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I'm looking to set up a backup scheme for my household and was looking at the different options for backing up Windows.

I would like to backup to a network device (perhaps a WHS?). I also saw that built into Windows is a backup program (However, only Professional can backup to network, which I don't have).

This is a multiuser network. What are the advantages/disadvantages to each setup (WHS vs. regular windows (Professional) backup)?


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The outstanding features of WHS backup are:

  • central reporting of backup status. If any backup starts and fails, you will be notified right away. If a computer is offline for 5 days, you will be notified of that, too.

  • shared backup database. Backups are stored by cluster. If two machines have identical clusters, only one copy is stored. This works really well if every computer has a lot of the same software installed.

  • backup storage spans disks. Thanks to "Drive Extender", all drives in the WHS are treated as a single pool.

Also, with an addin (BDBB) you can copy the whole WHS backup database to an external drive for offsite storage.

A significant downside of WHS is its aging technology. WHS is built on Windows Server 2003, which is largely the same code base as Windows XP.

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+1 I agree mostly, but I'd disagree on your downside. The fact that it's running on an older OS makes absolutely no difference to its day-to-day running or backup abilities. As long as you keep using it for the same functions the OS version is very unlikely to make any difference in the next few years. – GAThrawn Mar 29 '11 at 13:04

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