• United States

Recovery tool targets Win OS failures

Apr 07, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

Winternals thinks it can ease the panic of systems crashes with Recovery Manager, software that targets operating system failures on Windows servers and desktops.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – It’s the first thought after a system crash: Has any data been lost?

Winternals thinks it can ease the panic with Recovery Manager, software that targets operating system failures on Windows servers and desktops. Recovery Manager, introduced last week, lets administrators access and recover unstable or unbootable systems via the network from a single console.

Recovery Manager is not a replacement for traditional system-recovery tools such as re-imaging and tape backup, but a lightweight option that targets operating system failures on Windows Server 2003, XP, 2000 and NT4.

While traditional tools will restore systems to the last backup, Recovery Manager will recapture a hard disk’s data back to the last time a Save command was executed, according to Winternals officials.

“There is general dissatisfaction with current [recovery] products in that they can be hard to deploy, maintain and use,” says Ray Paquet, an analyst with Gartner. “Winternals is trying to ease that by focusing on recovery of the [operating system].” But Paquet says that Recovery Manager solves only a piece of the recovery puzzle in that it focuses solely on recovering the operating system and not specific applications or data.

But Winternals says that 70% of the causes of downtime in Windows-based systems are rooted in the operating system and therefore Recovery Manager can clean up the mess faster than traditional tools.

Recovery Manager competes with similar software from Aelita, Altiris and Veritas. The software uses what it calls Recovery Points, which are copies of a machine’s system and configuration files including a copy of the Windows Registry. An agent that is sent by Recovery Manager to the target server or desktop collects the Recovery Points. The agent inventories the complete system the first time it visits a machine and sends the data to a central repository. On following visits, the agent only records changes made since the last Recovery Point. The agent uninstalls itself after every collection and does not live on the target system.

Recovery Points are used to restore a system if it goes down. They are similar to the System Restore feature of Windows XP, but that tool doesn’t let users restore an unbootable system. Recovery Manager can by using its Recovery Manager Boot client.

The boot client can be run from the start-up menu, CD-ROM or a network boot. Recovery Manager also features a Recovery Wizard that lets users roll back changes, perform custom repairs focused on known problems such as corrupted files, change passwords or create boot clients on a machine. The Wizard also can produce reports on system changes and uncover what caused a problem. The software also includes a management console that integrates with Active Directory.

Recovery Manager costs $300 per server and $30 per workstation.