Backup best practices

Applies To: Windows Home Server 2011

Follow these best practices to help manage your server backups.

  • Monitor the network report for backup-related information.

    You should routinely review network reports to ensure that backups complete successfully and that no backup-related warnings or errors occur. By monitoring network reports, you can catch and correct backup issues before they result in loss of data.

  • Use external storage drives that are compatible with your server.

    Compatible drives support USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, or eSATA. You should visit the website for your storage drive manufacturer to ensure that the drive is supported on computers running Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Use an external hard disk with at least 1.5 times the storage capacity of the items that you want to back up.

    Using an external hard disk with extended capacity helps ensure that you do not have to replace the hard disk too soon while the amount of stored data grows. Because server backups are incremental, an external hard disk of 300 GB or more can hold months of backup data.

  • Use multiple external hard disks and rotate them.

    You should backup server data to multiple external hard disks and rotate the hard disks between onsite and offsite storage locations. Doing so can improve your disaster preparedness planning by helping you recover your data if physical damage occurs to the hardware onsite.


    Windows Home Server 2011 can recognize multiple external hard disks that are connected to the server at the same time. If a configured backup hard disk is not connected to the server, it is identified as Offline.

  • Rotate backup drives on a regular basis.

    Establish a backup storage plan that includes the regular rotation of your external hard disks. To help protect backups in case of disaster, you should store at least one backup hard disk at a secure offsite location.

  • Plan your backup strategy carefully for computers with virtual volumes.

    Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) does not support creating a shadow copy of a virtual volume and the host volume in the same snapshot set. VSS does support creating snapshots of volumes on a VHD, if backup of the virtual volume is necessary. If you want to back up a virtual volume, see the “What are the best practices for backing up VHDs?” section in Frequently Asked Questions: Virtual Hard Disks in Windows 7 (