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If you happen to be lucky enough to have servers running RAID arrays, whereby you have the OS mirrored (RAID 1) and data on RAID 5 array, here is one quick way to set up a quick recovery for the NOS (network operating system).
Go ahead and build your server according to existing policies and procedures. Then, once all of the patches and applications are installed and you have hardened the OS accordingly, remove one of the hardware mirrored disks and replace it with a new one. This leaves you with a functioning HD in case of software or hardware failure.
Anytime you make changes to the OS, just replace the old mirrored drive with the one you have in storage, and your server is up and running again. This will save you some time during your backups.
This was first published in March 2003