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In search of help for adressing specific HDD in storagemodules

I want a storage facility for example for 10 HDDs, which always save the latest backup from 10 PCs. The backups are provided by a backup server, it receives the latest backups from the PCs on a weekly basis.

The HDD should consistently represent the current status of the PCs.

What I want to achive:
If an HDD breaks on a PC, you have the option of simply taking the HDD and plugging it into the PC, starting the recovery and therefore getting the PC up and running within a remarkably short time.

Question:
Can you address a specific "slot" in storage modules? So to speak, the HDD in slot 1 is provided for PC 1 only? (Slot N = PC N)
Or are there other ways of stocking HDDs and adressing them?

And is it even possible to make it so that each Drive is possible to be a running system later on?


I am aware this is a complex solution. However, this is exactly what I need for my upcoming test because I may want to hand this in as my specialist work examination.
However, this part is the only one for which I cannot find a solution. I looked at documentation on various providers, but unfortunately discovered nothing about it.
For this reason I am here in hope of some help.

Thanks in advance.

 

Edit: 

For clarity -- it is about industrial computers that manage systems and processes.

The whole Backupsave thing is already done and ready to use.

Only remaining part is adressing specific HDD slots and saving a whole PC on only that one Drive in a for example storagemodule.

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I would suggest using a tool like Macrium Reflect to create disk images of your hard drive periodically and upload them to your backup server. It can be a plain boring NAS with a bunch of drives in a raid to offer safety/redundancy.

You can probably configure a scheduled task or something that would automatically make a disk image of your whole C: drive (the letter with the operating system) or just a part of that partition (for example exclude a Games folder) when creating the disk image.

In this scenario, if you have a C: drive with 1 TB of disk space, but only 200 GB is used by the operating system and programs, your disk image will only be around 200 GB in size, so you'd be able to store several weeks worth of disk images on a backup drive.

 

The tool may have an option to automatically upload the disk image to your server, or may be able to write the disk image directly as it's created (maybe you can make a network shared folder on your server and give the tool rights to create and write files in that folder) , or if there's no such ability, you could simply schedule the backup for a specific time and then have a separate scheduled task an hour or two after the backup to transfer the generated file (assuming it takes less than one hour to make the weekly backup)

 

I understand this will not be near instantaneous (it looks like you just want to pull out the drive from the backup server and plug it in your machine) ... but I feel in most cases it's not that urgent that waiting 20-30 minutes for the image to be written to a new drive would be too much.

In theory there's plug and play / hot plug for sata drives but in practice it's not often working right, often you get short circuits (crashes/reboots) when hot-plugging sata drives, or you get freezes, and your computers may also have m.2 ssds which you can't just pull out without turning off the machine. So it would still take time...

 

For example, you would just take a regular ssd or mechanical drive,  plug it into a  sata - usb adapter  or a nvme - usb adapter, plug the usb cable into the backup pc and start the tool to write the disk image to the new drive plugged through usb.

 

You can have a few big capacity hard drives in your backup machine/ nas in a raid 5 or raid 6 configuration so that if one drive fails, you'll still be able to repair the raid and not lose any data. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Xeaths said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

But sadly I have to use it like I described it.

Mainly because the whole thing is about industrial PCs.

 

At the moment they fix problems like a dead HDD by taking a new one, placing them, installing the restore backup from the server and then launching.

This whole process takes ages. Each minute is wasted money. 

 

But still I appreciate your thought.

Can the industrial PCs have more than one hard drive in them?

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2 minutes ago, whispous said:

Can the industrial PCs have more than one hard drive in them?

Sadly they only have one sata slot... 

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26 minutes ago, mariushm said:

I would suggest using a tool like Macrium Reflect to create disk images of your hard drive periodically and upload them to your backup server. It can be a plain boring NAS with a bunch of drives in a raid to offer safety/redundancy.

You can probably configure a scheduled task or something that would automatically make a disk image of your whole C: drive (the letter with the operating system) or just a part of that partition (for example exclude a Games folder) when creating the disk image.

In this scenario, if you have a C: drive with 1 TB of disk space, but only 200 GB is used by the operating system and programs, your disk image will only be around 200 GB in size, so you'd be able to store several weeks worth of disk images on a backup drive.

