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New User Questions about WHS on HP’s LX-195 RRS feed

  • Question

  • New User Questions about WHS on HP’s LX-195

    I recently bought the HP LX195 server, mainly to be used for file sharing and computer backups on my small LAN here at home.  I have been “playing” with it in order to learn its capabilities and gain confidence before I start using and depending on it.  I made a separate post concerning some problems that I’ve been having; in this post I want to ask some newbee user questions to which I haven’t been able to find answers.

    You can add additional drives to the LX-195 via its USB connections.  When adding a drive it provides two options, to: (1) use as a backup for the server, or (2) add the capacity to the servers storage pool.

    If the extra drive is used as backup for the server, are the backup files for computers on the LAN also backed up to the extra drive, or are only the shared and user folders backed up to the extra drive?  If used in this way is folder duplication necessary?

    If the extra drive is added to the storage pool, are the duplicated folders actually stored on each drive?  How are duplicated folders handled if I were to use two, or more, extra drives?  In the event of a failure of one of the drives, how and where would I find my files on the non-failed drives?

    Since backup files are not seen (with respect to disk and folder location), other than the green icon and the status on the console’s “Computers and Backup” page, how do I know if and where the backup files are stored?  Can the backup file for one computer actually be stored across two of more drives?

    Will the disk drive in the LX-195 spin-down after a period of non-use?

    Will the Terminal Services Client 6.0 (KB925876) actually allow connections from W2K, W98, or etc. computers?  (The description says that it can be used to connect terminal services or remote desktops using “earlier” versions of Windows.)  Can it be used locally, just on the LAN?

    Does a forced, manual backup of a computer on the LAN do a “full” backup, or only a partial (changed files) type of backup?  Will the manual backup cancel or delay the next scheduled backup if it’s scheduled for later the same day?  If a computer is off during the normal backup times, can WHS be configured to do a backup the next time it is turned on?

    Is the backups performed by WHS any better (or worse) than the backups that can be done from the Windows of the individual computers on the LAN?  What is the difference?  Advantages or disadvantages of either method?

    I will appreciate any help and comments.  If this server works the way I think it is supposed to, I think I am really going to like it.
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 6:03 AM

