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Is this Microsoft's new answer to DE?


Jazman
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Ok, now that I've vented... (Keith's vent...) I saw this in the WHS2011 feature list. Can one of you guys that has played with Vail comment on this? If you're able to select which folders you want to duplicate, could this accomplish the same thing as DE? Sure, it's not exactly everything DE is, but it sure seems to take care of the duplication part doesn't it? It may not be in real time, but the real-time isn't the biggest concern for me. Plus, if this allows the external drives to be somewhere in the ether (ie: cloud, like a friends WHS2011), this might be a nice thing.

 

Your thoughts?

Keith

 

Home Server Backup and Restore

Windows Home Server 2011 helps you back up its Shared Folders to external drives. This feature gives you the ability to take your files offsite and easily restore them later, so they are stored at an alternate location in case of fire damage, theft, or other catastrophe to your primary computer. In case of accidental data loss, you can simply restore a file from your home server backup. You can add a hard disk drive, either internally or externally to the device, and designate it as a backup destination as opposed to server storage. Windows Home Server 2011 will then use this drive to back up all the data stored on the server. Using multiple external drives makes it easy to rotate your backups offsite, to maximize availability of backups in case of theft, fire, flood, and other disasters in relation to your primary computer.

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My initial thought is this is a good thing if I understand the technical part of it. It appears the duplication part is actually sent to external media, or at least media outside the "drive pool". Now, what happens when I want 5 TB of data duplicated? Does this mean I will need three 2TB drives or at a minimum a NAS device with that much storage presented as a single drive?

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It can be confusing especially when you have a ton of drives in the server.

 

You can backup to external drives.

You can backup to internal drives.

 

You can only backup to internal drives if they do not have folders on them. If they show up in the Server Folders tab you will not be able to choose it as a backup destination.

 

I'm currently testing backups on the server right now. I have 3 drives loaded as backup drives, two external, one internal, and am doing a backup. I don't think I have enough data on my server to push the backup past the first hard drive on the backup list. I'm curious if the backup will go to another drive if it fills the first one. I could be way off but I have 3 backup drives loaded in my dashboard right now. Just trying to make sense of how it works. Sorry that I don't know yet!

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That's a good question Dave. I would doubt the backup mechanism is smart enough to "span" drives but who knows. I like the interface and it seems a little quicker than V1 but Shadow Copies are a wonderful thing to have at an Admin's disposal. We load the Shadow Copy client so users can restore their own data from their home folders.

 

I see this working on the Home Level too. But I am curious to see if your backup will span drives. If not, get out the slide rule as you will be forever calculating available drive space.

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I'm still hammering away at this backup thing. I've tried so many things that I'm confusing what I've done and what I havn't!

I have three drives designated as backup drives and I've started a full backup. I chose everything for the backup. System, files, everything. It's been running almost 2 hours now and is at 56%. I can't see the backup drives via RDP because they don't show up in My Computer. Disk i/o is high and the % is incrementing upwards but I have no idea what data is going where.

 

My brain tells me that I want to setup multiple backups. I have three backup disks. I want to setup an OS backup, then setup some share backups on different drives. If you try to set this up via customize backup it clears the first one when you customize the second one. So I chose all three drives, all files. If you could setup multiple backups I see no problem without DE. You can even specify the time that it runs which I like.

 

I'll check back in with results.

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The backup has been running since 2:30. It's now a little past 6:30 and it's at 64%. 720Gb of stuff along with the system backup. Shouldn't take this long.

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It finished at 9:15. It backed it all up perfectly just took a while doing it to an external USB drive. It put the data on the 1.5Tb external.

 

I'm transferring more data to the 2011 server to test more. I think I'm trying to force it do what it's not designed to do.

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