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Best way to do external backups


edamiga1
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I am in the final stages of my conversion to 2011 and I am wanting to understand how others are doing backups.

 

With V1 I basically had 4 2TB harddrives. 2 for my movie collection and the other two I used for all my data. The data drives were copies of each other and I would always have one offsite, to prevent any catostrophic loss. The movie drives I would bring home once a month and back them up and then take them back offsite. With V1 it would store the backup settings with the drive, so when I put in the backup drive it would remember what folders I had backed up to this. It worked perfectly.

 

Does it work the same way in 2011? I have backed up one drive, and about to put in the second one, but not sure this is going to work. If not how are people doing offsite backups?

 

I also noticed that the data on the drive is not accessible like it was in V1. What is the best way to access the data without actually putting it in the server?

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2011 uses Windows Server Backup to perform backups. Windows Server Backup uses VHD files, so afaik, all you have to do in order to access the data is open up the VHD file. There are various utilities around that can do this.

 

The backup configuration is stored on the server itself, not the drives. The rotating backups for your data can be accomplished by setting up backup with both drives installed (select both in the wizard), and then just swap back and forth while a backup isn't running. I have this configuration set up on my computer, and it works pretty well. I'm not so sure about your movies. If you have a single volume over 2TB, you won't be able to back it up using the built-in backup tools. I would suggest that you use something like robocopy to just copy your movie files from the server to the external drives when you need to. Another option that may work well is synctoy.

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Andne's method works well in terms of backups as long as you stay withing the 2T limits. As your needs grows to past that, you will have to resort to some kind of sync program with an external box or other computer. In my case, I back up critical data to the a 2T drive and all my media (roughtly 5T) I sync using allwaysync to another server. Certainly not recommending that eveyone has a second server however you can easily get the same result by setting some space aside on another PC and having the sync program update it at selected intervals or based on percentage of change. The moral of the story is when you pass 2T, as others have stated, you will have to get creative. A suggestion would be to use two internal "mirrors" to replicate folder duplication, and then run an offsite backup using something like crashplan.

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Not sure I understand how this is working so let me explain a little more on what I was used to and what I want to do.

 

With WHS V1 I could backup my movies independantly to two seperate hard drives. Basically it was a one to one map from the drive I have in my server and having one offsite. I did not duplicate this, since it was ok if this was lost, since I had it offsite and could easily restore, which I had to do a couple of times. I loved the fact that I could just pop the drive into my desktop computer browse the drive and see the dates of all of the files on the disk. On on disk I have over 60 folders for dates that I had done the backup. It was quick and added minimal space, since things did not change much. Once a month I would bring the drives home, back them up again and then take them off site. For my documents, music, videos and other important data I set this to be duplicated and I had two backup drives that I would periodically rotate from offsite. This gave me basically 4 places where the data was stored and only three at the max was ever at the same location. I could sleep well at night with this.

 

I basically want to do the same thing with WHS V!. It does not look possible or I have a lot of hoops to jump through.

 

With 2011 I have 3 2 TB drives with my moves on them. They are not mirrored and I am not braking the 2TB limit. I would like to have 3 2TB drives that were exactly the same that I could keep offsite. For my document music and important data I have a 1.0 and 1.5 set of drives that are mirrored with the built in software mirror. It works great and I feel good that I have as good if not better redundancy than V1. I only have about 1.9TB on the two drives, so I plan to back these up to a 2TB drive. I will have a pair of these, one onsite and being backed up nightly and another one offsite, safe. I would rotate these every 2-3 weeks, just to minimize how much information I could lose.

 

This gives me a total of 6 2TB HD that I will use for offsite storage, what is the best way to automate the backups....

 

From you comments it sounds like I might be able to do this, but I cannot plug all 6 drives in at the same time. I could do two at the same time. So is the following the only option I have.

For the 3 2TB movie drives, do NOT use backup, but use something like SyncToy to manually sync this over. I still will not have my individual folders that allow me to see 6 months back like I do with V1.

For the 2TB of documents I can use the backup feature in the server, but not clear on how this works.

 

Thanks again for you comments, but I need further help before I can get proceed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The offsite backup is something that I am testing in WHS2011 before I make the migration. I am currently plugging in a portable external USB HD to full fill my offsite backup needs. This works great in WHSv1 as I can right click on the hard drive and choose the option to temporarily remove the hard drive. This option allows me to keep the data that I just backed up on the hard drive and the WHSv1 will acknowledge/remember the external hard drive the next week when I do my offsite backup.

 

This offsite backup solution works great for me but WHS2011, from what I can tell in my testing, does not allow you to temporarily remove a backup hard drive. I have an ioSafe external hard drive so I am not as concerned but I would still like to get my physical offsite backup solution working before I start the migration process.

 

Any ideas other then cloud solutions?

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For my roughly 2TB of data spread across 2 1.5TB disks, I got a SansDigital TR5UT+B and 5x 2TB Seagate drives which I backup to using the built-in Windows backup and it works great. Even tested it today when I accidentally deleted a drive while doing some partitioning. I like my solution a lot because it's dead simple to set up and requires no maintenance.

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