Answers

  • Most of your questions have been asked, and answered, several to many times in the forums, and some are covered in the product documentation (including the console help files) or the materials on the Windows Home Server minisite ....
    • Server backup drives contain only copies of your shares, not of the backup database.
    • Duplication (when turned on for a share) stores copies of your files on two drives, rather than the usual one.
    • Server backup and duplication are different features, and have different purposes. Duplication protects in near real time against the loss of a single drive (the most common computer hardware failure), but does nothing about major disasters (fire/flood/theft/etc.), while server backup allows for disaster recovery.
    • If you have multiple drives, Windows Home Server's storage allocation algorithm will tend to place new files on the same drive as old files, and will attempt to keep files that are all in the same folder on the same drive(s). So generally the files in a given share will be stored on one or two drives. But there are no guarantees; Windows Home Server won't massively rearrange server storage just because you want to add another file to a share stored on a disk that's full, it will put the file on another drive (or drives if duplication is on).
    • In the event of drive failure, you need to understand that it doesn't really matter where Windows Home Server stored your files any more. Drive failure usually means that some or all of the data on the drive is unreadable; when planning for recovery scenarios you should assume the worst. That said, the copies of your files are stored in a hidden folder: <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. on each drive. The drives are formatted as basic disks with NTFS file systems on them, so any recent version of Windows should be able to read them.
    • The backup database is a series of 4 GB files which, like other files, Windows Home Server may try to keep together. But it's possible that there will be components on two or more drives. You don't know (or need to know, if your server is operating normally) where they are.
    • The internal drive in a Windows Home Server computer (including the LX-195) will not spin down unless someone manually configures it to do so (which is unsupported). (For external drives, consult their documentation.) But spinning down a storage server's drives doesn't make much sense: at a minimum it will increase access times when the drive has to spin up, and may result in errors in the server console or even problems with Windows.
    • Any version of Windows that can run the terminal services client in Internet Explorer can connect to computers (running supported versions of Windows) that are joined to your server. Learn more about Terminal Services here .
    • A manual backup is the same as every other backup, except that the default retention policy for one is to keep it until manually deleted.
    • All backups are, as far as the end user is concerned, full backups. The traditional Full/incremental/differential backup strategies are not part of Windows Home Server. The database technology results in dramatic storage reduction, but as far as you're concerned, every backup stands alone.
    Your final question (which backup is "better"?) is a philosophical one. There are differences, but what makes one product better for me isn't necessarily going to do the same for you. Please read the forums, your product documentation (including the console help files), and the technical briefs on the Windows Home Server minisite, to learn what the differences are, then come back with questions about areas that aren't clear. I can tell you that Windows Home Server backup is better for my family, because it's a central backup, makes efficient use of disk space, and happens automatically at low-use times of day.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 3:22 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Most of your questions have been asked, and answered, several to many times in the forums, and some are covered in the product documentation (including the console help files) or the materials on the Windows Home Server minisite ....
    • Server backup drives contain only copies of your shares, not of the backup database.
    • Duplication (when turned on for a share) stores copies of your files on two drives, rather than the usual one.
    • Server backup and duplication are different features, and have different purposes. Duplication protects in near real time against the loss of a single drive (the most common computer hardware failure), but does nothing about major disasters (fire/flood/theft/etc.), while server backup allows for disaster recovery.
    • If you have multiple drives, Windows Home Server's storage allocation algorithm will tend to place new files on the same drive as old files, and will attempt to keep files that are all in the same folder on the same drive(s). So generally the files in a given share will be stored on one or two drives. But there are no guarantees; Windows Home Server won't massively rearrange server storage just because you want to add another file to a share stored on a disk that's full, it will put the file on another drive (or drives if duplication is on).
    • In the event of drive failure, you need to understand that it doesn't really matter where Windows Home Server stored your files any more. Drive failure usually means that some or all of the data on the drive is unreadable; when planning for recovery scenarios you should assume the worst. That said, the copies of your files are stored in a hidden folder: <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. on each drive. The drives are formatted as basic disks with NTFS file systems on them, so any recent version of Windows should be able to read them.
    • The backup database is a series of 4 GB files which, like other files, Windows Home Server may try to keep together. But it's possible that there will be components on two or more drives. You don't know (or need to know, if your server is operating normally) where they are.
    • The internal drive in a Windows Home Server computer (including the LX-195) will not spin down unless someone manually configures it to do so (which is unsupported). (For external drives, consult their documentation.) But spinning down a storage server's drives doesn't make much sense: at a minimum it will increase access times when the drive has to spin up, and may result in errors in the server console or even problems with Windows.
    • Any version of Windows that can run the terminal services client in Internet Explorer can connect to computers (running supported versions of Windows) that are joined to your server. Learn more about Terminal Services here .
    • A manual backup is the same as every other backup, except that the default retention policy for one is to keep it until manually deleted.
    • All backups are, as far as the end user is concerned, full backups. The traditional Full/incremental/differential backup strategies are not part of Windows Home Server. The database technology results in dramatic storage reduction, but as far as you're concerned, every backup stands alone.
    Your final question (which backup is "better"?) is a philosophical one. There are differences, but what makes one product better for me isn't necessarily going to do the same for you. Please read the forums, your product documentation (including the console help files), and the technical briefs on the Windows Home Server minisite, to learn what the differences are, then come back with questions about areas that aren't clear. I can tell you that Windows Home Server backup is better for my family, because it's a central backup, makes efficient use of disk space, and happens automatically at low-use times of day.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 3:22 PM
    Moderator
  • Ken,
     
    Very good information.  However, I need to take exception to the following, 
     
    "...But spinning down a storage server's drives doesn't make much sense: at a minimum it will increase access times when the drive has to spin up, and may result in errors in the server console or even problems with Windows..."
     
    An increase in access times is something I'm willing to accept as I live in a country with "Progressive Electricity Rates."  The more one uses, the more per each kilowatt hour (KWH).   See chart below.  (Conversion is from Korean Won to $US at today's rate)  I may have been lucky, but my drives have always been set since the beta in Feb 2007 to spin down after 10 minutes and I have not experienced problems with the WHS Console, loss of data, or other ill effects.  Isn't this what the "Green" drives do (among other things) anyway?
     
    0-100 - 5¢ per KWH plus 37¢ peak demand charge
    101 - 200 -12¢ per KWH plus 80¢
    201 - 300 - 17¢ per KWH plus $1.45
    301 - 400 - 25¢ per KWH plus $2.42
    401 - 500 - 36¢ per KWH plus $3.66
    501 - 1000 - 65¢ per KWH plus $6.44
     
    At over 1000 KWH, you receive a notice to reduce consumption, or explain the excessive consumption and are subject to a hefty fine for energy waste. 
     
    At idle, with all 8 drives spun down, my UPS software indicates the WHS is using 51 watts.  At idle with all drives spun up, 147 watts.  That is a significant difference (36 KWH vs. 103 KWH per month) with the above rates, especially at the upper tier, a theoretical savings of 67 KWH and $44 or over $500 per year, about the going street price of a WHS.   I hope v2 will have "supported" power management functions.
     
