I have a web server that I run which has quite a few sites on it now all using SQL Db's - Its actually a cloud server from 1&1 (Win2008). I have the following in place in case of the worst:

  • Shadow Copies Enabled
  • Mozy Pro External Daily Backups Of Sites/Files in inetpub and databases
  • Weekly Manual Backups

But I'd like to know what else people do for precaution, for example can you backup the entire IIS and all its settings? As re-creating all the sites and application pools etc... would be a real time consuming pain if the worst were to happen?

Any tips / advice greatly appreciated


To answer your question about 'backing up the entire IIS' what you want to do is Export the configuration. This, and the backups of the website files, will allow you to recreate the websites and settings in IIS. Follow the directions on TechNet .


If the server(s) is virtual, you should be able to do a full server backup containing everything - either by snapshotting then backing up, or some other mechanism. Quite storage hungry, but I think gives you the fastest restore time in a true disaster. If you are using a SAN you may find similar opportunities available for data snapshots that will beat the pants off any "backup" style solution.

  • Just remember that data snapshots will only "beat the pants off any "backup" style solution" up until someone accidentally backs a truck into your SAN -- of course the same can be said for any "backup" that isn't shipped off-site (nudge nudge wink wink hint hint :-) – voretaq7 Oct 18 '10 at 19:30
  • Of course you backup your SAN offsite! Replication to another SAN in a different location, or to tape. My point is that snapshots on your SAN will perform far better than backups. You then have the luxury of backing up the snapshot to tape without affecting performance of your production system. And if you allow trucks to reverse in your server room you are seriously asking for trouble. – dunxd Oct 19 '10 at 7:49

It sounds like you have things pretty well covered -- Re: backing up the IIS configuration someone more Windows-Savvy can probably speak to the particulars of that -- I'm almost certain it can be captured but can't say exactly how.

The only two things that jump to mind from what you mentioned above:

  1. When is the last time you ran a restore test from your backups?
    All the backups in the world aren't worth anything if they can't get you from bare metal to a working environment again. It's also a good way to find out how long a recovery would take (ProTip: At least double the time you come up with).

  2. Your "weekly manual backup" should be automated somehow.
    One day you will be on vacation when the weekly backup should be done. Murphy's Law dictates you will have a catastrophic failure shortly after that, when your backup data is at its most stale...

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