Server Backups: Looking for summary of good online/offsite solutions RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been browsing through the forums for a while and have seen a lot of different options proposed but I haven't really seen any that, at least on reading the posts, seemed "right".  I know that PP1 added support for backing up the WHS to external disks but I was hoping to find something more automated.  I had originally been looking at the KeepVault solution but I find their new pricing structure to be cost prohibitive as my storage needs grow (already at about 500GB of storage and anticipate that growing at about 500GB yearly).   I'm not so concerned about backing up the server system files...strictly my data.  I can always rebuild a server if I have to but the data is really the more critical aspect.
    I've seen mention of Carbonite and some other online services but I couldn't tell if the solution actually worked from the posting.

    What about a WHS->WHS backup?  For example, if I have a WHS and I also have installed a WHS at my parents house, what would be the possibility of running some sort of add-in that would allow our two WHS's to act as each other's backups?  This would be nice because I'd ultimately be in control of how much storage I needed but wouldn't have to physically move a bunch of drives around.

    Bottom line is that I need a good offsite backup solution and I would prefer one that doesn't require me to personally make physical backups on other drives or DVDs and then store them somewhere.  I'd prefer to keep my annual spend at less than $100.  $200 is an absolute maximum.

    Does a good solution exist for WHS yet?

    (As a side note, it seems likes this question or a similar one is repeated often in the forums yet there's not a good summary anywhere that I could find.  Is there a WHS wiki somewhere that we could assemble all this information to?)
    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 7:34 PM

All replies

  • There is no "one size fits all" solution available. If you've searched in the forums, you've already seen that. :) I'm happy with moving disks from point A to point B every week, but I don't use the WHS server backup tool, I use robocopy (and a scheduled task) to back my shares up. What suits me may not suit you, however.

    I'm also not willing to pay money for "cloud based" storage, considering I could lose access to that storage at any time if the provider changes their terms of service in a way I'm not willing to agree to, or if they just decide to abandon the business as unprofitable. In addition, "cloud based" backup sounds great, but doesn't (in the end) deliver your data for restoration in a timely fashion. (If it takes a few days to copy a share to the cloud, how long will it take to copy it back if you have a problem with your server? Probably a few days...)

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 8:03 PM
  • Frank -

    I've been contemplating this awhile myself.  One solution that's coming up that intrigues me is TLS from Tranquil PC (article here).   Now, there are very few details out on it yet, but being as how it is being designed for WHS specifically, it might be worth keeping an eye on.  A WHS centric tool in my eyes would certainly beat a home brew solution of my own.

    I've also thought a bit about the WHS to off-site WHS backup.  I think if I were to do this, instead of a second WHS, I might just set up a NAS device at a family member's house and use Hamachi to link the computers since I wouldn't have any use for the additional functionality of WHS over a NAS.  Now, this is a rather unnatural backup setup and I haven't tried anything along these lines, so I'm just throwing out the idea for you, I doubt it would be an easy setup.

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008 9:55 PM
  • Z-

    Thanks for the comments.  The TLS solution is interesting but I expect it to be cost-prohibitive for me.  I'll have to wait and see how it ends up.

    Your idea of using the Hamachi VPN with an offsite network drive seems like a good idea and works perfectly for me in concept.  I wonder how do-able would be to do in reality.  During my earlier search I did find one other person that mentioned that they were using a similar setup but I'm not sure that they were even using WHS to begin with.  It seems like if WHS could somehow recognize the offsite NAS as a mounted drive that it could mirror data the same way it does with other drives in the system.  Maybe I'm making it too simple because I don't know the underpinnings but it still seems like a good idea.

    Wednesday, December 3, 2008 12:43 AM
  • Maybe I should have done more research before posting but it never fails that about the time you give up and post is when you find more info.

    I just stumbled on this thread over at wegotserved that talks about a product called CrashPlan.  I could spend a lot of time describing it but their web site is really well done.  Go there!  It looks like backing up a WHS to another system whether it be another WHS or some other type of computer) ought to be pretty straightforward.  There's no native WHS support yet but otherwise this looks to be precisely what I was looking for.
    Wednesday, December 3, 2008 3:38 AM
  • Personally, I'm using LogMeIn Backup and I'm very satisfied. My father, myself and one of my friend have a WHS: total 3 WHS.
    We had KeepVault at the beginning, but it was buggy and now it is very expensive.
    LogMeIn Backup allows you to backup all the content you want on another machine that have LogMeIn backup installed as well and that over Internet (without having to move disks !).
    As we can encrypt the content that is backed up on another PC/server, the other users where I backup my content cannot read my stuff!
    What we setup is easy to do. Each WHS is backing up the desired folders to the other one, etcc. like a triangle.

    Result: we all backup our content in a different place (good in case of fire, theft, etc.) and we don't pay for the backup storage !
    It is just a matter of being correct with my father or friend, that I will backup xxx GB on his machine, but as I 'm backing up just personal folders like documents, photos and MP3s (not videos), that's ok.

    We paid something like 50$ for 3 installations. And that's it !
    Patrick G
    Thursday, December 4, 2008 12:18 PM