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Do I need to backup my OS as well as my data? What's the best way to backup the complete image to

I want to backup or mirror SBS2K. I've installed a second 40GB disk and want to backup the complete image to a large file. Is mirroring a better strategy? What about having a second disk in another network machine mirror the first machine, or storing the backup file. How do you then recover using either the mirror or backup file if first disk crashes? Is there a ghost program or mksysb image like in UNIX? Can you install it from the network backup? Do I need to backup both the OS and the data? I am thinking that having a second disk either in the server or in network machine is ideal. Do you have any recommendations?

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Here's a pretty standard server configuration:

Boot to an IDE drive that is mirrored either with Logical Disk Manager (dynamic disks) or hardware mirroring. Of the two, hardware mirroring is preferable. ATA RAID cards are not that expensive and you get better performance and fault response. Put the data (and the paging file) on a SCSI RAID array (mirrored or RAID 5). Use a hardware RAID controller. As fast as ATA drives have become, SCSI is still the technology of choice for a server because of its multithreaded messaging design. As for backup, both Ntbackup that comes with the OS and any of the popular backup programs will backup the OS. If you ever need to recover, you can reinstall a bare OS then run the tape restore over the top of the system partition. The commercial products all have emergency restores that will automate this process.

This was first published in October 2001

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