Backup & Recovery

DHCP & Print Server Backups

Scenario:
All servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2.  Like most well run IT departments you have system images for servers.  You probably have multiple sites, possibly with low bandwidth connections and you would like to minimize the amount of data being backed up.  DHCP and print servers are important but not business critical and can stand to be down for a few hours in the event of a major failure.  This procedure will allow for backup of all important information while minimizing backup size and an easy restoration task.

Method, Printers:
Server 2008R2 has advanced print management features including a tool called “Printbrm”.  Printbrm.exe facilitates importing and exporting of all things print related including ports, drivers and shares.  Using Printbrm we can execute a task to create a .CAB file that can be used to restore all print information to a rebuilt server.  Without using this tool the only way BackupExec can backup this information is to make a system state backup.  Another advantage is this Printbrm export is essentially separated from the server and can be restored to any 2008r2 machine running print services.  Using BackupExec, create a Pre-Command that runs the Printbrm export to a file:
c:\Windows\System32\spool\tools\printbrm -B -S \\server -F D:\printerExports\server\server.cab  Replacing “server” with your servers name.

Using conventional backup techniques backup your export directory.  The printer exports can be run from your BackupExec server and saved locally if you install the Print Services roll, or you can execute the command remotely and hold the export on the individual servers.  One limitation I noticed with Printbrm is that it doesn’t accommodate overwriting export files, so you will need to delete your server.cab file if you intend on making multiple backups.  I used this as a Post-command:
cmd.exe /c del d:\printerexports\server\*.* /q
This simply deletes the contents of the export subfolder without prompting.  Another option is to create the job using backup method “Back up and delete the files” though that’s not how I have it configured.

Method, DHCP
Server 2008r2 also makes an automatic backup of the DHCP database every 60 minutes and places is in the familiar DHCP backup directory (system32\dhcp\backup) .  On previous versions of windows server you had to stop the services, run a backup and restart the services.  It worked (most of the time) but this is system integrated and easier to deal with.  Using BackupExec simply include the backup directory as a simple file backup.

Status at this point:
After implementing this you should have printer export files (server.cab) and the DHCP backups.  These two items will serve as your backups assuming the target servers are dedicated to DHCP and Print services only.

The server just died:
The server just died, now you need to restore everything.  Fix or replace your hardware, image the machine with Server 2008r2 and get it online.  Install your DHCP and Print management rolls.  You probably had to drive out there to fix the server anyway and it makes for good PR to stay until the server is back online.
DHCP:

This one is real easy. 
After you have your DHCP server roll installed, open the DHCP server manager, right click on your server name and select “Restore”.  Point the wizard at your DHCP backup and let it do its thing
Print:

You can either do this in the print management console or via command line.  For restore tasks the GUI works just fine.  Open the print management console and navigate down to your print server name.  Right click on it and select “import printers from a file” and point it at your server.cab file.  For good measure reboot and check your shares.

Sources
Technet DHCP Backup and Restore:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd380264%28WS.10%29.aspx
 
Technet Print Management:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753109%28WS.10%29.aspx
Comments

This is a great article. This is very helpful for the project I am currently working on that has a remote office that has one server that only functions for Print and DHCP.

Thank you for this information.