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What if Microsoft Gave 2TB of Free Online Backup Space for WHS2011?


ChrisPauly
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Let me start by saying I was never a fan of drive extender anyways. I still am using it, but I don't feel comfortable relying on it. Instead, I have a roll-my-own solution to send my important data from WHS to Mozy's online backup service using an intermediate PC. I'm a huge fan of backing up to "the cloud". I don't know what options WHS all has currently for cloud-based backup services, but I know when WHS first came out there was next to nothing affordable for me that would run on the server OS. This is an opportunity for Microsoft to sweeten the deal with WHS 2011.

 

1) MS is already spending a lot of money creating huge datacenters across the country to support their Azure services. So, they have the infrastructure in place.

 

2) They could offer a decent amount of free space, and charge a fee for any extra space. 2TB may be too little for most people, so maybe that could even be larger. For me, minus any backups of software or media that I have a hardcopy of, 2TB is about right.

 

3) This would be a perfect package to include that offering in. As a replacement to DE, this service is exactly what a true home server solution needs, automatic offsite backup.

 

4) They are already beefing up the Backup/Restore software built in to WHS. Adding an online location for the destination of the backup seems like a relatively simple enhancement.

 

 

As long as Microsoft treats this service with more importance than the Sidekick Server they decided to format a few years back, it would be the cherry on top that makes WHS 2011 a complete package for safely storing your home data.

 

Chris

Madison, WI

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I think this'll show up as a plugin for 2011 (whether it's released by Microsoft or not, the business case is too strong for there not to be one..)

 

Sadly though, I don't see them offering up permanent space on Azure (in any context) for free. They're simply pushing Azure so aggressively at their business customers and developers that getting their 'home' product associated with it would only muddy the Azure brand.

 

Just look at how they push 'the cloud' on their Windows Live commecials. That functionality has nothing to do with cloud computing, or with Azure.

 

I could see them partnering with a plug-in development company and the 3rd-party offering some sort of a 'your first 2TB is free for a year with plugin-purchase' sort of deal..

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I guess I only mention Azure, because that's what I associate with the business-reason for the data centers they've been building. But even whatever infrastructure they have had in place to deal with Xbox live demonstrates a competency with being able to offer a highly available online solution.

 

In reality... if they offered this, it wouldn't have the Azure tagline on it... but more likely to have the "Windows Live" logo... something like "Windows Live Backup" or something.

 

They already offer 25GB of free SkyDrive diskspace, so cloud storage is something they've increased recently. If they roll the cost of offering 2TB of free backup space online into the price of WHS2011... and then charge for above and beyond that... it just seems like a great package offering. I would even be happy to see a WHS2011 basic and WHS2011 premimum that offers that enhancement.

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Let me start by saying I was never a fan of drive extender anyways. I still am using it, but I don't feel comfortable relying on it. Instead, I have a roll-my-own solution to send my important data from WHS to Mozy's online backup service using an intermediate PC. I'm a huge fan of backing up to "the cloud". I don't know what options WHS all has currently for cloud-based backup services, but I know when WHS first came out there was next to nothing affordable for me that would run on the server OS. This is an opportunity for Microsoft to sweeten the deal with WHS 2011.

 

1) MS is already spending a lot of money creating huge datacenters across the country to support their Azure services. So, they have the infrastructure in place.

 

2) They could offer a decent amount of free space, and charge a fee for any extra space. 2TB may be too little for most people, so maybe that could even be larger. For me, minus any backups of software or media that I have a hardcopy of, 2TB is about right.

 

3) This would be a perfect package to include that offering in. As a replacement to DE, this service is exactly what a true home server solution needs, automatic offsite backup.

 

4) They are already beefing up the Backup/Restore software built in to WHS. Adding an online location for the destination of the backup seems like a relatively simple enhancement.

 

 

As long as Microsoft treats this service with more importance than the Sidekick Server they decided to format a few years back, it would be the cherry on top that makes WHS 2011 a complete package for safely storing your home data.

