The musings of an IT Consultant

Jun 27 2008   3:56PM GMT

The value of taking the time to image servers…

Raj Perumal Raj Perumal Profile: Raj Perumal

Hello again! Today I wanted to talk a little bit about the value of imaging servers. What I mean by this is using a software product like Ghost or Acronis to take an exact image of the disk partitions so you have a nice “point in time” copy of a server.

You see there are times when you need to perform maintenance or patching to a server in order to fix something but you might be unsure of what the outcome will be. I have seen lots of small patches or upgrades bring down a server to the point where the technician needed to reinstall the operating system and restore data from backup. Normal backups are great, however they typically take a lot longer to restore which in the end causes more down time for the client. If you just take an image of a server then you can easily restore that image in a short amount of time if whatever you did causes an issue.

I have been on tech support calls with certain software vendors before where the technician on the line has told me to do certain things and that it shouldn’t affect anything. Then I make the recommended change and it instead blew up everything! If it wasn’t for the image I took beforehand I would have been faced with a long recovery time.

My personal favourite imaging software is Acronis True Image Echo Server for Windows. I’ve used it many times for imaging servers.

-RP

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