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Taking the Pain out of Server Recovery

March 12, 2007

Summary

“Complete hardware failure” are three words no IT administrator ever wants to hear.

Introduction

“Complete hardware failure” are three words no IT administrator ever wants to hear. That is because a complete hardware failure is one of the most common reasons for a server to go down — and to most admins, recovering a server is one of the most time-consuming and tedious tasks to perform. Whether your small or mid-sized business is running one or a handful of servers, there is no doubt any server failure is costly in terms of lost business and productivity. Find out what is involved with recovering a server, and learn about a remote recovery solution that can take the agony out of recovery.

Recovery process

When a server does down, everything on it — applications, original system configurations, updates, etc. — is gone. Recovering a server is not fun, it is not easy, and the complicated process leaves IT admins holding their breath that each of the following steps involved goes smoothly:
  • To start the recovery, it will need to be determined whether the hard drive can be repaired or if it needs to be completely replaced.
  • Then another server on which to recover needs to be identified — this can be difficult because it needs to have the identical hardware as the server that crashed.
  • The original disks containing the critical system configuration information need to be located and run.
  • The hard drive needs to be repartitioned and formatted.
  • The operating system needs to be reinstalled.
  • All of the operating system service packs need to be reinstalled — and — a reboot is required after every service pack is installed.
  • All of the drivers must be reinstalled (and reboots happen again).
  • The profiles must be added.
  • The backup applications need to be reinstalled so the data can finally be retrieved.
In some instances this process can take days, monopolizing one or more of your IT staff’s time — and slowing down your business — for the whole time. Valuable manpower is spent working on the problem when it could otherwise be spent working on other critical tasks. Especially for small and mid-sized businesses — where IT teams are often small and already stretched thin — server recovery is an unwelcome drag on resources.

A better way

Most of the steps listed above, and many other concerns related to server recovery would be eliminated with a solution such as Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery. Backup Exec is a rapid server recovery solution designed for small and mid-sized businesses that is both cost-effective and easy to use. When IT disaster strikes, businesses can quickly restore failed systems in minutes to a specified point in time without taking hours or days to manually rebuild and restore systems. Backup Exec even breaks the barrier of having to recover systems to the identical hardware platform where recovery points were created and eliminates the high costs of having to maintain duplicate hardware solely for the purposes of system recovery in the event of an emergency. Businesses with older hardware environments that fail can restore their systems to newer and more updated hardware. Restoration to new hardware can be accomplished without having to reinstall and reconfigure operating systems, device drivers, applications, and system settings — making it quick and easy. Also, the new Backup Exec version 11d provides support in a complete 64-bit environment for businesses that have adopted Microsoft Exchange 2007.

Remote system recovery can be achieved with the Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery LightsOut Restore capability. A remote administrator can conduct bare-metal restorations simply by connecting via a secure remotely controlled interface. For example, if a new patch or application causes system corruption, an administrator can perform a bare metal restore without being physically at the server. The system can easily be rolled back to a previous recovery point.

Conclusion

There are many things that can bring a server down — complete hardware failure is a common culprit. Small and mid-sized businesses are never 100% immune to the possibility of a server crash, and when it happens it seems like there is never enough time or staff resources to deal with the problem. Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery is a solution that will help keep your business running, even if the server fails, without skipping a beat.

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