countryfarmer23

What's going on with my backups?

28 posts in this topic

I have 242 GB of files set to backup. I am backing up both the server and the shared folders using the built-in server backup. Yet on the drive they are backed up to only 236 GB are used. Why is this? Are they compressed, that would seem kind of odd?

 

My concern is that not all files are being backed up because of the difference in actual file size.

Also, is there anyway to view the backed up files on the backup HD? Does WHS 2011 format this drive so it can only be used with WHS 2011?

 

Thanks

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After the first full (initial) backup. Only changed data files would be there but the OS files should remain as one. The data files are in a flat file format so yes you can view them.

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In my initial backup the selected files totalled 242 GB but only 236 GB are listed in the backup properties. This doesn't make sense.

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This could be nothing more than the MBR, a protected partition, etc. Can you pinpoint which folders are being skipped?

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When I go to "computer" to access the external hard drive it is not shown. It is shown in the Dashboard as a backup device though. Why would it be missing 6GB of data? Is there another way to view the files?

 

Thanks

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You're seeing the difference of space used on the darive versus what WHS needs to run a backup. I've not really paid any attention to this but I owuld say it is a hidden partition created by the install process.

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I cannot read your post the font is too small.

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If it's a real concern to you (and it sounds like it is), the most certain way to verify the backup is to restore it to a spare drive and see if everything is there. In the end, isn't that what counts - that you get everything back?

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Here's the thing. I want to know why there is a 6GB difference. My backup size should be the same size as the files I back up. For example: Windows Backup. Backup Exec

 

Just trying to be logical. I can't find anything anywhere that states why there would be this difference.

Edited by countryfarmer23

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I was going by your statement, "My concern is that not all files are being backed up "

 

Can I ask how knowledgeable you are about disk storage?

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Not sure on 2011 but in v1 there was a feature that prevented backing up the same information to reduce the size of the backups. For instance, if you had the same file in three different places, it would only be backed up once. The same is true on the OS. If you have two W7 machines, the backup wouldn't be on each machine individually. All duplicate files would only be backed up once.

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Not sure on 2011 but in v1 there was a feature that prevented backing up the same information to reduce the size of the backups. For instance, if you had the same file in three different places, it would only be backed up once. The same is true on the OS. If you have two W7 machines, the backup wouldn't be on each machine individually. All duplicate files would only be backed up once.

 

Excellent point, and I'm not sure if it applies to WHS2011 either.

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I assume your talking about the server backup, not client backups to the server. My initial server backup is always slightly smaller than the data being backed up, aty least at first. The files are not directly readable. Whether it's compression, de-duplication or something else the backups made to VHD files (reason for the 2 TB limit) and there are a bunch a XML files to index what's on the VHD's so they add a little space . I've never mounted one of the VHDs but am told it's just the files but not necessarily a disk clone. My theory is since it's a VHD there's less wasted space (the difference between size and "size on disk in properties". Now that my server has been running for several months the server backup has grown as it keeps a history so I can restore to an earlier date. I only backup up the OS (so little changes) and after several months the actual backup is still smaller than the data on the disk (and I've done full system restores so it works). The Shadow copies on the drive have grown to 10X the data tho' so the drive properties show a lot of space used, but there's plenty of room on the drive.

 

You can see the files by assigning a drive letter in disk manager and exploring the drive.

 

Not sure on 2011 but in v1 there was a feature that prevented backing up the same information to reduce the size of the backups. For instance, if you had the same file in three different places, it would only be backed up once. The same is true on the OS. If you have two W7 machines, the backup wouldn't be on each machine individually. All duplicate files would only be backed up once.

 

My second physical PC client backup takes significantly less space when I build a new server so I figure 2011 must still do this. Not sure if this carries over to the server backup.

Edited by osquest

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My second client backup takes significantly less space when I build a new server so I figure 2011 must still do this. Not sure if this carries over to the server backup.

 

thanks for the confirmation; good to know.

