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I need to back up a single server (Windows 2008 R2) onto an external drive. Because the server has millions of small files, block-level backup, not filesystem, is a requirement.

I can use Acronis Backup & Recovery, or Windows Server Backup. Is there any compelling reason to pick one over the other? (I already own the Acronis software, so price is not an issue.)

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is this for bare metal purposes or what? And what os level are you running. – tony roth May 20 '11 at 0:39
Just added the OS details to the question (2008R2). Not for bare-metal restore -- just trying to figure out how to be able to quickly back up about 2 TB of very small files for DR. – Jesse May 22 '11 at 20:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You did not identify the version of Windows. If it is 2008R2, then Windows Backup is almost a draw with its new backup format being that of VHDs. The VHDs can be mounted across Windows 7, 2008R2, Virtual PC, Hyper-V, etc.

The Acronis backup format can also be mounted "hot" onto a running system, but you need to install their drivers first. The bare-metal route still appears to be more streamlined on the Acronis side, but 2008R2 also has bare-metal capabilities as well.

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Update: The latest Acronis will also backup to a VHD. On the non-Windows 2008R2 side of things, there is also Disk2VHD which will convert Windows partitions on-the-fly to VHD files/volumes. It works great on live running systems and can also "fit-the-bill" for block-level-type requirements. – user48838 May 25 '11 at 4:42

I like the Acronis backup, but if you are on win2008r2, the backup software is very good, and fast.

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