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Can a backup be written to multiple destination disks. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I have a custom made home server v1 server.  Presently, my backup takes 2.6TB of disk space, span on multiple drives of different sized.  Will vail be able to backup to multiple disk as a target or will I have to buy two 2TB drives and put them into raid 0 ?  Also, is the "cluster based" backup strategy changed?  Meaning, will my backup will take more space on vail than on v1 ?
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:12 PM

All replies

  • Backups are still cluster based.  But i'm not sure about a large array for backups.  From my experience so far, partitions over 2TB are not supported.  I was not able to backup a 3TB GPT partition that I was using for data.  The backup service would not support it.  Not sure if it works the other way around or not.  By that I mean that i'm not sure if a GPT partition can be used as a backup disk.  Let me know what you find out.  I'd be interested to know.
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 12:56 AM
  • Although I have serious mixed thoughts about RC1 the good news is that MS left some goodies on the table if you are willing to learn a little bit. I'm in the middle of a dashboard server BU just to test it and I'm not impressed.

    RC1 is based on Windows Server 2008 R2 and these goodies are still around so thats the next thing I'm going to run. Ditch the Dashboard and restart. Then:

    Start Menu > All Programs > Admin Tools > Windows Server BU. Read these two articles before you do this:

    EDIT/CORRECTION: My BU just finished so I just noticed that RC1 DOES use the core servers (2008/R2) BU feature however I'm not confinced that I can't tweak it to suite my wishes like storing the BU on another Networked client or even inside WHS v1 drive pool. Should be fun.

    http://www.winserverhelp.com/2010/03/windows-server-2008-r2-backup-and-restore/

    http://redmondmag.com/articles/2010/04/01/backup-basics-in-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx

    WARNING: mucking around with the core and thats Server 2008 R2 can break your box.

    My credo is simple: If the Dashboard can't do something then I'm headed to the real server however the third party DE void fillers will be nice (if and when)

    HTH :)

     

     

     

    Friday, February 18, 2011 1:56 AM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:56:09 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    Backups are still cluster based.? But i'm not sure about a large array for backups.? From my experience so far, partitions over 2TB are not supported.? I was not able to backup a 3TB GPT partition that I was using for data.? The backup service would not support it.? Not sure if it works the other way around or not.? By that I mean that i'm not sure if a GPT partition can be used as a backup disk.? Let me know what you find out.? I'd be interested to know.

    Server Backups when using the Dashboard to back up are limited to 2 TB in
    size for any source volumes.
    Client backs, which I believe is the question here, are not limited in
    either source or destination size.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 6:09 AM
  • Server Backups when using the Dashboard to back up are limited to 2 TB in
    size for any source volumes.
    Client backs, which I believe is the question here, are not limited in
    either source or destination size.

    The question here is what does a person do if the size of their server backup is over 2 TB?  Can 2 2 TB drives be used?  And how does the system handle that?  Will backup write to more than 1 disk without them being in an array of some kind?

    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:04 PM
  • >The question here is what does a person do if the size of their server backup is over 2 TB?  Can 2 2 TB drives be used?
     
    Not use the built in Vail backup, and use the Win2008 backup software
    yourself.  The Vail one is limited to 2TB because you can't split up
    the backup, but if you use the backup software directly, you can split
    it up so you never get over 2TB for a single backup file. (VHD is
    limited to 2TB.)
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:20 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 14:04:32 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    The question here is what does a person do if the size of their server backup is over 2 TB?? Can 2 2 TB drives be used?? And how does the system handle that?? Will backup write to more than 1 disk without them being in an array of some kind?

    In addition to Bob's response I still think that you're misreading the OP
    and that the original question has nothing at all to do with Server Backup
    but rather relates to the size of client backups. Here's the original
    question again:

    Hi, I have a custom made home server v1 server.? Presently, my backup takes 2.6TB of disk space, span on multiple drives of different sized.? Will vail be able to backup to multiple disk as a target or will I have to buy two 2TB drives and put?them into raid 0 ?? Also, is the "cluster based" backup strategy changed?? Meaning, will my backup will take more space on vail than on v1 ?

    These 2 question are quite obviously related to client backup database
    sizing and have nothing at all to do with Server Backup so there is no 2 TB
    limitation at all.

    The answer to question 1 is without one of the current or proposed 3rd
    party solutions floating around the OP would need to take all of the
    multiple drives he currently has and create a spanned volume (which of
    course offers zero redundancy in the case of a failed disk) or use new
    disks and setup RAID 0, again, no redundancy.
    The answer to question 2 is that yes, your backups will be larger as my
    understanding is that the Single Instance Storage feature was part of DE
    and with DE being pulled, the SIS feature went with it.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:35 PM
  • >The answer to question 2 is that yes, your backups will be larger as my
    >understanding is that the Single Instance Storage feature was part of DE
    >and with DE being pulled, the SIS feature went with it.
     
