Friday, 29 June 2007

SBS - Backing up that laptop or workstation.

As mentioned yesterday, we have a client who used the built in Lenovo Rescue & Recovery utility (previous blog post) to make a backup image at the end of May.

The hard drive in that laptop crashed, with us able to recover the contents of the drive after much difficulty.

What are some of the ways to mitigate data loss in this kind of scenario?
  1. Exchange integrated Outlook.
  2. My Documents Redirection.
  3. User training to store all data in My Documents.
  4. When profiling a new laptop, default all client applications to save to My Documents .
  5. User will back up the data.
The first two plus the training are an integral part of an SBS environment.

A simple SBS wizard gets the My Documents redirection setup done.

The last one though, is a variable that can make or break an organization. Despite training, and even the client application setup, the user may have data all across their hard drive.

Some even forget to make their backups on a regular basis.

So, despite the ability presented to the user via the Lenovo Rescue & Recovery utility, it is dependent on the user actually using it!

As administrators of multiple SBS domains across many SMBs, we have a huge gamut of experience with various user skill levels.

Here is one very important lesson to be gained with all of that experience: We must have a centrally managed, full backup of the client desktops and laptops.

We believe that we have found it in StorageCraft's ShadowProtect Server & ShadowProtect Desktop software.

We filled out the Reseller Application and received the welcome package with the products as well as the ShadowProtect IT Edition in it.

If the product works as advertised, we will standardize all of our backup solutions on it. We will be installing it into our lab environment and tearing it apart to see how it works. If we are satisfied, we will install it on all of our servers and workstations in-house and go through some failsafe testing there. Only once we are satisfied with our experiences in-house will we begin selling the solution to our clients.

Look for more posts on ShadowProtect and our experiences with it.

Thanks to Susan Bradley for pointing us to StorageCraft: Mark Crall on StorageCraft and Mark Crall Live.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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