of our main server. I don't have another system that is identical to it.. Could i take another computer and install sbs2003, install and set up our Exchange server, setup our sql server and Blackberry server, then migrate all the information from the backup to it and join the domain under the same name as the primary.. take the primary offline first of course. I know there is no primary/secondary in windows server, just using that name to describe my computer. what I say is our primary has exchange, blackberry, sql, dns, global catalog, file server.. pretty much everything. I would just like a good way to check my backups. Pretty sure since it's different hardware a restore of system state is out of the question. just joining the domain and seizing the fmso roll it would still update AD from server 3... right... Just need some tips to point me in the right direction.

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#1
February 7, 2013 at 18:47:12
i know it's a lot but forgot a few things.. can i backup our COMPANYWEB page and SQL. is there a way to back up those things and restore them separately.
i'm not really worried about blackberry server, it looks easy enough to set up. i haven't had much dealing with sql so far, i do have a book on it at work, guess i need to get to reading about that. i have had to export some data from sql before, wasn't that hard.

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#2
February 7, 2013 at 20:14:38
What backup software do you have?

In sql you can do database disk dumps which put the database into a file. You then back these up to tape. MS requires you backup every database and the Master database. Without the master its difficult to restore.

A number of server backup programs have what are called agents you buy separately from the backup. Agents like backing up directly a sql database. Open file agent, etc.

You need to document a backup plan which is a subset of a disaster recovery plan.

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#3
February 8, 2013 at 05:08:32
The only backup software I have is what came with server 2003... ntbackup and small business server backup. We do a ntbackup each night and a full backup with windows server backup on the weekend.

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#4
February 8, 2013 at 09:06:30
Add a terabyte external disk to your server and do test restores. We do this daily. Untested backups are no backups at all.

Consider getting Comvault or Backup Exec. I know ntbackup doesn't get everything and I would question if server backup is getting all of exchange.

Backup is your restore of last resort. Make sure its a net with no holes in it.

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#5
February 8, 2013 at 10:59:37
how are you testing the backups daily.. do you start the restore then just see if you can see the files. we have had to go back from time to time and retrieve a particular file and have always succeeded in that. My fear is that the Motherboard will die. Only option would be to guy the exact same motherboard to get the hard drives as is to boot up. we have a 2tb nas that the servers back up to every night.. and i check those backups daily. just check if they did backup successfully or not.. i don't actually try to open one of these backups up.. could i open these up from another computer, not actually restore the file but look to see if i can see the file..

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#6
February 8, 2013 at 14:49:34
We restore folders and files and then use file compare to see if they match [they don't always because some on the main system change which we expect]. We randomly test different folders/files [never windows files since we are concerned about user and data files]

Does the NAS have mirrored drives? If not backing up to it is worthless.

Just seeing a file doesn't cut it. You would not believe how many sites in a panic I have been at that say they have a backup but the files are zero byte which means no backup.

Professional backup software with additional modules can do bare metal restores. This is what you want unless you want to keep a duplicate mainboard on the shelf [did this for years until we opted for maintenace subscriptions]

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#7
February 8, 2013 at 19:26:42
nas backup is mirrored and set to send me an email if one of the drives fails..i have seen some of our user computers backup 2kb.. i know that something went wrong and go see what's up. we have about 40 computers and when i started only 5 of them were backing up... i've got that number up to 37, still have a few giving me a hard time. i'm just backing up their MY DOCUMENTS folders off of them and tell the users if they want it backed up, make sure it's in that folder. don't want to hear any whining if it's not. What I'm most concerned with is our domain server. this box is old and it has so much on it. it's a good server with hot swapable hard drives, hot swapable power supplies. i'm pretty sure it doesn't have raid though. When I took this job our backup domain server was down.. it needed total rebuild. I had never done this kind of work before and the learning curve was pretty steep but i did get that secondary domain up and running. it is on the domain as a server and it is a global catalog server, dns server and AD is replicating on it.. that's really all i have that computer doing. i know, it's doing more than i think it's doing but at least it has a backup of our AD because i would hate to have to rebuild that from scratch. our file server has a large sql server on it that keeps all of our inventory and that kinda worries me as well.. would love to know that i have a good backup of that system. I'll just keep reading my books and asking you guys my questions. sometimes i just need a nudge in the right direction and i'm off to the races.

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