Case Scenario Exercise
You are asked to configure a backup strategy for the Finance Department’s shared folder. The backup should occur automatically during the early-morning hours, as there are users working shifts from 4:00 A.M. to 12:00 midnight, Monday through Fri-day. Files in the folder change frequently—about half the files change once a week; the other half of the files change almost daily. You are told that if the server’s hard drive ever fails, down time is extraordinarily costly to the company, so recovery should be as fast as possible.
- 1. With the knowledge that so many files change almost daily, and that recovery must be as quick as possible, what type of backup job should you consider run-ning nightly?
Consider normal backups. There is so much change happening to the shared folder, that you are receiving less than a 50 percent benefit using a differential or incremental backup versus a normal backup; and nothing is faster to restore than a normal backup, because the backup set contains all the files to restore.
- 2. You configure a normal daily backup job to run at 12:00 midnight, after the last shift has gone home for the evening. Unfortunately, you find that the backup job is not completed by 4:00 A.M. when the morning shift arrives. How should you modify your backup strategy?
Create a normal backup once a week, perhaps on Sunday, and then create differential backups nightly during the week. While differential and incremental backups are both available, differential backups provide faster restore capability, as the most recent differential backup set includes all files that have been updated since the normal backup.
Exercise 1: Create Sample Data
- 1. Open My Computer and the C drive.
- 2. Delete the Data folder. You will be prompted to confirm the choice. You will also be informed that the folder is shared, and that deleting the folder will delete the shared folder. Confirm your understanding of the warning and continue.
- 3. Open the command prompt and type cd c:\.
- 4. Type the command createfiles.bat.
Note If you did not create the createfiles.bat file in Lesson 1, Exercise 1, complete steps 1 through 3 of Exercise 1 to create the appropriate script.
7-38 Chapter 7 Backing Up Data
Exercise 2: Schedule the Backup Job
Configure and schedule the following backup jobs. If you need guidance to achieve these tasks, refer to the instructions in the Practices in Lesson 1 and Lesson 3.
■ Normal backup job to back up the C:\Data\Finance folder to a file called C:\BackupFinance.bkf (replacing the media), every Sunday at 9:00 P.M.
■ Differential backup job to back up the same folder to the same file (appending to the media), at 12:15 A.M. on Tuesday through Saturday (that is, Monday night through Friday night).
Exercise 3: Simulate the Scheduled Jobs
Rather than waiting until Sunday night for the normal backup job to execute automat-ically, you will execute the backup job from the command prompt.
- 1. Open the Backup Utility.
- 2. Click the Schedule Jobs tab.
- 3. Click the icon in the calendar representing the Sunday night normal backup job.
- 4. Click Properties.
- 5. Select the command in the Run box and press Ctrl+C to copy it.
- 6. Cancel to exit the Schedule dialog box and close the Backup Utility.
- 7. Open the command prompt.
- 8. Click the window menu (the icon of the command prompt in the upper-left corner of the command prompt window) and, from the Edit menu, choose Paste. The Ntbackup command with all its switches is pasted into the command prompt. Press Enter. The backup job is executed.
- 9. Open C:\Data\Finance\Projections.txt and make changes to the file. Save and close the file.
- 10. Repeat steps 1-8, this time executing from the command prompt the differential backup job that is scheduled to run every night.
Exercise 4: Verify the Procedure
- 1. Open the Backup Utility.
- 2. From the Tools menu, click Report.
- 3. Open the two most recent backup reports and confirm that the jobs completed successfully. The normal job should have backed up four files. The differential job should have backed up one file.
- 4. Perform a test restore to a folder called C:\TestRestore. Restore the normal job and then the differential job. If you need guidance, refer to the Practice in Lesson 2.
Chapter 7 Backing Up Data 7-39 Caution Remember, before restoring the differential job, that you must configure the Restore options (from the Tools menu, select Options) to always replace files. You may also need to catalog the file to see all the backup sets it contains.
At 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, a user in the Finance Department contacts you to let you know that he accidentally deleted some files from the Finance folder. You are confident that the backup procedure you established will help you recover the deleted files. However, you also want to ensure that you don’t roll back any files that had been changed today, after the overnight backup job was executed.
In this lab, you will simulate the workflow that creates such a scenario, and then you will recover the missing data.
Exercise 1: Create a Data Loss
- 1. Open the C:\Data\Finance folder.
- 2. Open the file Current.txt. Make some changes to the file. Save and close the file.
- 3. Open the Budget file. Make some changes, save, and close the file.
- 4. Delete the Historical.txt and Projections.txt files.
Exercise 2: Plan the Recovery
Review the backup strategy you developed in the Case Scenario Exercise: a normal backup every Sunday night and a differential backup every weeknight.
- 1. How will you recover the missing data?
A normal backup includes all selected files. It is the baseline from which you begin to recover from data loss. The differential backup includes all files that have changed since the normal backup. After you have restored the normal backup, you can restore the most recent differential backup. Keep in mind, however, that some of the files (Budget and Current) have been changed by users subsequent to the overnight differential backup.
- 2. How will you prevent those newer files from being overwritten by files in the backup set?
The Options dialog box includes a Restore Options tab which allows you to specify how files in the backup set are written to the destination. You can direct the Backup Utility to overwrite files only if the files on the disk are older than the files in the backup set. Files that are newer will remain.
7-40 Chapter 7 Backing Up Data
Exercise 3: Recover the Data
- 1. Open the Backup Utility.
- 2. Choose the Options command from the Tools menu.
- 3. Click the Restore tab.
- 4. Configure restore to leave newer files untouched by selecting Replace The File On Disk Only If The File On Disk Is Older, then close the Options dialog box.
- 5. Select the backup media that contains your normal and differential backup.
- 6. Restore the normal backup to its original location.
- 7. Restore the differential backup to its original location.
- 8. Open the Current and Budget files. Because these files were newer than those on the backup set, and because of the restore options you configured, they should include the changes you made in the Case Scenario exercise.
■ You must have the right to back up and restore files to use the Backup Utility or any other backup tool. The right is assigned, by default, to the Backup Operators and Administrators groups.
■ The Backup Utility, Ntbackup, allows you to back up and restore data from local and remote folders to local files, tape drives, removable media, or shared folders on remote servers. You cannot back up to writable CD or DVD formats.
■ A backup strategy typically begins with a normal backup followed by regular incremental or differential backups. Incremental jobs create the backup more quickly; differential backups are faster to restore. Jobs can be scheduled to occur during periods of low utilization.
■ Copy backups and daily backups can be used to capture files without interfering with the regular backup schedule.
■ The Backup Utility will also allow you to restore backed up data to the original location or to an alternate location. The latter is useful to test and verify restore procedures. You can control, through the Options dialog box, Restore tab, which files are replaced during a restore.
■ The Ntbackup command and its full complement of switches allows you to launch a backup job from a command prompt or batch file.
■ Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) allows a user to access previous versions of files and folders in network shares. With those previous versions, users can restore deleted or damaged files or compare versions of files.
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