Blackbird recovery offers two types of Active Directory backups: audits and scheduled backups. The audit-based backups are for continuous data protection (CDP), and scheduled backups are backup tasks that run at configurable times. That way, Blackbird recovery offers the advantages of both backup technologies—CDP and scheduled backups.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Continuous data protection for Active Directory ^

If you require a more recent backup, you want to determine the point in time of the backup more precisely. In most cases, you will just need the last available state; with real-time CDP, this is the state right before the corresponding directory objects have been modified.

To enable CDP you will need to deploy a data handler to every domain controller to capture all of the changes from a continuous change log to rollback unwanted changes.

Active Directory Backup - Blackbird Auditor Realtime Policy

Blackbird auditor is one of the modules of the Blackbird Management Suite. This module is not included when you buy Blackbird recovery. However, the free version, Blackbird auditor express, is probably sufficient for backups in most environments. The main limitation of auditor express is that you can only audit object changes of the last two days and 100 events. For restores that are older than two days, you can use scheduled backups.

Scheduled backups ^

CDP allows you to rollback unwanted changes or deletions but you may want to revert to previous point in time, say if a scripted update has done a large update with incorrect data.

Active Directory Backup - Blackbird Recovery Schedules

To configure a scheduled backup job, you have to create a so-called Collector. Here you specify the domain, the naming context (Default, Configuration, Schema), and the scope (for instance, object only or object and child objects). You also have to schedule when the collector has to run. You can configure hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly backups. Because of Blackbird recovery's efficient architecture it is no problem to run hourly backups in most environments. That way, Blackbird's Collectors offer what is usually called near CDP.

Active Directory Backup - Blackbird Recovery Collectors

Collectors are comparable to incremental backups in conventional backup tools. This backup method is fast because it only stores changes since the last backup. But restores are usually slow because the data has to be rebuilt from multiple backup jobs. However, since Blackbird recovery leverages the speed of SQL Server, restores are quick anyhow.

In my next post, I will show you how you can restore Active Directory objects with Blackbird recovery.

To participate in the competition for a chance to win a Blackbird recovery license, worth $1,800 USD, please send an email to:


with the subject line:

Blackbird recovery.

You can also use this contact form.

The deadline of this contest is August 31, 2010.


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