Use unattended backups for simplicity

Backing up user data can be a chore, which is why many users don't develop or use an adequate backup strategy to protect their data. Everything you can to do simplify the task or remove it altogether from a user's responsibility can actually improve backup reliability.

Windows 2000 Professional
Use unattended backups for simplicity

Backing up user data can be a chore, which is why many users don't develop or use an adequate backup strategy to protect their data. Everything you can to do simplify the task or remove it altogether from a user's responsibility can actually improve backup reliability.

One good way to simplify user backups is to use a backup program that will perform an unattended backup (i.e., one that works without any user intervention). For example, you might want all changed documents to back up every morning at 2:00 A.M.

One popular automatic backup program is Iomega Automatic Backup. This downloadable program backs up to local or network hard disk drives, as well as Zip, Jaz, NAS, and Iomega DVD. Automatic Backup supports multiple sets of folders, multiple file versions, and a fully customizable backup schedule. It also creates individual files in the backup process, which simplifies restore operations. (You simply drag the needed file from the backup location.)

Another backup tool to consider is EMC Dantz Retrospect. This product also supports disk-based backup, but it includes broad support for tape backup. You can even perform a disk-to-disk-to-tape backup, creating a fast backup on disk that is then copied to tape.

Whatever backup method you choose, remember to check the backup periodically to make sure it's working and that you can recover it as needed.

Windows 2000 Server


Apply security policies with the Security Configuration And Analysis tool

Setting security on a server can be a time-consuming and confusing task, particularly when you consider the hundreds of policies that can affect security. In addition, as administrators attempt to implement immediate solutions to specific problems, security settings can unexpectedly change over time. The result is often a server that falls out of the organization's intended security safety net.

To simplify security configuration and give administrators a means to monitor security settings, Microsoft developed the Security Configuration And Analysis tool for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) and a corresponding set of security templates for specific scenarios.

Using these tools, you can analyze a server against a known previously saved configuration, or you can analyze it against a recommended security configuration template. You can also use the tools to apply a set of security settings to the server to set or restore it to a specific secure state.

To begin exploring these tools, first open an empty management console. (Go to Start | Run, and enter mmc.exe.) Go to Console | Add/Remove Snap-ins, and add the Security Configuration And Analysis and Security Templates snap-ins to the console.

You don't need the Security Templates snap-in to use the Security Configuration And Analysis snap-in. However, adding it to the console now enables you to easily browse each template's settings later.

Before applying a given configuration, it's a good idea to export your current settings to a template. Follow the tool's prompts to create a new database, right-click Security Configuration And Analysis, and select Export Template.

After exporting the template, you can begin analyzing and configuring the server. For more complete instructions on using these security tools, check out the Security Configuration And Analysis tool's Help documentation.