Wednesday, 5 December 2007

SBS + ShadowProtect SBS 3.0 = Confidence Going Forward

We started testing StorageCraft's ShadowProtect (blog label search) product a while back.

While we haven't had a chance to blog too much about our experiences with the product, we have been quite pleased with our test results and are now in the process of migrating our client's backup solutions over to StorageCraft's ShadowProtect for both SBS and Windows Server as well as key client desktops.

We had one of those "Eureka" - light goes on - moments not too long ago when we were getting ready to apply Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (download page) at one of our client sites that is protected by ShadowProtect Small Business Server Edition 3.0 (StorageCraft's Site): As we deploy ShadowProtect on our client's sites, our stress levels go down.

How is that?

In the above service pack example, we were working on an ageing server that may not be replaced by Swing Migration ( any time soon.

So, if the server choked on the service pack beyond uninstalling and trying to fix things, we were no longer in a position where we would have had to say, "Mr. Client, the server choked on the service pack we applied, we need to restore from the SBS backup and should have the server back up and running by tomorrow morning."

We were now in the position to say, "Mr. Client, the server choked on the service pack. We will need a couple of extra hours to recover it using the new backup system we installed not too long ago. Mr. Client, that backup system just saved us a lot of time and effort!"

Before we are going to run any major updates or install or update a client's Line of Business application, we make sure to run a full backup the night before we are scheduled to arrive. We then run an incremental backup just before beginning our work on the server or business critical desktop system. It only takes a short amount of time.

Having the risks of loosing a server and client data greatly reduced by having an excellent backup in place is a no-brainer.

We have seen a number of different software and hardware backup products over the years that have provided us with a good measure of protection. Each had its peculiarities and complexities to bring things back to the way things were if a failure happened.

Having the risks of loosing a server and client data virtually eliminated via a software application and a simple USB hard drive, Drobo (product site), or NAS (wikipedia) rotation is truly brilliant.

The ShadowProtect Server and Desktop Editions have a fully functional 30 day trial. For those of us working in the I.T. industry, the ShadowProtect I.T. edition provides a Hardware Independent Recovery option where one can install the necessary drivers before beginning a recovery onto different or newer hardware. There is a 30 day trial edition for this product as well.

Links: The trial version links will be found on the near the right hand side of the page in the second column as of this blog post.

For I.T. shops: Once you have checked out the product, StorageCraft has a Partner Program with good incentives: StorageCraft Partner Programs.

We are part of the StorageCraft Partner Program and have found the folks at StorageCraft very helpful in all aspects as well as very responsive on their product community and support forums.

And, to reaffirm: Our disclaimer still stands. We have not received any compensation for this post. The product is just that good. :)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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