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Windows Server Client Backup Replacement


Glavian
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Thanks for all of this information. I'll be looking into the Paragon solution and the Ease US solution as well. Again I've used Acronis in an enterprise / server environment and I found the interface to be clunky and clumsy. I know I'll be sticking with WHS 2011 for the near future, so this isn't a huge rush, but I do want to start looking at alternatives. Ideally I'd like to the see the Windows Client Backup software separated out from the Server Essentials platform and maybe made available in the new Windows Marketplace to be purchased as an add-on for whatever windows or windows server OS that a user is using. It is, after all, the simplest solution I've ever found.

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I haven't checked out Easus in quite a while and they've added some really cool stuff, PXE server for network boot for bare metal restores.....$200 price tag though..

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Or another option is to move all of the data to the server. At that point you only need to be concerned with a backup of the server data. The alternative is to use the built-in backup features of the Windows client to backup to a designated share on the server.

 

I just prefer to use a solution that backs up files in a "flat file" format. When I see the backed up file, I should be able to easily open it with its native application.

 

I tried the "all data on the server" option for a while. Then my server had to go down for a while and that really put a damper on things. So I went back to data on the local station with backup to the server. The OS drive is backed up by WHS2011, and the data drive is backed up using a scheduled RoboCopy job (I like flat file backup of data files too :) )

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I never knew W7 had image based backups built in. But after opening the Backup and Restore wizard I see that option. Do you know if all versions of W7 offer this?

All versions of it have image based backup (it is still in Win8 RP, but somewhat hidden, search for... get this... 'Recovery'), but only Pro/Ultimate can store backups to a server share. Adding insult to injury, if you do store to a server share, you lose incremental backups (ie. no history). You get history if you go local. A workaround for all of that is to use an iSCSI target on the server to store the backups. I've played around a bit using the free iSCSI target on WHS 2011 (you have to use Orca to edit the MSI to install it, but once you do, it works). That way the client sees it as a local drive, and you get backups to the server and incremental backups with history.

 

The problem is that Win7 image backup is really limited. Limited in the partitions it will let you backup. And limited in that it doesn't allow you to exclude folders from backup, both features I use quite a bit with WHS 2011. I use it for one-offs (like when I'm helping a friend with their computer...) all the time because it is easier than setting up thing son my WHS server.

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dvn is correct about Acronis. I have used Acronis in our government facility for years. Some forms of it can get pricey but it is a solid product. I put mine on a usb key and restore/backup at will. I especially love their universal restore feature.

Edited by JerryW
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I also use Acronis on my main system and have for years in addition to WHS. I find Acronis to be faster and have many other features. The downside, is it takes up a bunch of space. It is is not a one instance solution. You will have to a dedicated 2T drive for each client to maintain some lever of revision. Add that to complication of cloud backup and you will end back up where you started, WHS, depending of course how many clients. IF you only have a couple, great solution, but if you have more than three or you are not willing to give up central storage, Then your options are different. I do however want to point out that if you have a multi-pc enviorment, and you have critical data, the $425 is steep but considering what it does and that it will service you whole house, it may not be completely unwarranted IMO.

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  • 2 months later...

Or is you need an iSCSI Target for WHS to use for your backup try this:

http://www.intelisan.com/ldisk.html

 

I see you have 2 active posts, and both of them are ads for intelisan. We do like hearing about new products, or ones we haven't heard of before but, if you're going to push a product you're involved with, you need to declare that in your post. Without a disclaimer, you're likely to get banned or flamed. If you're not involved with the product, you declare that too, so people won't flame you.

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ikon

Thanks for the heads up. Yes, I am from intelisan and I did not know even when I am simply saying there is such a product, it is considred an add. But nevertheless you are right and I will make sure to mention where I am from in next posts.

Regards,

Bahmanj

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