Friday, May 7, 2010

The NEW Windows Backup Tools - More good things from Microsoft

Here we have the continuation of a series about the good things that have come out of Microsoft recently. We’re talking about the kinds of things that make you go; “Hells Yeah! They’re finally getting it! They’re making my life easier!” So all this week I’ll post articles on the little features that I have found pleasantly surprising.

Can you say “Bare Metal Recovery”?

Three words right up there with as many positive connotations as some other well known three word combos such as “I love you”, “just lay there” and even one of the most pleasing phrases in the english language “want another beer?”

The idea of a bare metal recovery is simple. You create a backup on a particular server with a particular hardware configuration. When that server dies, you can restore that backup to a totally different server with a totally different hardware configuration. Are you with me on how cool that is?

I know this concept is old hat to a lot of industry veterans that read this blog, but I think it’s fair to acknowledge that Bare Metal Restore is now supported natively in windows backup in Server 2008 R2. And let me assure you it's pretty dam cool!

That tick box there means you can be sure you can move your server image to new hardware without even having to install Shadow Protect or Livestate. The first time I saw it I felt like someone CARED! Or the sadly, more likely scenario, that someone in marketing wanted me to think they cared.

But that shouldn’t diminish the joy of this feature. Especially when you consider that it will roll down to the workstation OS sooner or later.

I already perform a daily system image backup on my Windows 7 machines. However this won’t offer bare metal recovery... Yet.

I’m just performing my system image backups in anticipation. Not to mention the benefit of creating an archive backup that should protect me from the ever present threat of Stupidity (as mentioned in the previous post.)

The great thing about this hip and trendy use of hard disk “images” is they’re MOUNTABLE! Yup you heard me. You can take the VHD file created by your regular scheduled backup and mount it in Disk Management!

Mount it in Disk Management! Yeah! I know! It's exciting right?

I guess I get excited when something is native to the OS. It comes from being absolutely sure of the tools I’ll have at my fingertips whenever and where-ever things decide turn pear-shaped. This stuff is built into the OS so I don’t have to mess around with restrictive licensing and third party image formats. It’s all there in the OS that currently has 90% market share... Oh and it works at that!

So remember to do you backups kids! It’s now a THOUSAND times easier than it used to be. Check back tomorrow for another Microsoft product that made me grin.

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