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Ensuring application restore from a backup

Independent IT expert Brien Posey discusses what needs to be protected in order to perform an application restore from a backup in this Expert Answer.

Obviously you need to back up your data, but what else should you be backing up? For example, what needs to be backed up to ensure that you can perform an effective application restore?

It really depends on the application because every application is different and, hence, every application restore is too.

Oftentimes, enterprise-class applications span multiple servers (or multiple virtual machines). You would therefore need to protect each server that is used by the application. It is important to use a backup product that is aware of the application and to make sure that the application is backed up in an appropriate manner.

It is also worth noting that application data sometimes exists outside of the application. For example, Exchange Server stores mailbox data inside a mailbox database. However, all of the configuration data resides in the Active Directory. As such, you cannot adequately protect Exchange Server without also protecting the Active Directory.

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