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windows server backup tool question

I am setting up windows server backup software to backup the entire server. I see the 3 options while setting up the backup. I have the external hard drive connected to the server.
The 1st option seems the best, but how many backup copy will it keep? will I run out of external hard drive space soon?

For the 3rd option, I can setup the external hd as network drive and have only 1 copy. I would go with this option if the 1st one going to run out of space soon, please advice.
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okamon
Asked:
okamon
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3 Solutions
 
albeloCommented:
It would depend on the size of data it's going to backup.  How much space is currently being used by the server?  How large is your external drive? What is the server used for?  DC, File Server, Printer Server, Mail, etc...
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okamonAuthor Commented:
the server is SBS server. the external hard drive is 1 TB. The whole server take 181 GB in the windows server backup. Can you tell me how the 1st option is going to work? how many backup it will keep?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
It sounds like you are using Windows Backup and not the SBS backup feature.  The SBS backup, located on the SBS console will only backup to a physically attached drive such as an external USB drive.  It will do a full backup the first time and then incremental after that.  The SBS backup wizard will catalog the backups and manage the drive space compressing it and deleting as needed and you can restore to any point weeks before.  As to exactly how it manages this space please see the following article.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/11/03/introducing-sbs-2008-backup.aspx

The SBS backup utility works very well and is very dependable it also allows for very easy full system restore.  a 1TB drive should be plenty of room for the amount of data you have because it does not store multiple full backups.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
my server is sbs 2011. >>It sounds like you are using Windows Backup and not the SBS backup feature

so if I use the windows server backup instead of the sbs backup in console, what's the difference?
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okamonAuthor Commented:
And my 2nd question here... it seems it's backing up all workstations automatically to the server's E:\ServerFolders\Client Computer Backups folder. I forgot how I set it up... and it seems now I don't see any option to change the backup location for clients....
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
In my opinion it’s a bit like owning a Ferrari and a Ford sedan.  Both will get you there but why not take the Ferrari if you have the option.  :-)

No problem using the Windows Backup but the SBS backup is a more user friendly interface that is built on top of Windows Backup.  It does a very nice job of automatically configuring, cataloging, managing incrementals, and drive space.  It also has a user interface (SBS console) that easily displays recent results and those results are included in the server report sent to the admins each day.  Should you need to do a full system restore it is easily done and well documented.

If you use Windows backup you have to monitor the logs or write a separate script to advise you.  It also does not automatically manage drive space, however it will do pretty much anything else the SBS backup will do.  The one advantage of the Windows Backup is it can backup to a network share, but only a single full backup.  If it is scheduled, the next occurrence it will overwrite that backup unless you have removed or renamed it.

If your SBS is virtualized or you want to backup to a drive on another server/PC it is possible to backup over a network with 3rd party add-ons such as below:

Fabulatech
http://www.fabulatech.com/usb-over-network.html
KernelPro
http://www.kernelpro.com/usb-over-ethernet.html
Eltima
http://www.eltima.com/products/usb-over-ethernet/
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
>>"it seems it's backing up all workstations automatically to the server's........

What server version do you have?  You question shows SBS 2008, but this sounds like Widows Home server or SBS 2011 Essentials.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
Sorry I have the SBS 2011 Essentials. And actually it was not totally right. I setup the backup through windows server back btu I can still see the result in the console....
So my question here is that if I setup with windows server backup, will it still do the incremental backup?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Yes you can still do incrementals.  Windows Backup will do a full backup every 14 days and the incrementals for the next 13 days.  It's not a problem but curious why you do not want to use the SBS backup feature?

As for: >>" it seems it's backing up all workstations automatically to the server's E:\ServerFolders\Client Computer Backups folder. I forgot how I set it up..."

It is automatically configured when you install the connection client on the PC

>>"and it seems now I don't see any option to change the backup location for clients.... "

That is preconfigured when the server O/S is installed.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
I didn't mean I don't want to use the sbs backup, just wondering what was the difference.
So for both sbs backup and the windows server backup, they both do a full backup every 14 days and the incrementals for the next 13 days?

