Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Microsoft IS Cool

WARNING: Pure techie post following... trust me, if you're a non-techie, this will be VERY boring...

A lot of people like to slag Microsoft... but after doing a test run of our disater recovery plan today, a solution built on Microsoft products, I'm a solid fan of Billy Gates and Crew!

First, we implemented Microsoft's Data Protection Manager in the spring when we brought our new servers and new 2003 R2 domain online. I set it up to replicate our file server, financial software databases, and a few other mission critical apps. (we run a web-based clinical application, and outsourced POP3 e-mail, so I didn't have to worry about them)

Then, over the last few months, I've been playing with Microsoft's Virtual PC, another very cool app. At first, I just had a couple VPC's for testing and such, and not much else. Then I decided to try something...

I built a new Virtual PC running Server 2003 R2, and then promoted it to become the third Domain Controller in my domain. It synced up with my other two, and was running, happy as a clam, on my desktop via VPC. Then, the experiment...

I took two freshly imaged desktops, a spare 3Com switch, and set them up in an empty office... completely disconnected from our network. On one PC, just a straight XP image... on the second, the XP image, plus VPC 2007. I had the virtual server files on a USB hard drive on which I also had my archived DPM replicas from our DPM server. I launched the VPC Domain Controller, restored user files from the DPM replica, and mounted them on a shared directory on the VPC... turning the VPC domain controller into a file server. I installed the DCHP service on the VPC DC, and then fired up the desktop. I picked a random user, reset their password on my VPC DC, changed the Active Directory pointer of their home directory to the new location I'd restored the data to, and the logged in as the random user.

Presto... was able to log in, and the user's home directory was sitting right where it should be. Next up for testing will be a restore of the shared folders, and a network printer for good measure.

Basically, with today's "proof of concept", it shows that we can take a single USB based hard drive (with security, of course) and conduct a restoration of our organization's data infrastrcuture... anytime, anywhere, and on any hardware.

Now how cool is that? Like I said, right now, I'm lovin the Microsoft products.



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