8. Developing a back up and recovery plan
Protecting data is critical for all network administrators. Establishing a backup and recovery plan enables you to protect your data. With the proper backups, you can restore your system to its pre-backup state in a few hours at a relatively low cost
even after the total loss of the server. If you store your backup in a secure off-site location, you can recover from fire or other natural disasters.
To restore your server, you must have a backup. So the first step in protecting Small Business Server 2000 data is to develop a good backup plan. Windows 2000 Server offers a built-in backup utility that allows you to copy your Small Business Server data to tape or to a file.
A basic backup plan includes the following elements:
A tape backup rotation scheme that ensures that your data is protected should a tape malfunction or become lost.
The creation and maintenance of an Emergency Repair Disk.
A “restore from backup” test schedule.
For detailed information about developing a backup plan, see the white paper entitled “Backup and Recovery for Small Business Server 2000.”
The second step in protecting your data is to develop a recovery plan. Test your ability to restore data from your backup media once a month to ensure that your backups function correctly. Run through your recovery procedure quarterly, or at least twice a year, to make sure you are well prepared.
A basic recovery plan must include the following elements:
A written statement of how long you expect recovery to take and how much data (defined in days or weeks) you can afford to lose.
Current full and incremental data backups.
A current full system backup that includes the registry.
A list of all of your computer hardware.
A list of the software versions and service packs you have installed.
Centrally stored and easily accessible copies of your installed software, service packs, and device drivers.
A schedule to regularly check event logs to prevent potential problems.
A review of any plans more than two years old to make sure they are accurate and complete.
For detailed information about developing a recovery plan, see the white paper entitled “Backup and Recovery for Small Business Server 2000.”
9. Creating a maintenance plan
After Small Business Server is installed, it is important to develop an ongoing maintenance plan to keep the server up to date, protect it against potential threats, and identify potential problems before they occur.
The following key items should be part of your maintenance plan:
Implementing a backup and recovery plan
Subscribing to the Microsoft Security Notification Service
Installing service packs
Updating your software
Monitoring server health
Implementing a back up and recovery plan
Protecting company data on Small Business Server 2000 is critical. Creating and implementing a backup and recovery plan should be part of your ongoing maintenance plan. For more information on creating a backup plan, see “Creating a Backup and Recovery Plan” earlier in this paper.
Installing Service Packs
Product updates are distributed in service packs. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, and more. You should be aware of the current service packs available and regularly update your server. Periodically check to see if a new service pack has been released for the following Small Business Server components:
Windows 2000 Server
ISA Server 2000
Exchange 2000 Server
SQL Server™ 2000
The services packs released for these components are fully compatible with Small Business Server.
Updating your software
The best way to keep your computing environment safe is to install software updates promptly. Installing updates–known as fixes, patches, service packs, and security rollup packages–improves your ability to protect your computer and data. Updates address exploitable flaws or introduce additional security features. For instance, the Microsoft Outlook® E-mail Security Update helps Outlook users protect themselves from certain viruses and diminishes the spread of viruses through Outlook.
The easiest way to keep up with patches is to take advantage of automatic update and notification services.
Updating Your Operating System
Keep your Windows operating system and applications up-to-date with the latest patches and service packs:
If you have client computers running Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition–Turn on the Windows automatic updates feature on your client computers. Then, whenever your users connect to the Internet, their computers will check the Windows Updates site for the latest Windows, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Windows Media™ Player, and selected updates and download them. Users are then asked whether they want to install the updates. Encourage users to install them immediately.
Monitoring Server Health
To identify and eliminate conditions that can compromise server reliability, monitor your server’s health. Small Business Server provides the following monitoring tools:
Health Monitor 2.1
Server Status View
Server Status Report
The following sections provide an overview of these tools. For more detailed information, see the white paper entitled “Remote Management and Monitoring for Small Business Server 2000.”
Health Monitor 2.1
Use Health Monitor as part of your maintenance plan and monitor the health of your Small Business Server computer. This tool gets data from many sources, such as the event viewer and the system monitor, and presents the data in an easy-to-read user interface.
You can configure actions to be automatically performed when monitored threshold values are crossed. For example, you could configure the tool so that a low “free available disk space” reading sends an alert to you.
Server Status View
As part of your maintenance plan, you can use the Server Status View to check the current status of the server. Designed for administrators and power users, it provides a high-level summary view of server status. This view includes the following information:
Any Health Monitor alert currently triggered on the server.
Performance counters that have been activated for the server.
Any service set to start automatically that has not started.
Server Status Report
As part of your regular server health plan, you can schedule server status reports to be sent to you. These reports, sent by e-mail or fax, communicate the current state of the Small Business Server computer. Reports cover performance counters, service status, and alerts, and they are more detailed than the information displayed in the Server Status View. The XML Reporting Tool, available for download from the Small Business Server 2000 Web site, enhances the Server Status Report.
In Small Business Server 2000, Terminal Services is installed in remote administration mode by default. This tool allows you to perform most on-going network management tasks remotely.
10. Getting Support
There are many ways to get support for Small Business Server 2000. Some of the support options are:
Microsoft Help and Support Web site
Microsoft Technical Support
Support WebCasts and SupportLive Chats
The first place to look for support information about Small Business Server is online Help. Small Business Server Help contains detailed conceptual and procedural information about installing, maintaining, and supporting Small Business Server. Small Business Server Help is available from each of the administrative consoles.
Small Business Server 2000 also contains Help for Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Exchange 2000, SQL Server 2000, and ISA Server 2000.
Understanding the information provided in this paper before you install Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 will help ensure a successful installation and customer experience. If you need more information, see the additional white papers referenced in this document.