Windows Server backup is critical to an organization’s disaster recovery plan. Many third-party solutions can provide Windows Server backup software for server backup and backing up Windows Server virtual machines. However, why install Windows Server backup software when you have Windows Server backup features built into the operating system? Let’s look at Windows Server 2022 backup and restore using the built-in Windows Server Backup feature found in Windows.
What is Windows Server Backup software?
The Windows Server Backup software is a Windows Server feature that can be enabled in Windows Server 2022. In looking at the best server backup software, businesses may have the use case to find a solution that is cheap, reliable, and does the job to protect business-critical data from data loss.
With Windows Server Backup, you can create server backup files of your Windows Server. You can also create file and image backups to perform bare metal recovery and other recovery tasks. You can also schedule backups to perform regular backups of your Windows Server operating system.
Windows Server Backup features
Windows Server Backup provides the tools needed for full backup files, creating an entire system backup job, incremental backups, system restore, system state recovery, local backup, backing up individual folders, individual files, full system recovery, and many other backup options.
You can easily use Windows Server Backup to perform daily backups of your Windows Servers either from the Windows Server Backup software GUI or the command line, making it easy to script and perform operations at scale. It is also an intuitive tool that most admins will find easy to use.
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Physical servers or virtual machines
You can use Windows Server Backup to either perform physical server backup or virtual machine backups. On Hyper-V hosts, you can backup VMs using Windows Server Backup with a few limitations. This is not as granular an image backup as you find in third-party software solutions.
However, Windows Server Backup, while it may not be found on the best backup software lists published with all the features of third-party tools, it definitely covers the basics for the Windows Server operating system. It is also used underneath the hood with Windows Server Essentials to perform the server backup tasks.
Windows Server Backup targets
With Windows Server Backup you can target local storage such as a hard disk or remote shared folder storage space to store backups of your Windows Server OS, including Windows Server 2022. While there may be some “hacky” ways to do this, a USB drive is not supported as a backup target for Windows Server Backup. You can also use external drive locations that are mounted as local storage.
Some organizations even create dedicated Windows Server Backup box configurations that house the backups for their Windows Server backups in the environment. Each organization will need to look at how they want to manage backups of their Windows Servers and see what options work best for protecting critical Windows system files, etc.
Installing Windows Server Backup software
The steps to install Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2022 to restore server data is straightforward. The great news is the handy utility is still available in Windows Server 2022. Using Server Manager, you can easily install Windows Server Backup as part of the Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager.
On the Features screen, you will see the Windows Server Backup feature listed.
Add the Windows Server Backup Feature
Launch the Server Manager console and the Add Roles and Features Wizard. On the Features screen, place a checkbox next to Windows Server Backup.
Confirm the installation of Windows SErver BAckup in Windows SErver 2022
Simply Click Next and confirm the installation of Windows Server Backup by clicking Install.
Complete the installation of Windows Server Backup in the Server Manager Add Roles and Features wizard.
Windows Server 2022 Backup using Windows Server Backup
Let’s first go through the Windows Server 2022 Backup using Windows Server Backup. In the Windows Server Backup GUI, we click the Backup Oncebutton.
On the Backup Options screen, we configure the options for the backup. Here the different options is selected by default.
Select full server backup or custom backup options.
Click the add items option to add items you want to back up with Windows Server Backup.
Here we are selecting system state backup job for the items we want to back up. In case you may be wondering what a system state backup contains. It contains the following:
System state Backup contents
Boot files such as ntldr, ntdetect, all files protected by SFP, and performance counter configuration
The Active Directory Domain Controller
SysVol (domain controller only)
Certificate Server (CA only)
Cluster database (cluster node only)
COM+ class registration database
Select the destination type of the Windows Server Backup. These include Local drive backup and Remote shared folder backup.
Next, we select the local volume we want to use to store the local backup.
Finally, we are ready to confirm the Windows Server Backup configuration and backup software options and begin the backup. Click Backup to start the backup process.
After a while, depending on how much data you have contained in the backup, the backup should complete successfully not long after you initiate the start backup process.
Windows Server 2022 Restore Data using Windows Server Backup
Now let’s look at the recovery options when using Windows Server Backup to recover data when data loss has occurred.
Launch Windows Server Backup and click the Recover button to start looking at your recovery options along with recovery destination. First, it asks where the backup is stored.
Select the backup date
Select the backup date you want to use for the recovery options.
Select the Recovery Type
Next, select the recovery type. You can choose files and folders (recover specific files), volumes, and system state.
Select the location for the recovery destination
Next, select the original or alternate location for the restore.
Confirm the recovery operation
Confirm the recovery operation and click Recover.
The process involved with Windows Server 2022 Backup and Restore are not too complicated using the Windows Server Backup tool. You can easily back up and recover Windows Server 2022 with the built-in tool and minimize storage costs and other requirements. You can backup and recover just specific files to a network share or local backup in just a few clicks.
Learn more about Windows Server Backup in general here: Windows Server Backup Feature Overview | Microsoft Docs