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WHS Backup Requirements RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just recently switched over to WHS 2011 and I am totally confused when it comes to the server backups.  I have 12TB of data on my server.  Therefore, I have the following questions:

    1.  Do I have to have 12TB of space to backup my server or will the backups be compressed?

    2.  Currently I have two 2TB external HDD for server backup.  When I attempted a backup, it starts backing up to one of the drives.  I was not given an option to select which drive to backup to.....so will it start using the second drive once the first is filled?

    3.  I started a backup with all my volumes selected.  At the time, I only had one of the 2TB Backup drives assigned to the server backup.  I was never given a warning that the target drive was too small for the amount of data on the source drives.  Does that mean it was going to compress 12TB of data onto a 2TB drive?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    Rodney

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:21 AM

Answers

  • RAID alone is not sufficient for data safety, you need a backup
    strategy too.

    As Bob says, RAID isn't sufficient for data safety. It's reaching the end of it's useful life as a technology; with increasing hard drive sizes, it is becoming more and more likely that the failure of a hard drive will end with the complete failure of the RAID array, with subsequent loss of all data. So RAID reaching the point where it's not even sufficient to provide failure resistance (the lowest level of protection for a fault tolerant storage subsystem).

    Unfortunately, backing up an arbitrarily large collection of data is a very difficult problem to solve at a price point that consumers will accept. Best practice is probably to maintain several (3+) sets of drives which offer as much storage as your main array. You would have one set on-site, providing backup for your array, and two sets off-site providing remote disaster recovery storage. Then you would rotate one of the off-site sets on-site, and take the on-site set off-site, on a regular basis. (you need 3 sets outside the main array so that you will always have one backup set off-site, even while you're swapping sets.) Figuring 6x2TB drives in the main storage array (since the OP has 12 TB of storage), you're looking at a total of 24 drives, and about $2,500 for storage, based on the current price of inexpensive 2 TB drives. Then there's some overhead to support the backup strategy: external cases for the drives, or an external "hot swap" or "cold swap" storage array, plus carriers, plus (possibly) software to back it all up. (Figuring $3,000 altogether isn't unreasonable.) And even with all that, you're still not protected against everything, though I'll admit the class of disasters that you'd still be vulnerable to are such that you probably wouldn't care anymore. :)

    All the above is why I have a (rather large) rider on my homeowner's insurance to cover all my media: I have several thousand CDs, and nearly a thousand DVDs and BluRay disks; while I have the majority of the CDs ripped to audio files on my server and backed up as above, the video content isn't protected, and replacing all that media is a matter of quite a few thousand dollars in the event of a disaster.

    My recommendation to others is to do much what I've done: insure your media collection. Don't try to "back it up" because doing so costs way too much.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by SilkRod Monday, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 4:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Two servers, no RAID and off site backups for me. If all that fails, I will be very unlucky to loose data.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by SilkRod Monday, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 6:27 PM

All replies

  • WHS2011 can only back up 2TB of data so you need to be very selective. No it will not back up to a second drive when the first is full. The purpose of being able to connect more than one backup drive is so that you can rotate them offsite to prevent loss through fire, flood, theft etc.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 1:05 AM
  • Thanks Phil for the speedy response.  So what do I do to backup all my data?


    Rodney

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 2:11 AM
  • Go back to WHS v1!  :)

    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________

    Thanks Phil for the speedy response.  So what do I do to backup all my data?


    Rodney


    BullDawg
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 5:50 AM
  • Go back to WHS v1!  :)

    Or move on to Windows Server 2012 Essentials at considerably more cost! Or use a RAID or multiple disks in your WHS2011 to protect yourself from disk but not fire, flood etc. failure. If you have 12TB of data that can't be recreated, it should all be duplicated and stored offsite anyway.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 11:47 AM
  • Go back to WHS v1!  :)


    Or move on to Windows Server 2012 Essentials at considerably more cost! Or use a RAID or multiple disks in your WHS2011 to protect yourself from disk but not fire, flood etc. failure. If you have 12TB of data that can't be recreated, it should all be duplicated and stored offsite anyway.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.


    Well Phil, I'm not to concerned about fire, flood, etc.  I'll take my chances with them.  But I am concerned about disk failure.  I've never gotten a good understanding of RAID, so I guess I'll do some research and reading about RAID.

    Rodney

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:01 PM
  • RAID is fine until your hardware (not the HDD) fails - then you need to replace it with near identical hardware which is not always easy. Personally, I have two WHS servers (I had the spare hardware)  with the second a mirror of the first using 3rd party tools.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:13 PM
  • RAID alone is not sufficient for data safety, you need a backup
    strategy too.
     
