Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

I'm completely lost!


Leo
 Share

Recommended Posts

 

 

You don't really mean that a external drive is the ONLY thing you can use for WHS server backup do you?  And as for the server backup being the only thing on a drive (that just sounds crazy) can't you break the drive into partitions at least and then have the server backup be the only thing on the partition?  This all sounds so limiting.  I am REALLY asking as I don't use WHS. 

The "server backup" wants a dedicated volume as that is the only things that can be on there.  Now, there are some tricks you can play if you work in a virtual environment.  You can carve out virtual hard drives (.vdhx files) and add them to the virtual server and the server will think they are physical drives and move right along.

 

I am currently experimenting with WSE 2012 R2 in a virtual environment on a 2012 host.

 

WSE2012 R2 is a stock install with no add ins.  The install still on a 160 gig drive from my RAID 0 array (3 x 240 gig Samsung 840 Drives) and the Client Backups along with the Server Backups are carved out of a Physical 1 TB drive (127 & 60 gigs respectively).  

 

The client sits here on my desk in Afghanistan and the Server is in Huntsville, AL connected via VPN and is surprisingly ample enough to do the job.  The client is NOT a Domain member and this was avoided by using a REgistry Entry as follows:

From an elevated Command Prompt type:

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

 

I could upload the data to my WHS 2011 box but I wanted to try this out and initailly things are working well.  The Dashboard is balking about an AV solution not being installed but Malwarebytes is installed and working just fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 35
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • gcoupe

    5

  • jmwills

    11

  • Joe_Miner

    4

  • Leo

    11

Thanks guys.

 

I bought a book called WHS 2011 Unleashed but it really didn't cover the server backup very well. It seemed as if the server backup disk could not be used for anything else, but it didn't explicitly say that anywhere that I could find. It just seemed so crazy that I didn't believe it could possibly be true. A partition of it's own makes sense, but an entire disk? But then it requires a larger boot disk to install WHS when it only actually uses 60GB. I still can't get my brain around why it does that! It seems madness to me, but I guess I was looking for some sort of explanation as to why it does this sort of thing from you guys who have been using it for a while. Linux seems way more logical to me but I just liked the idea of rolling out updates to all my Windows computers from a server... and when MS reduced the price it seems just rude not to give it a go :)!!! I also hoped that WHS would manage SW licenses for all my Windows PC's, but it doesn't seem to do that?

 

I've read loads of WHS stuff on the Internet but it gets to the point where you can't see the wood for the trees (not sure if you have that expression in the USA). There tends to be loads of stuff that tells you what backups are, why you need them and how to run them. All of that I find really easy and have been doing for years. And I understand why I would want folders on a server. But I haven't found anything that tells me more basic stuff, like do the folders on the server have to be located in "serverfolders", or can you call it anything, and put them in different partitions? It creates folders Music, Pictures, Documents, Videos, Recorded TV and Computer Backups, but it doesn't tell me if they have to be called these names. In other words, will anything complain if I delete them or call them what I want to call them? For example, I prefer to use the term photo's than pictures. That is the sort of information I'm looking for.

 

If it was a normal Windows machine I would use Paragon, Acronis, Norton, or whatever, to take an image of the machine after I finished building it. But with WHS I don't know if any of those tools will work as I don't have server versions of those products. It is that sort of thing where I'm lost. It seems as if WHS is really Windows Server 2008 even though it is a home system. So I'm not quite understanding what will work and what won't. I have read loads of stuff about backing up client PC's but I haven't found anything that says what happens if the server backup disk is not there. So, for example, if I use an old USB disk and it dies, does the server just stop, or give me an alert, or what? Do I even care about the server backup given that it doesn't take long to install WHS? That is the sort of thing that I'm looking to understand.

 

At the moment the server is using one of the 2TB mirrored sets for server backup and one for the rest. I'm thinking of using an old USB disk for server backup, putting all of my music on one mirrored set and partitioning the other mirrored set with client backups in it's own partition. I'm not actually sure if WHS will let me do that, but I'd be happier with the second 2TB disk partitioned. If it will let me do that, I've no idea how to work out what size to make the client backup partition. Essentially, I don't want WHS filling the second mirrored set with client backups and stopping me doing file backups to the server.

 

I hope that all makes some sort of sense :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "server backup" wants a dedicated volume as that is the only things that can be on there.  Now, there are some tricks you can play if you work in a virtual environment.  You can carve out virtual hard drives (.vdhx files) and add them to the virtual server and the server will think they are physical drives and move right along.

 

I am currently experimenting with WSE 2012 R2 in a virtual environment on a 2012 host.

 

WSE2012 R2 is a stock install with no add ins.  The install still on a 160 gig drive from my RAID 0 array (3 x 240 gig Samsung 840 Drives) and the Client Backups along with the Server Backups are carved out of a Physical 1 TB drive (127 & 60 gigs respectively).  

 

The client sits here on my desk in Afghanistan and the Server is in Huntsville, AL connected via VPN and is surprisingly ample enough to do the job.  The client is NOT a Domain member and this was avoided by using a REgistry Entry as follows:

From an elevated Command Prompt type:

reg add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Server\ClientDeployment" /v SkipDomainJoin /t REG_DWORD /d 1

 

 

I could upload the data to my WHS 2011 box but I wanted to try this out and initailly things are working well.  The Dashboard is balking about an AV solution not being installed but Malwarebytes is installed and working just fine.

