Should I exclude the system state when backing up an aliased client?


Describes whether to include or exclude the system state when backing up an aliased client.


When you run a backup, create a backup schedule, or create a selection list, you have the option to check an Exclude System State checkbox to back up data and not include OS protection. If you are backing up an aliased client, you must decide whether to include or exclude the system state. Keep the following in mind:


  • DO NOT EXCLUDE the system state on the client that contains the operating system volumes (this is typically the C: volume, plus all other volumes required to ensure a system boots normally).
  • For all other client aliases that do not include the OS dependent partitions, do NOT include the system state.
  • Only one client alias can include the system state.
  • The restore fails if the system state is not included in the OS volume and if the system state is included in the client aliases that do not include the OS volume.
  • Important for Windows clients: The backup must contain the boot disk and any other system critical volumes to use the integrated bare metal recovery and Window instant recovery features. Be sure one of the aliased clients contains all of these disks to use these features.
  • Aliased clients are not compatible with Unitrends DRaaS services or local DCA recovery automation.  We are capable of recovering only the OS-system and not additional aliases in cloud.  Other aliases can still be replicated for offsite Hot Copy storage.  

See Working with client aliases in the Recovery-Series and UEB Administrator's Guide for more information.


Aliasing a client should only typically be done in order to exclude one part of a system from routine backup where that excluded part should be contained in an alternate schedule rotation or required a different data retention policy.  For example, appropriate use of an Alias client would be to back up the core system daily, meanwhile a separate large data set may be of archive data and you might wish to protect it only monthly or quarterly and choose not to replicate that secondary set.  It is however also possible to protect a core system and exclude some whole volumes with Image or VM backups and then protect the remaining subset separately using file backups to achieve the same result.  

Older advice may have been provided to customers to alias very large systems in order to provide shorter backup windows on systems with many millions of files.  Today however Unitrends Best Practice is to use image Based backups for this purpose instead as they are expressly designed to handle such systems more effectively.  If you have such a system and wish to review changing strategies, please discuss this with a Unitrends Support Engineer who can help guide your decision and discuss advantages and disadvantages, as well as capacity related impacts, to making this change.  

Have more questions?

Contact us

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful

Provide feedback for the Documentation team!

Browse this section