Here at BVA we were recently going through the process of trying to find a suitable online backup solution that would fulfill all of our business needs. Specifically the ability to do bare metal restores, system state backups, and brick level mailbox restores using an online utility. The solution I have decided to test is Tomahawk Automated Offsite Backup which does offer all of these features. Tomahawk also offers “Seed Copy Assistance,” which for backup sets over 40GB they will send you a USB drive, you do a local backup using their software, and then send it back to them. NOTE: The online utility does not actually do the bare metal restores or system state restores itself, it utilizes functions already built into the Windows OS to complete the tasks.
Some of the other features that I am going to be testing are the exchange brick level restores, 2003 system state backups, 2008 bare metal restore, and the Shadow Protect restore option that they have available with their service.
I will be updating this blog continuously as I step through the testing process.
Part 1 – Installation
The installation of the Tomahawk backup was very simple, much like that of MozyPro or a similar product. The one thing I did run into while setting it up was the fact that on my test box (virtual machine) I only had one partition and in order to do a backup of the system files, Tomahawk has to be installed on a separate partition. After I added a second partition and moved the install, everything seemed to work okay.
Part 2 – Windows 2008 System backup setup (In preparation for bare metal restore)
The setup of the 2008 system backup was fairly simple, although there were a few things that were required in order to make it work properly. One of them in specific is that you understand which version of windows supports the bare metal restore. Bare metal restores are a new feature in Windows Vista, 7, and server 2008 which are done via the built in backup utility. Tomahawk integrates itself with the built-in windows backup utility to complete a successful back and then upload it to the offsite data center. After the initial configuration of a pretty basic Domain Controller, the backup and upload was rather quick. I think it took about 4 hours to complete and it had a compression of about 60% which is pretty good. The whole size of the backup for drive C: ended up being about 3.66 GB after compression. Each backup after that is an incremental backup of the changes that have taken place and are completed much quicker. I am going to let this run for a few days and then try the restore.
(Updates coming soon!)