You can configure Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition to automatically run custom scripts on the Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition computer before, after, or during the recovery operation.
This version of Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition is supplied with the Microsoft Windows Script File (.wsf) file that serves as a template where you can insert your custom scripts written in the VBScript or JScript language.
The .wsf file has a number of XML elements where you can insert your scripts. Depending on the XML element where you insert it, your script will run
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition performs the following functions:
Both types of backups can be created for any Active Directory domain controller available on the network. Backup creation is a task that can be performed on a regular basis without interrupting the operation of the domain controller.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition lets you organize domain controllers into collections, and establish a backup scheduling frequency and “allowed hours” during which the backup process may run. Based on the frequency of updates to the directory data store, you can configure a backup schedule for each collection.
Depending on the requirements of your enterprise, you can configure a retention policy to specify how many backups are retained: for example, all saved backups or a number of the most recent backups. Different policy settings can be specified for different domain controller collections.
For System State data backups, it is not necessary to maintain a single, centralized repository: several repositories, perhaps based on the site topology, can make your deployment more WAN-friendly. To minimize bandwidth consumption, Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition employs agents that compress the data to be backed up, before sending it across the network.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition uses the Microsoft Tape Format (MTF) for System State backup files. Therefore, MTF-compliant backup applications can catalog the backup files and restore data backed up with Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition. For example, backed up data can be restored with the Windows backup tools, if no compression and encryption is used during the backup creation.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition allows backups to be encrypted and protected with a password, to prevent unauthorized access. This password is used to generate a passphrase with which the backup is encrypted. The password cannot be used directly to unlock the backup container *.vhd(x) file.
For System State backup encryption, the product uses Microsoft’s implementation of the AES-256 algorithm from RSA, Inc. (Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider), with the maximum cipher strength. The use of the Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider ensures that backups are encrypted with 256–bit cipher strength
You can have Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition keep unpacked Active Directory or AD LDS (ADAM) backups in any appropriate location on your network.
Unpacked backups can be reused for subsequent starts of the Online Restore Wizard or Group Policy Restore Wizard. The use of unpacked backups accelerates the backup data preparation step of those wizards, because the unpacking process may be a lengthy operation.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition makes it possible to use Active Directory or AD LDS (ADAM) backups created with third-party backup tools. Before using this feature, unpack the backup to an alternate location with the corresponding third-party backup tool, and then register the database file (ntds.dit or adamntds.dit) using the Online Restore Wizard or Online Restore Wizard for AD LDS (ADAM), respectively.
When backing up Global Catalog servers, you have the option to force Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition to collect group membership information from all domains within the Active Directory forest. This option ensures that group membership spanning multiple domains is fully backed up.
It is recommended that you restore objects from Global Catalog backups that were created with this option. Otherwise, restored objects may not retrieve their membership in some local groups, because even Global Catalog servers do not store full information about group memberships. For example, information about membership in domain local groups is only stored in the home domains of those groups.
In an Active Directory environment, each domain controller maintains its own Active Directory database. Therefore, a backup of the Active Directory database is domain controller-specific. To completely back up Active Directory, you must back up the directory database on every domain controller.
To restore deleted or corrupted objects, it is recommended to back up at least two domain controllers for each domain for redundancy. If you intend to restore cross-domain group membership information, then it is also necessary to back up a global catalog server.
Another reason for backing up the directory database on every domain controller is loose consistency. Replication of changes made to Active Directory does not occur immediately. The replication process first accumulates all changes, and then provides them to the participating domain controllers. As a result, the directory database on any domain controller is normally in a state of loose consistency. The directory object data on individual domain controllers differs to some extent, given that replication updates are either in transit between domain controllers, or waiting to be initiated.
The age of the backup must also be considered. Active Directory prevents the restoration of data older than the “tombstone lifetime”—a setting specified in Active Directory. Because of this, an Active Directory backup should be created at least once within the tombstone lifetime. However, it is strongly recommended that backups of the directory database be created more often than this.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition employs a Backup Agent to back up remote domain controllers and AD LDS (ADAM) hosts. This is because some backup APIs provided by the operating system cannot be used to access a target domain controller or AD LDS (ADAM) host from the Recovery Manager Console. Therefore, Backup Agent must be installed on a remote domain controller or AD LDS (ADAM) host in order to gain access to its specific objects. Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition can automatically install Backup Agent before starting a backup, and remove it upon the completion of backup operation. Alternatively, you can preinstall Backup Agent manually. For more information on the advantages of using preinstalled Backup Agent, see Using preinstalled Backup Agent below.
Figure 1: Backup Agents
The figure above illustrates how Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition employs Backup Agent when creating backups. Backup Agent is installed on domain controllers DC1 and DC2. Backup Agent compresses the local data and sends it to the computer running Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition, which in turn transfers the compressed data to the backup repository (Central Storage Location).
Since Backup Agent compresses the data before sending it over the network, the network load is decreased significantly. The average compression ratio is 7:1. The use of Backup Agent also provides increased scalability and performance by allowing the creation of backups on multiple domain controllers in parallel.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition allows to run Backup Agent in the security context of a specific user account. Since Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition needs administrative access to the domain controller in order to run Backup Agent, the account under which Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition is running must belong to the Administrators group on that domain controller or AD LDS (ADAM) host, providing administrative access to the entire domain. If Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition cannot be started under such an account, separate credentials (user logon name and password) should be specified, so that Backup Agent is run under an account that has sufficient privileges.
Recovery Manager for Active Directory Forest Edition allows you to back up Computer Collections using Backup Agent manually preinstalled on each target domain controller. This method enables you to