Q: Backup strategy for Server (Power Pack 1) RRS feed

  • Question


    Hi all, I intend to use the following strategy for backing up my home server. I would appreciate feedback on whether it will work before I go out and purchase the necessary hardware to implement it.



    1. My Home server currently has 2 TB of data hard disks. In the next 1 year, I expect that to grow to 4 TB.

    2. Since I have valuable data on it, I need to keep my server backups physically offsite


    Solution I'm considering:

    1. Purchase an External Hard Disk case that supports RAID upto 4 hard disks (totalling 4 TB)

    2. Connect this case to my Home Server via USB

    3. Purchase 2 sets of 4 1 TB hard disks (ie. 8x1TB hard disks)

    4. Keep one set of these hard disks in my bank safe deposit box

    5. Keep one set of these hard disks plugged in the External Hard Disk case

    6. Once a week, make a server backup (onto the External Hard disk case), then physically remove the disks from the case and take them to my safe deposit box (ie. rotate the sets of hard disks)

    7. Bring back the previous week's hard disk set from my safe deposit and plug them into the External Hard Disk case



    1. Will this work? Specifically, when I rotate out disks, from the External Hard Disk case, will my home server gracefully

    realize that disks have been rotated? Or will it panic saying that the backup disk disappeared?


    Would much appreciate any feedback. Thanks.


    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 5:43 PM

All replies

  • (I can almost see the people "sharpening their pencils" to object to what I am about to say)

    The Power Pack 1 Server backup program is a convenience, but not a real backup tool. It makes 'something' available, which is better than 'nothing', but it is not a real Backup tool.

    The PP1 Backup tool is the equivalent of "Windows Write", in the sense that if you wanted to do word processing with "Windows Write" you could do so, but almost nobody does. Most people buy a third-party word processor, even if the third party happens to be Microsoft itself.

    The same paradigm applies to server backup... you can use the very basic service provided by the WHS PP1, or you can use a 'real' backup program.

    Given the amount of data that you are working with, I would go for the 'real' thing.

    I tested the WHS backup program, and it works. Don't get me wrong, it works fine and should do the job for most people.

    But it's the little things that will bite you in the butt almost right away if you have significant amounts of data to deal with.

    For example, I have 500GB of data on a share. Just to see what would happen, I told WHS to backup that data to a 20GB drive. It started right away, no warning about insufficient space, nothing. Of course it eventually failed. The point is that given the design of the backup software, it should have warned me about lack of sufficient capacity even before it even started.

    I installed a third-party backup package on the same WHS server, and backed up the same 'Share" to the same 20GB external drive. It told me that I would need more than one drive to be able to do the backup, and then when it filled the first drive, it asked me for an additional drive to continue. I actually was able to finish the backup. I restored data from backup drives to another system just fine.

    Add to that the ability to schedule backups, select Full/Differential/Incremental, do data compression during backup, etc etc etc. The software will suposedly even do a backup of the Operating system drive creating  a stand alone restore boot disk, but I have not tried the Emergency restore feature.

    Anyway, like I said, for the amount of data that you are dealing with you may want to consider something more robust than
    the PP1 backup.

    The name of the software is Backup genie, and you can read about it here:
    There is a 30 day free trial.
    If you decide to buy it, let me know at moodsman@gmail.com since I can help you get 50% off the $200 price.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008 7:42 PM