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Windows Home Server (WHS) has an excellent incremental background strategy. It keeps diff. snapshots of the last three days, one for each of the last three weeks, and one for each of the last three months.

Here is the Wikipedia article on Incremental Backups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incremental%5Fbackup

Is there a way to duplicate this with Windows Server 2008 and/or R2?

I ask because just about every other piece of WHS can be duplicated in W2K8 (MMS streaming, ever-expanding disk volumes using Distributed File System across folders, user management, etc). Given, it's a lot more of a PITA to do manually.

The backup strategy is the last piece. Just how do they do that on WHS? Is it custom? I know there are 3rd party solutions that can do it. I am looking for the built-in version.

Thank you in advance.

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2 Answers 2

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I don't know what's included in WHS backup or what feature sets it apart from the built-in backup tool - but normally it shouldn't be too hard to script using diskshadow and robocopy to retrieve and store the files somewhere and let the script manage rotation purges. Check this answer out.

Use task scheduler to set up a few scripts run with different arguments depending on which rotation it is and have the script delete copies that are too old for each rotation (store each rotation in sub folders to make it easier).

You can also use the built-in backup tool, although it pretty much sucks in 2008 it's gotten some fixes in R2, you can still call it from a scheduled task:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:\\server\share\folder -include:c:,d:,e: -allcritical -vssfull -quiet
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Ah, "Volume Shadow Copy Service" or "VSS" for short is very close to what am looking for. Except when reading hte descriptions, I didn't see anything about incremental backups or "only changed files". Here's what i am looking for: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incremental_backup Is it the same? –  Eric Duncan Nov 22 '09 at 20:54
1  
Well the thing is you do a VSS snapshot to preserve file state during the backup, then you mount the snapshot as a drive letter and copy the files with robocopy - which should be able to do things like only copy changes, copy by archive bit and a lot of other things to script incremental backups with it. –  Oskar Duveborn Nov 23 '09 at 6:37
    
I'll go ahead and award you the answer here so u can get the points. This gets me a lot closer. –  Eric Duncan Nov 25 '09 at 16:31
    
Cool! If you come up with some neat scripts you really like, consider sharing them on some blog or such in the future ^^ –  Oskar Duveborn Nov 25 '09 at 20:51

Given that nobody has answered this is quite a few days, may I assume there is no such thing as what you are looking for built into Windows Server 2008?

If you are looking for a free tool, then some free 3rd party tools exist. If you are not intimidated by Unix-like environments, then I suggest you check out open-source solutions – of which most are compiled for Windows in the Cygwin environment, and rdiff-backup is only one example that comes into mind.

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