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JP2000

Migrating from HP EX495 to Server 2016

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Hi, so I have finally decided to upgrade from my old and awesome HP EX495 (a great little box that served me very well!). I've decided to build a new server, Windows Server 2016 with Essentials role. I am planning to use the old HP box with its x2 pool as storage for backups coming from Server2016 (backing up server system drive (bare metal), data from the pool and historical user backup). I like the idea of those backups not being physically on the same machine, hence keeping both machines. The Server2016 will get its own licese of DrivePool. Before I migrate I would like to ensure I am approaching this properly, so I have a few questions to ask. Some of these were asked before but I am still not clear.

Existing HP box:
Old HP EX495 with 4 hot-swap bays, Pentium Dual-Core E5200 @ 2.5GHz with 2GB memory, Windows 10 64bit, 1 License of DrivePool, with a pool of 4TB+5TB+5TB with 2x duplication

Boot drive     500GB
Storage drive     4TB (wil continue to be part of existing x2 pool)
Storage drive     5TB (wil continue to be part of existing x2 pool)
Storage drive     5TB (wil continue to be part of existing x2 pool)

New Server 2016 build:
Enclosure with 8 hot-swap bays, Core i7-4770 @3.4GHz with 16GB memory, Windows Server 2016 with Essentials Role, No DrivePool installed yet. I will be getting more drives as necessary. 

Boot drive    256GB (SSD)
Storage drive     8TB (will be part of a new x2 pool)
Storage drive     8TB (will be part of a new x2 pool)
Storage drive     8TB (will be part of a new x2 pool)

Requirements:
New Server2016 becomes the main storage (NAS)
Data from old HP box transferred to new server
Server2016 runs Essentials backup for users/computers for daily/weekly backups
Server2016 storage pool to be 2x
Server2016 system drive AND storage pool to be backed up to old HP box for daily/weekly backup.  Old HP will continue to act as a NAS with SMB share hosted on its own x2 pool

Questions:
1) Is DrivePool compatible (i.e. provides official support) with Server Folders? Can I redirect ServerFolders to the Drve Pool?
2) What is the best/proper way to backup a Pool on Server2016 over the network to the new destination (SMB share on the old HP box, hosted on x2 pool)?
3) Also if possible, what backup software compatible with DrivePool can back up the Drive Pool while also providing bare-metal server backup over the network to the HP box? (SMB share on the old HP box, hosted on x2 pool)
4) How do I ensure I am only backing up one copy of files even though the Pool would be 2x duplication?
5) Is DrivePool compatible (i.e. provides official support) with NVR software, can I point my security cameras to store files on the Pool?
6) Is it possible to redirect backup folder on Server2016 to the SMB share on HP with its x2 drivepool?

Any feedback is appreciated, thank you!

 

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I can help with some of these as I migrated to WSE2016 about 18 months ago (from WHS2011).
1. I redirected all to my Pool and all goes well. You may get a message for certain folders like File History or somesuch (as DP does not support VSS/Shadow copies) but it should be fine.
2. No clue, but together with 3, 4 and 6), I set up a hierarchical pool. So I have some HDDs as Pool A, x1 duplication, other HDDs as Pool B, x1 duplication, and then created a Pool C consisting of Pools A and B, x2 duplication. That way, I know that each file is write twice, once to some set of HDDs and the other to the other set of HDDs. I then backup only one set of these HDDs. I use the standard WSE16 Server Backup software and it does BMR as well.

What I am unsure about is whether it is possible to have WSE16 Server backup write over the network in some way (q2, 3 and 6(?)) and I really doubt it will be able to write to a Pool, even if located in the same machine. Again because of VSS support. Moreover, I am *pretty* sure it will be impossible (or very very hard) to actually do a BMR from a Pool.

What *might* work is if you use WSE Backup to a huge HDD in the same machine and then sync with the NAS? I'd do a recovery simulation though and again, you'd have to build a big BMR recovery HDD I would think.

If your entire Server won't fit on a single backup HDD, then consider the following:
1. Use WSE Server Backup for the boot/OS drive and related partitions only. Write to a HDD that is in that Server. Periodically swap it out for another HDD and rotate offsite.
2. Use some sort of syncing software to sync the data between the Server and the NAS.

I am not sure x2 duplication on both machines makes a lot of sense. I would have it one the Server, not the NAS. Also, even with syncing software, the use of Hierarchical Pools may be very helpful.

Hope it helps.

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On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

1) Is DrivePool compatible (i.e. provides official support) with Server Folders? Can I redirect ServerFolders to the Drve Pool?

Yes.  I'm running 2012R2 Essentials, at least. 

On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

2) What is the best/proper way to backup a Pool on Server2016 over the network to the new destination (SMB share on the old HP box, hosted on x2 pool)?

The simplest way would be to move the drives over, and manage from there. 

Otherwise, you can get the new system set up, and just copy things over the network. 

On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

3) Also if possible, what backup software compatible with DrivePool can back up the Drive Pool while also providing bare-metal server backup over the network to the HP box? (SMB share on the old HP box, hosted on x2 pool)

The pool directly? Nothing really.  Most backup solutions rely on VSS, which is not compatible with the pool. 

You can backup the pooled drives, or you can use a file based utility to sync the contents. 

On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

4) How do I ensure I am only backing up one copy of files even though the Pool would be 2x duplication?

As above, syncing via the pool drive would be the best/only way to do that. 

On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

5) Is DrivePool compatible (i.e. provides official support) with NVR software, can I point my security cameras to store files on the Pool?

Yup!  I've personally used BlueIris in this way (storing the recordings to disk).  Though, I would recommend the "Ordered File Placement" balancer plugin, so that it fills up one disk at a time. 

On 4/9/2020 at 11:42 AM, JP2000 said:

6) Is it possible to redirect backup folder on Server2016 to the SMB share on HP with its x2 drivepool?

I'm not sure what you mean here.

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