If you are the type who manages multiple in a laboratory, then you are familiar with HDD cloning. In my days as admin, I used to use Norton Ghost to do this with the Partition Image as the open source alternative. Today, there is another tool that is even better than Partition Image and it is called Clonezilla. What makes it better is its support for both unicasting and multicasting solutions.
Clonezilla supports the following filesystems: "ext2, ext3, reiserfs, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, and FAT, NTFS of MS Windows. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux or MS windows. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla."
So the next time you need a cloning tool to make your restoration quick and painless, try this tool. I will definitely get my colleagues to use it soon.