I’m frequently asked by customers to explain exactly what’s happening when BackupAssist performs a ‘System Protection’ job, so I figured a blog post on it was well overdue!
Now bear with me as it may seem a little heavy going if you’re new to the subject, but this stuff really is genuinely useful to get your head around, regardless of the backup software you use.
We’ve seen a few issues recently where a Windows image backup job has failed due to the destination drive partition being larger than 2TB. Unfortunately the errors generated can differ, so it can be sometimes difficult to spot.
We recommend that if you are using the Windows imaging engine within BackupAssist, you use destination devices that are 2TB or smaller, and the same applies to iSCSI destinations.
If you are trying to backup more data than can fit on a 2TB destination, consider splitting the job up into multiple parts. For example, run one Windows Image job to do a bare metal backup of the system drive and system reserved partition, and a second job to take care of any data partitions.
I recently worked with a customer who had around 3TB of virtual machine data when using Hyper-V. In cases like that it’s advisable to split the jobs even further so BackupAssist backs up half of the VM’s with one job and the rest with another – each job running to a separate destination that is 2TB or less. A third bare metal backup looked after the system volume.
Hopefully you’re already aware that one of the great new features coming in BackupAssist version 6.4 is the native support for iSCSI targets. This feature allows you to run Windows image jobs that fully support incremental updating and history.
This is a great feature for disaster recovery backups as it negates the need to have local media (typically USB hard drives) attached to every server or workstation you want protected.
I have covered the idea of iSCSI backups in this previous post, but as part of my help with the beta testing of BackupAssist I’m running some real world speed testing on my own Windows 7 box. The aim being to see how long backups will actually take in order to to get an idea of how often they can be run within the day to provide as up to date a backup as possible of the full system drive.