The moment that we know have to happen sooner or later but we always hope that does not happen, happened: My SQL server died completely and permanently!

This server had the databases of all programs of the company where I work and could have been a big problem  had I not the backups done daily. With them, the downtime was small therecovery as complete and no need for any kind of change in the network, the server or the client. It was a case of 99.99% of success, and all thanks to those backups.

Of the many copies of all shapes I do, those used in the recovery process were:

> Image from the server, with 2 to 3 months, done with the VMware converter;
> Full copies weekly + daily + copies incremental copies of hourly logs, SQL Server;

vmware converter (free) lets you copy a real / physical computer for a set of files – that the in whole are virtual computer – with no need to interrupt the operation of it. I do regularly, 3 in 3 months, images / virtual computer of my servers to a USB external disk. These images / virtual computers can run with the vmware player software (free) on any PC.

To get the server online I just copied the files to a computer that has the VMware Player installed and run it. I had no server with enough extra capacity, so I used my laptop to run the virtual server. The process is fast and simple, and less than 2 / 3 hours the server was online again without the need for any change in server, network or on customers …ok, i’m liying! I needed to change the IP address of the virtual server. The network adapter of the server is different from the physical network card of the virtual server, so the IP configuration that is in the physical server is lost with the move to virtual, and we need to manually configure it.

After the server running i restored all copies of the SQL that I took over 2 / 3 hours. At the end of the process, which took about a day, I had the server online with all data recovered.

With everytinh working, I could choose and order a new server to host the lost. one

Transfer a virtual server to a physical server is more complicated – I do not know if you can, and honestly I actually don’t think it’s worth. So I was careful to choose a server that supports the vmware ESXi (free) which is a hypervisor – a kind of operating system that runs virtual machines, or in other words a VMware Player that does not require operating system – and copied my virtual server to it.

Today, after several months, I can say that the server operates normally and even have used the same method – virtualizing with VMware converter – in two servers and always without any kind of problems. It is the best (free) backup I ever used.

I Strongly advise this method to add your portfolio to back up.