    I hadn't thought of that and didn't check in my testing.  I sure hope
    that that isn't the case. 
     
    Single instance store really shouldn't have to require something like
    DE to work, but they may have tied them together.  We use backup
    package at work that uses a somewhat more primitive version of SIS
    than WHS1, but it does keep the backups in a much smaller space than
    normal compression.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Friday, February 18, 2011 2:42 PM
  • SIS is still there.  I am sure of that.  Also the size of the client backups is directly tied to the size of server backup. 
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:01 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:01:36 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    Also the size of the client backups is directly tied to the size of server backup.

    Sorry but that is simply untrue as one can easily choose to simply not back
    up client backups as part of Server Backup. After all, there's no way in
    WHS V1 to even backup the client backup database.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:04 PM
  • Sorry but that is simply untrue as one can easily choose to simply not back
    up client backups as part of Server Backup. After all, there's no way in
    WHS V1 to even backup the client backup database.

    Speak for yourself.  In my case that is very true because there is no way I wouldn't run server backup.  So if my client backups become over 2TB, it affects my server backup as well.

    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:20 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:20:58 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    Speak for yourself.? In my case that is very true because there is no way I wouldn't run server backup.?

    Great, but just because you want to run Server Backup it doesn't
    necessarily follow that you're going to want to include the client backup
    database as part of that Server Backup.

    So if my client backups become over 2TB, it affects my server backup as well.

    Only if you want to include the client backup database as part of your
    server backup. And in any event you can always use Windows Server Backup
    directly rather than using the Dashboard for your Server Backups.

    You keep trying to make the point that client backups are limited to 2 TB
    and that is simply false. Period.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:27 PM
  • That is not the point i'm trying to make at all.  The point i'm trying to make is that partitions in WHS 2011 are limited to 2 TB.  I think your stuck on your point, so your not even trying to see my point.  I don't know if clients can be backed up to a GPT partition, but the server can't, so I don't wouldn't think they could be.  Therefore, supported partitions are limited to 2 TB.  And why wouldn't a person backup the client database.  Thats is how to achieve redundancy in WHS 2011.
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:32 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:32:38 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    That is not the point i'm trying to make at all.? The point i'm trying to make is that partitions in WHS 2011 are limited to 2 TB.? I think your stuck on your point, so your not even trying to see my point.? I don't know if clients can be backed up to a GPT partition, but the server can't, so I don't wouldn't think they could be.? Therefore, supported partitions are limited to 2 TB.? And why wouldn't a person backup the client database.? Thats is how to achieve redundancy in WHS 2011.

    I don't know where you're getting your information from but this is even
    more incorrect than what I originally thought you were trying to say.

    Partitions in WHS 2011 are most definitely not limited to 2 TB. Period.
    Have a look at the following screen grab and then tell me again how
    partitions are limited to 2 TB:

    What do GPT partitions have to do with anything here at all? The screen
    grab above is a software based RAID 5 and while the disk elements are
    dynamic disks, each partition is an MBR partition and not a GPT partition.

    The following statements are both true:

    1. Client backups are not limited to a total of 2 TB when using WHS 2001.

    2. If you want to include the client backup database in a Server Backup and
    you use the Dashboard to configure your Server Backups then the client
    backup database cannot be located on a volume larger than 2 TB in size.

    Of course as has been repeatedly mentioned here you can easily work around
    the 2 TB max volume size for Server Backups by skipping the Dashboard and
    using the Windows Server Backup UI instead.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:49 PM
  • Wow, you really don't like to be questioned do you?  Maybe instead of all the anger, and trying to prove me wrong, you could give an explanation.  I tried to set up a RAID0 array with three 1TB drives.  The only way it would allow me to use the full 3 TB is if I partitioned the array as GPT.  I was using the on board intel raid.  So what software raid are you using to achieve this? 

     

    Wow.  It can be done, and this is how I did it would be a lot nicer than the insults.


    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 4:58 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 16:58:44 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    Wow.? It can be done, and this is how I did it would be a lot nicer than the insults.

    I am not insulting you, I am merely pointing out that your continued
    statements that partitions in WHS 2011 are limited to 2 TB in size are
    wrong. Nothing at all insulting in letting you know that you're wrong.

