Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'd like a System State Backup with a side of critical data and databases please!!

                 I'm sure all of you sit down with your clients periodically, if not you should, to go over their current state of affairs in regards to their network and their business technology needs and suggest what you feel is necessary; which should include some type of  backup solution. Translation - Tell them what they need with people skills :) These types of conversations need to be addressed because they don't have a proper working solution in place or if you've decided that you should be in charge of the backups since you will be blamed for it if your customer doesn't have the data they need when they need it. I call it the CYA (Cover Your Agreement) policy.  This scenario would give both you and your client piece of mind. So when it comes time to introduce possible solutions and alternatives, I'm also certain MSPs lead with some type of hardware appliance that does full images so that you can bring them back up rather quickly with either another image,some type of virtualization in the cloud capabilities, or maybe even both.  Then the new customer will probably give you one one of these three responses: 

1) We need this because we heard about company "X" that had a complete disaster and  lost all of their IP( Intellectual property)  

2) We'll never need that. We've never lost anything before. I'll take my chances.

3) Holy Crap!! How much? We could never afford that. 

                If you are lucky enough to get the 1st response, god bless you but if you are in the boat that rows toward the second 2 answers, then you are in luck. What if I told you that behind the power supply, the hard drive was the most common hardware failure? Rumor has it that the hard drive is kind of important. (I heard this on the Internet so it must be true!!)(Bon Jour)

              So basically, you need to protect their data and machine but they aren't willing to put up big dollars to do this so now what? Do you just say, "Sucks to be you?" 

     offer less expensive  alternatives and a way around this is by using the system state backup!! This gives you everything from the old machine to build the new machine upon (OS excluded). Just in case you weren't aware how amazing a system state backup can be, I've added a couple of links to Microsoft's website to explain what a System State Backup is and what it includes so that you will know what you will need to restore from there:  Backing Up System State Data and  Backing Up and Restoring System State

Now that you've become a System State Backup expert, here are the procedures to perform one properly for a crashed machine. So go out and get you some System State and know that it can help you deliver better quality service to your customers.                                                                                                                                                                                

Restoring crashed machine using System State with MOB

1) Install the same OS on a machine (Including proper service packs) with similar hardware as crashed machine.
Usually it is a swap of hard drives which can be performed relatively quickly.

2) Install the Advanced Monitoring Agent from your GFIMAX RemoteManagement dashboard into the client and site that holds the proper policies so that they are applied upon install.   

3) Turn on Managed Online Backup at the machine level and select “Use another storage account”

4) Select the inactive backup account from the crashed machine so that you can reconnect it to make it active again

5)Then open up the backup manager and select restore and select system state as your data location and what backup time you would like to restore the system state to. 

6) Once the system state restore is complete, you can then restore databases and pertinent files and folders to bring the machine back to the point where it was pre-disaster.