Man, I totally agree with you. Our sales Engineers are good. They dont promise that stuff because we've trained them pretty good about what the systems can do and what they cant.
The problem with sales people is they will SAY ANYTHING to get the sale and let the Techs figure out HOW to make it happen and pick up the pieces later when it does fall into place like its suppose to.
Having been in IT for decades and have recoved more crashed servers that I really care to remember, I know there is NO WAY its going to come back up "bare metal" like that. Thats one of the first things I cautioned our SE's NOT to tell the customer. If a customer wants a "Complete" Disaster Recovery program, a Business Continuity Program, an Emergeny Measures Program - then we can assure them - but not unless they go through the steps.
But, there are some tricks with Exchange using Exmerge where you can recover mailboxes for users instead of the just Global stores etc. Write me if you want some ideas (you might already know them) I dont mind sharing
I dont believe you can test enough. We use VMWare to test all kinds of senarios, its easy and easy to blow stuff up and recreate it quickly. Otherwise you gotta build servers and reload them etc. With VMWare you just copy the silly machine and presto you are back in business with the same thing just like it was before you blew it up
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