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WHS 2011 RC Backup Limitation

    General discussion

  • WHS 2011 RC cannot be used as a backup server in my household.  With WHS v1 and DE, you would run backups on all the computers in your household and if you got low on free space on the server, you would just add a drive and immediately gain free space to the pool available for storing backup files.

    Now that DE has been stripped out, the WHS2011 backup feature will only store backup files to a single drive on the server.  To make matters worse, it doesn't provide a means to automatically store the files to additional disks even if they are available.  I just finished verifying this.  I loaded up the WHS2011 RC on a vmware slice, loaded up Windows 7 in a separate vmware slice with enough data to fill up the drive on the server.  However, I added a second drive to the server just to see if it would automatically start placing backup files on the second drive (or provide an option to do so ahead of time).  Neither of these came to pass.  I watched as the drive used to store the backup files filled up and the backup process failed.

    I'm not sure how hard it would have been to allow the backup feature to use all available drives on the server.  But this omission is pretty horrible, especially with removing the much loved DE.

    I spent a great deal of time to setup this test scenario to see if WHS2011 still had some usefulness, but even the backup feature is rendered near useless.

    Only work-around at this point is to create a share on each separate drive in the server and allow each PC in the household to back up to the independent shares.  But then, if i set this up, why do I need WHS2011?

    Being an RC, i highly doubt they have time to fix the backup feature by adding the ability to store the backup file across multiple hard drives.  I would love to be proven wrong.

    Monday, February 07, 2011 3:53 AM

All replies

  • On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 03:53:25 +0000, nstuff12345 wrote:

    Only work-around at this point is to create a share on each separate drive in the server and allow each PC in the household to back up to the independent shares.? But then, if i set this up, why do I need WHS2011?

    There is another option here and that is to use the spanned disks feature
    of Windows Server (the underlying technology for WHS 2011 is Windows Server
    2008 R2).

    1. Add the disks you want to use to your computer.
    2. Open Disk Management and initialize the new disks.
    3. Convert the new disks from Basic to Dynamic.
    4. Create a new spanned volume and select all of the disks that you want to
    include in the new spanned volume.
    5. Move your Client Computer Backsups to the new spanned volume.

    You will be able to add new disks to the spanned volume by using Disk
    Manager as you add new physical disks to your computer. Note that when
    using spanned volumes if you lose a single disk, you lose the entire
    volume. Also be aware that if your spanned volume exceeds 2 TB you won't be
    able to use the Server Backup feature to back it up.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    No program done by a hacker will work unless he is on the system.

    Monday, February 07, 2011 6:47 AM
  • Didnt it say somewhere that the folderlimitation was also 2 TB ?  if so you can span all you want but youre still blocked at 2TB client backup...?

     

    Hopefully i am wrong.

    Monday, February 07, 2011 3:37 PM
  • On Mon, 7 Feb 2011 15:37:21 +0000, bfweme wrote:

    Didnt it say somewhere that the folderlimitation was also 2 TB ? ?if so you can span all you want but youre still blocked at 2TB client backup...?

    The 2 TB limitation is for a single shared folder and only applies to
    Server Backup, not client backup. Your shared folders can be as large as
    you'd like to make them, the only problem is that if they are on a volume
    that is over 2 TB in size, you won't be able to use WHS 2011's Server
    Backup to back them up.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca
    Cursor:  An expert in four-letter words.

    Monday, February 07, 2011 5:02 PM
  • I'm very worried about this problem

    Right now my WHSv1 shows me that my client backups take up 2.1Tb.

    I don't even see an option to have one computer back to one drive and another back to another drive so i'm really out of luck if I want to backup my backup's.

    I was trying to have everything stay under the 2Tb limit so that I could make sure I had an exta backup

    I think of myself as normal family with 3 desktops and 1 laptops

    The other big thing is I have one of my backups set to keep backup but unless I go into each line for that computer I can't tell which backup is the one that I wanted to keep.

    Next in order to delete failed backups you have to go into each one and man it's a pain

    Friday, March 11, 2011 10:12 PM
  • So, what's the bottom line here?  I got interested in WHS a couple weeks ago when I read that v1 not only would duplicate [i.e., backup] whatever data files I chose, but also provide system mirrors for each of my client computers so that if I had a HD or motherboard failure, I could just replace the hardware and flash that client with its mirror image [instead of having to rebuild the entire OS the way I've had to do about 5 times in the last 20 years].  The old computer I'm thinking of using as my server will only take up to a 160GB hard drive and I see that MS is recommending NOT using USB external HDs on the server [because they could get unplugged, but it would be pretty easy for me to make sure it/they were always plugged in at night during backup time - actually pretty much all the time].  If I'm limited to that one 160GB HD, right now I could still get total mirrors of my other two systems onto it and have maybe 50GB for the server OS, but what happens as my music and photo collection grows?  Right now they're small and I keep just the subsets that I want to have readily available on each computer's HD and back them up to external HDs that contain the rest of the collection.  Sean Daniel, the MS Senior Program Manager who wrote the Feb 22nd blog post about how little is being lost with DE, talks about how your DATA will still be backed up well, but was he including full mirrors of each client as part of that data?  And what about the people who have more "data" than will fit on however many drives they can put into their server?  [If permanently connected USB external drives can count as part of the server's total storage capacity, that would make the problem much more manageable?]

    I spent most of today trying to find answers to these questions on the various WHS sites and forums with very little success.  Would someone from MS's WHS team please chime in here!  Thanks guys!

    Saturday, March 12, 2011 8:30 PM
  • I tried spanned disks thinking it would solve exactly this problem, but the WHS System Backup wizard would not detect the volume.  Seems like it will only work with a single disk volume! Rather sad.
    Sunday, May 08, 2011 7:16 AM
  • I tried spanned disks thinking it would solve exactly this problem, but the WHS System Backup wizard would not detect the volume.  Seems like it will only work with a single disk volume! Rather sad.

     

    Try the same thing with the underlying Windows Server 2008 app, the WHS 2011 wizard seems to be way to limited.

     


    WHS 2011 RTM coming alive, taking over WHS v.1 duties.
    Sunday, May 08, 2011 10:03 AM
  • Classic case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

     

    I wanted to upgrade my motherboard and CPU on my Homeserver because I was running low on storage space and the 4 SATA ports on my mb were all filled.  So I installed the new mb and CPU, and as expected, nothing goes easy, the mb chipset and drivers were a mismatch even though it was an AMD to AMD upgrade.  It caused such problems that it actually killed on of my hard drives.  OK, I realized there are no shortcuts and decided to bite the bullet and move to WHS 2011.  Clean install went well.  Moving folders back to the new install takes time.  Designated seperat 2TB drive for backups, probably won't be enough, but at least I should be able to get started before shelling out for a 3TB drive.

    So now everything is backed up, but I'm getting a warning that "Frespace is low in Server Backup."  The Computer-Backup-Primary hard disk has less than 10% free space.  Only thing is, when I go to the Folder list or My computer, it shows 1250.8GB/1.17TB free out of 1.81 TB.  So why the warning?

    I like some of the new features of 2011, but getting rid of drive extender is not a plus.  I'm seriously thinking of going back to V1.  Like all MS platforms, it's just a BIG PAIN to migrate to new hardware.  I have one system we use for programming that has 300 applications on it.  What a jhoy it will be when that's at the end of it's lifecycle.

    Anyway, my main reason for the post, besides venting, is to see if anyone knows why I'm getting the inaccurate back up warning and how to fix it.  I hate Warning msgs., even when I know they're wrong.

    Thanks

     


    Gary J
    Monday, May 09, 2011 9:20 PM