Recovery Manager

Creating a restore point for machines running Windows has be a feature since Windows ME. It has been developed with the advent of Windows 2000 and XP. Basically it creates a "snapshot" of the system and then uses that image to roll back to in case anything should go wrong. Fine in theory, but something rarely used in practice.

That aside, having a restore point is something of some worth and this product takes the concept a lot further. Recovery Manager is a networked version of the same thing but with a few more bells and whistles attached.

The software requires MDAC 2.8 and either SQL Server or its runtime equivalent to be installed before the actual software installs itself. We found that on our pristine test box (running Windows 2000 with service pack 4 and up to date patches) we had a few errors and had to re-install it before it got working.

The Recovery Manager console is the run-of-the-mill MMC snap-in. Here is where protected systems are added and monitored. Very uncluttered to the point of being overly sparse, it would seem there is not much to do once it is all set up.

Systems are protected by taking a snapshot of the system on a scheduled basis. these snapshots are then stored on the central server. The software appears to be very clever by only storing a single instance of a unique regardless of how many systems have a recovery point set.

Setting up the schedule was painless enough but setting a recovery point could do with more signposting. Once we found the icon that one clicks to set a recovery point, we did so. It took quite a long time, but this probably down to this being the first time and having a larger "snapshot" to make. We would guess the time needed to create recovery points for subsequent computers would take far less time as data is not duplicated.

One thing that troubles us is that workstations have to have file and printer sharing enabled for the application to work properly. This could conflict with some organisations that have this turned off because of their security policy.

On the whole a useful tool for anyone that has a policy for taking regular images of important workstations in everyday use. However, there doesn't appear to be any support for PCs running Windows ME or below or other operating systems such as Linux or Macs.

Product title
Recovery Manager
Product info
Name: Recovery Manager Description: Price: $29 per workstation; $299 per server; $69 per concurrent administrative user.
: Good tool for taking multiple recovery points of systems across the network.
: Limited operating system support
: Could help when the need to roll back a dead system is important

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