It’s great having your System Protection backups on other media. If your server decides to stop working or a hard drive breaks, your data is safely stored on another device. Once your server is fixed, you can restore any of the image backups you made from whatever media they are on … in most cases. There are two situations where a Windows Server can be picky about what it does with a backup media.
When BackupAssist creates an image backup, it uses a Windows service to back up only the data that changed while still creating a full restore point for each backup. However, if the destination is an RDX drive or a Network destination (like a NAS) Windows cannot maintain historical information about the backups. This means full and not incremental image backups are made, and each backup will overwrite the previous one – leaving only a single restore point.
Another issue can arise when an image backup is moved to another media. When this happens, Windows is seldom happy. A Windows 2008R1 Server will look at it think, “who are you? You’re not the media my data was backed up to,” and ignore the media. On 2008R2, Windows is a little more forgiving. It will recognize the media, but the restore will only be from the last backup that was made.
System Protection backups are powerful and versatile but, as the scenarios show, they can be constrained by how Windows interacts with some types of media. BackupAssist overcomes these constraints with the introduction of the data container. A data container is a storage file that the backup job creates on the destination media, and puts the backup inside of. What makes this container so special is that it will be automatically mounted as a local disk for backups and restores. This means your Windows Server will not see a strange or unexpected media, but a media that it understands and can work with.
- If your image backup was moved to another media, BackupAssist can still restore any backup from it.
- When you create an image backup to a Network destination or RDX drive, incremental backups will take place and maintain multiple restore points, at a single destination.
Data containers add improved portability and flexibility to System Protection backups. In a world with so many types of storage media, these new containers make backups more versatile because they make Windows feel at home.