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Server backup strategy


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I recently set up a new Windows Server 2012 Essentials server to replace my old Windows Homeserver V1. The server is used to store all data and photos. I’ve been doing backups more or less frequently on the old server but it wasn’t really a thought through process. With the new server I also wanted to start a new backup strategy.

The most relevant scenarios of data loss I came up with are the following:

  1. Accidental deletion
  2. Hard drive crash, power surge
  3. Theft
  4. Fire, flooding, …

My plan for now is to use four different backup approaches:

  1. Daily backup to the old homeserver v1 which will be located in the basement using a software called hardlinkbackup. (http://www.lupinho.net/hardlinkbackup/) It uses the script rsyncbackup which is an adaptation of rsync for windows. Daily backups will be kept for a week and then weekly backups for four weeks and monthly backups for two or three years. (Scenario 1)
  2. Two USB hard drives with backup using hardlinkbackup where one of the drives will be kept off site. And the hard drives will be changed everytime I have access to the server. (Scenario (1),2,3,4)
  3. Offsite backup using Crashplan (Scenario 2,3,4 but will probably take quite some time for the initial backup and larger data changes)
  4. Server Backup using the build in Server Backup to an external USB drive to be able to restore the server itself


What I really like about hardlinkbackup so far, is that it doesn’t use a proprietary file format, so you can just plug in the USB hard drives at a different computer and have access to the files. It basically looks like the server backup from WHS v1 with scheduling.


Additionally Drivepool will be used with two or three hard drives and duplication to prevent unnecessary downtime in case of a hard drive failure because I don’t have daily access to the server.


I think this backup strategy should prevent any permanent data loss in most scenarios.
Do you have any suggestions to improve the strategy?

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  • Drashna Jaelre


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I very much like that you have so much backup. Even I don't have 2 offsite backup strategies.


I've never heard of hardlinkbackup. I'll have a look at it. The first thing I'm wondering is how it compares to just using RoboCopy in batch files.

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I had a look at the page. It seems cool and all, but I'm not seeing much, if any, advantage over RoboCopy. IOW, I don't see a compelling reason to give up my current backup strategy. If I was starting from scratch, it might be a different story :)

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