 

Chris

Madison, WI

 

Chris--

 

You probably have a nice shiny connection to the internet. No way DSL customers, or Comcast customers like me with data caps, are going to be able to send terabytes to the cloud unless those connections get faster or data caps go away. While a very good thought for business customers with a commercial connection to the net, IMHO, most home users have either a too-slow connection or monthly data caps that would preclude this amount of data going up to the cloud.

 

My 2 cents...

 

Jim

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Chris--

 

You probably have a nice shiny connection to the internet. No way DSL customers, or Comcast customers like me with data caps, are going to be able to send terabytes to the cloud unless those connections get faster or data caps go away. While a very good thought for business customers with a commercial connection to the net, IMHO, most home users have either a too-slow connection or monthly data caps that would preclude this amount of data going up to the cloud.

 

My 2 cents...

 

Jim

 

Yeah, I guess this service may not be applicable for everyone. My reasoning behind the 2TB size is so that you can keep multiple versions of the same file that would be maintained under some retention policy. I wouldn't expect it to support uploading 2TB+ every day.

 

My connection is decent, but it still is only 1Mb up. The other online services would sometimes take days or weeks to upload the complete first full backup. And then from that point forward, it is only incremental backups and for me, that completes in under 5 minutes to find my changes and upload them.

 

However I guess to make this be an offering applicable for more people, it should be configurable so that it can upload within data caps and perform smart incremental backups.

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Hmm ChrisPauly, perhaps they could offer more storrage from microsoft, there are several company's offering backup to the cloud some more expensive then others. Are you just searching for a cheaper alternative or what is it you are trying to archive. Most do not offer several TB of data and it would normally be quite expensive if they do, I can see a cheaper is nice but don't really see Microsoft giving something like 2 TB space away for free. What I have been doing for a cheap alternative is to back up to someone else's server. My brother has one too and we then back part of each others data up. That is of course not an option for everyone, that is however cheap. As said it would not be practical for everyone with such large amounts of data. I have just moved and have a very slow connection use to have a 100/100 Mbit effectively and my brother had a 40/40 so quite decent transfer rates. With my current connection we might have to give it up.

 

I would enjoy having a lot of free storage, just don't see it happening or that it would be all that useful for a lot of people right now, in the future connections will improve and it will become more relevant, but don't get why Microsoft would offer that kind of storage for free.

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My main goal is to find an affordable online (offsite) backup solution. As far as I know, all the other companies that offer cloud storage that will install on WHSv1 overprice their product for home server, since their products consider a Windows Server OS something they need to charge extra for. I would not consider a household device to ever be rated amongst the reliability requirements that a server requires... but unfortunately, that's not what the software thinks.

 

2TB was a number I threw out there to make a statement. It was a large enough value that I felt would really show a commitment to a product. But I guess even the first 50-100GB for free would be turning this product into a solution that doesn't require a bunch of extra processes to keep it automated. And the cost wouldn't really be entirely free to the consumer... MS could roll that cost into a premium version of the product.

 

Maybe I am unique in the WHS community because the main reason I am using WHS is only for the simplicity of performing and managing PC backups at my house. I already had a previous NAS I used to share data/video/media and therefore haven't needed to use that feature in WHS. So, I just wish WHS would fulfill my need for a cost effective way to deal with what I consider a best practice backup process without having to roll my own.

 

The features in WHS2011 spruces up WHS into looking like a modern OS. But, the data-reliability of it hasn't increased since v1. The backup to external device feature is a nice bonus... I just think it could use that extra feature of backing-up to an online service too.

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Yeah it would be a nice solution an better prices are always nice. I agree it is to expensive for saving most of your stuff in the cloude.

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When I first saw this post I was thinking, "meh". Then I looked at my handy dandy Disk Management window and thought...2TB....in the "cloud". That would be pretty cool. I didn't however think about what some of the rest of you were thinking. The time it would take 2TB at 1.5 MB upload is quite a bit much. Secondly, price. Free would be nice, but realistically they would have to charge eventually. I suppose I'm spoiled here with Cox as my ISP and forget my days of DSL. (I weep for you guys) Great post BTW!

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