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RE: [Xen-users] Backup running Windows machines - redundancy

To: "Paul Piscuc" <paul.piscuc@xxxxxxxxxx>, "Bart Coninckx" <bart.coninckx@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Backup running Windows machines - redundancy
From: "James Harper" <james.harper@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 21:10:22 +1100
Cc: Guido Hecken <guido.hecken@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Mike Sun <msun@xxxxxxxxxx>, xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Backup running Windows machines - redundancy
> Ok, cool. What about reinstalling the system, to rebuild the boot sector
> ( or better, restore with dd from an earlier backup - let's assume a
> week old), and then use rdiff to bring the system up to date, from a
> more recent backup ? To be tested.
> Again, the purpose of this thread is to find an incremental backup
> solution. DD and other methods work fine, but you cannot do daily
> backups on 8 machines with 100GB storage, and keep those backups for a
> week or more. Also, if one would like to restore a single file from the
> image, things will get ugly.

FWIW, I just use Bacula. It invokes a VSS snapshot and backs up from that so 
backing up a running machine is not a problem. To restore, you should just be 
able to mount the DomU volumes in another DomU and restore to that (bacula 
allows redirection). There is nothing particularly special about making a 
windows system bootable. Just format as NTFS, mark the partition as bootable 
(active I think in disk manager) and then restore the files.

The only gotcha with incremental backups is that Windows can be a little lazy 
about updating the 'last modified time'. I think it might only do that when the 
file is closed so database files tend not to be picked up reliably. Everything 
else works great though.

Given a full backup and subsequent differential/incremental backups, Bacula can 
even synthesize the equivalent full backup without touching the source machine.

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