    I have no experience with your RAID device so I can't tell you how to do it
    using that device. As I said I used software based RAID which is just then
    internal RAID provided by the Windows Server OS using disk management.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    • Proposed as answer by dlwilliams12 Friday, February 18, 2011 7:12 PM
    Friday, February 18, 2011 5:06 PM
  • Thank you.  That was helpful.  I wasn't aware that the windows RAID utility worked like that.  Is it the same way with spanned volumes?
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 5:09 PM
  • For all clarity, and to correct myself, GPT partitions are not supported by WHS 2011.  I was not aware that the disk management utility in windows could create large volumes (over 2TB) without being partitioned as GPT.
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 5:12 PM
  • Another question Paul.  Is the software RAID that windows provides as picky as hardware RAID?  Meaning is it going to work well without enterprise drives?

    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 5:13 PM
  • fwiw, I've never had a problem with Windows based RAID -- it's not as
    fast as a hardware solution but it's been solid stability-wise, and
    no, you don't need enterprise class drives.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    • Proposed as answer by dlwilliams12 Friday, February 18, 2011 7:19 PM
    Friday, February 18, 2011 5:28 PM
  • I just set it up with windows software RAID, and I still am not able to use server backup to back up partitions over 2 TB.  Oh well, I guess I live with it.
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 7:37 PM
  • On Fri, 18 Feb 2011 19:37:02 +0000, dlwilliams12 wrote:

    I just set it up with windows software RAID, and I still am not able to use server backup to back up partitions over 2 TB.? Oh well, I guess I live with it.

    You can't use Server Backup to backup volumes larger than 2 TB in size,
    which I've been saying all along. Use the Windows Server Backup console
    instead of the Dashboard and you'll be able to do so but you'll need to
    select the option that allows you to choose which files and folders to
    backup.


    Paul Adare
    MVP - Identity Lifecycle Manager
    http://www.identit.ca

    Friday, February 18, 2011 7:49 PM
  • So if I do it that way though, I don't have a VHD (image) backup.  Correct?
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 7:52 PM
  • No, that still produces VHD's, but you'll end up with more than one of
    them.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Friday, February 18, 2011 8:05 PM
  • No, that still produces VHD's, but you'll end up with more than one of
    them.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine

    Ok, I see what you are talking about.

    Now the million dollar question.  When my data becomes over 2 TB, am I done?  Or I see an option to add another disk to backup.  Does that option distribute the data across a couple of backup disks?


    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 8:16 PM
  • >When my data becomes over 2 TB, am I done?
     
    Stop using the dashboard and start using the Win2008 backup and split
    up the backup until it you don't go over 2TB.
     
    >Or I see an option to add another disk to backup.  Does that option distribute the data across a couple of backup disks?
     
    I don't really know the effect of that option, I haven't tested it
    yet.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Friday, February 18, 2011 9:39 PM
  • Yes I see that, and i'm not using the dashboard.  At some point the data I want to back up will become over 2 TB.  I'm just planning for that point.
    D.W.
    Friday, February 18, 2011 9:48 PM
  • >Yes I see that, and i'm not using the dashboard.  At some point the data I want to back up will become over 2 TB.  I'm just planning for that point.
     
    You just split it up into more than one backup and each goes to their
    own VHD...
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Friday, February 18, 2011 9:55 PM
  • Please, let me rephrase my question.  In the following, the source is the computer who is backup up and the destination is the server.

    My concern is not to backup a source hard disk larger than 2TB.  My biggest machine have 2 x 2TB drives.  The backup of this machine takes 2.6TB at destination with WHS v1, installed with 3 x 1TB drives with drive extender.  My concern is : If I install Vail, put my 3 x 1TB drives as three different drives (meaning, without RAID), will vail span the backup at destination when the first one will be full, or, should I put the three 1TB drives on the server into a RAID 0 pack (for a total of 1 x 3TB) for it to work.  I said 2TB in my original post, but let's say they are 1TB to differentiate them from the client.  For this last one, I understand it works as I see the Paul Adare RAID 5 setup in the screen shot below.  So, I will use a RAID 0 as this is a proven working solution and as I want to install it tomorrow.

    RAID 5 seems a better solution, (a rebuild is possible if no more than 1 drive fails) than RAID 0 (no rebuild possible) but I would need another 1TB drive to have my 3TB backup space and I already invested money for 5TB this week.  And anyway, now my server is used only to do backup, so the worst who can happen is to lose my backups.  The majority of my files are now shared with a home workgroup.  For the other files, who stay on the server, they will be on two 500GB drives in RAID 1.

    Thank you all for your help.

