I am modifying an old server to be used as a backup server. The backup server should be able to use the backups of the primary server and run the same as the primary server. Both servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2, but they are not running the same hardware. The question I have is what system related items should be backed up (system state, boot information, etc). Also, what would the appropriate method be for restoring the backup onto the backup server, which will hold the backups on a separate HDD. I have not touched servers very much, so I hope you guys can offer me some guidance.
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You can perform a bare metal backup and recovery of Windows Server 2008 R2 using the Windows Server Backup tool (installed from Features). Follow this guide for detailed steps:
You wouldn't restore the backup to the backup server except in the case of a catastrophic failure of the source server and you probably don't want to store the backup on the original server or the backup server. You'll want to store the backup on an independent drive (USB) or network Share.