The Win6 restore

Discussion in 'TechTalk' started by antic, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. antic

    antic Perch

    Hi all,

    Just read the Win6 announcement - sorry for the big job you guys had over Christmas!

    Just an idea, maybe look into a different type of backup procedure for your servers, which could be much quicker.

    I'm by no means a server technician, I'm a software developer - but here are a few snippets taken from another source, from someone who knows their stuff:

    "My product of the month for backups that I use for all my SBS installations is EMC Dantz Retrospect http://www.dantz.com/en/products/index.dtml Set and forget, backs up *NIX as well and I suspect I've recommended it in the past too. There is a eval version available if anyone feels like checking it out. Replistor is quite a nice product of theirs too."

    Don't know how that stacks up with Acronis, but it might be worth a look at?

    "With the revenue you loose each time this happens, hiring a certified disaster recovery consultant to come in and take a look at things would probably pay for itself pretty quickly. Someone who knows all the products out there, their capabilities and shortfalls and who can suggest and implement a failsafe BRP strategy for you." - could also be something to look into?

    "On my own servers, generally I have just a second drive NOT in a mirrored configuration, but on a controler independent of the primary drive and I simply use a daily disk mirror job to this drive, then Retrospect off that drive to my daily backups, means two levels of redundancy and unless it's a corrupt controller the backup drive usually is always available, you can also spin-down that secondary drive when not in use to preserve it's MTBF... You can spin down the second drive in the machine to preserve it's life span as well, further mitigating the risks of having two drives having near simultaneous physical failures."

    "One reason I like Retrospect is the compression you get both backing up and restoring, this does cut significant time from your restores becuase instead of transferring 100GB you end up transferring about a 5th of that on average."

    "Rather than using RAID1 which has it's flaws (though it does have some benefits as well like improved read I/O .. hard to measure though becuase webservers do tend to have higher write I/O's than you'd expect and Raid 1 write throughput is generally accepted to be slower than that of a single drive configuration) Using 2 drives per machine not in a mirrored config (for me personally) has served me pretty well... The biggest problem with most forms of Raid as I mentioned earlier are that if you loose the controller, have software corruption (virus etc) then you're still left in a total recovery situation, you can't rebuild from the array becuase both copies of your data are corrupt."

    Hope all that means something to someone! :)
  2. antic

    antic Perch

    More snippets from those in the know...
  3. antic

    antic Perch

    A backup solution to seriously look into

    This is the experience of a server admin testing out Symantec LiveState:

    They did some testing with Symantec LiveState http://norton.com/small_business/pr...vr30/index.html ... they backed up an entire server to a 2nd drive in less then 50min. This is not files this is a LIVE image of the drive. If the HD failed they would be able to get it back up in no time.

    This means a drive failed they would stick a new drive in, put the CD in, pull the image from the 2nd drive and it would be back online just as it was before the drive died.

    Using that software, they tested a restore of a data drive - 14 min. to restore ALL data back to the drive, with FULL permissions. NO waiting on data to move accross the network, NO waiting for permissions to reset, AND NO waiting for ASP.Net permissions to be reset.

    Obviously this means you need to have a drive in each machine dedicated to keeping just the image of the data backup. An IDE drive will probably be fine.

    So look into Symantec LiveState and see if it will do the job for ya! :)
  4. dlrmartin

    dlrmartin Perch

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    same to acronis true image
  5. antic

    antic Perch

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    I think they use Acronis already(?)
  6. Yash

    Yash Bass

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    Yes, we are using Acronis True Image server... It's costs over $800 per server and we have licenses for each and every one of our servers. It is far better suited for servers than Norton LiveState (which is primarily for workstations)

    Our WIndows backups take place exclusively via Acronis right now. During Win2's crash sometime back, we couldn't use Acronis for a restore because there was a bug in Acronis that caused it to crash upon start of restoration. However they released a new version and we were able to restore D drive for Win6 using it. Took us 1 hour and 30 minutes to restore 50GB of data. Would have taken 15 hours to do it conventionally. The reason Acronis is faster is that it restores on the sector level, while conventionally files are restored on the file-system level

    Win6's restore could have been faster if the System drive restore which we performed on the crashed server, worked. However it didn't because of very extensive hardrive corruption.
  7. Yash

    Yash Bass

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    also, our drives didn't fail. There was major hard disk corruption upon reboot. The RAID was intact...
  8. antic

    antic Perch

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    Cool.. but I thought it took around 10 hours to do the restore? Or was that the system drive?

    If Acronis does a sector restore, does that mean time is saved on things like permissions?

    Sorry again that this happened over Christmas! Hope you guys got lots of presents to make up for it. :)
  9. Yash

    Yash Bass

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    We were trying to debug the server since morning.. Recovery console, scan disks... System disk restore, hardware changes.. switching Ram sticks.. etc... A server restoration is always our last option. We have more times than once avoided major server restorations by trying to debug the problem first, and that is always our standard approach

    The actual restoration began around 3PM. We setup a fresh server with Windows 2003.. went through security updates, service packs, component installations... coldfusion, perl.. etc. That alone took around 1.5 hours. Data restoration took 1.5 hours. Acronis forces a scandisk upon restoration.. that took 1.5 hours.. Physical Resource Recreation took about 1.5 hours. Permissions took about 2 hours..
  10. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Actually, we spent quite a long time working on the old server before really digging into putting the new server into place, we had an incredible restore time once it got to bringing the new server online. However of all the time we waited, 50% of the total time was in chkdsk(on the old and new server), when moving such large files in restores the vendors recommend running chkdsk before AND after the restores, so we did it all by the book. We waited quite a long time, but it was well worth the wait.

    If MS would just make chkdsk faster :)

    Overall we restored some 50GB of user data in this process, and over 1.5 million files, in the overall scheme of things that is pretty impressive. The actual file restore was only 1.5(I said 2 at first, but it was like 1 hour 35min) hours long, the rest was chkdsk, or near the end hsphere rebuilding the metabase, and then setting the permissions, no software can speed this up, unless you are going with an IDENTICAL server and reinstalling everything exactly as it was before. We have a spare exactly like Win6, but decided it would be best while we were at it to upgrade the parts to our newer chassis, install a MS supported os in Windows 2003, and overall go at it fresh instead of having any holdouts that might cause other lingering issues.
  11. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Re: A backup solution to seriously look into

    I replied this in the other forum, I am going to merge these topics :)
  12. antic

    antic Perch

    oh dear... I can just imagine you guys sitting in a dark room, lit only by a chkdisk display running up the screen, while snow falls and the sound of carols drift in from outside!
    :ranger:
  13. Stephen

    Stephen US Operations Staff Member

    Whew, we moved to KVM after starting on the new server setup with mostly terminal services, we used the remote KVM and I was able to at least go home during this time. So much easier from home to take a little 10 min catnap, laying on the raised flooring in a DC is like an icebox! Believe me, I tried!

    It sure felt like it could snow in NAP yesterday, but at home here in Miami, nice in Toasty, as always :D
  14. antic

    antic Perch

    A well-equipped DC should always have some emergency self-inflating air matresses on standby. Inflated by computer fan airflow of course, so it's warm. :)

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