 

Whoa!! Nice set-up JMWills.  What kind of performance are you seeing with the 3 840's striped?  That's some VPN connection!  Hope to learn more about your set-up sometime!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The RAID 0 is just a little short of what I had hoped but I can tell a VAST improvement over the 1TB WD Black I was using.  Reboots on the VM's are almost instant.

 

I just wanted to test the No-Join-to-Domain Registry Key to see who painless it was.  I never got a prompt or anything to acknowledge....smooth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could someone answer a couple of quick questions for me?

 

Now that I understand that WHS requires a full hard disk for server backup (or the VHD workaround that I think it too complex for me at the moment) I'm thinking of completely re-installing WHS. In the server I have a single 250GB disk (that came with the server) and 4 2TB WD Red drives. The 2TB drives are formatted as 2 mirrored sets. At the moment WHS is installed on the 250GB drive and has taken one of the mirrored sets as server backup.

 

I'm thinking of re-partitioning one of the mirrored sets into a partition for WHS and another partition for client backups. Then using the 250GB disk for server backup.

 

The questions are:

 

1. If I do this will the WHS installation use the partition I create for it, or will it insist on reformatting the entire 2TB mirror? I'm concerned that if I need to re-install WHS at a later date that it might overwrite my client backups.

 

2. If I later re-install WHS will it recognize any existing client backups on the second partition or do they become useless?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

The questions are:

 

1. If I do this will the WHS installation use the partition I create for it, or will it insist on reformatting the entire 2TB mirror? I'm concerned that if I need to re-install WHS at a later date that it might overwrite my client backups.

 

2. If I later re-install WHS will it recognize any existing client backups on the second partition or do they become useless?

1.  If used for the Client backups, it's just a volume...WHS does not care and can use it as is.  You can put other "Server Folder" locations on that volume too.

2.  You can copy the Client backups over to external media at any time to export them and save for importing later.

 

Since I am good at spending other people's money, I would get  an SSD drive for your OS and use, as you suggested, the 250 gig for the dedicated Server Backup.  Joe_Miner has a thread on how to use a smaller than 160 gig drive for the OS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the answer. I thought about using an SSD but I really didn't want the hassle of upgrading the BIOS and loosing raid without adding a dedicated raid card. That's just a bit too complicated for me right now.

 

So, will WHS just use the partition I create for it without reformatting the entire drive? I know Windows works this way but I'm uncertain about WHS. If so, how big would you make the partition? WHS creates one of 60GB but would it be wise to create a larger one? Win 7 seems to keep using up more and more space but I don't know if WHS would do the same given that I won't be logging into it. It will be primarily used as a music server and client backups. But I also want to use WSUS and I'm not sure how much space it uses. Can I tell WSUS to put all updates in a separate partition of it's own?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What does using an SSD drive for the OS have to do with RAID?  The RAID function is built into the OS.

 

You are making this WAY too complicated for what it is.  WHS wants 160 gigs of available space to install the OS.  Does it need it, no, but that what it looks for.  Any extra space would be setup into a new partition, more than likely named D.

So, if you installed WHS on the 250 gig drive, you should see an available partition named D.  You can use this for anything.

 

Now you have two 2TB mirrored volumes.  Not knowing how much data you have, I would initially think about putting the music on one 2TB drive and your WSUS downloads and Client backups on the other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, I should have said that I have an HP Microserver and my understanding is that the SATA port that the SSD would go in only runs 150. To get full speed I understand that I need to update the BIOS with one that disables the microserver raid. I've read the workarounds listed on this forum but they seem way too complicated for me at the moment. I know I can use software raid (or drive bender etc) but I just want to keep everything simple for now.

 

I guess I wasn't making myself clear enough. I understand partitioning etc. The shock to me was finding out that the WHS server backup used the entire disk even though it doesn't need it. So, if I ever have to restore the WHS system from the system backup disk, I didn't know whether it was clever enough to restore just the WHS partition or whether it would wipe out the entire disk. That's what I was trying to ask.

 

The other thing I was trying to ask is whether I have any choice of where the WSUS updates go on the server or whether they just get written to the system drive. The book I bought says the WSUS area is on the "C : drive" but doesn't talk about being able to change it. It would seem strange if I can't put it on it's own partition but I've never used WSUS before so I just wanted to check.

 

My plan is

 

250GB drive - system backup

2TB Mirror - WHS, WSUS and Client Backups - each in their own partiton

2TB Mirror - Music

 

If that works, it's just a question of how big to make the partitions.

 

Sorry if I wasn't clear before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The setup looks good to me as far as storage allocation.  Those WSUS Download will take up about, if I remember correctly, 150 gigs or so.  Now, you have WHS listed on the first mirror.  Is that the Server Folders root?  Without know how muach data you have , no one can really say what is good, but a good rule of thumb is to never go over 75% so in your case that would be aorund 1.50TB for each mirror.

 

The resotre is going to look for the WHS installation files, so as far as I know, if you had a C&D drive on that 250 gig drive and had to restore, only the C Drive would be altered.  IN fact, when you setup the server backup, it will ask you what to include or exclude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...