Backups- exclusions that should be done in a Windows Environment

13 02 2011

So here we go… My first blog!  Why do I feel like I just finally moved into the 20th Century?  Well I am here so here is my first of what I hope to be a bunch of useful information.

I am a backup and recovery kind of guy so for my first post I thought it would be fitting to do something on that topic.  One of my personal pet peeves with backup and recovery is that most of the time really it is sort of an after thought.  I mean really when you are implementing a new system all the planning and effort really goes into implementing the new system and backing it up is sort of a after thought.  I sure more to come about that on later post so let’s get down to business.

For arguments sake let’s say you already have a backup software/appliance in place.  Here are a few things that I do not think most people doing backup’s do not really pay attention to.  First there really ought to be a retention policy in place  before you do anything that could really affect what kind of system you are using to backup your information and whether disk backups will suffice or if  you will need to write things off to tape.  Secondly, some given exclusions to backups  specifically for Windows servers being backed up are:

Client Side Cache: %SystemRoot%\csc\* /s

ComPlus: %SystemRoot%\Registration\*.crmlog /s

Internet Explorer: %UserProfile%\index.dat /s

Memory Page File: \Pagefile.sys

MS Distributed Transaction:  %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\DTCLog\MSDTC.LOG


%systemroot%\ntfrs\jet\* /s


%systemroot%\sysvol\domain\DO_NOT_REMOVE_NtFrs_PreInstall_Directory\* /s

%systemroot%\sysvol\domain\NtFrs_PreExisting___See_EventLog\* /s


Power Management: \hiberfil.sys

Temporary Files: %TEMP%\* /s

I would also add  *.tmp for temporary files that are useless too.

The biggest one for me is always pagefile.sys why you ask?  Think of it this way let’s say you have 200 servers Physical or Virtual let’s say they all have 8 GB of ram and you did the MS best practice of allocating 1.5 times the amount of RAM for the pagefile so that would mean you have a 12 GB pagefile.  Now doing some simple math here 12 GB x200 servers gives you 2.34 TB’s of pagefile’s.  So everyday you are backing up 2.34 TB of pagefile’s every time you do a backup.  Which is great for backup companies that charge by the amount of  data you backup.  It is bad for you because that is 2.34 TB of useless data that is traversing your network which can significantly impact your backup window.  Let’s say you only backup 5 times per week for 1 year that is 608 TB’s less of information you have to backup  a year!  Now getting back to just the savings you have if you eliminated 2.34 TB’s per day out of your backup how  long does that take to get across different connections you ask?  100 Mb Link would take 2 days 10 hrs  but who only has 10o Mb links if they have 200 servers.  So for a 1 Gb link it would take about 5 hrs 43 min to transfer that much information.  So I say eliminate it from your backups all together and get your backup windows down considerably.   Lastly, my personal opinion is that what ever backup solution you are using that you exlude it’s processes from Anti-virus scans that is just more computations that the CPU is having to do thereby increasing your backup window.  I can hear you saying this right now but if we exclude it from Anti-virus scans then you can potentially be backing up a virus.  Yes that is quite a possibility, but if the antivirus is setup correctly on the server then it should have already caught and quarantined the virus so no need to virus scan each and every file you backup.

Just my personal opionion on the matter but I know it will help signficantly as I have seen it help me in my previous employment significantly.  There are a few other things I would do as well to tweak the backup process I may elaborate on those in a later post.  Always remember backups are easy it’s recovery that is the real proof in the pudding!




One response

5 05 2014
Newsletter: May 4, 2014 | Notes from MWhite

[…] by mistake but it is good info.  If you are responsible for doing Windows backups here is a good list of things that should not be backed […]


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