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Windows Home Server on Basic Desktop System - RAID? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an older Mediasmart EX495 server and I LOVE IT, still running strong, but being that it's 5-6 years old (or more I think?) I'm thinking it's time to replace it and in doing so I can give myself automated offsite backups (I currently use hamachi with my ex495 and it works like a charm to backup remote systems over the net). 

    Newegg.com has WHS 2011 for $50 and I was thinking of getting a CHEAP desktop, from where ever I can find a brand name/cheap tower (HP, Lenovo, Dell - whatever - key is cheap) and putting WHS 2011 on that. 

    Question is, on my current mediasmart it doesn't do RAID, it just does folder replication/duplication in WHS. Does WHS 2011 do the same "folder replication/duplication" and will just use whatever hard drives are connected or should I consider getting a system that is raid capable (likely upping the price a bit)?

    I have 3 x 1.5TB drives in the media smart now, if/when I do the upgrade I'm going to put the existing mediasmart server (as it sits) at my moms house across town and have it backup the new home server so I have an automatic offsite backup that I can get to if needed. So the new server I'm thinking will have 2 x 3TB drives in it (in addition to a "system" drive).

    EDIT: Almost forgot, will WHS 2011 allow the install of the client from the mediasmart? I.E. Can I backup the new one to the old one in the same way they backup computers? 

    Any suggestions / knowledge of this subject would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!




    • Edited by mcdonsco Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:30 AM
    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 1:19 AM

All replies

  • See links below for more information.
     
     
     
    Use your favorite search engine and see what you can find.  All the answers are out there!

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    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________

    I have an older Mediasmart EX495 server and I LOVE IT, still running strong, but being that it's 5-6 years old (or more I think?) I'm thinking it's time to replace it and in doing so I can give myself automated offsite backups (I currently use hamachi with my ex495 and it works like a charm to backup remote systems over the net). 

    Newegg.com has WHS 2011 for $50 and I was thinking of getting a CHEAP desktop, from where ever I can find a brand name/cheap tower (HP, Lenovo, Dell - whatever - key is cheap) and putting WHS 2011 on that. 

    Question is, on my current mediasmart it doesn't do RAID, it just does folder replication/duplication in WHS. Does WHS 2011 do the same "folder replication/duplication" and will just use whatever hard drives are connected or should I consider getting a system that is raid capable (likely upping the price a bit)?

    I have 3 x 1.5TB drives in the media smart now, if/when I do the upgrade I'm going to put the existing mediasmart server (as it sits) at my moms house across town and have it backup the new home server so I have an automatic offsite backup that I can get to if needed. So the new server I'm thinking will have 2 x 3TB drives in it (in addition to a "system" drive).

    EDIT: Almost forgot, will WHS 2011 allow the install of the client from the mediasmart? I.E. Can I backup the new one to the old one in the same way they backup computers? 

    Any suggestions / knowledge of this subject would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!





    BullDawg
    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 4:32 AM
  • BullDawg, thanks, but I am already very familiar with WHS (old, and the advertised "features" of 2011).

    What I'm more interested in (that I can't find in detail) is how the folder duplication works in WHS 2011 (does it require raid to handle multiple drives as a single volume; in other works, will each drive remain it's own separate drive as far as the OS is concerned since drive extender (or whatever it's called) was removed, if so, I may need to do hardware raid to get better/automatic redundancy and single data drive storage), or will it just automagically "pick" a drive for duplication/mirroring etc in which case I wouldn't need to do a hardware RAID.

    Trying to find out, if I just have a bottom shelf bargain basement (but reliable) desktop and stick a bunch of drives in it, will WHS 2011 happily manage all data drives, data locations, duplication etc for me or will I have to organize data across the drives myself (and if that's the case, then I will just do a hardware RAID and not enable duplication so I can have one large drive as far as the OS is concerned). 

    And as for the newegg link to a system to get, i prefer to get a standard desktop system...tower etc as then I don't have to use it "headless" if I need to plus it's cheaper and the specs (CPU, memory etc) can be more robust at a lower cost than a "specialized" system built specifically for this task - the specialized appliance system is nice, it's what my ex495 now is, but in doing WHS 2011 there's no all-in-one solution system like the ex495 and when messing with my own software/hardware configs I prefer to have full control. 

