The applications deployed on Windows Servers are Microsoft Exchange Server, MS-SQL Server, Domain Controller, Active Directory, and Web Server on Windows 2008 or Windows 2003 or even Windows 2000 operating systems.
If the servers are part of an enterprise business IT system, these may employ various storage systems. The three basic storage systems are direct attached storage (DAS), storage area network (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS). NAS is used where a DAS is unable to meet enterprise storage needs. NAS is used only for file-sharing; this means that the DAS in the server can be used for application sharing. This improves data access for multiple clients over the network. NAS also offers data protection features such as replication and mirroring. SANs are implemented for mission-critical applications. They provide a high performance network for data transfer between servers and storage devices. SAN greatly facilitates database, image and transaction processing.
An organization with a number of Windows servers must adopt an offsite backup system, to ensure business continuity following a system crash. Such an offsite data backup company should be employing data deduplication and virtualization technologies. Choosing a reliable and efficient backup service provider makes the IT organization simple and efficient.
Offsite data backup offers many features, more common of them being,
Username/password based authentication, encryption of data according to Advanced Encryption Standards (AES), support for fast backups after the initial backup using advanced incremental backup technologies, compressed backups to help conserve end user’s bandwidth, automated backup that does not involve user intervention, Open file backups, data versioning to help users retrieve their files as of different backups, backup versioning where at least 10 to 30 copies of user data is maintained and Web-based central management console. Less common but more specific to Windows Servers are support for MS SQL Server/Exchange Server backup, this being an enterprise class requirement where customers are looking for a cost-effective online backup solution that can take over the online backup of their databases without bringing the databases down during the process. High-end LAN-based backup systems may also offer services such as near-real-time transaction-level replication and continuous data protection (CDP).
With the Windows servers running mission-critical applications, the backup solution should be such that in case of a failure, these can be restored in minimum amount of time. This is possible if the offsite backup provider uses virtual machine technology. Virtualization increases the efficiency and the effectiveness of the disaster recovery process and offers cost-savings opportunities.