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Disaster Recovery plan/help

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I am running SBS2003 Std with Retrospect 7, and I started out using the DRCD method for disaster recovery. I recently made time to do a test recovery to a different PC, and found that the DRCD is pretty useless unless you have the same hardware as the original server. That works if the hard drive dies, but I've got 2 drives in RAID 1 (mirror), so that woldn't be a DR situation without the rest of the server dieing as well.


It isn't very likely a new server I buy today will be the same as the one I bought last year (earlier this year even), especially since, in a DR situation, I'll be going to a local retail store instead of waiting on Dell, so I need a new solution.


I tried doing a repair install of the freshly DR'd system, hoping a repair install will let it boot and run. No luck - during the repair install it was telling me AD couldn't start, and all the solutions have me booting to directory services restore mode, which doesn't appear to be available during a repair install... (could be wrong - willing to look again if so)


So, I'm currently doing a manual install of SBS, then I'll install Retrospect and restore my data, but this is a ridiculously long process. Pretty much the full day so far, and SBS isn't fully installed yet, let alone Retrospect, data, security, my new locations for shared folders, exchange database, etc.


Will the restore from backups restore security, the registry with all the location changes, exchange config, etc?


If so, I may be able to live with it, but I really hope I can get this down to a 1-day or less situation.


In either case, are there any other options?


TIA for any ideas you may have.



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  • 2 months later...

Hi There,


I have this problem as well. If there is anyone out there can provide some help on this issue I/we would greatly appreciate it.


I am trying to prepare a DR plan and procedure and restoring to different hardware is a big issue! Especially if this is the process we need to go through to get everything back up and running.


Has anyone else restored SBS successfully on different hardware?

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I don't have the same problem as either of you, but this is indeed a serious issue. What is one to do if you have a mission critical server die and the DRCD will only recover to the original hardware!??? blush.gif


FWIW yesterday a hdd drive in one of our activation servers died. I created the DRCD and it did work very well (on same the hardware just with a new hdd), but the process took something like 7.5 hours. I attribute a good 90 minutes of this to the fact that we have never done a restore before. And the longest step seemed to be creating the DRCD ISO - and we're using a reasonably powerful backup server (2x dual core xeon w/ 4g ram)...


Good luck.

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This is a very serious issue. There should be some acknowledgement of this sort of issue somewhere on the EMC/Dantz/Retrospect websites. Some sort of knowledge base article that could at least guide us all on a process to take!


Imagine a disaster wiping out our current office. We replace our servers and start restoring only to hit this problem. Management are on our case trying to get their business somewhat up and running, while we are spending days having to reconfigure our entire infrastructure and then restore the data manually all because our backups WILL NOT restore successfully onto different hardware.


Now, I am not saying that they need to perfectly restore to different hardware, but at least somewhat operating... even if we need to install a few drivers or updates.


Post your thoughts!

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Well, I have been backing up all servers (Windows 2003 Server) and 1 XP machine that we have here. Out of curiousity I thought I would try the DR section of Retrospect using the XP machine. It was no good. All attempts have failed. I have tried many times... a fair few hours have been spent trying to restore and JUST get the OS to load.


Now, I am concerned that if our building were to burn to the ground, and we had to purchase new hardware for all our servers, how would we be able to restore all these servers? Trying to find exact same hardware for all our servers would be a task in itself and if we have lost our building then we have bigger problems we need to deal with than just trying to find the exact same hardware!


I agree... why has no one from EMC posted a response? My guess is because they know it is an issue, and probably turning a blind eye to it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is exactly the issue that has caused me to begin looking at competitive products. It's very understandable that disaster recovery to different hardware is very difficult. That said, I believe it is negligent for EMC to totally ignore the situation. If there's no solution, be honest and say so. If there might be a solution but it's still being researched by EMC, say so.


I've been using Retrospect (both Windows & Mac versions) forever (seems that way -- probably over 14 years however). I've always been impressed with both products but this situation cannot be ignored if EMC wants to maintain its customer base.

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I agree... why has no one from EMC posted a response? My guess is because they know it is an issue, and probably turning a blind eye to it.


No, you misunderstand. These forums are for user-to-user support. Here's how you contact EMC support:

Contact EMC support


I'm just a Retrospect user like you are. It's not a perfect product. We have been satisfied with our contacts with the support group - they are better than most and have never treated me like an idiot when I contact them; they just work with me to address the issue at hand.



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I appreciate you taking the time to post your thoughts. Your comment about how to contact EMC support is also appreciated. That, unfortunately, brings up another subject.


I have a support contract for my Windows version of Retrospect. I haven't bothered purchasing a support contract with my Mac version.


Unfortunately contacting Support has been very difficult. When I've emailed to the exact address that is provided to support customers, there has been no response. This has happened three times in the last couple of months. Each time, after waiting up to a week for a response, I have then called. (I originally used email because the help I needed was not of an emergency category.) Each time I was told there was no record of receiving my email.


The most recent difficulty was with telephone support. All calls go to the same phone number whether the customer has a support contract or not. That phone number has been overwhelmed due to Vista. I've had to wait over 2 hours simply to get to the initial level of support where I am allowed to give my contract information.


Frankly, it's these support issues that make me more concerned than the disaster recovery problems.


Enough ranting. I appreciate this forum. Frequently users-to-user help is very effective.

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