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backup SBS 2008 on remote share / network share

Posted on 2010-09-15
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I have been reading http://forums.techarena.in/small-business-server/1188472.htm and it stated that "The SBS 2008 backup program requires a "block" device to back up to. A share is not a block device."

I need advise from people who is well verse with this topic because at my workplace we are running SBS 2008 as a guest in VMWare ESXi.

I was able to backup to a network drive and successfully restored from it during testing with no drawbacks so I am confused why backing up to a network share won't work.  What's the drawback and issues that you think I will encounter because I had none yet.

Thanks for your help.
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Question by:Wayne88
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 33685923
The native SBS 2008 backup has to "take control" of the entire drive. It can be internal, external, USB, or I believe a network drive, but cannot be a local folder or network shared folder.

There are third party solutions such as Storage Craft or Backup Assist, though I haven't worked with the latter on SBS
http://www.storagecraft.com/shadow_protect_SBS.php
http://www.backupassist.com/news/server-backup-software.html

A common solution with virtualized SBS 2008 is to use a remote USB drive linked using software provided by www.fabulatech.com
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by:Wayne88
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Thanks Rob.  I read about FabulaTech but that is only half of the solution.  I haven't found any info that can specifically describe how to restore.

http://sbs.seandaniel.com/2008/09/it-virtually-windows-sbs-2008.html (see last post)

http://forums.techarena.in/small-business-server/1089311.htm
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Rob Williams earned 300 total points
ID: 33687972
When I did it a while back I took the remote USB disk used by Fabulatech, physically attached it to the Hyper-V host, in the Hyper-V manager settings for the SBS I located and added the VHD on the USB, as an additional VHD. It was then automatically seen as an available backup during the restore process. SBS as a VM will not see the USB drive, but Hyper-V does and can 'expose' the VHD to the SBS as a mountable drive.

I did not use Fabulatech in the recovery process. There are several articles on recovering over the network. It does work, but similar to the article you referenced, network based recovery it is messy at best.
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by:Wayne88
ID: 33697392
Hi Rob,

Actually, I am able to use the built in Win2008 backup and tested recovering from the network share. It was successful and easy.  However, the backup can only be done manually or automate it using scripting.

I am just concerned why I keep reading that SBS 2008 need a block device to backup which from my experience wasn't true.  I just want to verify any drawbacks, etc because backup/recovery is very important and I just want to make sure that we are fully covered.

Thanks,

Wayne
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 33697755
The problem is you cannot use the built-in Windows backup to shedule a back up to a network, it only works as a onetime backup. You can however script backups using wbadmin.

I have fallen behind with VMware since the release of hyper-v. Doesn't ESXi allow connecting of usb drives.
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by:Wayne88
ID: 33697768
I am in the process of upgrading to ESXi 4.1 from 4.0 as we speak. Only ver 4.1 will allow USB passthrough.  Let see how that goes.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 33697840
Though there are other options, the built-in backup and USB works surprisingly well ans easily
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by:Wayne88
ID: 33697844
I agree, in fact I never thought I would settle for Windows built-in backup over 3rd party but after much testings and research I really want this to work.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Wayne88
ID: 33706229
No luck with USB on ESXi....there are too much limitations for this feature to be useful for automating SBS 2008 backup. Will do script instead.
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