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Is WHS more than just backup?? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Here is my question: What does WHS offer over a simple network NAS for backup?

     

    I need to backup 3 computers across 2 locations.  I create 2 backup devices identical to each other and swap them weekly to provide a disaster proof backup solution.  Assuming WHS doesn't cost more than $150, I figure I can make these WHS computers for $500 each.

     

    An alternative would be one of these linux NAS devices, which I could probably get for $200 to $300 each with enough storage space. I guess with this solution I would have to research and find backup software to run each pc.

     

     

    What would WHS offer me over the simple NAS solution? If it matters 2 computers are XP and 1 is 2k (though i've been meaning to update it to xp again).  This is a business that isn't really computer orriented (mechanic) but uses it for tracking customer info and all that jazz.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 12:49 PM

All replies

  •  Brothernod wrote:

    Here is my question: What does WHS offer over a simple network NAS for backup?

    I need to backup 3 computers across 2 locations. I create 2 backup devices identical to each other and swap them weekly to provide a disaster proof backup solution. Assuming WHS doesn't cost more than $150, I figure I can make these WHS computers for $500 each.

    An alternative would be one of these linux NAS devices, which I could probably get for $200 to $300 each with enough storage space. I guess with this solution I would have to research and find backup software to run each pc.

    What would WHS offer me over the simple NAS solution? If it matters 2 computers are XP and 1 is 2k (though i've been meaning to update it to xp again). This is a business that isn't really computer orriented (mechanic) but uses it for tracking customer info and all that jazz.



    WHS is easy file storage, automated pc backups and remote access to those pc's in a nutshell.

    With a NAS what would be your restore process if one of your machines needed to be restored? From what I've seen the WHS restore functionality is easily one of the easiest I've seen. The restore software is on the WHS, burn it to media, pop it in the network connected pc you need to restore, it boots from the CD and the restore process runs.(Other folks have given better more detailed explanations than that).

    For me the compression on backups is much better than I've seen elsewhere(therefore I'm taking up less disk space with the intial full backup and subsequent differentials(I'm guessing they are differentials).

    Remote access when I'm not home is a godsend because I tend to want to check certain files that I have on my machines when I'm not home(we're in the process of planning a wedding so that means contract files, vendor files, guest list, etc..). (Of course this gives me an opportunity to briefly gripe again about the fact that you can Remote in to XP Home and Vista Home PC's...most of my machines are XP Pro or Media Center, EXCEPT for the main machine in the house).

    So IMO WHS offers a bit more than just backup, although backup is probably the most noticeable thing it seems to do well.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:06 PM
  • The simplicity of restoring a tanked computer is definitely the top selling point for me right now.  I haven't done research on backup software yet so I don't know if there is a cheaper equivelant.

    Also the compression is partially moot as for the price differential it's cake to get a larger harddrive, though if there were more computers to manage this would make a definite difference.

     

     

    Since this is a business, has there been talk of the security of the remote access stuff?  I forgot about this and this could be really useful for remote troubleshooting... but I'd have to read more about the security.

     

    Does WHS offer file versioning, or does that have to be offered by the client?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:22 PM
  •  Brothernod wrote:

    The simplicity of restoring a tanked computer is definitely the top selling point for me right now. I haven't done research on backup software yet so I don't know if there is a cheaper equivelant.

    Also the compression is partially moot as for the price differential it's cake to get a larger harddrive, though if there were more computers to manage this would make a definite difference.

    Since this is a business, has there been talk of the security of the remote access stuff? I forgot about this and this could be really useful for remote troubleshooting... but I'd have to read more about the security.

    Does WHS offer file versioning, or does that have to be offered by the client?



    By file versioning I'm assuming you mean the ability to go back to a previous version of a file stored on the WHS?

    I think there has been some discussion on the remote access but I haven't participated in it much... I think the general conclusion was that it's secure enough for regular use, but again I didn't particpate in those threads.

