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How to Create a Windows Server 2016 System Image Backup with MSP360

Windows Server 2016, like any other server, requires regular backups. Manual backups are not an option, as they take up too much time and human resources. What is even more important, they put your data at risk of loss due to human error. In this article, we’ll describe how to automate Windows Server 2016 system backups with MSP360 Managed Backup.

Essentials of Windows Server 2016 Image-Based Backup

When you back up a server, it is not enough to save just files and folders. You need to make a full copy of all the partitions that contain your system files, as well as applications, services, permissions, configuration, and user data. This system image backup can also be used for bare-metal restore or recovery to a virtual machine, so it should be a complete copy of your server in a working state.

With MSP360 Managed Backup, you can create such a copy. The solution takes a server snapshot and saves the actual server state. After recovery, the work can be continued with minor data and time losses, and you won’t need to reconfigure the server or reinstall any software. MSP360 Managed Backup will automatically restore your Windows 2016 server to its previous state; you just need to choose what version to restore and where to.

Managing a System Image Backup for Windows Server 2016 with MSP360

In this guide, we’ll cover all the nitty-gritty of using MSP360 Managed Backup to protect yourWindows Server 2016 environment.

How to Create an Image-Based Backup for Windows Server 2016

We assume that you already have MSP360 Managed Backup installed on your server. If not, install it and let’s begin.

In the MSP360 Managed Backup control panel, proceed to the RMM tab, Remote Management section. Find your server in the list.

RMM tab Remote Management section

Click the gear icon on the right and then Show Plans.

Gear Icon Show Plans menu

Choose Create New Image-Based Backup Plan from the list (or click the plus button / Backup / Image-Based if you already have some backup plans).

Create New Image-Based Backup Plan

Plus button - Backup - Image-Based

To access all the features of MSP360 Managed Backup, pick a new backup format option by clicking the Try New Format button in the pop-up window.

New Backup Format

Give your plan a name.

Name Your Plan

Select the backup destination. You can use local or cloud storage, depending on your needs.

Select Backup Destination

Select the partitions you require to back up.

Select Partitions

In the Advanced Options section, you can exclude files or folders from the backup, change VSS options, and modify the prefetch block count.

Advanced Options

Configure the compression and encryption options. It is highly recommended to use encryption, so that no one will be able to access your server without a password. Add a hint in case you lose or forget your password.

Compression and Encryption

Consistency check and restore verification are used to ensure that your backups are recoverable. The consistency check feature reviews data in storage and notifies you if the data does not exist or has been modified, for example if it has been damaged. Restore verification does a quick restore of your server backup using a temporary Hyper-V environment to ensure that your server’s copy is recoverable.

Consistency Check

In the next step, define the schedule options. Click Recurring Incremental and set up the incremental backup frequency. The Daily type refers to weekly backups, as well, if you choose to run backups only once a week.

Set Schedule Recurring Options

Click Execute Full Backup to schedule full backups. The Daily type works in a similar way to that in the previous step.

Set Schedule for Full Backup

You can find your backup plan configuration summary at the bottom of the dialog. Also, you can specify the maximum time the backup plan can run for. If you want the plan to be launched at system start-up in case of a missed previous scheduled backup, mark the appropriate checkbox.

Schedule Options

In the Retention Policy step, select how long your backups should be stored. Here, you can also enable the GFS option; GFS backups are additional full backup copies that are kept using their own retentions.

Retention Policy

In the Pre / Post Actions section, you can add scripts that will be executed before backup starts or when it finishes. You can also embed your server backup into a backup chain.

Pre / Post Actions

Change the notification options if needed.

Notifications and Logging

Click Save. If you have specified the schedule, MSP360 Managed Backup will automatically launch your plan at the defined time. Otherwise, you’ll need to run it manually from the Show Plans slide-in.

Show Plans slide-in

When the backup plan finishes, you’ll see the result in the Plans slide-in.

Plans slide-in

Here, everything went fine. If any issues occur, you will be able to see the details of what happened in the Last Result field.

How to Recover an Image Backup of Windows Server 2016

To recover a backup of Windows Server 2016 with MSP360 Managed Backup, open the Plans slide-in and click the plus button. Choose System State.

Restore System State

If you choose Run restore once, the plan will start automatically after you fill in all the required information.The Save restore plan option allows you to run the plan manually or create a schedule for it.

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Save Restore Plan

Select which dataset you want to restore. By default, the latest version is set up for recovery, but if you need to retrieve an earlier version, select the point in time when it was available.

Restore Type

Choose the storage to restore your backup from.

Restore Source

In the Destination section, you need to provide the path where your Windows Server 2016 is to be recovered to.

Destination for Restore

In the Encryption Options step, enter the password, if you set it up during creation of the backup plan.

Encryption Options

If you want MSP360 Managed Backup to recover your server regularly, set up a schedule.

Schedule Options for Restore

Customize notifications to keep yourself informed about how the recovery process is going.

Notifications for Recovery Process

That’s it. Now you know how to create and recover Windows Server 2016 backups with MSP360. Our number-one backup helps keep your data safe, providing you with all the necessary tools for the purpose. Should you have any questions, please contact us.

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