Thursday, January 10, 2008

Windows Server 2008: Backups

There's an old adage in IT: It's not the backups that are the problem, it's restoring them.. Whoever said that is entirely correct. Today was spent wrestling with the built-in functionality of Windows Server 2008 and backing itself up. Prior to 2008 was the NTBackup system. Now, as much of a pain in the ass NTBackup was, it still worked. My test network had the domain controllers built from the NTBackup commands, and it worked rather well when you knew what you were doing.

I suppose the same can be said for 2008, however, I've yet to figure out what the problem is. My goal: Full restore. I want to be able to load a system from scratch onto a blank machine from that backup. Windows Server 2008 allows for a full system backup, as well as system state.

Fantastic!, I think to myself. If I get this working in the short timespan I've got, I now have zero problems with loading it as the primary file servers! And we'll also know that the backup systems work!

Microsoft, you tease.

I'm tempted to call out 2008 and say that it sucks, yet, I'm sure that there's something I'm screwing up with the procedure. Only time will tell. So far:

+ I ran a full backup with system state and saved it to a remote share located on a Windows Server 2003 machine. Just for the hell of it, I shared every folder that was created. Every Folder. Booting a machine to a DVD and requesting to repair via the network location yields that the shared location contains no backups.
+ Using the same backup, I installed Server 2008 on the previously attempted server, and attempted the same thing, yielding the same results.

At first, I might've blamed drives. RAID controllers can be a pain in the ass, sometimes the Ethernet driver says it's connected when it's actually having difficulty, things like that. But even after that is all bypassed, it still couldn't do it.

If I can't get something working in the name of backups and recovery, I'm going to seriously doubt putting 2k8 into production. My next test for a situation like this is with the Veritas software and recovery of system state.

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