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Chapter 8: Planning for Disaster RecoveryIt's never much fun thinking about all of the things that can go wrong with a project. But in the case of an operating system migration, you need to have a contingency plan just in case the unthinkable happens. Have you ever found yourself in the position of knowing the hard disk in your computer just failed and wondering how current your backups are? Or maybe you were wondering if you even had backups.
This chapter will examine some of the methods you can use in Windows 2000 to prepare for disaster recovery. You will learn how to use the Recovery Console to recover from various problems with your Windows 2000 Servers. You'll also learn how to prepare a recovery plan for your Windows 2000 migration, including how to give yourself a way to return safely to the original configuration of your network.
Avoiding the UnknownDisaster recovery is an interesting specialty in the Information Technology (IT) field. When you are planning for disaster recovery, you are trying to plan for the unknown. You are attempting to think of any possibility for failure in your systems and to find a way to handle the problem just in case it really happens. Consider for a moment just how bad this can get. In this day of .com startups and initial public offerings of stock, these companies frequently have a product that exists solely as a set of data on their server. What if such a company were performing daily tape backups of all of this data, believing this made them safe? When their drives failed in the server one day, they'd think, "No problem, we'll just restore from tape," only to discover that their tapes were blank.
No backup is ever good until it has been tested by a trial restore. I actually heard of a company where the previous example happened. In their case, they were diligently performing every necessary step to back up every day. But they never tested the tapes, and when they needed them they lost everything the company had because the tapes didn't record the data. What would help in this situation, from a disaster-recovery standpoint, would be to ask yourself, "What could go wrong?" Once you've thought of everything that could possibly go wrong, try to think of some more things that could happen to interfere with your process.
Microsoft Exam ObjectiveImplement disaster recovery plans.
- Restore pre-migration environment.
- Roll back implementation to a specific point.
This is merely a "nutshell" description of disaster recovery, since you could easily write whole books devoted to the topic, but it will serve as a starting point to discuss the features in Windows 2000 that can help you recover your network from a failed migration. First, let's take a look at some areas that will affect your overall migration planning.
Reviewing Your PlansYou've heard me say it before: Plan things out. When referring to disasters, it's impossible to plan when or what they will be. However, it is possibleand suggested-to plan as much prevention and recovery as possible. There are two ways to deal with disasters: disaster prevention and disaster recovery. Most of the time, they are very interrelated. Even the best-laid disaster-prevention plans don't prevent crashes-they just hope to minimize the damage.
When reviewing migration plans for disaster prevention and recovery, I find it helpful to break the plan down into four categories: hardware, software, infrastructure, and personnel. Whether this system works for you or not will be a matter of experience. However, I believe that a structured approach to disaster-recovery planning will help you to avoid overlooking some important detail.
HardwareThere are numerous ways to protect your systems with hardware, from redundant hardware devices (such as hard disks, fans, and even CPUs), to RAID, to clustering. This is an area that will quickly go beyond the scope of this single book, but a few topics should be introduced here. Most will be highly dependent upon the server hardware you have chosen and will be sup plied by the computer vendor. But we do need to discuss Redundant Array: of Inexpensive Disks (RAID). RAID is oftentimes more proactive (preventive) than reactive (recovery), but it is a valuable part of any network and needs to be considered during migration.
RAID has several levels of protection and can be implemented in either hardware or software. The Windows 2000 Server family (Server, Advancec Server, and Datacenter Server) supports software RAID. All versions of Win dows 2000 support hardwarebased RAID, since the operating system would see the disks only as described by the RAID controller. For the exam you will need to understand the software implementation of RAID as provided by Windows 2000.
Windows 2000 provides RAID levels 0, 1, and 5. Table 8.1 describes some of the properties of the different levels....
Table of ContentsIntroduction
Chapter 1: Planning for Deployment
Chapter 2: Planning for Active Directory
Chapter 3: Preparing for the Migration
Chapter 4: Upgrading Domains
Chapter 5: Restructuring Your Network
Chapter 6: Using Target Domains for Migration
Chapter 7: Migration Tools
Chapter 8: Planning for Disaster Recovery
Chapter 9: After the Migration
Chapter 10: Troubleshooting a Failed Upgrade
Chapter 11: Troubleshooting Account Issues
Chapter 12: Troubleshooting Access Problems
Chapter 13: Troubleshooting Network Services
Chapter 14: Troubleshooting Application Failures