Backup and Recovery

Most people never think about backup and recovery until they need it. Microsoft has been shipping a simple backup solution with Windows since Windows NT 3.1 back in 1993. The technology used today has changed since then, but the needs are still the same. Administrators need the ability to effectively back up servers, data, and the system state while also having an easy way to restore when needed.

Windows Server 2008 does not support the old NTBackup.exe tool or its backup format. It now uses a backup feature called Windows Server Backup. This feature cannot read the old .bkf files. Therefore, it cannot restore any backups from NTBackup.exe. Windows Server Backup is primarily intended for use by small businesses and companies that do not have full-time or a highly technical IT staff.

Windows Server Backup uses the same backup technology found in Windows Vista, which is a block-level image. It uses .vhd image files just like those found in Microsoft Virtual Server. After the first full backup is complete, Windows Server Backup can be configured to automatically run incremental backups, therefore saving only the data that has changed and not the entire object over and over again. Restoration is also simplified in that an administrator no longer has to manually restore from multiple backups if an item was stored on an incremental backup. They can now restore items by choosing a backup to recover from and then select the item(s) to restore. One thing that you cannot do in Windows Server Backup, however, is back up to tape. Tape is not a supported medium for Windows Server Backup. You can back up to disks, DVDs, and network shares.

New and Noteworthy ...

Windows Server Backup

Although you cannot use Windows Server Backup to recover files from a .bkf format, you can download a version of Windows Backup for Windows Server 2008. It is for use by administrators who need to recover data from backups taken using NTBackup. The downloadable version cannot be used to create additional backups on Windows Server 2008. To download NTBackup for Windows Server 2008 go to com/fwlink/?LinkId=82917.

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