I have two Windows servers located in different geographic location. One server is used as file server (i.e. shared location and have a directory tree with around 60 Gb of files).

I need to have the same directory tree on another server in another city and keep those files in sync. They don't need to be 'live' sync (i.e. it could be a few hours or a day diff but they should be kind of 'close' content). There are a few utilities that could sync files but I want to start with Windows Server Backup and Restore utility.

My Plan

My plan is to create a backup once a day and then restore it on another server. I think that way they will be in 'close' sync. Since the destination is remote/network server it will erase previous backups and I will have only one backup at a time and this will be fine. I see it creates a folder called WindowsImageBackup on target server.

Question: I know how to setup and schedule backup procedure but could I setup automatic i.e. Scheduled Restore process on destination server?

  • I mean e.g. I will backup at midnight (it'll take a few hours) and in a few hours destination server will start automatic restore process from that latest backup.

  • If this is supported, I'm trying to figure out how to do it so I can automate the recovery and scheduled it accordingly to occur after the backup and copy completes.

  • 1
    I don't have time to test, if you are trying to automate wbadmin recovery of a UNC path backed up file backup, something with this syntax should work: wbadmin start recovery -version:MM/DD/YYYY-hh:mm -itemtype:File -items:<RecoveryPath> -recursive -BackupTargt:\\<Server>\<Share>\<Folder> -RecoveryTarget:<RecoverPath> but you'll want to use the -quiet parameter and you'll also need to figure out a way to dynamically get the version identified set to a variable to put into the command accordingly... wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:\\<Server>\<Share>\<Folder>| findstr /i "identifier" – Pimp Juice IT Jun 22 '18 at 4:56
  • Checkout Bvckup2. well worth the few bucks. Task Schedule a robocopy for the free version – Tim Jun 22 '18 at 5:44
  • Well I appreciate your suggestions. I will play with wbadmin and see if I could make it to work. Regarding version of backup I don’t think it should be an issue in my case since when I am doing backup remotely (my case) it keeps only one latest version. – susik Jun 22 '18 at 10:40
  • I played with robocopy and it did the job. Thanks a lot for suggestions. Ticket could be closed – susik Jun 22 '18 at 21:53
  • Well .... thanks for your help!! It works great! The only disadvantage is that in case I have a lot of files in a directory it takes days to copy to server. Any other idea instead of robocopy when I have a million of files? Thanks – susik Jul 2 '18 at 21:39

Consider Using Robocopy Instead

This honestly seems like overkill for a native Windows solution if you have remote connectivity and with a slower WAN link between the two locations.

See a similar question that was answered with detail using Robocopy with syntax and such on the "Copying WindowsImageBackup in command line" post but it may make better sense and be faster to only copy over only the files that change after the first initial sync than the way you are talking about with taking a full backup and copying all over afterwards.

WBAdmin Recover UNC Path Backup File

If you are trying to automate wbadmin recovery of a UNC path backed up file backup, something with this syntax (or close to it) should work:

  • wbadmin start recovery -version:MM/DD/YYYY-hh:mm -itemtype:File -items:<RecoveryPath> -recursive -BackupTargt:\\<Server>\<Share>\<Folder> -RecoveryTarget:<RecoverPath>

You will want to use the -quiet parameter and you'll also need to figure out a way to dynamically get the version identifier set to a variable to put into the command accordingly

  • wbadmin get versions -backuptarget:\\<Server>\<Share>\<Folder>| findstr /i "identifier"

Further Resources

  • Well I am stuck with playing robocopy and tar utility. It takes days to do it which is not acceptable in my case. I am doing nightly windows server backup of that source folder to another folder. My question: Could I restore this backup on my 'destination' server? It should be done automatically: either using Windows Backup/Restore procedure or wbadmin. Is it doable? Thanks – susik Jul 6 '18 at 13:54
  • As I mentioned before both robocopy and tar works but it takes a few days to complete. Let me summarize one more time my goal. I have a server SRC that has a folder located at C:\Program Files\…\FS_REPO. It consists of around a million of text files. I have another server DST that has the same application as SRC. I will use DST as ‘Warm Standby’ server if needed. One of the condition is that both FS_REPO on SRC and DST has same files. New files get added to SRC all the time ( except likely at night ). Hence my goal: at night copy those files from SRC to DST. – susik Jul 7 '18 at 16:21
  • Note: I don’t care about versioning hence no need to use it as a parameter. My expectation is that it might be more simple/reliable/faster than tar or robocopy. Could you help me with it? Appreciate your help .. – susik Jul 7 '18 at 16:21
  • thanks again. This is definitely not a priority for me. I just want to complete it. The goal is to establish 'Warm Standby' server and I'm just in a process to make Production and Warm Standby servers in sync .. – susik Jul 7 '18 at 18:32

I had the same issue before and suggest you use backup tools like robocopy or gs richcopy which i preferred and using, it has many option and help me certainly in scheduling copying. read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GS_RichCopy_360#Supported_Operating_Systems

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