 

The tool may have an option to automatically upload the disk image to your server, or may be able to write the disk image directly as it's created (maybe you can make a network shared folder on your server and give the tool rights to create and write files in that folder) , or if there's no such ability, you could simply schedule the backup for a specific time and then have a separate scheduled task an hour or two after the backup to transfer the generated file (assuming it takes less than one hour to make the weekly backup)

 

I understand this will not be near instantaneous (it looks like you just want to pull out the drive from the backup server and plug it in your machine) ... but I feel in most cases it's not that urgent that waiting 20-30 minutes for the image to be written to a new drive would be too much.

In theory there's plug and play / hot plug for sata drives but in practice it's not often working right, often you get short circuits (crashes/reboots) when hot-plugging sata drives, or you get freezes, and your computers may also have m.2 ssds which you can't just pull out without turning off the machine. So it would still take time...

 

For example, you would just take a regular ssd or mechanical drive,  plug it into a  sata - usb adapter  or a nvme - usb adapter, plug the usb cable into the backup pc and start the tool to write the disk image to the new drive plugged through usb.

 

You can have a few big capacity hard drives in your backup machine/ nas in a raid 5 or raid 6 configuration so that if one drive fails, you'll still be able to repair the raid and not lose any data. 

 

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

But sadly I have to use it like I described it.

Mainly because the whole thing is about industrial PCs.

 

At the moment they fix problems like a dead HDD by taking a new one, placing them, installing the restore backup from the server and then launching.

This whole process takes ages. Each minute is wasted money. 

 

But still I appreciate your thought.

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13 minutes ago, Xeaths said:

At the moment they fix problems like a dead HDD by taking a new one, placing them, installing the restore backup from the server and then launching.

This whole process takes ages. Each minute is wasted money. 

 

But still I appreciate your thought.

I'd review the process.  It could be slow because the machines are connected with a  a 10 mbps / 100 mbps network connection, so the download speed is very slow. Gigabit network cards, where possible to install and where supported by the software/os on those machines could improve things a lot, but they cost money.

 

Writing the image to a drive in a usb 3 enclosure could be much faster - 100 mbps is 12 MB/s , usb 2.0 is ~ 20-25 MB/s , usb 3.0 is 50+ MB/s  ... usb 3 10gbps is up to 800-900 MB/s .

 

Also, if you have IDE on those industrial pcs, there are IDE SSDs out there that you can buy ... they're usually much smaller in size, 8-16 GB, up to 30-40 GB....

If they have sata, should be a no-brainer, switch to sata SSDs.

 

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2 minutes ago, Xeaths said:

Thanks for the suggestion.

 

But sadly I have to use it like I described it.

Mainly because the whole thing is about industrial PCs.

 

At the moment they fix problems like a dead HDD by taking a new one, placing them, installing the restore backup from the server and then launching.

This whole process takes ages. Each minute is wasted money. 

 

But still I appreciate your thought.

If you want to take an image of the PC drives, you will have to have downtime

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1 minute ago, mariushm said:

I'd review the process.  It could be slow because the machines are connected with a  a 10 mbps / 100 mbps network connection, so the download speed is very slow. Gigabit network cards, where possible to install and where supported by the software/os on those machines could improve things a lot, but they cost money.

 

Writing the image to a drive in a usb 3 enclosure could be much faster - 100 mbps is 12 MB/s , usb 2.0 is ~ 20-25 MB/s , usb 3.0 is 50+ MB/s  ... usb 3 10gbps is up to 800-900 MB/s .

 

Also, if you have IDE on those industrial pcs, there are IDE SSDs out there that you can buy ... they're usually much smaller in size, 8-16 GB, up to 30-40 GB....

If they have sata, should be a no-brainer, switch to sata SSDs.

 

Network connection isnt a problem its within 250-500 MB/s. its the Backupserver itself and the amout of Data + the processors on the PCs are slow.

Stupid decision from way above without asking specialists just to save money.

 

In some departments they already started switching to SSDs but the amout of Drives that die over here are just plain wasted money.

 

I dont really know why they do it like that. I´m just a student who received this job to fix it. They told me how they would like it and now im constructing a way around it.

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6 minutes ago, whispous said:

If you want to take an image of the PC drives, you will have to have downtime

Could you explain what you mean by downtime?

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2 minutes ago, Xeaths said:

Could you explain what you mean by downtime?

You can't reliably image a computer while it's running the normal OS. And other people here will claim that's wrong with "no but", but I'm talking about reliability here.

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1 minute ago, whispous said:

You can't reliably image a computer while it's running the normal OS. And other people here will claim that's wrong with "no but", but I'm talking about reliability here.

they do not run on normal OS -- with that said everything including images/backups/restore files are already finished and saved on a seperate server.

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