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Goodbye, Lofwyr

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  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Yesterday marked a sad day in my house. Lofwyr, my trusty Windows Home Server that soldiered on flawlessly since the early betas, was retired.

    The two 1TB and the two 500GB drives were pulled and installed in my desktop machine (Ghostwalker).

    The router, switch and cable modem that sat on it were relocated out of the closet and by Ghostwalker.

    The two backup external 500GB WD drives were moved again to Ghostwalker, alongside with the new 3TB WD.

    The Maxtor 300GB that accompained me in the states from its native Canada is now silent and sad after 7 years of continuous operation.

    I left Lofwyr in his box with the 80GB system drive and two 400GB ATA drives, powered down, as an additional insurance if anything goes bad in transferring all my data to Ghostwalker, but his fate is written.

    I have a serverless household.

    Goodbye old friend, you served me well.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    "Lofwyr"? Is that a Welsh name?

    What made you decide to go serverless? Did you move everything to the cloud?

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    @cbae: it's a dragon name from Shadowrun Smiley

    I decided to go serverless because I just don't have enough machines in the house to justify sophisticated backup schemes. Now I can just run my web services from my desktop (Ghostwalker is another dragon name) and runa a scheduled task to backup weekly on the external drives.

    Live Mesh and Perforce take care of my offsite backups, my email/calendar/contacts are already on outlook.com.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Interesting. What kind of backup strategy are you using? I'm kind of spoiled by the whole image restore thing WHS provides. Is there anything similar baked into Windows 7?

    After the Vail fiasco I've been looking for alternatives, but at the same time I've gotten sort of concerned about the whole power consumption thing, so I'm wondering if I shouldn't just get some cheap efficient NAS housing for my biggest drives and ditch the whole server. it'd mean no more (easy) remote access, but I can live without it. Also it'd mean no more cluster duplication magic, but storage space is cheap anyway, so...

    Also, I'm sorry for your loss.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    @Bas: robocopy rules Smiley

    Basically a number of scripts that robocopy a set of folders to the external drives (to one on monday night, to the other on thursday night) and a full one to the 3TB (yet to decide when).

    My source code is on a local Perforce server (backed up as well) and i have an additional couple of 2.5" portable drives for yet another copy of photos and documents.

    The power consumption was another factor in my decision, alongside with noise and heat in the room. I looked at external housing for the drives, but in the end they fit in my Sonata II just fine.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Image of the original Lofwyr

    Generic Forum Image

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I recently switched away from using Robocopy for backups because it doesn't do an incremental backup, which means that unnoticed data corruption will spread to your backups rather quickly, unless you do a completely new full backup every single time and keep all the old ones (rather wasteful).

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Sven, what do you use? I'm recreating all the procedures now...

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    I'm currently just using Windows 7 backup. It's seriously not bad, although maybe a bit too limited for some purposes.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    , Sven Groot wrote

    I'm currently just using Windows 7 backup. It's seriously not bad, although maybe a bit too limited for some purposes.

     

    Acronis True Image for me. I need to start doing it again, now my WHS is toasted and well, I'm unsure about Vail

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Note that I don't image my system. I don't care one iota about my system drive. I can reinstall Windows quick enough if the need arises.

    All I'm backing up are my data files: stuff that I've created, and that would be truly irreplacable if it was lost. I do a daily incremental backup to an external hard drive, and a semi-regular one to a rotating set of DVD-RWs that I keep stored at the university. Then I also occasionally upload a compressed copy of just my subversion repositories to Skydrive.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    It's kind of annoying that backup is still a complicated topic in 2011.  I currently use robocopy, but my NAS (IOMega running *NIX) is a piece of crap that seems to forget how to make its shares available to the local network, so even though the data is backed up 'automatically', I still have to manually restart the NAS once a day.

    I like the way TFS and Subversion can interact with the OS and know that files have been changed.  It would be interesting to see if a service could be offered to provide backups using either of them such that a user would only need to pick a file or path and the software would handle the rest.  I hate that you have to use exceptional measures to back up some files (VHDs, sql server files, etc.).  I suspect that even using a source code solution would require these extra steps.

  • User profile image
    davewill

    @Sven Groot: Why would data corruption be less likely to be picked up in a Windows 7 incremental backup versus a robocopy?

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    FYI Home Server 2011 went live on MSDN today (I know)

  • User profile image
    jeffsand

    I use a Windows Home Server to backup locally 2 desktop PCs and a couple of laptops in my home. For offsite storage for music, video and photos I have a http://mozy.com account.

    The home server is awesome for performing hard drive replacements/upgrades and Mozy is a wonderful fail safe.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    I'm looking for a decent NAS now... Preferably something that lets me switch hard drives, since the ones in my WHS are still fine and pretty large. I'm thinking of the Buffalo LinkStation Duo, since it idles at about 12W and supports switchable drives. It has DLNA and web access too, so it's pretty much perfect as a WHS replacement. Looks like it won't be easy to just switch drives out, though.

    Anybody have any experience with LinkStations, or any other suggestions for a NAS?

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @davewill: Because if a file changes, real backup software (like Windows 7 backup, and unlike robocopy) doesn't overwrite the original. It adds the changed file to the backup set, but also keeps the original.

    So if a file gets corrupted, and you backup the corrupted version, you still have the old, uncorrupted version in there as well. Whereas with robocopy, if a file gets corrupted you overwrite the good version the next time you run the backup.

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