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@ ittog - What you are seeing is the difference between a full and incremental/differential backup.

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Two PCs, first backup each.

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I'm also wondering if WHS2011 does single-instance-storage. My understanding is that WHSv1 does. It would be great if WHS2011 did too.

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I'm also wondering if WHS2011 does single-instance-storage. My understanding is that WHSv1 does. It would be great if WHS2011 did too.

 

Well. it is supposed to do. But after having spent 15 minutes or so trying to Google where this was actually spelled out by Microsoft, I've given up.

 

Jesus, if Microsoft wanted to put a stake through the heart of WHS 2011, they couldn't do any better than this. The product pages have been stripped back to being less than useless. As far as I'm concerned, the WHS 2011 team are not doing their jobs. Using an English idiom, they couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery...

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Well. it is supposed to do. But after having spent 15 minutes or so trying to Google where this was actually spelled out by Microsoft, I've given up.

 

Jesus, if Microsoft wanted to put a stake through the heart of WHS 2011, they couldn't do any better than this. The product pages have been stripped back to being less than useless. As far as I'm concerned, the WHS 2011 team are not doing their jobs. Using an English idiom, they couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery...

 

Somehow I have this sneaking suspicion that MS is giving short shrift to WHS2011 because they're planning big things for Server 8. After all, they've done it plenty of times before.

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Somehow I have this sneaking suspicion that MS is giving short shrift to WHS2011 because they're planning big things for Server 8. After all, they've done it plenty of times before.

Could be, but they don't even need Server 8 - the desktop Windows 8 will have Storage Spaces built in, and Microsoft just need to make a WHS-style centralised PC Backup App available in Windows Store, and the job's done...

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Oh, and I've tracked down where Microsoft claims that WHS 2011 also does single-instance storage; it's in the "Getting Started" document:

Windows Home Server 2011 automatically backs up your home computers to the home server and can help you easily restore the entire computer or an individual file or folder to a previous point in time. The Windows Home Server Backup solution uses an innovative method to back up only the data that has not already been backed up before. Even if you have several copies of the same data on different computers, the data is backed up only once on your home server, and your home server keeps track of what data was stored on each home computer on each day. Backups complete quickly and efficiently, and use less space on your home server.

Mind you, that document also contains several errors, so I'm almost inclined to take this with a pinch of salt.

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Oh, and I've tracked down where Microsoft claims that WHS 2011 also does single-instance storage; it's in the "Getting Started" document:

 

Mind you, that document also contains several errors, so I'm almost inclined to take this with a pinch of salt.

 

That certainly describes single instance storage. And the statement is pretty emphatic about it too. Let's hope it is true. And thanks for tracking it down. Great job.

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@ ittog - What you are seeing is the difference between a full and incremental/differential backup.

 

It's not that. My initial backup and current backups still don't equal the size of the data on the disks and the data that is backep up.

Edited by countryfarmer23

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I do agree there documentation is poor. I can't find anything. Even on their site that says WHS 2011 documentation it brings up old documentation from V1. So are you all seeing that the total size of your data partition and the size of the server backup differ from what they "actually" are?

 

 

If they had a white paper on things like this as they did with the older WHS I might be able to answer my own question.

 

I'd like to prove to myself that these files are actually beig backed up even though the size differs.

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Here's an other quote,

 

Single Instance Storage (SIS) – This file system filter driver transparently removes duplicate files from a volume to save space without impacting server performance. As duplicate files are detected the files are moved to a central store and replaced with a 4KB reparse point. The new version of SIS was written to use the mini-filter model. SIS supports 128 volumes on a single server and includes a full set of new Windows PowerShell cmdlets to control SIS. SIS is fantastic on a build server (I’ve seen > 70% storage savings) and useful on home/group/user folders (I usually see ~15% storage savings). SIS adds 2-3 milliseconds to the I/O read-path and it does not significantly impact the performance of a file-server. SIS works great on failover clusters too!

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