    Saturday, February 19, 2011 12:19 AM
  • Hi - this has been a very educational thread for me, but I think the original question is still unanswered:  When the client PC has more data than can fit on any single disk/partition on the server, will WHS 2011 back up a single client machine to multiple disks/partitions on the server?
    Thursday, March 31, 2011 2:47 PM
  • >will WHS 2011 back up a single client machine to multiple disks/partitions on the server?
     
    No, not without some kind of multidisk file system like spanned disks
    or RAID.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Thursday, March 31, 2011 3:00 PM
  • I did some experiments and my setup is now done.  I have 5 PCs and the biggest hard disk consumer is my media center with 2 x 2TB hard disks (not in raid of any sort).  The server is configured with 3 x 1TB drives in software raid 0 (spanning) used only for backups.  Also, it have 2 x 500GB drives in software raid 1 (mirror) for shares I want to protect.  I have also an external 250GB drive to backup the server's system partition (as I have some web sites and databases running there). So, every bits of everything is either backed up on the server or mirrored on the server.  Finally, the critical data is sent from the server to an off-site backup service ($5 per month for 40GB).

    No, I don't miss drive extender.  Ok, it will be more difficult to expand the server storage, but nothing that will take me more than an hour or two.  But at least now, I am free of corrupted files caused by the drive extender bug who was only partially corrected (about 20 MP3s corrupted since the patch for this bug).

    So, can you span the PC backup on multiple drives on the server?  Yes, of my 3x1GB drives, 80% is taken from the backups and I tested the complete PC restore process and it works fine.
    Can you backup a PC hard disk of more than 2TB ?  Don't know.  I will possibly merge my 2TB disks from my media center later to see, but I wanted at least a backup on the server before doing that.

    And one last thing, it took more than 2 days for the backup process of the media center to complete with a 1GB/s LAN and 3.5TB of data is 2.2TB one backed up.

    Thursday, March 31, 2011 10:04 PM
  • Thanks Bob - a couple more questions about client backups:

    1) If the client PC has a >2TB partition (e.g. one of the new 3TB drives formatted as a single volume) AND there's >2TB of data on that partition, will client backup work? (assuming there's large enough partition on the server as in the screenshot posted above)

    2) If the answer to (1) is NO, is there a workaround that will still back up the >2TB of data on the client partition?

    Monday, April 4, 2011 1:17 AM
  • >1) If the client PC has a >2TB partition (e.g. one of the new 3TB drives formatted as a single volume) AND there's >2TB of data on that partition, will client backup work? (assuming there's large enough partition on the server as in the screenshot posted above)
     
    As far as I know it'll work for the client backup, as long as the
    client backup folder is on a partition that's large enough, but
    backing up the server folder that holds the client backups would be a
    problem.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Monday, April 4, 2011 1:36 AM
  • Hi Bob:

    I sense a little uncertainty with "As far as I know", so is there any way to get official confirmation of your answer?  I'm planning to upgrade my workstation with 3TB drives and want to build a WHS based on 3TB drives in software RAID 5.  I need to make sure I can work around any >2TB limitations in client backup before I invest in the hardware.  Thanks!

    I also want to thank sbeaudoin for the info in his latest post!

    Monday, April 4, 2011 5:19 PM
  • >I sense a little uncertainty with "As far as I know",
     
    Not really -- I just can't guarantee the result as I haven't tested it
    personally.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Monday, April 4, 2011 5:34 PM
  • After reading all the posts Im confused, my syster consists of 3 computers all folders eg music, video point to a folder on my server. So none of my computers have any data on them. Currently have 12TB of storage and am using about 4TB. Will the server do automatic backs up like ver1 does and back up all 4 TB.  Will I need to have a motherboard with raid on it for v.2 ? Finally will all my drives have to be the same? I thought this would be easy but now Im more confused then ever. My client computers do not need backups, but my server does will this be a issue for the amout of data I have and I will be increasing data size rapidly.
    Monday, April 4, 2011 11:48 PM
  • @rob111111 - using the backup utility built into the WHS2011 Dashboard, you can only ever backup a maximum of 2TB of server data. If you have more data than that, then you'll have to delve into the backup facilities of the underlying Windows Server 2008 R2 system to backup the full server. See: http://gcoupe.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/i-dont-believe-it-2/
    Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:03 AM
  • > Will I need to have a motherboard with raid on it for v.2 ? Finally will all my drives have to be the same?

    You don't need a motherboard with RAID - you can use the disk management utilities of Windows Server 2008 R2 to create a software RAID volume (you can't do this from the WHS v.2 console).  See also the answer in this thread:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winservergen/thread/e2e50635-38dd-4df3-a6f0-2560031795f5/

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011 9:25 PM