    I believe it does though I haven't fully investigated that aspect. I vaguely remember reading something about it in the initial docs though....
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:28 PM
  •  

    >>By file versioning I'm assuming you mean the ability to go back to a previous version of a file stored on the WHS?

     

    This is called Shadow Copies and it's a great feature of Server 2003. Typically you install or use a group policy to push a small installer called 'Previous Versions' to the clients and then it adds a previous versions tab to the properties of files or folders. This way you can immediately recover accidentally deleted folders (properties of the volume shows the folder versions) and carry forward without needed to restore from the latest backup. Here's more info:

     

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/scr.mspx

     

    p.s. How do I quote text with this editor?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:48 PM
  •  kold wrote:

    >>By file versioning I'm assuming you mean the ability to go back to a previous version of a file stored on the WHS?

    This is called Shadow Copies and it's a great feature of Server 2003. Typically you install or use a group policy to push a small installer called 'Previous Versions' to the clients and then it adds a previous versions tab to the properties of files or folders. This way you can immediately recover accidentally deleted folders (properties of the volume shows the folder versions) and carry forward without needed to restore from the latest backup. Here's more info:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/scr.mspx

    p.s. How do I quote text with this editor?



    Yeah I'm familiar with Shadow Copies I've experimented with them here at work, to see if I wanted to role that feature out to our users I'd just never heard it called file versioning before... and I was just confirming that was what he was talking about.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:55 PM
  • What little I know about file versioning comes from the talks about it's existance in Vista from JKOnTheRun.

    http://jkontherun.blogs.com/jkontherun/2007/03/vista_shadow_co.html

    Ah, it's called Shadow Copy there too... guess i'll have to remember that.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:37 PM
  • File versioning is supported, though not through the web interface. The specifics are in the documentation, I believe.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 5:44 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes, WHS supports restoring of your backed up files as of time of any backups you'v chosen to keep.
    Saturday, March 31, 2007 12:19 PM
  •  Brothernod wrote:

    Here is my question: What does WHS offer over a simple network NAS for backup?

     

    I need to backup 3 computers across 2 locations.  I create 2 backup devices identical to each other and swap them weekly to provide a disaster proof backup solution.  Assuming WHS doesn't cost more than $150, I figure I can make these WHS computers for $500 each.

    Where did you come up with those Financial numbers.  Since Home Server is based on SBS, I doubt it will cost less than any of the existing Windows Vista versions that were just realeased two months ago.  I wouldn't expect to get away with less than $400 to $500 for WHS retail version.  You will probably get a better deal on it if you buy it with some hardware.
    Saturday, March 31, 2007 5:15 PM
  • Well you can get Vista Home Premium for $120 and Vista Ultimate for $200, OEM.

     

    I doubt home server will be released in a retail sku since anyone that would buy it to build there own knows the price advantage of OEM copies.

    Also, they are trying to justify an additional appliance to households, not to a business.  The importance of backup isn't as obvious or mission critical to your average household.  As such price will be VERY important to this taking off.  When most people are looking to get their laptop or desktop for under $800, do you really think they are going to go for a device that they don't interact with intimately for more than that?

     

    On top of that, this isn't a full featured os.  I mean yes it could act as one, but that is not the purpose.  It's an appliance.  You turn it on and it does it's thing, off to the side.  Again, a hard sell if it costs more than your full fledged computer that you do everything on.

     

    I'm sure Microsoft knows this and wouldn't attempt to have it cost near what their "server" software costs.

     

    I'm willing to bet that you either buy it "oem" or on a pc, and no retail sku.  It won't succeed if it's expensive, and more than $150 is expensive.

    Saturday, March 31, 2007 5:35 PM
  • Why would WHS cost nearly as much as SBS?  SBS contains all sorts of things that WHS doesn't and won't, most notably AD, Exchange, etc. 

     

    If Microsoft is going to actually sell this thing, $400-500 is WAY too much for just the software. 

    Sunday, April 8, 2007 11:31 PM