Spanning all drives like removable drives.


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jdlech
jdlech
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Ever tried to backup 5TB onto CDs?  Even dual layer DVDs take a ton of disks.  And you know... one hiccup and you have a bunch of coasters to toss out.
Ever tried to backup 5TB onto USB drives?  How old are you now?  How old do you want to be when you finish?
Ever wondered what to do with all those old hard drives sitting around collecting dust?

The problem is that no backup solution spans hard drives like they do with removable media.  It should be a very, VERY simple matter to allow disk spanning regardless of what media you're using.  After all, it was a prominent feature of PKZip.... FOR DOS.  If they could get a 286 to span hard drives, floppies, CDs, and even tape drives, 25 years ago, why can't you do the same now?
Kinda embarrassing that you can't do it, huh?

Nick
Nick
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jdlech - 27 June 2018 11:07 PM
Ever tried to backup 5TB onto CDs?  Even dual layer DVDs take a ton of disks.  And you know... one hiccup and you have a bunch of coasters to toss out.
Ever tried to backup 5TB onto USB drives?  How old are you now?  How old do you want to be when you finish?
Ever wondered what to do with all those old hard drives sitting around collecting dust?

The problem is that no backup solution spans hard drives like they do with removable media.  It should be a very, VERY simple matter to allow disk spanning regardless of what media you're using.  After all, it was a prominent feature of PKZip.... FOR DOS.  If they could get a 286 to span hard drives, floppies, CDs, and even tape drives, 25 years ago, why can't you do the same now?
Kinda embarrassing that you can't do it, huh?

Thanks for posting

Spanning multiple media locations has problems with mounting images in Windows Explorer because 'ntfs.sys' requires the entire image to be available. Windows 'sees' the image as a virtual file system so it can't be split when mounting. Basically all images need to be in the same folder. 

However....

Ever wondered what to do with all those old hard drives sitting around collecting dust?

You could configure them as a single large volume spanning all the disks using MS Dynamic disks. 
https://technet.microsoft.com/pt-pt/library/cc737048(v=ws.10).aspx#w2k3tr_ddisk_what_ayvn

The problem is that no backup solution spans hard drives like they do with removable media. It should be a very, VERY simple matter to allow disk spanning regardless of what media you're using.

That's exactly how Macrium Reflect works. Disk locations are treated like removable media and if there is insufficient space at the end of a backup you are prompted to insert new optical media, or in the case of a backup to  a local volume, prompted to continue on another volume.

As with optical media, you can't schedule backups to span multiple locations, but manual backups will do this. 

Kinda embarrassing that you can't do it, huh?

It isn't because we can do it, but it isn't the best solution for the reasons already mentioned. Unless it's a one off backup, why not purchase storage sufficient for your backup needs.  5TB of data may compress down to around 2.5 TB and 4TB USB drives are now quite inexpensive. Using Dynamic volumes is free if you happen to have 2.5TB of spare disk capacity that can be attached at the same time. 

Kind Regards

Nick - Macrium Support

Edited 28 June 2018 12:46 AM by Nick
jphughan
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Backing up 5TB onto USB disks doesn’t create a time problem compared to SATA if you're using USB 3.0.  Unless you're writing to SSDs, the bottleneck will be the spinning disk, not the USB 3.0 bus.  Technically traditional USB protocol involves a bit of overhead when writing to disks, but that only matters with SSDs, and even that goes away if you're using a system and drive/enclosure that supports UASP.  If your system doesn’t have USB 3.0, a PCIe expansion card can add it for roughly $25.

But as Nick said, the proper solution here is to just buy the amount of storage you need, although we already had that conversation in your original thread.  In there, you said you didn't want to buy a new drive in order to avoid spending more money when you already had the amount of storage you needed (even if only in aggregate), but then you apparently went out and bought an 8-port SATA controller and other gear to use all of those disks conveniently, which at least based on my cursory research seems to be roughly the same cost as a 4+ TB USB 3.0 drive would have been — except with the SATA controller solution you're still stuck with a larger hardware footprint, more organizational overhead, greater power consumption per GB of storage whenever you've got the drives powered, AND the inability to actually schedule backups to that destination. The dynamic disk solution Nick mentioned would address the last issue, but if you don’t have enough storage to use RAID 5 or better and still have the required amount of usable capacity, a dynamic disk increases your overall risk because now your data depends on all of several disks staying up.

Sorry Reflect doesn't seem to offer what you want at the moment (assuming scheduled backups to your configuration would be desirable), but frankly I can't imagine there are many (any?) other Reflect customers who under your circumstances would have made the same decision you did in order to create the "need" for this feature rather than just buying or otherwise configuring the amount of storage they required.  So my guess is that the cost/benefit analysis on the engineering effort to implement something like what you want would look pretty bleak.

Edited 28 June 2018 2:00 AM by jphughan
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