How does Attix5 Pro back up System State in Windows 2008?
Attix5 Pro uses Windows Server Backup for System State on Windows 2008.
WSB is the only method supported by Microsoft.
Can I control the selection?
Microsoft controls the selection of files so it is not possible to select individual aspects of System State such as Active Directory. It is an "all or nothing" selection option, and Attix5 Pro is not able to change this.
Please Note: Do not apply a Global Exclusion Filter when backing up the System State on Windows 2008. This will apply a filter to the contents of the vhd file stored in the WindowsImageBackup folder and cause problems during a restore.
We recommend applying exclusions filters to individual folders instead, ensuring the WindowsImageBackup folder is not included.
Why is the selection so large?
Some options in Windows, such as Remote Installation Services, can add very large files to System State which will increase the backup selection size.
What requirements are there on the server?
Windows Server Backup and Command-line Tools WSB features must be installed for Attix5 Pro to back up System State.
What happened to the Wbadmin plug-in?
The command-line tool for WSB is called "wbadmin", and the original Attix5 Pro plug-in to back up System State on Windows 2008 was called "System State (using Wbadmin)". This has since been renamed to "System State (using WSB)".
How does the plug-in work?
Attix5 Pro works by comparing files against cache copies and sending only changes. For this to function successfully, file or folder names need to be identical. File or folder names that change with a date format are always added as new, resulting in larger data transfers.
WSB creates a folder in date-time format, WindowsImageBackup\\YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS, which would be added in full every time if the plug-in was not used. The System State using WSB/Wbadmin plug-in renames this folder to "RenamedFolder" to allow for patching to take place.
How did the plug-in work previously?
Early versions of the System State using WSB/Wbadmin plug-in backed up the large VHD file created by WSB monolithically - working out the patch changes to the large file and sending these, which could result in larger data transfers than were desirable.
More recent versions of the plug-in have been able to split out the contents of the VHD file into its many smaller source files and de-duplicate them, allowing for much smaller transfers.
Originally this required additional space on disk, but more recently the "Optimised for Disk Space" option has allowed the local disk footprint to be reduced.
How much space is used by the plug-in?
In addition to cache and temporary space, the plug-in needs the same amount of space as the WSB backup produces if "Optimised for Disk Space" is enabled. If "Optimised for Speed" is enabled, at peak twice the WSB backup space is needed. This will reduce as the backup completes. A typical WSB backup uses around 12-14 GB, but this depends on the services installed on your server.
Can I restore the System State from the local copy?
Not directly. As with ordinary file backup, Attix5 Pro sends changes only to the platform. When restoring System State, the system state files need to be restored onto the machine and then combined into a VHD file for the Windows Server Backup service to restore the actual system state.
In more recent versions of the plug-in the WindowsImageBackup\\YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS is renamed to "RenamedFolder" and then back again to the original name to allow WSB differential backups (which are quicker) to run.
It is of note that some comparison information is retained in the WindowsImageBackup\\YYYY-MM-DD HHMMSS folder. This can be significantly smaller than the data protected. Running the combine.bat file against this folder without restoring data from the platform, even when renaming the folder to "RenamedFolder", will not be successful. Data must first be restored from the platform.
More details on the restore process can be found here: Article 442.
I'm having a problem with the System State or SplitVHD / SplitVHDX not working. Where should I start with troubleshooting?
Please refer to this as a troubleshooting starting point: Article 491
Old Article ID: 153
Previous Views: 4491
Posted: 16 Apr, 2012 by Flood A.