Small business environments and backup – HP RDX backup solution

In SBS enviroments there is always problem with backup solutions that are afordable and reliable at the same time. HP has an excelent, quick and robust solution that you can easily implement in SBS environment. It’s called HP RDX and you can check HP website for more info – it is composed of internal or external device and hard disk based cartridge of different sizes. It allows you to copy at a speed between 20-35 MB/s or better around 100 GB / hour…

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/12169-304616-3755725-3755725-3755725-3741006.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5E1c0VrMyg

If you have virtualised SBS environment so you are running SBS 2008 or SBS 2011 on Hyper-V platform you can backup your SBS server by using iSCSI on Hyper-V host (you can try http://www.starwindsoftware.com/ with their fantastic iSCSI solution). When you have this software installed you can connect your RDX drive to your guest SBS server and use it to perform standard SBS backup on it.
This kind of solution will not work with Microsoft iSCSI target 3.3 (this is MS free iSCSI target that runs on Windows server 2008 R2) as it does not allow to use removable disks as source for iSCSI target disks (it only supports non-removable drives).

One thought on “Small business environments and backup – HP RDX backup solution

  1. ITwill

    SBS 2011 Backing Up to RDX drive – solution

    Like many people before me I have run into the well documented (now) problem of SBS 2011 (and 2008) not being able to back up to an RDX cartridge drive whether it be internal or USB

    The workarounds I’ve seen are either using other software (backup exec for example) or for scheduling a “full backup” using Windows backup.

    Of course none of these solutions allow you to see the backup results in the SBS console so you won’t get backup notifications and the server will forever be telling you that you’ve not configured / carried out a backup which is quite annoying.

    I believe I’ve found a working solution to this which lets you use an RDX drive, lets you do scheduled backups which are reported back to the console and therefore register as successful backups in the notification emails you get sent by SBS.

    I’ve tested this on SBS 2011 using a USB attached external RDX drive.

    I don’t know if ALL of the points are absolutely necessary to get this to work but for the sake of a few clicks its probably worth doing all the stages !

    1. Share your RDX drive and give “everyone” full access permission to the drive (“everyone” may be overkill but I’ve done that to ensure no permissions issues stop this from working – you may want to adjust security accordingly)
    2. Go into Windows Backup (NOT SBS CONSOLE) and configure your scheduled backup – select what you want to backup and then choose the option to backup to a remote share.
    3. Choose your shared RDX drive as the destination for the backup
    4. Select your backup schedule and complete the backup wizard.
    5. At this point in theory you have got a scheduled full server backup but of course this doesn’t “report in” to the SBS console and you wouldn’t get any backup completion notifications from the SBS console either
    6. Next connect a supported USB hard drive to your server – this is a temporary step but needs doing (virtually all usb hard drives are supported)
    7. Go to the SBS console and select “configure your backup”
    8. Go through the SBS backup wizard, select what you want to backup and when and complete the wizard – I chose all the same settings as the ones I’d just used in the Windows Backup including the schedule time just to be on the safe side. The only difference is the backup destination – you can only select the USB hard drive not your rdx drive as these are not supported in SBS backup but that’s fine – go ahead and select the USB hard drive and complete the backup wizard. It will now show that the backup is configured and scheduled in the console
    9. Close out of SBS console and go back to the Windows Backup Wizard again.
    10. Disconnect the USB hard drive at this point – no longer needed
    11. Select the “change backup settings” option and leave all the settings as they are except for when you get to backup location – here you want to select your “share” option and once again input \servernamehowyousharedyourrdxdriveout
    12. Complete the wizard.

    Now what I discovered was that when you use the SBS console to setup a backup, the console creates a task in the windows task scheduler called something like “Windows Server Backup Schedule Task” (or similar) This is also what is created when you use the Windows Server Backup Wizard – exactly the same scheduled task name.

    By doing what we’ve just done above, we’ve created the scheduled task as far as SBS console is concerned but then we’ve changed one of the settings in it (the backup destination) using Windows Server backup.

    I’ve now got an SBS server happily backing up to an RDX drive each night, sending me a status report by email in the morning to say its completed and showing the backup history in the console window too. I’ve even done a restore of files and folders which worked like a dream. Now remember you are getting a FULL server backup as well as the bare metal restore so you can restore anything you could usually restore if you were backing up to a support USB hard drive

    There are a couple of things to be aware of though / which I haven’t tested yet;

    1. Do not click “run backup now” from within the SBS console – this makes the console crash for some reason. Probably doesn’t like my workaround. If you want to “run the backup now” you can do so from Windows Server Backup software or run the scheduled task. When running, it appear in the console as backup in progress.
    2. I haven’t yet checked to see if the backup automatically overwrites or appends (if space) what is already on the cartridge. If I find it doesn’t overwrite or append then all I need to do is schedule another task to run shortly beforehand which formats / wipes contents of cartridge so not a big issue really.

    So there we go – a working solution (as far as I can see) which allows you to use your RDX drive with SBS 2011 – perhaps someone could test this on SBS 2008 as well but I can’t as don’t have access to a suitable test server

    Hope this helps people and would be interested in any feedback

    Like

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