Which Server OS Should I Use?

GreenLED

Limp Gawd
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Mar 1, 2014
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137
I am looking to build out a "basic" backup server on which I want to run UrBackup.

I have a copy of Windows Server 2012 as well as Windows Server 2016.

I will NOT be running any other application or other services on this server.

I would like some opinions on whether I should use Windows or Linux as the server platform of choice. I don't really want to mess around (too much) with the command prompt if I can do it with a GUI. I am more than comfortable working with the command line and enjoy it very much. For this scenario though, I would like to stick with some sort of GUI and basic functionality.

Any ideas? Let me know if you would like any more information about this project. Thank you all for your help in advance.
 

toast0

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Jan 26, 2010
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2,167
FWIW, I didn't have a great experience with UrBackup. I set it up on a FreeBSD server (which I don't remember, so it was probably not too bad), but the Windows clients wouldn't work consistently. I ended up using Veeam (community edition) instead, which I have configured to just save to a CIFS (samba) file share hosted on the same server.

My platform of choice is FreeBSD, but I prefer to do server work in a command line. Compared to Linux, IMHO, FreeBSD is better because there's less churn --- old documentation still works and the kernel developers aren't fighting with the zfs developers. OTOH, it's a less popular platform, so there's less internet help; on the plus side, it's a less popular platform, so there's less wrong internet help :D Also, it's (currently) a pain to pxeboot the installer images, so you'll need to use a USB drive (but maybe I'm the only one who likes to pxeboot stuff)
 

GreenLED

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
137
FWIW, I didn't have a great experience with UrBackup. I set it up on a FreeBSD server (which I don't remember, so it was probably not too bad), but the Windows clients wouldn't work consistently. I ended up using Veeam (community edition) instead, which I have configured to just save to a CIFS (samba) file share hosted on the same server.

My platform of choice is FreeBSD, but I prefer to do server work in a command line. Compared to Linux, IMHO, FreeBSD is better because there's less churn --- old documentation still works and the kernel developers aren't fighting with the zfs developers. OTOH, it's a less popular platform, so there's less internet help; on the plus side, it's a less popular platform, so there's less wrong internet help :D Also, it's (currently) a pain to pxeboot the installer images, so you'll need to use a USB drive (but maybe I'm the only one who likes to pxeboot stuff)
I paid like $200 for a EE subscription and I couldn't get a reply to a question like this in a few hours. I come here and I get a high-quality reply in no time at all. Go figure.

Now to the topic at hand. the UrBackup feature set is really quite impressive and I would not mind paying for commercial support, but I am really open at this point to any suggestions that accomplish the goal. Do you happen to recall how many years back you ventured into that project? I am actually looking to most likely pay someone to build me out a plan for something like this.

Does Veam do sector-level image backups? That was the primary use case for what I am wanting to test. File backup is great, but there are so many things that do that well. I want to set it and forget it. Unfortunately, my backup process is quite manual at this point.
 

auntjemima

[H]ard DCOTM x2
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
11,170
I paid like $200 for a EE subscription and I couldn't get a reply to a question like this in a few hours. I come here and I get a high-quality reply in no time at all. Go figure.

Now to the topic at hand. the UrBackup feature set is really quite impressive and I would not mind paying for commercial support, but I am really open at this point to any suggestions that accomplish the goal. Do you happen to recall how many years back you ventured into that project? I am actually looking to most likely pay someone to build me out a plan for something like this.

Does Veam do sector-level image backups? That was the primary use case for what I am wanting to test. File backup is great, but there are so many things that do that well. I want to set it and forget it. Unfortunately, my backup process is quite manual at this point.
This place is super busy and always willing to help
 

cdabc123

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4,088
This place is super busy and always willing to help
Well that was fucking unhelpful.

I likewise dont have much to contribute to the issue as os choice for a specific piece of software really depends on how that software plays with Linux. For a single use a Linux rig is often easier to maintain and will have quite abit less overhead.

2016 is a good, easy to use os with nearly full compatibility with all modern software. 2012 r2 is beginning to show its age in that regard and can be a few more steps to get running.
 

toast0

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
2,167
I paid like $200 for a EE subscription and I couldn't get a reply to a question like this in a few hours. I come here and I get a high-quality reply in no time at all. Go figure.

Now to the topic at hand. the UrBackup feature set is really quite impressive and I would not mind paying for commercial support, but I am really open at this point to any suggestions that accomplish the goal. Do you happen to recall how many years back you ventured into that project? I am actually looking to most likely pay someone to build me out a plan for something like this.

Does Veam do sector-level image backups? That was the primary use case for what I am wanting to test. File backup is great, but there are so many things that do that well. I want to set it and forget it. Unfortunately, my backup process is quite manual at this point.

Looks like I was trying to get urBackup to work starting in June 2020, and I gave up and did Veeam in September. I agree that the feature set seems right, and when it worked, it seemed good, but I couldn't get the client side to work consistently, and that's not great for backups. It was something around volume shadow copies that wouldn't work and like, I can understand what that is and what the error message meant, but no idea how to fix it, so I moved onto something else.

I do what veeam calls a whole disk backup; it includes the partition table and whole filesystem. They say they can exclude deleted files and some other files (which sounds like magic?). When I upgraded storage, I refreshed the backup on the old drive, then did a restore on the new one, rather than a sector by sector copy. It can also do file based, and I think you can extract files out of the backup, but I want simple restore, I don't want to reinstall anything. I also dir a restore once where my kid installed some weird spyware toolbar crap... was faster and better to roll back to midnight than to figure out how to remove it.
 
Last edited:

robijito123

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
227
I would either grab a new distro of Linux or use server 2016, server 2012r2 is sunsetted btw so there is a point in the near future for no more patching or support from MS. I too use Veeam on a server 2019 in-house machine as it integrates really well with VMware and makes migrations and backups super simple too and from the data center, even have an AZure instance running it to backup O365 exchange and Sharepoint. I think though if you went with a Linux flavor route you could run a jail of Urbackup in Trunas which solves another issue of redundancy at the server level if you have a multidisk zfs partition.
 

Kardonxt

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Apr 13, 2009
Messages
3,637
I have had good luck with Veeam for Hyper-V servers as well. A bit cumbersome to configure but is working well so far.

If you want a real simple solution you could just pickup something like Acronis or Macrium and configure it to run backups to a file server of your choice. At that point server OS doesn't matter much because it's just hosting a file share.

As Robijito123 pointed out, server 2012 is no longer receiving security patches so should not be used. 2012 r2 has another year or so left but I can't think of a reason to use it over 2016.
 
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