There are three main tools you can use. The tools all do something a little bit different but as you will find out soon you will really want to look somewhere else for backup software. It’s a shame since I felt NTBackup was good enough for most small to Medium sized companies. The new tools as you will find out are very lacking.
- Windows Server Backup – A GUI tool that creates simple backup and “tries” to replace the workhorse NTBackup.
- WBadmin – A command line tool for creating and schedualing backup. This is actually available in server core!
- Ntdsutil – The name stands for Network Directory Services Utility. This is a powerful tool to do advanced backup operations (and lots more) specifically for Active Directory files and the AD database.
As far as backup size goes Windows Server Backup is the largest and goes down to Ntdsutil which is the smallest. I will first go over the tools that are provided in part 1. In part two I will walk you through the theory of backing up servers as per Microsoft’s recommendations.
Windows Server Backup
This is NOT installed by default. You have to add it as a feature. The BIG downside of the Windows Server backup is that you can no longer backup to tape drive!!! Yes you heard that right. In a bone headed move Microsoft completely neutered it’s main backup solution. Why… I have no idea. You can however backup the server using what is called VSS or Volume shadow copy. You can backup to a local volume that is not part of the backup, DVD or network share. If you want to backup to a network share via a schedule you must use WBadmin command line! I know it gets better and better right?
Note – Windows Server Backup can restore System State Data from a WBAdmin backup!
Windows Server Backup Big Gotchas Overview
- Can’t backup to tape drive, Only DVD or Network Attached storage.
- Backup will overwrite the same shared folder over and over.
- Can’t backup single files. It can only backup entire Volumes!
WBadmin Is a command like that provides more power then Windows Server Backup. It allows you to:
- Run one time backup
- Schedual regular backups
- Backup your system state! ie. (Registry, Boot files, System Files, AD Directory Services DB and SYSVOL directory
This tool does quite a few thing in regards to backing up Active Directory. The main features of the tool are:
- Create IFM (Install from Media) media for faster creation/re-creation of a DC. This can save on bandwith in the re-creation scenario.
- Take snapshots of the AD!!
- When used in conjunction with media created by Wbadmin or Windows Server Backup it can allow you to restore AD objects like entire OU’s!
- It’s an interactive tool.. You will get different options depending on which command try you are in.
Check out Planning Backups in Windows 2008+ Server with built in tools (Part 2)