    Just my 2¢ worth.  I now humbly step down off the soap box.  Thanks for listening.

    --
    ______________
    BullDawg
    Associate Expert
    In God We Trust
    ______________
     
    "Ken Warren" <=?utf-8?B?S2VuIFdhcnJlbg==?=> wrote in message news:dfc37986-5bb8-4af 6-9d4c-6d0f11c7c56b...
    Most of your questions have been asked, and answered, several to many times in the forums, and some are covered in the product documentation (including the console help files) or the materials on the Windows Home Server minisite ....
    • Server backup drives contain only copies of your shares, not of the backup database.
    • Duplication (when turned on for a share) stores copies of your files on two drives, rather than the usual one.
    • Server backup and duplication are different features, and have different purposes. Duplication protects in near real time against the loss of a single drive (the most common computer hardware failure), but does nothing about major disasters (fire/flood/theft/etc.), while server backup allows for disaster recovery.
    • If you have multiple drives, Windows Home Server's storage allocation algorithm will tend to place new files on the same drive as old files, and will attempt to keep files that are all in the same folder on the same drive(s). So generally the files in a given share will be stored on one or two drives. But there are no guarantees; Windows Home Server won't massively rearrange server storage just because you want to add another file to a share stored on a disk that's full, it will put the file on another drive (or drives if duplication is on).
    • In the event of drive failure, you need to understand that it doesn't really matter where Windows Home Server stored your files any more. Drive failure usually means that some or all of the data on the drive is unreadable; when planning for recovery scenarios you should assume the worst. That said, the copies of your files are stored in a hidden folder: <driveletter>:\DE\Shares\etc. on each drive. The drives are formatted as basic disks with NTFS file systems on them, so any recent version of Windows should be able to read them.
    • The backup database is a series of 4 GB files which, like other files, Windows Home Server may try to keep together. But it's possible that there will be components on two or more drives. You don't know (or need to know, if your server is operating normally) where they are.
    • The internal drive in a Windows Home Server computer (including the LX-195) will not spin down unless someone manually configures it to do so (which is unsupported). (For external drives, consult their documentation.) But spinning down a storage server's drives doesn't make much sense: at a minimum it will increase access times when the drive has to spin up, and may result in errors in the server console or even problems with Windows.
    • Any version of Windows that can run the terminal services client in Internet Explorer can connect to computers (running supported versions of Windows) that are joined to your server. Learn more about Terminal Services here .
    • A manual backup is the same as every other backup, except that the default retention policy for one is to keep it until manually deleted.
    • All backups are, as far as the end user is concerned, full backups. The traditional Full/incremental/differential backup strategies are not part of Windows Home Server. The database technology results in dramatic storage reduction, but as far as you're concerned, every backup stands alone.
    Your final question (which backup is "better"?) is a philosophical one. There are differences, but what makes one product better for me isn't necessarily going to do the same for you. Please read the forums, your product documentation (including the console help files), and the technical briefs on the Windows Home Server minisite, to learn what the differences are, then come back with questions about areas that aren't clear. I can tell you that Windows Home Server backup is better for my family, because it's a central backup, makes efficient use of disk space, and happens automatically at low-use times of day.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    BullDawg
    Monday, January 18, 2010 1:25 AM
  • Ken,

    Thank you.  Although I have been searching the various forums for information (there's a lot out there), I haven't found anything specific and as easy to understand as your response.  If I did find proper answers, they might not have been clear enough to me so that I would recognize them as answers.  In any event you have given me some pointers/links that are new to me and are proving to be very helpful (especially as I learn more about the LX195 and WHS).  Thanks again.
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 2:40 AM
  • Bulldawg, while your server may not have a problem when disks are spun down to save power, other users have not been so fortunate. Some users (do a search in the forums, I know the posts are here) have lost significant amounts of irreplaceable data. So I'm going to stand by my statement.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 5:58 AM
    Moderator
  • I'll agree that others may have problems with spin down.  However, that only emphasis the fact that WHS needs to have "supported" Power Management capabilities.  And yes, I have provided this suggestion through NDA feedback channels.

    --
    ______________
    BullDawg
    Associate Expert
    In God We Trust
    ______________
     
    "Ken Warren" <=?utf-8?B?S2VuIFdhcnJlbg==?=> wrote in message news:41f257f0-bfff-448 3-a67f-4f91014395ec...
    Bulldawg, while your server may not have a problem when disks are spun down to save power, other users have not been so fortunate. Some users (do a search in the forums, I know the posts are here) have lost significant amounts of irreplaceable data. So I'm going to stand by my statement.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    BullDawg
    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 2:01 PM