How Do You Test Your Backups / Full System Restores?

By mandms7 ·
We use Backup Exec to perform backups of all of our servers. Although I have restored files/folders back into production with no problems, I have never performed a full system restore to ensure the backups are working correctly. I can't even think of how I could actually do this. Since we only have one Backup Exec server, I'd need to restore to a system that the Backup Exec server can see. However, I can't obviously test restoring a system into the same network where the production system is running.

How do you handle this? Assuming you have a separate test environment, how do you get your production Backup Exec server to restore data to it? Also, from my understanding, in order to do a full system restore with Backup Exec, the target server has to be identical hardware. Do you have a spare physical machine for each type of server you backup?

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Well personally I don't perform Full System Restores

by OH Smeg In reply to How Do You Test Your Back ...

Mainly because it's pointless from a DR point of view.

If there is something that goes wrong the likelihood of being able to replace the same hardware is remote. So you need to check your backup's on different Hardware to be sure that you can actually restore your Data. That is the important stuff there the OS is unimportant and actually a nuisance in a situation like this.


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Well, what's your data worth?

by robo_dev In reply to How Do You Test Your Back ...

You need to buy/borrow/steal/rent another identical server to test with OR restore to something similar in a test environment and see if you can get things to work. Otherwise you don't know what's not gonna work when you need it to work. Been there, done that.

At my firm we've got a SAN that's mirrored in real-time to a SAN at a DR hotsite. There is a duplicate Backup Exec server, identical servers, and an identical tape storage array at the DR hotsite.

For us, there are two parts to our testing of our backup process:

Part One> stop the mirroring process to the offsite SAN and run a full DR (annual) test with the servers there.

Part Two>perform a full restore test for a random sample of server backup tape sets at the DR site (twice a year).

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we have 1 server we use to to test backups

by CG IT In reply to How Do You Test Your Back ...

Same hardware as the production server being tested. What we do is install whatever flavor O/S [W2K or W2003 Server] and Backup Exec, then do an inplace restore from the backup media [tape]. We don't use the production Backup Exec program [for obvious reasons].

No we don't have a spare physical machine for each server [mirrored network] But we do have components that we can swap out to mimic the production server. Our testbed is just that, a bench test bed on a electrostatic matte. None of the components are in a case [ease of use].

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