Technology has been changing a lot in the last year. One critical area of change that I have been taking note of is in the area of Backups and Disaster Recovery. Most are familiar with the traditional tape backup on the server. Every day you replace the previous days tape and then at night all of the data that changed throughout the day is backed up. This has been the standard for most small to medium size network servers for years, but that is changing.

The traditional method has a few flaws.
  • If someone forgets to replace the tape then you miss a backup for the entire day.
  • The tape media used degrades over time and requires that entire sets be replaced on a regular basis.
  • When you do have a system crash the recovery time can take a long time due to the following factors:
    • Time to repair the hardware
    • Time to Reload the operating system from scratch and install windows updates
    • Time to Reload all the programs
    • More Time to Restore all data from tape


  • Restorations from tapes usually take a full day or more, depending on the severity of the crash, before your organization is back up and running.
The new methods of backup and recovery are geared more towards getting your server backup up and running as fast as possible. This is accomplished by using new generation backup software that takes a complete snapshot image of the server and then as time progresses it keeps a running set of backups on a continuous schedule. For instance, my servers are backed up every 180 minutes and for my critical servers they can be backed up as often as every 15 minutes. If one should crash PCS can simply:
  • Take the image of the server backup and either
    • Repair the server hardware that failed and restore the server completely
    • Take the image and load it on a PC or secondary server as a virtual machine
This only takes a few minutes to have a server back up and running from a complete hardware failure instead of the normal day or days to recover.

There is an old saying in the industry, “Your network is only as good as your last backup”.

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