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show 93- buisness use


albose
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Re your discussions about using WHS in a business. The thought that WHS is useful in smaller installations is correct but it is also extremely useful in larger businesses. Our installation includes >120 pc's and > 10 windows servers including 4 processor boxes, definitely not a small installation. We have PC's that are critical to the operation of our manufacturing equipment and process to the point of a pc failure shutting down the multi shift operation until it is operational again. As the build-up and commissioning of some of these pc's is greater than 10 hours due to software installation and setup and the requirement for minimal data loss not having a backup plan is very risky for our company. I am using WHS to do an automatic backup of some of these pc's and it has saved the day already and has limited unscheduled downtime and worker unemployment. My intent is to eventually attach all production pc's to home servers (due to 10 pc limit). My only issue is that some pc's are still running win2k as industry OEMS were still shipping win2k as standard only a few years ago. I am replacing - upgrading these pc's as time allows to allow WHS connection.

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As additional information these pc’s all log on to our domain servers. The WHS CANNOT be joined to the domain but can belong to a workgroup with the same name as the domain. I did join the WHS to the domain but there were problems due to interaction with other servers and I had to remove it from the domain. FYI our cost for downtime is approximately $4,000 per hour so WHS is easy to justify. I am running a home built box.

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If it were me, I would use a real backup solution like Backup Exec but if that is not a viable option I could see another way. Run NT Backup form the 2K workstations and have those jobs dump to a dedicated server and then have that server backup to a WHS box.

 

You are by no means a small business and really should be looking at Enterprise solutions, in my opinion. At $4000/hour you should be able to sell that to the suits.

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Have gone there already, even using acronis true image to do disk images. WHS gives me a reproducible disk image that will install on a new pc or old pc with new disk very rapidly, is automatic, and is inexpensive. We use extensive backup solutions of servers, pc data, sql data etc. but WHS seems to be the best solution for up to date pc disk image backup for these critical pc’s.

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I agree about WHS being the best solution for image backup. I have used it so many times and it only takes about 10 minutes to get it kicked off. After that, wait a cople hours and then you are back up and running. I use it for my home pc's/laptops and my work laptop. I use it for work becuase we use citrix to connect to our servers. Only program I have used worse than citrix is itunes so I quit connecting to citrix for backups of data and now everything is on my home build server. So much better.

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I may be reading the issue wrong. Is this a backup issue or imaging issue? You could use WDS (Windows Deployment Services) which is free and push images out from a central server via PXE but to me it seems like a lot of work to use WHS in your environment.

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I would add my vote that a well setup WHS will do wonders for most businesses. It does make a greate repository for images as I have used for both Acronis images as well as Ghost remote backup feature. In addtion, you are not really limited to ten users if you use common access to key folders and do not install the connector making it ideal for central common storage.

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Guest no-control

Yeah I'm with jmwillis on this.

 

If down time equals $4k/hr it shouldn't be hard to implement a better solution. Not my gig so I don't know the intricate nature of the business but to me it seems like there should be something a little more robust than 12 WHS backing up the PC's. That's not to say what you have going on isn't good. I just can't tell from your post. I would be interested to see how exactly you using them and on what kind of equipment. Might be something genius at work here ;)

 

I do agree that in a small business and SOHO environment WHS is the bees knees.

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@albose - It's interesting how you've implemented a WHS solution into a large company. Very creative.

 

@no control - Yes, I've heard tech podcasters talk about how they've introduced WHS to some of their small business clients.

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It looks like a little more information is required. In our system we have multiple strategies. For generic office machines (the bulk of the pc’s) our strategy is roaming profiles and folder redirection with the data being stored on windows servers. These servers are backed up using automated tape arrays. In these applications we can install a replacement PC and be up and running fairly quickly. All servers and SQL data, of which there is a lot, are backed up with tape arrays. The problem children are the pc’s that are used for production equipment purposes. In general these pc’s will have a combination of specialized I/O cards, local databases, specialized software such as process optimization, operator interface, machine setup, etc. For these pc’s I require maximum uptime and minimal data loss. In some applications I have duplicate pc’s built up and almost ready to go but during replacement I require the latest setup, patches, data, etc. One of my strategies was to take manual Acronis hard drive images. This proved to be effective but not timely or automatic. I could have automated it and done incremental backups but due to my experience with WHS in other applications and knowing its strengths and weaknesses I implemented WHS for the advantages it has. I get automatic disk image backup that requires no manual upkeep for historical storage and due to the “save any file once” strategy allows me to back up many pc’s with lots of historical backups on a pair of 1tb drives (in addition to the system drive). The last PC I had to restore from start to finish was less than 1 hour due to the speed of disk to disk transfer. I also get an indication on all of the pc’s, including my personal workstation, the health status of all critical pc’s. All in all for an investment of a used pc, a couple of drives and Windows Home Server software I have a solution that works, in these applications, better than the alternatives.

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