How to back up Active Directory
Here you will find out:
- why it is important to back up Active Directory
- how to back up Active Directory
- when DiskInternals can help you
Are you ready? Let's read!
Why is it important to back up Active Directory?
Azure’s Active Directory is developed by Microsoft for managing Windows domain networks. It is standard on most Windows Server versions. Active Directory is typically available as a series of processes and services. In fact, Microsoft developed Active Directory primarily for centralized domain management and Windows user authentication.
With the help of Active Directory, system admins can easily manage the computers that are added to a central domain. If you use MS SQL and MS Exchange, then it is important to back up Active Directory to preserve your files against data loss.
How to back up Active Directory
Method 1: Using System Center Data Protection Manager
Protecting your data is very important. Data loss can be very frustrating, and you wouldn’t want that to happen. Also, managing a number of VMs or multiple systems in a Windows environment can be challenging. Thus, you should succumb to any feasible protection solution that’d be of great help.
Microsoft recommends using System Center Data Protection Manager (SC DPM) to back up Active Directory in Windows systems. SC DPM is included in the System Center suite as a centralized enterprise-grade backup and recovery solution. It can be used to protect Windows Server services.
Unlike the built-in Windows Server Backup utility that’s entirely free to use, SC DPM is a paid separate solution. You will need to install SC DPM on your system before using it to run a comprehensive backup for your files. Below are some interesting features of the SC DPM utility that relates to Active Directory backup:
- Incremental backup support
- VSS support
- Cloud backup to Microsoft Azure
System Center Data Protection Manager is recommended when there’s a high number of Windows systems in your network with the inclusion of MS Exchange and MS SQL servers. SC DPM provides near-continuous data protection and recovery for connected systems in a Windows environment. Moreover, SC DPM is more robust, boasts of more features, and includes flexible options.
Method 2: Using Windows Server backup
Windows Server Backup is built into Microsoft Windows packages. It is a free utility for running server backups. Thanks to the intuitive GUI interface supported by Windows Server Backup, it is quite easy to use. With Windows Server Backup, you can create incremental backups using VSS. The backup file is saved in VHD format, which is the format supported by Hyper-V.
You can either back up an entire volume or the system state. VHD files can be mounted onto virtual or physical machines so that you can access the backed up data. Many people prefer Windows Server Backup to SC DPM because it is free, supports VSS, and can back up an entire system or just the Active Directory components.
By contrast, using Windows Server Backup requires high-level knowledge and advanced skills. Although it has a graphical user interface, some actions must be done through the Windows command-line interface.
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