Backup & Recovery

The Technical Services team for Backup and Recovery have produced a number of documents we call "Blueprints".

These Blueprints are designed to show backup and recovery challenges around specific technologies or functions and how Backup Exec or NetBackup solve these challenges.

Each Blueprint consists of:

  • Pain Points: What challenges customers face
  • Whiteboard: Shows how Backup Exec solves the customer challenges
  • Recommended Configuration: Shows recommended installation
  • Do’s: Gives detailed configurations suggested by Symantec
  • Don'ts: What configurations & pitfalls customers should avoid
  • Advantages: Summarizes the Backup Exec advantages

This document discusses:

  • The protection of key system components required for full server recovery, including boot volume, system state components, among others
  • How SDR Technology Add Value, enabling bare metal recovery and P2V/B2V conversion of Windows servers
  • How recovery is an automated process leveraging WinPE-based recovery disk

Modern Business is driven by Servers

Modern businesses are based upon servers – powerful computing systems that host and manage business-critical applications and data. Servers are the lifeblood of business today, without which businesses could not function at a very basic level in our modern industry. Some examples of critical applications found on these servers are Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Active Directory.

Because servers host business-critical applications and priceless customer and corporate data assets, managing and protecting servers is the primary concern of IT professionals across the globe.

Virtualization Technology

Over the last decade, one of the most disruptive and widely adopted IT technologies affecting modern businesses is virtualization. Virtualization breaks the legacy one-to-one relationship between server hardware and server operating systems, allowing businesses to save costs, consolidate resources, and enjoy a great deal of flexibility in how hardware and software assets are applied within an organization. Virtualization technology offers IT professionals new and unique tools to help solve the continuing problems of data protection and disaster recovery.

Virtualization technology offers benefits to organizations of all sizes. Although not all organizations plan to become fully virtualized, and although the virtualization use cases do vary somewhat from organization to organization, most have adopted, are adopting, or plan to adopt virtualization technology in one way or another.

Barriers to Adopting Virtualization

One of the primary problems businesses still struggle with is how to effectively adopt virtualization technology within their organization. Early adopters of virtualization realized that, as with any significant IT project, moving legacy physical servers to a virtualized platform is something that must be implemented in a manner that does not impact the organization’s ability to continue with business as usual. A staged approach to adopting virtualization was quickly identified as a best practice.

However, although virtualization abstracts the operating system from the physical hardware layer of a server by inserting itself between the two, the virtualization layer is still seen as, and treated by, the operating system as hardware. Simply moving the operating environment from a physical server into a virtual machine using ‘brute force’ would simply result in an inoperable server, as the virtual hardware would not be recognized properly. The need for migration tools to help streamline this process of moving or converting physical servers into virtual machines was born.

Leveraging Virtualization Technology for Disaster Recovery

Many organizations realized that not all servers are good candidates for virtualization. High performance and high usage servers, such as mail servers, in some situations may still operate optimally on standalone hardware over the long term. Even in these situations however, virtualization technology still offers benefits, such as the ability to leverage virtual duplicates of physical servers as a way to quickly recover a server in the event of a disaster, allowing business operations to continue while the original server problem is repaired.

Convert-to-Virtual, Backup-to-Virtual, and Point-in-Time Conversions with Backup Exec 2014

Backup Exec™ 2014 continues to invest in virtualization technology. Features included in the Backup Exec™ 2014 product help administrators solve the problem of moving physical servers to a virtual environment and also give administrators unique tools for leveraging virtualization technology for disaster recovery. These features are the ability to perform automated conversions of physical servers to a virtual machine replica, perform automated conversions of physical servers – using existing backup sets – to a virtual machine replica, and perform “ad hoc” or on-demand conversions of physical server backups to a virtual machine replica.

What Does Simplified Disaster Recovery (SDR) Technology Do?

  • Protects key system components required for full server recovery
  • Examples include boot volume, system state components, among others

How Does SDR Technology Add Value?

  • Enables bare metal recovery and P2V/B2V conversion of Windows servers - recovery is an automated process leveraging WinPE-based recovery disk
  • How Do I Know If Backups Are Enabled With SDR? Backup Exec 2014 jobs are enabled for SDR by default
  • Backup job selections screen will show green SDR “ribbon” when enabled

For step-by-step instructions for installing and managing Backup Exec™ 2014’s virtual conversion features, please refer to the Backup Exec™ 2014 Administrator’s Guide available here: TECH205797.

You can use this Blueprint to better understand Backup Exec's P2V/B2V conversion of Windows servers - please download from the link below.