Backup Audit Plan

What is your current backup process?

  • Who is in charge of the current backups?
  • Who has access to the backups?
  • What is your current backup schedule – nightly, weekly, incremental daily?
  • Who gets notified of successes and failures? Is it monitored?

Testing / Validation of the backed up files.

  • You are backing up your data, but have you ever restored a file and confirmed it?

Recovery Thresholds

  • What is the acceptable amount of data loss? For example, if you are doing nightly backups, and you have a hardware failure at 3PM, any work that was saved to those files during the day would be lost. Is that acceptable?
  • In the event of hardware failure or data loss, how long can your mission critical system be down?

What files are you are backing up?

Are you backing what think you are?

  • Accounting Software
  • Email
  • Shared Drive / Files Shares
  • User Directories
  • Legal Documents
  • Any databases with business critical data.
  • Applications and settings
  • License keys

Have you confirmed that the folder(s) with the data you care about the most are getting backed up?

When was the last time you checked to confirm that you are backing up what you think you are backing up?

Verify your retention periods.

How long do you need to save your files for?

For example, if you are backing up weekly, and you accidentally delete a file, 1 month later you realize you shouldn’t have deleted that file. If you are just backing up weekly and not keeping copies of backup tapes or using some method to store backup files, that file is gone – and without some serious effort will never be recovered.


Typical Best Practices for Rotation of Backup Media (tapes, USB drives, etc.)


  • (Monday – Thursday) (4 Backup Media ) – stored off-site


  • Dedicated Friday backups that get pulled out of the rotation and stored off-site (4 backup media per month)

Monthly (Archive)

  • Pull 1 backup media of the weekly rotation once per month. (12 per year stored off-site)

Hyper-V VM Configuration


Moving VHDs around in a lab. This save recreation.

Original Error


InfoGraphics–Technology and Data Visualizations

I have become a big fan of infoGraphics, they are to the point and informative. Nothing SysAdmin really but interesting nevertheless.

Check out the other categories too.

The 10 best ways to visually represent IT data | TechRepublic


The 10 best ways to visually represent IT data | TechRepublic

Auto Archive not working in Outlook 2007 due to modified date change.

This past summer we (for one of our clients) migrated email to a cloud email service instead of continuing to manage an on site exchange environment. The email is still Exchange but hosted “in the cloud.” This makes a lot of sense for smaller environments.

The customer would now like to auto archive emails both sent and received that are older than 1 year. Again this makes a lot of sense as these messages don’t want to be deleted but are not used with any frequency. We setup the archive.pst file to live on a mapped drive (G:\) so that they would be backed up during server backups.

When the auto-archive ran for each of the users only the folder structure and no messages were found in the Archive Personal Folder.

If you didn’t know Auto-Archive queries that Modified Date and not the Received/Sent Date field. All of the modified dates were 08/11/2010, the day migrated to the cloud exchange, and well less than the desired 12 months.

There is a workaround involving advanced searches and moving them to an archive PST and then permanently deleted the message on the exchange side.  In this specific case the customer chose to wait until 08/11/2011 when the archive will really get going.

Postini Spam filter by Google. Great tool that keeps the spam outside of your network. But…

The #1 benefit to having Postini in your environment over something like Barracuda is that the spam never even touches your network. You won’t see your bandwidth affected by a single  customer click that unleashes it’s wrath on you. Instead let Google Postini shield you…

Onto the But…

The maximum number of characters for each approved/blocked list in the Administration Console is 4000. If each address or domain is 30 to 40 characters, each sender list can include approximately 100 to 130 addresses and domains.
The maximum number of characters for all lists for each user in the Message Center is 1000.
For each address, add an additional 2 characters to get an accurate count.
If you run out of space and attempt to add another address, you receive an error similar to this:
List length limit (4000) exceeded
To free up more space, delete addresses that are no longer used.
You may consider adding an address from user’s list to the appropriate organization-level list to improve filtering for all users, while freeing up space for that particular user.

This is a limitation in the Postini database, not disk space. There are no plans to increase this limitation.

Creating a service

Good place to start got it to work on one service but not two others.


Tech Republic Videos–Bill Detwiler

Big fan of these… sometimes a little remedial but they’re even better before the second cup of coffee.;channels

Event ID 1111–Terminal Services Printer Redirection

Terminal Services Printing


Favorite line…

must meet the requirements that are outlined in the "Are there any special considerations about these features" section.


Nice documentation ;-p