In Windows Server 2008 there is a backup tool called Windows Server Backup which however creates huge backup files. I prefer to use a simple command/batch file that copies everything I want to backup, zips it and then uploads it to Amazon S3 (aka “the cloud”)
I have not been able to find a simple way to copy all of my Windows Server 2008 settings. Theses are the bits and pieces I have found:
Copy IIS7 Configuration
To save IIS 7 (Internet Information Services) configuration, copy the config directory %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\inetsrv\config, example:
xcopy %SYSTEMROOT%\System32\inetsrv\config c:\backup\iisconfig\ /S/E
Windows Advanced Firewall Export Configuration
To export all the current configurations of your firewall to a file:
netsh advfirewall export c:\backup\advfirewall.wfw
Source: David Davis
Export Windows Registry
To export the Registry, use regedit.exe command line options. Note that export is done in background so you need to allow some time before you are able to access the exported file.
regedit /e c:\backup\regbackup.reg
netsh dump > c:\backup\network-settings-netsh-dump.txt
Source: Chris Sanders
Please note that this method cannot and should not to be compared to a full backup method such as Windows Server Backup.
This method will not allow you to do a full recovery. It will mean installing Windows Server and all software from scratch and then recover the data you have backed up. Meaning an unrecoverable hard drive crash would most likely mean more downtime/recovery time.
The reason I like this method is because it takes less space which allows me to use S3 to save my backups. That means I can fully automate it (scheduled batch script and no need to change any media) and it is off-site (meaning if there is a fire where my server is, my backup is still safe). And I prefer the ease of just getting my files from a zip file if I need to check or recover anything. Besides, it’s dirt cheap, I pay Amazon S3 a few dollars for a month worth of daily 1GB backups.