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Windows Server backup

The Windows Server Backup feature consists of a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in and command-line tools that provide a complete solution for your day-to-day backup and recovery needs. You can use four wizards to guide you through running backups and recoveries. You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), selected volumes, or the system state. You can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can perform a system recovery, which will restore your complete system onto the new hard disk, by using a full server backup and the Windows Recovery Environment.Windows Server Backup is intended for use by everyone who needs a basic backup solution—from small business owners to IT professionals in large enterprises. However, the design makes it especially well-suited for smaller organizations or individuals who are not IT professionals.Windows Server Backup includes the following improvements.

Faster backup technology

Windows Server Backup uses Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and block-level backup technology to back up and recover your operating system, files and folders, and volumes. After the first full backup is created, you can configure Windows Server Backup to automatically run incremental backups by saving only the data that has changed since the last backup. Even if you choose to always perform full backups, your backup will take less time than it did in earlier versions of Windows.

Simplified restoration

You can restore items by choosing a backup and then selecting specific items from that backup to restore. You can recover specific files from a folder or all the contents of a folder. In addition, previously, you needed to manually restore from multiple backups if the item was stored on an incremental backup. But this is no longer true—you can now choose the date of the backup version for the item you want to restore.

Simplified recovery of your operating system

Windows Server Backup works with new Windows recovery tools to make it easier for you to recover your operating system. You can recover to the same server—or if the hardware fails, you can recover to a separate server that has similar hardware and no operating system.

Ability to recover applications

Windows Server Backup uses VSS functionality that is built into applications like Microsoft® SQL Server® to protect application data.

Improved scheduling

Windows Server Backup includes a wizard that guides you through the process of creating daily backups. System volumes are automatically included in all scheduled backups so that you are protected against disasters.

Offsite removal of backups for disaster protection

You can save backups to multiple disks in a rotation, which enables you to move disks from an offsite location. You can add each disk as a scheduled backup location and, if the first disk is moved offsite, Windows Server Backup will automatically save backups to the next disk in the rotation.

Remote administration

Windows Server Backup uses an MMC snap-in to give you a familiar and consistent experience for managing your backups. After you install the snap-in, you can access this tool through Server Manager or by adding the snap-in to a new or existing MMC console. Then, you can manage backups on other servers by clicking the Action menu in the snap-in, and then clicking Connect to Another Computer.

Automatic disk usage management

After you configure a disk for a scheduled backup, Windows Server Backup automatically manages the disk usage—you do not need to be concerned about running out of disk space after repeated backups. Windows Server Backup will automatically reuse the space of older backups when creating new backups. The management tool displays the backups that are available and the disk usage information. This can help you plan for provisioning additional storage to meet your recovery objectives.

Extensive command-line support

Windows Server Backup includes the wbadmin command and documentation, which enable you to perform all of the same tasks at the command line that you can perform by using the snap-in .You can also automate backup activities through scripting.

In addition, Windows Server 2008 contains a collection of Windows PowerShell™ commands (cmdlets) for Windows Server Backup that you can use to write scripts to perform backups.

Support for optical media drives and removable media

You can manually back up volumes directly to optical media drives, such as DVD drives, and also to removable media. This offers a solution if you want to create backups that can easily be moved offsite on a one-time basis. This version of Windows Server Backup retains support for manual backups to shared folders and hard disks.