>>That is preconfigured when the server O/S is installed.
you mean I cannot change it now?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Windows Backup Does a full backup every 14 days, SBS backup is more complex. Details can be found in the following link, and in the discussions in the next link:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2008/11/03/introducing-sbs-2008-backup.aspx
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/1780.external-backup-drives-compatibility-list.aspx

>>"you mean I cannot change it now? "
I don't have an SBS Essentials handy I can check right no but in the console under folders and drives there is a wizard on the right that allows you to move a folder.  Is the client backup location in that list? if so that is the proper way to do so.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
thanks. I am going to get 2 portable external hard drives to swap the backup everyday. so if it's doing incremental backup... how am I going to do this?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
The SBS backup will completely manage that.  You add as many drives as you like, SBS takes possession of the drive, labels it, and manages and catalogues the backups. Each drive will have a full backup and incrementals.

Just something to consider:
A lot of businesses use only 2 drives, but if you are swapping everyday they are both on site at all times.  In the event of a fire or disaster you loose server and both backups. When we used tape we had a minimum of 5 tapes, and best to have 10. (Monday to Friday, 4 Thursdays, a spare, and in some cases a monthly tape).  The tapes not in use were stored off site.  The cost of the tape drive, tapes, and software was at least $2200.  Today none of us want to spend the money on more than 2 USB drives, but I strongly urge having more, and storing drives off site.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
actually we are taking 1 external drive offsite everyday, that's why we are swaping
so for ex, use external drive 1 Monday and at the end of the day we swap the drive and take external drive 1 with us, so on...
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okamonAuthor Commented:
And I don't need to do any configuration for the 2nd drive? Just need to swap it and sbs backup will do the rest?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Yes it keeps track of what drive is connected and an inventory of the contents.  You don't even have to click safely remove. Just unplug one and connect the other.  You do have to add new drives with the wizard the first time you use it.
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albeloCommented:
If it's Windows Vista you can look into http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Set-up-Parental-Controls

If it's Windows 7 - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/parental-controls

Both are supposed to help limit computer time.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
>> You do have to add new drives with the wizard the first time you use it.
I did do this for the first drive when I am setting up the backup schedule in sbs. And then the next day, we just unplugged the 1st hard drive and plugged in the 2nd one. I checked the backup this morning and it seems it went through through.... is that going to cause incomplete backup?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
99% sure that is not possible.  It is possibly different with SBS 2011, I don't have one I can check right now, but with all other versions you have to run the "add or remove backup drives" wizard in the SBS management console.  I will check as soon as I have a chance.

The wizard takes control of the drive, tags it, adds it to the list of available drives, and it is no longer visible in My Computer with other drives.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
actually I was wrong. I thought they replaced the external drive! is this the right place to go? unplugged 1st drive, plugged in 2nd drive, then in SBS console -> Customize backup for the server -> change server backup settings -> then make sure the 2nd drive is selected?

sbs backup
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Yes, sorry SBS E labels are different.  The first question the wizard will ask you is the backup destination location/s.  It then takes possession and formats the drive.  Make sure there is no data on the drive you want to retain.

The following has a good outline of the procedure:
http://www.servethehome.com/microsoft-small-business-server-2011-essentials-server-backups-easy-hard-ways/
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okamonAuthor Commented:
thanks. But it seems the backup didn't work last night. Do I have to plugged in both external drive while setting up backup schedule?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
That is usually the suggestion if one or more are not recognized.  Was the error no backup device available or something different?
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okamonAuthor Commented:
this is what I got

sbs bk
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okamonAuthor Commented:
I am goign to plug in the 2 external hds and do the setup from scratch again. I will let you know if that works.
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okamonAuthor Commented:
thanks it works now! but I am wondering what's inside each drive. for example, yesterday, I plugged in the drive 1 and today I unplugged drive 1 and attached drive 2, what's in drive 2 now? are they both of full copy? and how about incremental backup? and if the user fogot to swap the drive, is it going to confuse the backup?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Each drive will contain a full backup and then a "modified" incremental.  The SBS cataloging manages the files so that you can swap drives as you please and it will keep track of the stored files.  The only issue is you will need the appropriate drive if trying to recover file xyz.doc from Tuesday, but the cataloging will let you know if you have the wrong drive.  A full restore to the last backup date on each drive can be done without the other drive.  It is a great backup solution as it is so easy to manage.  Most important is to have the SBS report e-mailed to you each day to verify the backup was successful.  Sooner or later like any backup it will fail, most often due to the person in charge of the drives, but there can be VSS or hardware issues, so you want to stay on top of it.
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