    I do it by having data duplicated across separate machines and just
    accept that I could lose it all.  Things I need to keep are a bit
    different.
     
     

    Bob Comer - Microsoft MVP Virtual Machine
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 12:42 PM
  • RAID alone is not sufficient for data safety, you need a backup
    strategy too.

    As Bob says, RAID isn't sufficient for data safety. It's reaching the end of it's useful life as a technology; with increasing hard drive sizes, it is becoming more and more likely that the failure of a hard drive will end with the complete failure of the RAID array, with subsequent loss of all data. So RAID reaching the point where it's not even sufficient to provide failure resistance (the lowest level of protection for a fault tolerant storage subsystem).

    Unfortunately, backing up an arbitrarily large collection of data is a very difficult problem to solve at a price point that consumers will accept. Best practice is probably to maintain several (3+) sets of drives which offer as much storage as your main array. You would have one set on-site, providing backup for your array, and two sets off-site providing remote disaster recovery storage. Then you would rotate one of the off-site sets on-site, and take the on-site set off-site, on a regular basis. (you need 3 sets outside the main array so that you will always have one backup set off-site, even while you're swapping sets.) Figuring 6x2TB drives in the main storage array (since the OP has 12 TB of storage), you're looking at a total of 24 drives, and about $2,500 for storage, based on the current price of inexpensive 2 TB drives. Then there's some overhead to support the backup strategy: external cases for the drives, or an external "hot swap" or "cold swap" storage array, plus carriers, plus (possibly) software to back it all up. (Figuring $3,000 altogether isn't unreasonable.) And even with all that, you're still not protected against everything, though I'll admit the class of disasters that you'd still be vulnerable to are such that you probably wouldn't care anymore. :)

    All the above is why I have a (rather large) rider on my homeowner's insurance to cover all my media: I have several thousand CDs, and nearly a thousand DVDs and BluRay disks; while I have the majority of the CDs ripped to audio files on my server and backed up as above, the video content isn't protected, and replacing all that media is a matter of quite a few thousand dollars in the event of a disaster.

    My recommendation to others is to do much what I've done: insure your media collection. Don't try to "back it up" because doing so costs way too much.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    • Marked as answer by SilkRod Monday, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 4:16 PM
    Moderator
  • Two servers, no RAID and off site backups for me. If all that fails, I will be very unlucky to loose data.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.

    • Marked as answer by SilkRod Monday, September 10, 2012 11:45 AM
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 6:27 PM
  • One WHS v1 server, two DAS 4bay eSata units with 4 each 2TB drives for backup, one connected and alternated off-site.  Drive spanning with WHS v1 requires an initial setup with the Server Backup Wizard, but works flawlessly after setup.  Files in the backup disk are stored as regular files and can be read by any computer that can read NTFS.  First backup will take a while, but subsequent backups are incremental, only backing up what has changed and usually complete in less than 15 minutes.
     
    --
    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________
    Two servers, no RAID and off site backups for me. If all that fails, I will be very unlucky to loose data.

    Phil P.S. If you find my comment helpful or if it answers your question, please mark it as such.


    BullDawg
    Sunday, September 9, 2012 10:44 PM
  • BullDawg,

    I just switched to WHS 2011 and I'm not going back.  I've overcome the lack of Drive Extender in 2011, so I've just got to get past this server backup problem.

    Again, I'm a little new to all this and the following questions may seem stupid, but I'll ask them any way:

    1.  What about using my old HP MediaSmart Server (WHS v1) to backup my WHS 2011 Server?

         a.  Can WHS v1 support hard-drives larger than 2TB?
         b.  If so, can I put HDDs larger than 2TB in the MediaSmart Server?
         c.  Can my WHS 2011 system be a client of the WHS v1 system?      

     


    Rodney

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 1:09 AM
  •      a.  Can WHS v1 support hard-drives larger than 2TB?
    Yes, but A) it doesn't support advanced format drive, and B) it doesn't support GPT drives. As a result, you will only have access to the first 2 TB of space on the drive.
         b.  If so, can I put HDDs larger than 2TB in the MediaSmart Server?
    See above.
         c.  Can my WHS 2011 system be a client of the WHS v1 system?      
    No.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    Tuesday, September 11, 2012 2:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Can WHS 2011 system be a client for WHS 2011, in other words can i backup whs to a second whs system and use the second system to backup my data from system 1
    • Edited by paulmca Monday, September 24, 2012 9:11 AM
    Monday, September 24, 2012 9:10 AM