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External hard drive recommendations for whs2011 box?


capall
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Hi all,

I'm looking for an external hard drive to back up my whs2011/HP Microserver. I have the OS on a 160GB drive and data on a WD 2Tb drive, which should be sufficient, space wise for the next 1-2 years. What are current recommendations for a reliable external hard drive to backup the data drive?

 

-I've read a lot of newegg comments about the Seagate Goflex 2Tb and WD elements 2Tb, but they seem to fail a lot. Is this due to the 2Tb drive itself or the norm for these type of external drives?

 

-Is there any difference to using these type external USB drives vs a drive enclosure and buying the drive separately, such as a Rosewill RX35-AT-SU SLV Aluminum 3.5", StarTech InfoSafe SAT3510U2V Aluminum 3.5", Thermaltake BlacX ST0005U for use as a server backup

 

(I will buy 2 units and rotate one of them as an offsite backup)

 

thanks

capall

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  • Drashna Jaelre

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I recommend you build the external drive yourself, using a purchased enclosure. I agree that the prebuilt ones fail a lot. My own belief is that the manufacturers put their lowest quality drives in their external enclosures.

 

Into the enclosure you buy I would install a WD Red 3TB drive. That way it will last longer. If you don't want to go that far, install a WD Red 2TB.

 

Regarding external enclosures, I've always preferred ones that have active cooling (i.e. they have an actual fan in them), such as the ones on this page. There are a lot of others out there too.

 

Also, there's a difference between data backup and server backup. Technically, in WHS speak, Server Backup refers to backing up WHS itself, not the data (the backup can include the data as well, but I find that impractical). To actually back up the server OS partition, you need a separate drive, because WHS2011 insists on having a dedicated drive for it. You can dedicate a drive, and set up a schedule for Server Backup, using the DashBoard. I use a BlacX drive dock for this, although I do have a cooling fan blowing on it 24/7. I most likely am going to switch it over to an external enclosure with a built in fan.

 

For data backup, you can use RoboCopy, AllWaySync, TeraCopy or some other utility to copy your data to an external drive (just not the drive you use for OS backup :) ). I use a Lian-Li EX-503 5-bay enclosure, with two sets of 3 drives. The 3 drives in each backup set are spanned together and the 2 sets are rotated offsite. The advantage of using a different set of drives for data backup, and using a file copy utility, is data recovery. It is just so much simpler to get a data file back from a simple copy of it than trying to extract it from a backup file.

 

That's my 2 cents. There are lots of approaches to this; I simply outlined what I've found works best for me.

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Thanks ikon,

Interesting that you use a "sync/copy" software to back up the server data and not the servers utility. I thought this was one of the great pluses with using whs2011, it can back up and restore itself (if the OS drives dies) or the data ( when the data drive dies)

 

I do understand however that there's a lot of personal preference that goes into setting up ones own server.

 

capall

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For the OS drives, absolutely! Love it. I just don't want to have to jump through hoops to get at my data.

 

BTW, this kinda gives me the best of both worlds. The data is on my main desktop in the basement but, since it's also on the server, if I want to look at it from my HTPC in the living room, no problem. If my server goes down, I will have to go to the particular PC where that data's main location is, but that's no big deal; just a little less convenient.

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Personally, I like the Seagate Backup Plus drives. They contain the newest Barricuda line of HDDs in, and you can detach them from the base, and connect any HDD to it too.

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Personally, I like the Seagate Backup Plus drives. They contain the newest Barricuda line of HDDs in, and you can detach them from the base, and connect any HDD to it too.

 

Ewwww, he said the 'S' word :D

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Personally, I like the Seagate Backup Plus drives. They contain the newest Barricuda line of HDDs in, and you can detach them from the base, and connect any HDD to it too.

 

I second that but really, anything but WD green is fine.

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