Windows workstation disaster recovery methods


(Jonathan LaMaster) #1

What is everyone else doing for workstation disaster recovery?

Do you have base images that you reload and then rebuild the application and users preference as best as you can? or are you backing up each workstation?


(Alex Conner) #2

Our machines are imaged and software is deployed via SCCM, and user’s documents folders are redirected to the server. In the past places I’ve worked user’s documents are generally stored locally and they are responsible for backing them up to the network in their own folders.

We are investigating the move to cloud storage (G Suite in our case) option, but for now everything is staying on the legacy infrastructure.


(Tim Cook) #3

It helps to have mostly the same devices, but yes, we have 1 base image for each type of workstation (4 max for roughly 70 machines), and periodically I’ll update the image so as to not have to start from years back every time I reimage one. That’s worked great for us. We use Norton Ghostboot.
Obviously the more types of machines, the more images need to be stored, so it could get a little crazy if there’s no continuity at all.


(Mark Simmons) #4

Jonathan, we use Macs for desktops, but the principles are the same.

We have a standard software set for 90% of the staff. So we maintain a image of this standard set and do automatic backup of all the data and settings on each machine. Incremental backups are done hourly, daily and monthly. We specify a backup location with a maximum size for each user (100Gbytes is ample for our use). The remaining 10% we do the same thing with two exceptions:

  1. Backup to a different location with a much larger maximum size (500Gbytes)
  2. We decide whether we need a separate image and if so, create and maintain it.

Anything sensitive or needed for continuing operations is stored in a Class 5 cloud server room that has the data replicated in another state or country, or is put on our server. Our server has both an image backup, incremental backup and a copy that is stored offsite. Our server room is pretty impervious to disaster, but should the hardware be affected these offsite copies allow us to get the local server and services back online really quick.


(Andy Baker) #5

Jonathan, for our Macs we use Acronis Extreme Z-IP to back them up. This program allows you to mount SMB shares on a Windows server for storing Time Machine backups.
It takes a while for the first backup as it does a complete backup, but then it’s all incremental after that.
As far as our Windows workstations, for the most part we redirect My Documents to local file shares, and backup those shares.
My goal is to redirect all Windows My Documents to OneDrive, but I haven’t gotten there yet. We also utilize SharePoint Teams and a few ministries have adopted that as their preferred storage/collaboration method.