Best Practices for Acronis True Image for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by PVincent, Jul 1, 2009.

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  1. PVincent

    PVincent Registered Member

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    I am looking at purchasing "Acronis True Image for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server w/ Universal Restore" for a customer of mine and am wanting to know if I will need to install this on a separate server to protect their current SBS 2003 server or can I install it on the server I want to backup. I want to use the Univerasl Restore as well, if that makes a difference.

    Thanks,

    Patrick
     
  2. VEB

    VEB Registered Member

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    Patrick,
    You won't need separate server, just install ATI on the target one. Acronis even support installing TI on a domain controller (although with some notes), so this could be completelly working setup.
    Universal Restore gives you an ability to restore to completelly different hardware in a case of total hardware failure of your current server (wish you it never happens).
    Hope this will help.
     
  3. PVincent

    PVincent Registered Member

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    Thanks VEB, that helps to know. The only thing that concerns me is the statement about installing it on a Domain Controller. SBS, by defautl, is a domain controller, does this mean it's not really supported out of of box without tweaks? I hate to recomend something that isn't going to really as I think it will.
     
  4. VEB

    VEB Registered Member

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    Patrick,
    Several months ago I consulted with Acronis support regarding this only question. They said, using TI Server for backing up a DC is completelly supported, and number of their clients do so. However, you should keep in mind 1. Thumbstone Period; 2. replication issues in multi-DC environment (USNs). I'm not quite sure this is applicable to SBS environment.

    Please read http://kb.acronis.com/content/1505, this will definitelly help. Also read carefully all the articles from the links and then. MS KB articles perfectly describe the possible problem and methods to resolve them. Also for better understanding the possible problems with USNs, I recommend reading this: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...5D-F7A3-4209-8ED2-E261A117FC6B&displaylang=en ; although it's describes DCs in virtual environment, restoring DC from an image is much alike restoring a DC from a saved copy of virtual machine; the chapter "Backup and Restore Considerations" perfectly describes the issue and resolution methods.

    Alternatively, you can assign a maintenance window, say, once a month and perform offline backup from Acronis Bootable CD; this way you'll have completelly consisting AD. This is especially the right way if you need to migrate DC to a new hardware.
    As a conclusion, as for Acronis, using TI Server for live backup a DC is completelly supported and normal. No tweaks, as you said, required. You only should be cautios regarding AD consistency keeping in mind what is described in those articles.

    As for me, in my environment (multi-DC forest), on DCs I prefer perfoming nightly NTBackup of System State, and monthly Acronis offline backup. Should a minor software problem arise, System State backup will be sufficient. In the worst case of hardware failure or complete software failure, I can restore complete system (probably, onto a new hardware), and keeping it disconnected, restore a fresh System State to make AD up to date; then connect it to the network. Again, I'm not sure it's applicable to SBS.

    Hope this will help.

    P.S. If you want to be really resplonsible for the recommendations, don't be lazy, try all of these yourself. :) Use trials, use virtual machines, etc., etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2009
  5. VEB

    VEB Registered Member

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  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello PVincent and VEB,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image Echo for Small Business Server.

    This program can be installed onto domain controller itself (in case of local version) as well as remote manage your CD by installation of Remote Agent directly to it and connecting to it from Management Console.

    So you will be able to handle backup\restore scheme with our program. Please note that if your DC running Active Directory, there are several special steps to backing it up. Here is the article with description.

    You can download the trial version of Acronis True Image Echo for Microsoft Windows Small Business Server in order to see how it works on your computer.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexander Nikolsky
     
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