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A little understanding RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a couple of nagging questions about WHS.

    The History,

    Priror to using WHS, I had 3 2TB HDD's connected to what we will call the primary PC.   The first 2TB drive holds thousands of PICs, music, videos, etc.  The 2nd and 3rd drives are my backup drives (when I remember to manually copy stuff off primary).   The primary drive has a few shared folders so that everyone on the network can play tunes, etc.  The setup has worked fine for years,  but its a pain getting everyone on the network to save their own content to the shares.  And the manual backups on the primary PC is a time consuming adventure. A m

    So,  I built a WHS PC (P4, 80GB, 1GBram) , and moved 2 of the external 2TB drives to the NEW server,  Installed connect on the PC's around the house, and started the backup process.  It  went well. All internal C:\ drives are backed up, including my 2TB Picture, Video, music drive.

    The issue

    I'm confused about watching my newly backed up content from the server.   I can see the shares from all of my windows machines in the home, but there is nothing in them!?  I was half expecting that WHS would propagate these folders with my files and that of all the other PC's around the home based on extension. 

    Is the media sharing portion of the server a seperate entity from the backup portion?  Do I also have to copy all of my pics, videos and music from my main pc to the shared folders on the server?  If so, thats fine, and when I do that, is this content also backed up?  If it is, then I see no point in keeping my main 2TB drive connected on my PC, and should just move it to the server with the other 2??.

    Thanks, Dave. 

    Friday, September 17, 2010 5:17 PM

Answers

  • You really have several questions:

    Are the shares connected to the backup database?
    The shares (including media sharing) are separate from the backup database; nothing in the database is accesible through the shares.

    Are the shares backed up:
    The shares are duplicated if you turn that feature on for them; if you do so then you will be protected from data loss resulting from the failure of a single drive in your server. But this isn't good protection against an event such as fire, flood, or similar events (generally referred to as force majeure events), because if your house burns down it doesn't matter if your server has duplication on or not. All the data burns up with the house. The shares can be backed up, if you attach an external drive to your server as a backup drive and back up one or more shares to it. Then you can take that drive off-site, providing fairly good force majeure protection for that data.

    How does data (media) reach my server?
    Some OEMs (HP, for instance) have included a media collector tool which will sweep certain defined file types into appropriate shares, but it's not part of the base product.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:25 PM
    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 6:30 PM
    Moderator
  • It must not be an major bad event, it is much easier - you delete the wrong folder at the wrong time. Or malware overwrites something, where you have write permissions to.

    WHS will only backup files to external disk, if you do this manually ny clicking the appropriate function in the console. (It will not backup itself to the backup database, since this would also give a wrong sense of security, as Ken already explained.)

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:25 PM
    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 7:52 PM
    Moderator
  • I'll take a shot at this.

    WHS is currently backing up the PC's that you have connected to it.

    If you want your music, and video's on the server and available to all then you must put it in the shared folders.

    There is NO automatic backup of either the PC backups or your shared folders.

    If you only have ONE hard drive in your WHS then your shares (music videos etc.) will not be protected.

    If you have more than one hard drive on your WHS then you can turn on folder duplication on a per folder basis.

    Folder duplication will take the contents of the folder on one drive and make a copy of the folder on the second drive. (My analogy to this would be a mirored array if that means anything to you)

    If you lose one drive you will not (I would actually say a better term would be SHOULD NOT) lose any shared data that is duplicated on the second drive.

    To protect against disaster you have to MANUALLY make an external copy of your shares and store it off site.

    Your PC backups are NOT duplicated.

    If you want to backup your PC backups in the case of a disaster there is a add on that you can install to do so. I use WHS DBDD to do this and is has saved my rear end twice.


    The following is my opinion and my opinion alone as a WHS user. 

    Backup your shares and backup database. Despite the marketing hype, the WHS is very sensitive to a hard drive failure.

    If you lose a hard drive you will very likely lose all your PC backups. This may or may not be an issue since your PC's are probably still running so you can just run another backup that night.


    But if you have some older retired PC's that are backed up in case you need the data at a future point then those backups will likely be gone. So Use DBDD and make a copy of your backups.

    if you lose one drive and do not have duplication on then any share which is located on that drive and not duplicated will be gone.


