Data Recovery Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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What is Granular Recovery?

For many users, recovery can be an incredibly daunting issue. Especially when getting down to the nitty-gritty. What Symantec have tried to achieve, is breaking down the clumsiness of large scale recovery into more manageable bite size pieces.

Granular technology is a backup option that is included in some Symantec Backup Exec Agents. Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) lets the user restore individual items from database backups. A separate backup of the individual is not required in order to recover one item.

During the backup phase, Backup Exec will create a catalog that is populated by information regarding backup sets and the storage device on which the backup sets are stored. GRT-enabled backup jobs typically require a longer amount of time to catalog because of the amount of granular information that they contain. For GRT-enabled backup jobs, the catalog operation is delayed and will run separately so that is will have less of an effect on your backup window. Because the catalog operation runs separately from the backup job, it does not prevent another scheduled backup job from starting on time. This allows the user greater control over what they can and can’t restore without conflicting with other pre-scheduled backup operations underway on the drive.

In order to utilize granular recovery technology, users need at least one agent for applications and databases and for each application in each server.

With granular recovery technology you can restore a single exchange mailbox without having to restore the entire information store. If you are backing up a virtual machine then you can restore a single mailbox, single file or folder or an active directory object or SQL database without restoring the entire virtual machine.

This can be great for instances where a virtual machine may be behaving erratically or drawing too many resources and the user wishes to recover certain aspects of it to prevent permanent loss of certain configurations or files.

The restored object of choice can be sent back to its original location or re-directed to another server. The other server must however have the application installed in it. To provide an example, if you are restoring an exchange mailbox, then you need to have exchange on the server and also have RAWS installed in the server as well.

These supported applications include Exchange, AD SQL and Sharepoint. When it comes to a restore, you can choose a complete DR restore of the complete database (which will need the Operating System and program files related to the database available) or you can choose to use GRT components within the database which needs an active database to restore into.

Overall, Granular Recovery Technology is basically for when a user accidentally deletes an object and needs it back and Disaster Recovery is for when the complete database has failed.

To sum up, Granular Recovery Technology provides the ability to recover individual objects within supported database technologies from a single backup whilst still providing the ability to recover the complete database if Disaster Recovery (DR) is needed.


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