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WHS2011 Backup


usacomp2k3
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Thanks for sharing. I am moving my data over to the latest build of 2011 right now and I'll begin to kick the tires on the backup functionality. My initial plans are to have 2 drives as backup drives and rotate them as described in the article. I am a little leery about just unpluging the backup drive to remove it... I wish there was an eject or disconnect button somewhere so that it would stop the drive from spinning before I remove it. Hopefully I'm just missing something.

 

jvk

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In the same boat. I'll be moving my Startech HDD dock over to the 2011 test box. In essence, this gives me the ability to hotswap 3.5" drives for the purposes of backup and offsite storage. Initially, my thoughts include:

 

1) As long as my hardware supports it, I should be able to hotswap these external drives. This is a departure from 2003/XP where it was important to "eject" devices before disconnecting them. This is no longer needed in 2008/2008R2/Vista/7, but the resulting enduser experience seems counterintuitive.

 

2) If I understand correctly, the 2TB limit comes from the use of VHD files for storage. At first, I was disappointed in the 2TB limitation, but now that I know why, I'm fine with it. VHD files already have all kinds of software to open them up and extract contents. This was something that a lot of people were asking for in the days leading up to DE's demise. Connect was full of bug reports and commentary around an inability to connect a DE 2.0 hard drive into a normal desktop and read from it.

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I poked around at the backup functionality a little bit last night, and I think this is what I finally figured out.

 

1) Drives that are set up for server backup have no drive letter normally. At least, they don't upon initial configuration, maybe they do later on? I'll have to check this when I get home.

 

2) I finally found back the policy settings for my backup drive, it looks like they default to 'optimize for quick removal'. If that's really the case, then you can just pull the cable, as long as there isn't a backup currently running. The drive does still show up in safely remove hardware as well though, so I'm not completely sure what is going on here.

 

3) Based on some information I found about server backup, it looks like the way to set this up for rotating backups is to configure it with both drives, and then just remove whichever drive you don't need. When server backup runs, it just uses whichever drives it can, and makes it so a full recovery can be accomplished using those drives. So you can just yank one drive and drop in another to do rotating backups. I'm not certain how well this would work if you need multiple drives in order to back up your data, I don't have nearly that much data that I'm worried about (I'm using a 2TB external currently, just ordered another one).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried setting up rotating backups over the weekend, and it looks like it's a supported scenario. When setting up server backup via the Dashboard, you can specify multiple target drives (there's also an option to add a drive to the existing backup config, but I didn't try that method). I was able to connect both of my external USB drives to my server and set them as destinations for backup. After the wizard finished, it told me that I could remove one of the drives, and after backup had completed once, start rotating the drives back and forth so that I can keep one off-site. So apparently as long as you don't remove the drive during backup, rotating backups to keep one off site is supported, and at least slightly encouraged. I haven't tried to swap the drives yet, I'll try that tonight and let you know if I run into any problems from it.

 

Sorry Kman, I don't think you have have client backups going to multiple folders, there is one folder in the dashboard for them and I'm pretty sure they all have to go there.

Edited by Andne
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Thanks for sharing. I am moving my data over to the latest build of 2011 right now and I'll begin to kick the tires on the backup functionality. My initial plans are to have 2 drives as backup drives and rotate them as described in the article. I am a little leery about just unpluging the backup drive to remove it... I wish there was an eject or disconnect button somewhere so that it would stop the drive from spinning before I remove it. Hopefully I'm just missing something.

 

jvk

If it eases your mind at all, I currently have 2 WD 2TB EARS drives that I use for offsite backup. I rotate them every day. They connect thru an eSATA dock. After backing up my data, I just wait for drive activity to stop and remove them (actually, I usually just leave the drive in the dock til the next morning, then remove it). Been doing this for a long time. Never had a data issue.

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