What is ShadowProtect Server, and who should use it?
StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® Server software provides enterprise-level backup and disaster recovery, data protection, and managed system migration for Windows servers. Whether you oversee an IT department at a company or offer IT services to multiple business clients, your ShadowProtect Server software enables you to get servers back online as quickly as possible and avoid business disruption.
ShadowProtect Server is one part of the StorageCraft Recover-Ability™ solution. This solution provides you with the products and services you need to recover your Windows IT environment anytime and anywhere, and from any disaster, great or small.
ShadowProtect Server software creates sector-level backup images of your Windows server disk drives. A sector-level backup image is a point-in-time representation of your disk drive and therefore includes not just data but also the operating system, applications, services, and configuration settings. Because your backup image contains everything on your server, when you need to recover its drive, you can do so in minutes rather than hours or days.
ShadowProtect Server helps you meet your company’s recovery objectives
Servers are crucial to your organization’s everyday operations. Should a server die, how would that impact your business? How much money could be lost in revenue and productivity per hour that the server isn’t functioning?
Recovery time objective (RTO) is a calculation of the maximum allowable downtime after which the consequences of being down are unacceptable. Reduce the gap between RTO and the recovery time actual (RTA, the time it actually takes your IT team to get servers functioning), and that’s money in your company’s pocket.
ShadowProtect Server software features flexible recovery options to help you meet (or beat) your RTO by reducing the time that systems and data are offline. ShadowProtect lets you:
- Rapidly access individual data files and folders
- Restore to the same or different hardware or a virtual environment in a matter of minutes
- Boot a backup image as a virtual machine (VM) for a quick, temporary fix
ShadowProtect Server software can also help you with your business’s recovery point objective (RPO, the maximum amount of data over time that might be lost). How much data can your company afford to lose (or afford to re-enter)? Eight hours’ worth of data? Two hours’ worth? Even less?
You can schedule ShadowProtect Server to continually take incremental backup images (these images record just the changes to the drive since the last backup image). You can schedule incremental backup images to happen as often as every 15 minutes, so that your company is never at risk of losing more than a few minutes of data.
Vital protection of your Windows IT environment
Common scenarios for which administrators, technicians, and other IT pros use ShadowProtect Server:
- Recovering data such as files and folders
- Performing bare metal recovery after a server failure
- Restoring to the same hardware after a system error causes a server crash
- Migrating to new hardware or virtual environment
- Testing new applications prior to introducing them into your production server environment
- Testing your business’s disaster recovery plan
Read our ShadowProtect Scenario Guide for detailed, proven examples of when to use ShadowProtect Server.
Features and benefits of ShadowProtect Server
The Backup Wizard enables you to:
- Capture everything—systems, applications, configuration settings, services, data—on your servers
- Back up Microsoft SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint servers and other critical application servers, including updates in memory
- Encrypt a backup job to protect backup images to securely protect data
- Save backups to any disk device (such as removable, local, and network drives) or any optical media (CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray discs)
- Back up a non-bootable system before attempting a restore operation (using StorageCraft Recovery Environment)
The Backup Wizard also lets you:
- Execute a one-time full backup that you can archive
- Schedule backups to occur automatically
- Schedule incremental backups to run as often as every 15 minutes
- Set up subsequent full backups to be differential to save on storage space
- Manage the retention of backup images
Management view and client/agent options enable you to:
- Install the ShadowProtect agent on a server or desktop without having to visit the machine
- Remotely manage both ShadowProtect Server and ShadowProtect Desktop nodes
- Choose to receive notification when server or desktop backup jobs succeed or fail
With the Verify Image tool, StorageCraft ImageReady™ technology, and StorageCraft VirtualBoot™ technology, you can:
- Verify backup images to ensure they’re in a known good state for fast and reliable recovery
- Automatically run Chkdsk or other scripts on mounted volumes to determine data and application integrity
- Mount an Exchange Server backup (including system, data, and log volumes) to test the .EDB files and verify they’re intact or run cleanup if they’re in a dirty shutdown state
- Boot a backup image to a virtual machine to test whether a restored system would function properly
With the Image Conversion Tool, you can:
- Consolidate files (full backup plus incrementals) into a single new backup image for archiving
- Split a backup image file into smaller files (a spanned set) for backup on DVD or Blu-Ray
- Convert backup image files to a virtual disk in either .VHD (Hyper-V-compatible) or .VMDK (VMware-compatible) format for restoration or migration to a VM
- Set a consolidated or converted backup file’s compression setting or encryption
The Restore Wizard, Explore Backup Wizard, StorageCraft VirtualBoot technology, and StorageCraft Hardware Independent Restore™ technology let you:
- Perform a bare metal restore in minutes
- Restore a system to the same or different hardware or to virtual environments
- Mount a backup image quickly and browse it in order to recover a file or folder
- Restore an entire data volume from a backup image file
- Quickly restore access to a database server by mounting a point-in-time backup image
- Rapidly boot a backup image as a VM (temporary system failover)
The Backup Wizard, Restore Wizard, Image Conversion Tool, and Hardware Independent Restore allows you to:
- Migrate a backup image from one physical machine to another
- Migrate a backup image of a physical server to a virtual environment
Want to learn more or get ahold of a printable document?
See our support documentation, listed below, for more information:
StorageCraft licenses ShadowProtect on a per-system basis—that is to say, if you plan to use ShadowProtect to back up 15 Windows servers, you use 15 ShadowProtect Server licenses.
(Visit our ShadowProtect overview page if you'd like to compare operating system support by license.)
If you are a managed service provider, StorageCraft offers a subscription-based option. Visit the User Guide: ShadowProtect for managed service providers page for more information.
Requirements and supported environments
For a list of supported operating systems, see matrix below.