Windows Server 2008 R2 has a revamped Windows Server Backup Feature that improves on the version delivered in RTM. In particular, it is now possible to run customized backup targeting volumes, files or folders. The Backup Once / “Custom” backup configuration enables backup in the following categories:
- Bare metal recovery
- System state
- individual files or folders on local drives
Unlike the good old NT Backup application, no network drives (UNC or networked mapped ones) is available for backup using the Custom option via the Wizard. You can define backup exclusions as well as VSS Settings - Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) full Backup or VSS copy Backup where the latter is the default.
As a backup destination, you have a choice of “Local drives” or “Remote shared folder”. Local drives include direct attached storage (DAS), externally attached disk, iSCSI Targets or optical media. You must explicitly exclude any of these volumes if they are selected as the backup destination; else:
Windows Server Backup
The selected volume is also included in the list of items to back up.
Do you want to exclude this volume from the backup items?
Only full volume recovery is supported if the backup destination is stored on a DVD i.e. restoration of individual files, folders or application data is not possible with Windows Server Backup.
On the other hand, if the destination type is “Remote shared folder”, you have to specify a UNC path pointing to an existing NT share, else:
Windows Server Backup
Windows Server Backup is unable to access the remote shared folder.
The backup destination specified by the remote shared folder does not exist.
A new folder “WindowsImageBackup” will be automatically created on the remote shared folder to save the backup data. You can control access to the backup by choosing “Do not inherit” instead of the pre-selected “Inherit” access control option. The former will mark the backup with the credentials you need to specify when prompted by the Wizard.
If you start off with the “Full server (recommended)” backup option instead, your experience will be almost the same. The exception is that you are not asked to pick any files or folders as source for backup with the advanced option already set to VSS Copy Backup (not configurable in the GUI). The backup items automatically selected include bare metal recovery, system state and all local disk drives.
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