    You do not get to specify which drives get what data so if you don't duplicate you are potentially playing with fire.

    I would play with the WHS for a while before I deleted anything off your current PCs

     

    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 9:16 PM

All replies

  • You really have several questions:

    Are the shares connected to the backup database?
    The shares (including media sharing) are separate from the backup database; nothing in the database is accesible through the shares.

    Are the shares backed up:
    The shares are duplicated if you turn that feature on for them; if you do so then you will be protected from data loss resulting from the failure of a single drive in your server. But this isn't good protection against an event such as fire, flood, or similar events (generally referred to as force majeure events), because if your house burns down it doesn't matter if your server has duplication on or not. All the data burns up with the house. The shares can be backed up, if you attach an external drive to your server as a backup drive and back up one or more shares to it. Then you can take that drive off-site, providing fairly good force majeure protection for that data.

    How does data (media) reach my server?
    Some OEMs (HP, for instance) have included a media collector tool which will sweep certain defined file types into appropriate shares, but it's not part of the base product.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:25 PM
    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 6:30 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Ken,

    Mom always said to ask lots of questions.  lol.

    So in a nutshell.  WHS is doing its job backing up all my PC's. 

     

    If I want to share my pics, and other goodies, I can add them to the shared folders on the server, as can everyone else in the home.

    I can get rid of the shares that I used to use on my own personal PC, as WHS will now look after these tasks, (Once I copy them over) and WHS will backup the files we add to those folders.

    Yes?

    Please say yes. Before I pull out my last few hairs.

    Thanks

     

    Friday, September 17, 2010 7:38 PM
  • It must not be an major bad event, it is much easier - you delete the wrong folder at the wrong time. Or malware overwrites something, where you have write permissions to.

    WHS will only backup files to external disk, if you do this manually ny clicking the appropriate function in the console. (It will not backup itself to the backup database, since this would also give a wrong sense of security, as Ken already explained.)

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Saturday, September 18, 2010 4:25 PM
    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 7:52 PM
    Moderator
  • I'll take a shot at this.

    WHS is currently backing up the PC's that you have connected to it.

    If you want your music, and video's on the server and available to all then you must put it in the shared folders.

    There is NO automatic backup of either the PC backups or your shared folders.

    If you only have ONE hard drive in your WHS then your shares (music videos etc.) will not be protected.

    If you have more than one hard drive on your WHS then you can turn on folder duplication on a per folder basis.

    Folder duplication will take the contents of the folder on one drive and make a copy of the folder on the second drive. (My analogy to this would be a mirored array if that means anything to you)

    If you lose one drive you will not (I would actually say a better term would be SHOULD NOT) lose any shared data that is duplicated on the second drive.

    To protect against disaster you have to MANUALLY make an external copy of your shares and store it off site.

    Your PC backups are NOT duplicated.

    If you want to backup your PC backups in the case of a disaster there is a add on that you can install to do so. I use WHS DBDD to do this and is has saved my rear end twice.


    The following is my opinion and my opinion alone as a WHS user. 

    Backup your shares and backup database. Despite the marketing hype, the WHS is very sensitive to a hard drive failure.

    If you lose a hard drive you will very likely lose all your PC backups. This may or may not be an issue since your PC's are probably still running so you can just run another backup that night.


    But if you have some older retired PC's that are backed up in case you need the data at a future point then those backups will likely be gone. So Use DBDD and make a copy of your backups.

    if you lose one drive and do not have duplication on then any share which is located on that drive and not duplicated will be gone.


    You do not get to specify which drives get what data so if you don't duplicate you are potentially playing with fire.

    I would play with the WHS for a while before I deleted anything off your current PCs

     

    • Marked as answer by David McM Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:05 PM
    Friday, September 17, 2010 9:16 PM
  • Thanks guys for all your help.  I think I was making this more complex than it really is. 

     

    I'll take the reccomendation of leaving my vids, pics, etc on the main drive of my main PC, and let WHS back that up. 

    I suppose I can leave the shares enabled on that PC and continue sharing them out like I've done for years, and just let WHS do backups.  If I'm on the road,  I'll move what I need to the shared folders on the server.

     

    Thanks Again,

     

     

    Sunday, September 19, 2010 3:29 PM