This chapter deals more with backup practice and protocol than actual software or technology. Most applications perform backups and restores in the same way. The Microsoft tape and media APIs ensure that at the file backup level, the data state resulting (integrity) from all backup technology is no better or worse from vendor to vendor.

Some third-party vendors, however, do have software that better manages the backup process. Backup is a useful utility, but in many respects you are likely to use it for quick and dirty work or for recovery disks and ASR media. It is not a high-end utility for the application and data services that Windows Server 2003 is cut out to provide.

In addition, it is important to understand the difference between data backup and system backup. We gave you food for thought in this chapter to enable you to manage backup procedures (QOST and SL) at a level becoming a professional administrator.

This chapter also touched on the new Shadow Copy facilities now built into the NTFS that comes with Windows Server 2003.

Disaster Recovery

Dealing with a failed server is one of the most stressful parts of a system administrator's job. You face the pressures of reinstalling the operating system, recovering valuable data from the backup media, and then reinstalling all the key services needed for the correct operation of the server. Planning for disaster recovery involves a lot more than simply knowing how to operate your restoration software. In this chapter, we show you how to correctly use Automated System Recovery to recover a base operating system, as well as best practices for creating and documenting a disaster recovery plan.

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