Backup default setups ought to be more intelligent RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I may be late to the party on this one, my apologies if this has been hashed over already.

    I finally got WHS running this past weekend and talking with two clients.   One of the clients is a desktop with approx 435 Gb between two internal drives and one attached drive.  The WHS set up I put together currently has approx 300 Gb of storage on two drives (soon to be extended with a couple spare USB drives).

    I knew that a full backup would not be possible with the units configured as-is, but I wanted to see how the system responded with the default selections.  When the client first started on the desktop, it wanted to do a backup and I clicked the defaults and let it go, as someone might do out of the box setting it up.

    The backup tried to run through until it filled up the server's store to between 90% and 95%, at which point the server's backup service failed messily and needed a reboot.  

    Which brings up the default backup settings...given a household with a couple well filled machines, even a very robustly configured server might get overwhelmed on a default backup.  Or, a new client installed in a home network that has been running for a while with lots of shared data may attempt to backup and find itself short.

    I would suggest providing in the default setup the following:

    1. A backup wizard that at each stage of the setup shows the estimated backup size and the free space on the server.
    2. Wizard options for data-only backups (assuming the user understands and can restore a system from media).
    3. By default, providing a drive/folder selection panel, to give the opportunity to select or exclude data.

    Of course, a more robust failure mode when a backup fails due to lack of space would be needed as well, so that recovery is less annoying.

    All that being said, the backup service seems to be pretty nice.  I'm looking forward to running a test restore on the other machine I set up in the network, once I'm done recovering the server from the blown backup from the big guy. ;)


    Monday, March 26, 2007 4:30 PM

All replies

  • I would add to this - also giving the option of fast or background back up and also selective file backup for space reasons

    Installed WHS over the weekend and backed up 4 PCs manually (one at a time).   Each one only used about 8-10% of the available link speed and very little CPU speed - this would have been ideal for background back ups but infuriatingly slow for the first time back up.


    Monday, March 26, 2007 5:26 PM
  • Have you tried using the 'configure backup' title menu option on the WHS console? It provides the ability to choose which folders/drives to include/exclude. I do not remember if it gives a backup size estimate.

    The configure backup for my test purpose worked as expected. I have a dedicated recorded tv drive on my windows vista machine that I do not care to backup, excluding it using the wizard did that.

    However on that note, invoking the backup wizard right after the installation of the WHS client might be a good idea.

    Monday, March 26, 2007 5:56 PM
  • I know this thread is a little old, but I recently experienced the same thing. I had added an additional drive and without really checking the total space I started a manual backup. There really needs to be a more graceful response to the backup space being full before the backup completes. Ideally, it would not let you start the backup (although this might not be easy with multiple client backups already on the machine).
    Friday, May 4, 2007 3:41 PM
  • Just as a clarification, I did that test backup back in March with the idea of finding out how WHS handled someone trying to backup more than could be stored, since the default settings are to backup everything and many users will accept the defaults without digging deeper into the settings. 


    Overall, I like the backup facility, appropriately set up it looks pretty solid.  It could stand to have a more logical setup, like a file-tree view checkbox control, but I've run into worse before.






    Friday, May 4, 2007 7:38 PM