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What's New in Windows Server Backup

Published: August 5, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server Backup in Windows Server® 2008 R2 has been greatly enhanced and introduces features that allow for more control in what you can back up and where you can store backups. It also provides expanded command-line and Windows PowerShell™ support for managing backups remotely.

The following changes are available in Windows Server 2008 R2. These changes result in improved flexibility, efficiency, and manageability for creating and managing backups, and running recoveries:

  • Ability to back up/exclude individual files and to include/exclude file types and paths from a volume

  • Improved performance and use of incremental backups

  • Expanded options for backup storage

  • Improved options and performance for system state backups and recoveries

  • Expanded command-line support

  • Expanded Windows PowerShell support

For details about these changes, see the new functionality section later in this topic.

Windows Server Backup consists of a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, command-line tools, and a Windows PowerShell snap-in and cmdlets that provide a complete solution for your day-to-day backup and recovery needs. You can use Windows Server Backup to back up a full server (all volumes), selected volumes, the system state, or specific files or folders—and to create a backup that you can use for bare metal recovery. You can recover volumes, folders, files, certain applications, and the system state. And, in case of disasters like hard disk failures, you can perform a bare metal recovery. You can use Windows Server Backup to create and manage backups for the local computer or a remote computer. And, you can schedule backups to run automatically.

Windows Server Backup is intended for use by everyone who needs a basic backup solution—from small business to large enterprises.

The following groups might be interested in these changes:

  • IT professionals responsible for infrastructure, backup, and disaster recovery

  • Small businesses or individuals who are not IT professionals who are looking for an all-in-one, step-by-step backup solution

  • Medium or large businesses looking for a flexible and efficient backup solution that can be scripted and managed remotely

To perform a bare metal or operating system recovery, you will need a backup (created using Windows Server Backup) of the full server or just the volumes that contain operating system files, and the Windows Recovery Environment—this will restore your complete system onto your old system or a new hard disk. For more information, see Recover the Operating System or Full Server (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=159599).

Certain backup or recovery tasks must be performed with two computers running the same version of Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2, while others may be performed with computers running either version. The following table shows the tasks that you can perform with a given type of backup.

For more information about issues to consider when using Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 R2, see Overview of Windows Server Backup (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=159614).

 

  Backup created with Windows Server 2008 Volume backup created with Windows Server 2008 R2 File/folder backup created with Windows Server 2008 R2 Bare metal recovery backup created with Windows Server 2008

Perform a file/folder recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Perform a volume recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Perform a bare metal recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Perform a system state recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Manage backups with the Wbadmin command on a computer running Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Manage backups with the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in in Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Manage backups with the Windows PowerShell cmdlets in Windows Server 2008

Supported

Not supported

Not supported

Supported

Perform remote backups or recoveries using the Connect To Another Computer option in Windows Server 2008 R2

Not supported

Supported

Supported

Not supported

Perform a file/folder recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Perform a volume recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Perform a bare metal recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2

Not supported

Supported

Supported

Not supported

Perform a system state recovery for a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2

Not supported

Supported

Supported

Not supported

Manage backups with the Wbadmin command for a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Manage backups with the Windows Server Backup user interface in Windows Server 2008 R2

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Manage backups with the Windows PowerShell cmdlets in Windows Server 2008 R2

Supported

Supported

Supported

Supported

Windows Server Backup enables you to back up selected files instead of just full volumes. In addition, you can exclude files from your backups based on file type or path.

This change offers you more flexibility and control in what you include in your backups, instead of requiring you to back up full volumes.

New options have been added to the Schedule Backup and Backup Once wizards (available in the Windows Server Backup snap-in). These options enable you to pick files and folders to add to your backup, and exclude file types and paths from your backup. In addition, the Wbadmin enable backup and Wbadmin start backup commands have been updated to include this functionality.

Windows Server Backup, by default, creates incremental backups that function like full backups (you can recover any item from a single backup, but the backup will only occupy space needed for an incremental backup). All file/folder backups (except the first one) are incremental backups where only the changed files are read and transferred to the backup storage location. In addition, Windows Server Backup does not require user intervention to periodically delete older backups to free disk space for newer backups—older backups are deleted automatically.

This change offers improved performance time to create backups that take up less space. In addition, because of this change, administrators do not need to delete older backups manually or do anything else to make sure unneeded backups are being deleted.

There is no user action required to create incremental backups. However, if you are backing up full volumes, you can configure performance settings by using the updated Optimize Backup Performance dialog box available from the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in.

You can now store backups created using a scheduled backup on a remote shared folder or volume. (If you store backups on a remote shared folder, only one version of your backup will be maintained.) You can also store backups on virtual hard disks.

This change enables you to store backups in locations that also contain other data—you no longer have to dedicate an entire disk for storing backups.

New options have been added to the Schedule Backup Wizard (available in the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in) to select a remote shared folder or volume as the backup storage location. In addition, the Wbadmin enable backup command has been updated to include this functionality.

You can now use the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in to create backups that you can use to perform system state recoveries. In addition, you can use a single backup to back up both the system state and other data on your server. These system state backups are now faster and require less space for multiple versions because they use shadow copies for versioning (similar to volume-based backups), and not individual folders for each version. For more information about how system state backups are stored on Windows Server 2008 R2, see the Technical Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=143713).

In Windows Server 2008, you could only create system state backups using the Wbadmin command. In addition, you could not back up the system state and other items in the same backup, which made performing recoveries more difficult.

New options have been added to the Schedule Backup and Backup Once wizards (available in the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in) that enable you to create a backup of the system state and to add other items to the backup at the same time. In addition, the Wbadmin enable backup and Wbadmin start backup commands have been updated to include the parameter –systemState, which enables you to include the system state in a scheduled or one-time backup.

Changes to Wbadmin command mirror the changes for the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in—that is, the ability to back up files instead of full volumes, the ability to exclude certain file types or paths, and the ability to store scheduled backups on remote shared folders and volumes. For syntax and examples, see the Command Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=140216).

The changes to the Wbadmin command provide increased control, performance, and capabilities—and also keep the user interface and the command consistent with each other.

The functionality of following commands has been updated:

  • Wbadmin enable backup

  • Wbadmin start backup

  • Wbadmin start sysrecovery

Windows Server Backup has enhanced the Windows PowerShell cmdlets in Windows Server 2008 R2 to automate routine tasks and better manage the backup scripts by using Windows PowerShell capabilities.

The changes provide improved management, remote management, and scripting capabilities—and also keep the cmdlet support consistent with changes made to the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in and Wbadmin command.

noteNote
Recoveries must still be performed using the MMC snap-in or Wbadmin command.

As with the Wbadmin command, changes to the Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup mirror the changes for the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in—that is, the ability to back up files instead of full volumes, the ability to exclude certain file types or paths, and the ability to store scheduled backups on remote shared folders and volumes. For more information, see the content about Windows Server Backup cmdlets (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=159759).

You must specifically install the Windows Server Backup Windows PowerShell component in Server Manager. For instructions, see Install Windows Server Backup Tools (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=101794).

Windows Server Backup is available in all editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. However, the Windows Server Backup MMC snap-in is not available for the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008 R2. To run backups for computers with a Server Core installation, you need to use the Wbadmin command or Windows PowerShell cmdlets for Windows Server Backup—or manage backups remotely from another computer.

For more information about backing up or recovering your server, see Backup and Recovery (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=93012).

For instructions to back up or recover servers running Active Directory® Domain Services, see Recovering Active Directory Domain Services (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=143754).

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