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clients larger than 2TB? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'll start with a quick apology.  I get the sense that this has been talked to death, but after reading the forum for 45 minutes I'm unable to find an answer.

    I recently installed a home-built WHS 2011 box.  It contains 3 x 2TB drives.  I'm backing up 3 machines (all Win 7 x64), and the total backup is just below 2TB.  I'm getting "Out of Space" warnings.  After reading the forums it looks like the total size of my "Client Backup" Server Folder can't be greater than 2TB, unless I create a larger virtual drive via RAID 0 sum of two disks.  Can that be correct?

    Before digging into this I assumed one of the following would be true:

    1)  Specific clients could be pointed at specific Server Folders.  For example: Client One could be pointed at a 2TB drive whose only Server Folder is "Client One Backup".

    2)  Specific types of documents could be pointed at specific Server Folders.  For example: videos on Clients One, Two and Three could be pointed at a 2TB drive whose only Server Folder is "Videos".  This would make additional sense since I could share some or all of this directory with my Homegroup, giving (for example) my Xbox an easy way to play household videos.

    If neither of these options is true, I'm trying to understand what Microsoft recommends.  I know I can't do a server backup of drives larger than 2TBs (without doing some work under the hood).  So what did they intend for households whose collective client backups total more than 2TBs?

    At this point I'm using all of one drive and part of the second, but none of the third.  Is my only option to clear out the second drive, and RAID 0 with my third drive?

    Many thanks in advance for your feedback and suggestions.

    • Moved by Ken Warren Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:51 AM Vail question (From:Windows Home Server Software)
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 6:09 AM

Answers

  • All client backups go into a single backup database, so no, you can't point one client at disk 1, and another at disk 2. The recommendation is generally to put more data on your server where it can be shared with everyone, and less on individual clients. As for pointing specific file types at the server, again no. You can redirect shell folders to your server's shares if you like, or you can simply copy files to the server when they're "done". Anything in a folder the server has been told to include for streaming will be available to your clients (including XBox, ect.) for playback.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by cornwell Friday, August 26, 2011 5:44 AM
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:51 AM

All replies

  • All client backups go into a single backup database, so no, you can't point one client at disk 1, and another at disk 2. The recommendation is generally to put more data on your server where it can be shared with everyone, and less on individual clients. As for pointing specific file types at the server, again no. You can redirect shell folders to your server's shares if you like, or you can simply copy files to the server when they're "done". Anything in a folder the server has been told to include for streaming will be available to your clients (including XBox, ect.) for playback.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by cornwell Friday, August 26, 2011 5:44 AM
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:51 AM
  • in a related question, I have whsv1 and been trying to figure out if i can go to whs 2011... my server has 24TB now, and my pc has about 9.5TB.  The others probably another 2TB.  This setup works flawlessly as is.  I seen the server side backup beat to death.  That is not what I am asking.  Is there a limit to how much you can backup from a client?

     

    Thursday, August 25, 2011 4:55 PM
  • The backup database can't grow larger than a single disk, and Windows Home Server 2011 uses MBR style disks by default, so the effective limit for a single client connected to your server is slightly less than 2 TB unless you do something to allow a larger database. The only practical way to manage that is to combine multiple disks using RAID, but you will have the problem of being unable to back up your backup database using built-in tools due to limitations there as well.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, August 25, 2011 5:25 PM
  • I'm not clear how carefully MSFT product management staff read down threads, but I'll add my comment with the hope they'll see it.

    Really, MSFT?  Really?

    I went from a five-year-old product which easily backed up anything and everything in my house, automatically...

    ...to a brand-new product which won't back up individual machines over 2TB

    ...won't back up a household of machines which sum to more than 2TB

    ...won't back up the server folders if they're more than 2TB

    ...and which doesn't have a cleanly-integrated RAID solution so I can expand my Client Backup pool.

    I'm just dumbfounded.  I've had WHS since the beginning, and I was reading the DE posts along the way, but it's only now that I'm understanding the choice the product team made.

    How did this happen?  How did you decide that it was okay to ship a household server with a 2TB client limit?

    <nine-month-late rant over, now off to mutter bitterly that I didn't buy motherboard RAID support on my homebuilt server, or buy Drobo when it was on sale at Costco three months ago>

    Friday, August 26, 2011 5:58 AM
  • I understand your pain.

    I ranted about the removal of DE directly to Microsoft, in much less complimentary (but still polite) terms, when I was told last year.

    My personal opinion is that the removal of Drive Extender from the product was driven by the need to get the business SKUs out the door. Windows Home Server V1 sold far better to small businesses (where it's usually used as a $50-$75/seat backup engine with bare metal restore capability, and occasionally as a simple file server) than it did to consumers, and that has skewed the product in favor of business. Fixing Drive Extender was likely to turn into a "fishing expedition"; the business SKUs (SBSe in particular) need to be able to support a wide range of "line of business" applications and DE made many of those perform poorly, caused errors in others, etc. Every time the team fixed one issue, they probably discovered two more in other LOB apps. Eventually the need to ship won out over the feature set, and DE went away.

    As for specific capabilities, all I can say is that Microsoft tells us that their market research says the vast majority of consumers in the target market segments don't have data in the volome you do. A couple of 2 TB disks should be adequate for years for almost all Windows Home Server 2011 users, so people with large volumes of data are left to their own devices.

    All that said, you can back up larger clients (use RAID, add a single large disk using a GPT partition table, and put client backups on it) and you can back up more than 2 TB of data from your server (use multiple disks to back up different shares). You just need to go beyond the bounds of self-installed and "tweak free" Windows Home Server 2011. The most restrictive limitation today is probably that you can't back up more than 2 TB to a single backup device, which means that you're limited to 2 TB per share (because that's the default backup granularity in the interface). If you have more than a couple of TB of data in toto, though, there are no good consumer solutions at all, never mind where the data is, who the backup solution vendor is, or what the backup technology is.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, August 26, 2011 1:26 PM
  • Thanks... That was the answer I was looking for.
    Monday, August 29, 2011 3:23 PM
  • wow... just one of my shares are over 9TB.  would not work for me. Now granted, I am not the average user, but on my playbox, I have 1.2TB just in Steam games.  I have an camcorder that records mpg with a 30GB hdd capacity. ( A feature my wife is desperately trying to wear out).  It doesnt take long for disk space to completely disappear.  With HD camcorders everywhere now, 2TB is nothing.  With WHS, this was the killer backup solution.  I started out less than 9TB and have grown to over 24TB (with 3TB left).  In order to go to a real raid solution, I cannot use the 8xSata port cards that I have (which i have 2).  I would have to spend over $900/ea for a raid card to give me the flexibility i have for WHS v1.  My hope is they continue to support it for a while.  I hate to say this, but 2011 has turned into the WHS equivalent of Vista (ok to some, but a backwards step to others)

     

     

    Monday, August 29, 2011 3:32 PM