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Adding a drive in one bay for off-site backup purposes RRS feed

  • Question

  • I would like to take a drive off site that contains copies of my shares and the backup database.  I've been considering several options, and I've read many posts.  It appears that my first choice, eSATA, will not be able to be "temporarily removed" and recognized later from what I've read already.  I would go USB2, but I'm a little concerned about backup time.  My computer backups (5-6 systems) is around 100-200 GB.  My shares are presently only around 40GB, and yes, they are duplicated across my drives.  I was wondering if I could purchase a SATA drive, probably a 1TB or so, that I could mount in one of my four bays temporarily.  I could go into the console to add it, copy files through either the console file manager add-in or via the remote desktop, remove the drive via the console, and then take the drive to work (off site).  I would plan on copying the backup DB of course atop the share folders/files.  I'm guessing that the answer is the same as eSATA...no or not a good idea.  I presently have two open bays in my Asus Easystore WHS with two 1TB drives and Powerpack 2 installed (no Windows 7 computers yet). 

    NOTE-ASIDE: I've been using WHS for around 2-3 months.  Mostly happy with it, but sometimes have issues with the console giving me a blank screen.  I believe the terminal services is locking up.  Rebooting always helps.  Sometimes, I can remote desktop to it still and clear it, but mostly reboot.  I've just today discovered some error logs with terminal services.  I set the service to restart twice instead of "do nothing" (set within SERVICES remoting into the server).  Other than that, works great!

    I can buy a 1TB external drive from MacMall for around $70 (Item 7532251) with two $20 rebates ($110 before rebates).  It has eSATA and USB2.  I've considered this drive, because it gives me both options.  I'm more interested in speed.  My time is valuable to me, since I'm going for a Masters of Science degree in my own time after work.  I guess it would be fine if you can select multiple areas, copy and walk away for an hour or however long it takes (overnight possibly).  Remote desktop would probably allow me to robocopy or batch copy all the files, changed files or something like that.

    I found backup advice, but nothing asking about inserting a drive into one of the bays for backup.  Feel free to answer with another post if you know or can find one.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Bill 

    Saturday, September 5, 2009 4:40 AM

Answers

  • Go ahead and use eSATA. It may or may not support hot swapping; that depends on your server hardware. At worst, you shut your server down after temporarily removing the backup drive in the console...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    • Marked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 2:05 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Go ahead and use eSATA. It may or may not support hot swapping; that depends on your server hardware. At worst, you shut your server down after temporarily removing the backup drive in the console...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Marked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    • Marked as answer by Bill.Parker Monday, September 7, 2009 4:56 PM
    Saturday, September 5, 2009 2:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Curious as to what procedures will be required with eSATA.  Will I be able to do everything through the console via add-ins (file manager, backup, etc), or should I remote desktop?
    Monday, September 7, 2009 4:59 PM
  • I can buy a 1TB external drive from MacMall for around $70 (Item 7532251) with two $20 rebates ($110 before rebates).  It has eSATA and USB2. 


    Another option that is reported to work is the SANS DIGITAL TR5M-B which has 5 bays with eSATA 3Gbps (via Port Multiplier) for ~$199.  One user reported setting this up with 3x1TB seagate drives and formatted them as a "concatenated" GPT drive with a capacity of 2.73 TB.  It maybe more capacity than you need now, but, it allows for future growth.

    I have not tried this myself, but, I'm thinking it's time to get in the off-site backup mode like you.
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 12:24 AM
  • You'll find everything you want to know in the console help file, and everything you want to do in the console. It doesn't say anything about eSATA, but a drive is a drive, as far as using it is concerned.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 3:56 AM
    Moderator
  • Nice storage bay!  Little big for transporting back and forth though (off site).  I would like to eventually have two for one at home and one at work as a rotating backup.  Plus, it's always nice to have another one around for the "forgot it at work today" moments.  It would becomes a "swap the backup drive" day.

    This is sort of why I was interested in docking a bare drive into an available bay.  I have 4 bays of which 2 are presently unused in my server (Acer EasyStore).  Then, I've also considered the SATA dock with an eSATA connection.  For example, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00180MMZC, where I've heard good things about the Vantec dock.  The only deal with this is that it costs more ($37 dock + $69 drive) that what I can buy a drive already in a case ($70 from MacMall).  ALTHOUGH, the dock allows me to dock whatever drive suites my present need for size or number.  MAYBE I'M TALKING MYSELF INTO THE BAY AGAIN!  AAAAHHHHH! 

    Still interested in what I have to look forward to with eSATA connection. 
    1.  Will it recognize the drive without rebooting?  Hot swappable should see the drive initially, and should be able to run my routines without restarting (is my guess). 
    2.  Can I select it for backup only purposes?  Or, will it just be another drive letter?
    3.  Do I need to shut down to remove the drive?
    4.  Do I have to remote desktop to perform a copy of the backup database and all the files in "one swoop". 
    5.  Can I make a batch file on the server to automate it (obviously used from the remote desktop)?
    6.  I know I can automate the backup of the backup dB via an addin, but backing up all the shares seems like it could possibly be tedious.  Is there an addin for this?  Or is batching it from the remote desktop a better way to go?

    Sorry for being a planner.  I like to know what I'm getting into BEFORE doing it. 

    Thanks!
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 4:12 AM
  • Some of your questions (1, 3) can only be answered by you; we don't have your hardware. Some (2, 6) are answered in the console help file. The help file is part of your documentation; you really should read it...

    4 and 5: Backing up the backup database is unsupported. However, you'll find information on how to do so in the Home Computer Backup and Restore technical brief (including a list of commands that you could include in a batch file if you so desired). Or you can use the add-in which you obviously already know about.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 4:10 PM
    Moderator
  • Where is the help file you're talking about?  I have all the ACER documentation for my server (EasyStore), but it came with nothing really for the home server software with exception of how to use the console.  Is it located on the server installation in a help file location?  I've searched the Windows\Help folder, but no major file was there worth reading about my issue.
    Thursday, September 10, 2009 11:24 PM
  • Did you open the Windows Home Server Console and click on the Help button?
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, September 11, 2009 3:32 PM
    Moderator