    Apologies if I'm not making sense, it's late, I'm tired...just wanted to respond. 

    Thanks!

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 7:56 AM
  • In WHS 2011 there is no folder duplication any more, this is one of the cut features.

    So if you want the kind of protection against fail of a single disk (remember its not a backup, since it doesnt protect against a server lost due to overvoltage, fire, theft ...), you will rely on a RAID configuration (better hardware based with a good controller, since software RAID has some drawbacks).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:48 AM
    Moderator
  • Olaf, that's one of the things I needed to know...So, with duplication gone, the only way for mirroring data in WHS 2011 is by having hardware RAID level mirrored drives...Good to know; thank you!

    Two more questions though. 

    I need at LEAST 5TB of storage...So, to get 5tb worth of mirrored storage I'll need 4 x 2.5TB drives...this will still end up being two separate drives as far as the OS is concerned. Would WHS 2011 use them both for storage "blindly", that is, without me having to say "put this data on this drive and that data on that drive" or will it just use either as needed as I create shares? Or would I be better off using a RAID 10??? If RAID 10, should I then have a separate 5th drive for the OS or just let it reside on the single RAID 10?

    Second question, can I install the previous version of WHS client side software on WHS 2011 and have my old WHS server backup the new one as though it were a regular computer client? 

    I ask this because I currently use hamachi as a vpn network to have multiple computers (family/friends) backup their systems over the internet to my current WHS...So they all have a benefit I don't have, offsite remote backup...So I was thinking I would use the new WHS 2011 server at my home and use that for file storage and backing up family/friends systems as I do now (as well as my own primary system) then put the old WHS server connected via hamachi at my moms house about 20 minutes away and have it do one single duty, backup the WHS 2011 server at my house over the net so ALL of my data is always automatically backed up offsite...house burns to the ground, I don't lose anything except new data created since the last backup (and yes, I would sync the two for the initial backup locally before locating it offsite; otherwise it would take forever for the initial backup). POSSIBLE?

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:37 PM
  • You can move single shares or the client backups to the drive of your choice.

    But I'm pretty sure, that you cannot install the Connector to another WHS (although I never tested that), so I think your plan will not work (besides the required upload bandwidth, which would have to be very high to get a consistent backup).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf

    Friday, July 13, 2012 8:55 PM
    Moderator
  • I tested this during the Vail Beta and did install the v1 Connector on WHS 2011 (Vail).  However, my memory is somewhat fuzzy.  Backups of 2011 were done by v1, but I can't remember if I ever attempted a full bare metal restore.
     
    That said, read this from the following link.  It comes from the last post, by Adrian.
     
     
    Begin quote
     
    Yes, I've been backing up WHS 2011 with a second machine running V1 ever since WHS 2011 was released.

    In fact V1 does all (bar 1) client backups along with the 2011 server and nothing else. It comes on at midnight every night and stays on until it's done it's round of backups. The 2011 machine is pretty much just a file server. The V1 connector installs ok on WHS 2011 and it gets treated as a normal client

    I've done the odd file restore but i haven't had to do a full server restore. I think(!) I tested a full restore before the system went live but it's been a while now so I'm not 100% certain.

    It's worked well for me up to now but i would like to start using a WHS2011 box for all my client backups - it's just so much quicker than V1 but the 2011 connector doesn't install on another 2011 machine. I've heard that WHS 2011 can back up a SBS though, this is why I picked up on this thread in the first place - looking for alternatives to backup my WHS 2011 file server.
    End quote
     
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    ______________
     
    BullDawg
    In God We Trust
    ______________

    You can move single shares or the client backups to the drive of your choice.

    But I'm pretty sure, that you cannot install the Connector to another WHS (although I never tested that), so I think your plan will not work (besides the required upload bandwidth, which would have to be very high to get a consistent backup).

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf


    BullDawg
    Saturday, July 14, 2012 1:13 AM
  • Aside from a RAID 1 or RAID 10 solution, you could also consider some some of the add-ins that have been developed in replacement of WHS 1's DE. Although I've not used either product, these are available as a WHS 2011 add-in:

    In addition, you should also take into consideration the limitation of WHS to perform a server backup of anything over 2TB, or to a disk larger than 2TB for that matter.

    Monday, July 16, 2012 12:45 PM