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Lesson 1

Using the Backup utility of Windows 10 and 11

For Windows operating systems such as Windows 10 and Windows 11, the typical destination medium for the "backup utility" is often an external hard drive, a network location (such as a NAS or network share), or cloud storage services like OneDrive. Users can choose the destination based on their preference and the available resources. External hard drives and network locations are common due to their reliability and capacity for large amounts of data.
Ttape drives are still used to back up operating systems, including Windows Server 2022. While more modern solutions like cloud storage, external hard drives, and network-attached storage (NAS) are popular, tape drives remain a viable option for certain environments. They are valued for their durability, capacity, cost-effectiveness for large-scale data storage, and longevity, making them suitable for archival purposes and long-term data retention. Tape backups are particularly common in enterprise settings where large volumes of data need to be securely stored over extended periods.
If you ever tried to use the Windows NT 4.0 Backup utility, you probably were very disappointed with its lack of functionality. In Windows NT 4.0, the Tape Drives function was the only way to back up your material, with the exception of a few instances. Backups were also virtually impossible to schedule correctly. You had your choice of using the AT command, which was unreliable at best, or using the Windows NT 4.0 Server Resource Kit utility, which added a GUI interface to the unreliable AT command. The good news is that the Windows Backup utility is more robust and has more features than ever before. You can back up to virtually any media, whether it be a hard disk, a remote network location, a removable drive or cloud storage. The Task Scheduler allows you to define backup jobs that are performed reliably and accurately.

Windows Server 2022 Backup utility

The Windows Server 2022 "Backup utility" allows you to back up the "System State," which can be used to restore a damaged Active Directory database. The System State backup includes essential system components such as the registry, boot files, COM+ class registration database, Active Directory database (if the server is a domain controller), SYSVOL, and other system files. This capability is crucial for recovering from issues that may affect the Active Directory or other critical system components.

Brief history of Windows Server from 2003 to 2021

Here is a brief history of Windows Server from 2003 to 2021:
  1. Windows Server 2003: Released in April 2003, Windows Server 2003 was a major update to the Windows Server platform, introducing a number of new features such as improved Active Directory, support for IPv6, and enhanced security features.
  2. Windows Server 2008: Released in February 2008, Windows Server 2008 introduced a number of new features, including Server Core, a stripped-down version of Windows Server that provided only the essential services and features, and enhanced support for virtualization.
  3. Windows Server 2008 R2: Released in October 2009, Windows Server 2008 R2 was an update to Windows Server 2008, and included new features such as support for up to 256 logical processors, improved scalability, and enhanced virtualization capabilities.
  4. Windows Server 2012: Released in September 2012, Windows Server 2012 introduced a number of new features, including support for up to 640 logical processors, improved storage and networking capabilities, and enhanced support for virtualization.
  5. Windows Server 2012 R2: Released in October 2013, Windows Server 2012 R2 was an update to Windows Server 2012, and included new features such as improved storage efficiency, enhanced support for virtualization, and improved management tools.
  6. Windows Server 2016: Released in September 2016, Windows Server 2016 introduced a number of new features, including support for Docker containers, improved security features, and enhanced support for cloud-based deployments.
  7. Windows Server 2019: Released in October 2018, Windows Server 2019 introduced a number of new features, including support for Kubernetes, improved security features such as Shielded VMs and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and enhanced support for hybrid cloud deployments.
  8. Windows Server 2022: Released in August 2021, Windows Server 2022 is the latest version of Windows Server, and includes new features such as improved support for hybrid cloud deployments, enhanced security features such as Secured-core Server, and enhanced performance and scalability.

Overall, Windows Server has evolved significantly over the years, with each new release introducing new features and capabilities that have helped to drive innovation and improve the reliability, security, and performance of the platform.

Windows 10/11 Desktop Environments Backup Utility Options

For Windows 10/11 desktop environments, you have several options for backup utilities:
Built-in Windows Utilities:
  • File History: This feature automatically backs up your personal files to an external drive or network location. It's a good option for basic file backup.
  • Backup and Restore (Windows 7): While this tool is present in Windows 10/11, it's based on older technology and isn't recommended as the primary backup solution.
  • System Restore: This feature creates snapshots of your system settings and files, allowing you to restore your system to a previous state if something goes wrong. However, it's not a full backup solution.

Third-Party Backup Software:
  • EaseUS Todo Backup: This comprehensive tool offers both free and paid versions with features like disk cloning, system backup, and cloud storage integration.
  • Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office: This powerful software provides full system image backups, ransomware protection, and cloud backup options.
  • Macrium Reflect: This popular choice offers fast and reliable image-based backups, as well as various scheduling and recovery options.
  • Many others: A wide range of other third-party backup software exists, catering to different needs and budgets.

For Windows Server 2022, the options are slightly different:
Built-in Windows Server Utilities:
  • Windows Server Backup: This native tool provides full server backup, system state backup, and bare metal recovery capabilities.
  • Microsoft Azure Backup: This cloud-based service integrates with Windows Server to offer secure offsite backup and recovery options.
  • Veeam Backup & Replication: A popular enterprise-grade backup solution known for its reliability and extensive feature set.
  • Commvault Complete Backup & Recovery: Another comprehensive enterprise backup software with a focus on data protection and compliance.
  • Other Options: Numerous other third-party backup solutions cater specifically to Windows Server environments, often offering features tailored for virtualized environments and large-scale deployments.

When choosing a backup solution, consider your specific requirements, budget, and the level of technical expertise available. It's generally recommended to use a combination of built-in and third-party tools for a comprehensive backup strategy.
The next lesson provides an overview of the Backup utility, and demonstrates how to backup files and folders.

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