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Remote system state backup

Hi all,

We sometimes get asked – “If all we want to do is back up system state on a remote machine, do you have an agent, or do I need to buy another copy of BackupAssist?”

This is typical for where there are multiple servers, with one server having a central tape drive. Products like Backup Exec do have remote agents, but the current version of BackupAssist does not.

The answer is:
– We currently don’t have an agent to do this (but we’re looking at writing one for v6 of our software)
– The best (from a reliability viewpoint) is to install BackupAssist on all machines
– If cost is a significant issue, then the following workaround is possible.

The workaround involves creating a share on your central server, and scripting NTBackup on each remote machine to do the system state backup, and using the Windows Task Scheduler to run the script.

The script is simple and contains one line:

ntbackup backup systemstate /F “\\Server\Share\Server1.bkf”

Of course, replace \\server\share with the share on your central server.

Advantages of this workaround: you get system state backups of remote machines for cash strapped clients.
Disadvantages: no monitoring or notifications that these backups actually worked. Note: it is dangerous to rely on these backups working, because NTBackup alone does not notify you if the backup failed – hence the reason for BackupAssist in the first place!

While we recommend that BackupAssist be installed on all machines so the backups are monitored, we also recognize that it’s better to back up with a scheduled task than not at all! So if your client can only afford one copy of BackupAssist, then this workaround is “better than nothing”.

Enjoy.

Linus

5 thoughts on “Remote system state backup”

  1. VERY MUCH looking forward to the agent! We would definitely look at replacing Backup Exec if we didn’t have to install a copy of BA on our domain controller. Minimalist agent would be fantastic.

    Reply
    • Hi Guillaume,

      We are currently working out the best method for performing backups from a centralised server and expect this to be out sometime mid to late 2012 at this stage.

      Have a good day,
      Stuart

      Reply

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