Sentinel DX4000 backup of server data

I have a customer that is considering using this unit to back up their Small Business Server 2011 data. It will only be required to back up data not the SBS2011 operating system. Ideally the DX4000 should initiate the backup, thereby minimising load on the SBS2011 itself. Ideally full, “data only” backups would be done daily with a specified retention period that will preclude the need for manual housekeeping.

For example only…

In the 4 x 2TB unit (8TB in total) this could accommodate 7 daily backups of 1.1TB for each day of the week, leaving .3TB free. Before the next backup kicks in which would fill up the unit, a “retention policy” would automatically delete the oldest backup freeing up 1.1TB to make enough space for the next backup.

Finally, though not absolutely essential, a USB3 socket could be used to backup one or more current backup files on the DX4000 to a 2.5” USB3 drive for taking off-site.

Is this all possible

Well for starters, a 4x2tb box has a bit under 6tb usable as it is raid 5.

The DX does not have any  function to do what you desire built in. You would have to create and schedule task(s) using robocopy for example

SBS2011 has Windows Server Backup built in.  You can simply backup to a local usb drive.  It will fill up the 2ttb drive last in first out and you will have a calendar to pick a date to restore from.

The DX is an ISCSI target that WSB wiill backup to, but it is a full backup each time.  You neeed a full backup of SBS, not just the data. It is a pain to recreate a domain controler.

Well for starters, my example was exactly that - an example for illustrative purposes, not a statement of a real life situation. I thought I had made that clear, obviously not, my mistake.

Kindly refrain from telling me what I should and shoudn’t be backing up. You have no knowledge of my (possible) environment/circumstances on which to make such judgements.

I am aware of SBS2011’s capabilities. I am not aware of DX4000’s capabilities.

Kewl, glad it is all sorted now.


This thread went off track, I removed some posts so the conversation can continue politely.

It is not kewl, neither is it cool. You have not answered all my questions and apparently judged me without any evidence on which to base that judgement.

If anyone is inclined to give a more complete/professional response I would appreciate it.

Lest potential responders make the same mistakes as previous responders. I will add the following information…

  1. I _ have _ done research and I am getting either incomplete or conflicting information from both internet reviews and from a trade distributor. My distributor is even contradicting what a WD rep said to me at an Intel Channel Conference (over a year ago).

  2. The DX4000 will not be the primary method of securing the SBS operating environment or its data. Its intended role would be as a secondary backup for data only.

  3. I am fully aware of what SBS2011 can and cannot do. I am not fully aware of what the DX4000 can and cannot do.

I would appreciate it if this post were not deleted by a moderator; there is pertinent information here that I have had to retype because one of my previous posts was deleted rather than edited.


(“WD”) provides the WD Community as a service to its users and customers, to help them exchange ideas, tips, information, and techniques related to our products. 

This is not a support venue maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support:

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I raised an e-mail support request over a week ago - no reply as yet. I was going to phone UK office tomorrow if this forum didn’t pan out which looks like its going to be the case.


I really have no clue what got your dander up.  All I was trying to do was help you.  I Did answer your question(s) and offered alternative solutions.

I mentioned to you that you would not have 4 x 2tb = 8tb of storage as many people do not know that you have zero control of the hard discs in this box.  If you have two drives, they will be in a mirror.  Three or Four drives and it will be a Raid 5.  In all cases, you loose one drive for redundancy.

I told you that the DX box has no function/proceess/capabilty (whatever you want to call it) to do what you suggested.  That you could write scripts using robocopy for example and schedule them to do what you ask.

You would simply use the DX as a NAS box.  A place with a lot of storage to put your “stuff” and have Raid protection.

Now I will follow this with another post with all the things you did not ask for that the moderator(s) can delete :slight_smile:

(EDIT) Changed my mind on typing more, just not really worth it

What got my “dander up” is not answering my questions and lecturing me about how I _ should _ be backing up rather than how I _ want _ to backup and doing so assuming that the DX4000 would be anything other than a _ part _ of my customer’s backup strategy.

If and when I want info about SBS (which doesn’t happen too often) I go to an SBS forum. Here all I want is info about DX4000.

Have you even read beyond my first paragraph? You still haven’t answered about retention policy or the USB3 port. Don’t bother now it isn’t worth your “effort”. You are right, your time has pretty much been wasted on this thread but that isn’t my fault.

@ERmorel/Moderators - do what you want regarding this post and the post it replied to. You got it right, this forum is not suitable for pre-sales technical support. Thanks for your efforts in other areas.

I told you there is nothing in the DX to do what you want.  So that also means there is no retention policy. I am very sorry that was not clear to you.

Now really. you want to call me out on your USB 3.0 question? Yes it does have a USB 3.0 port

So to answer your question.  Yes it is “possible” to drag and drop files from the DX to an External USB 3.0 drive.  Then someone could remove that drive and take it offsite.  This could also be scripted with soemthing like robocopy

Thanks to moderator ERmorel for geeing up WD. For anyone else reading this thread now or in the future, I now have what ought to be definitive answers (because they came direct from WD). Extracts of the e-mails received from WD support…

Initial response:

You can set up the backup of your computers to the DX4000 unit. You can select which folders you would like to backup, you can also set up in which hour you would like to perform the daily backup and for how long you would like to keep the old backups.

USB ports on the unit are not primarily used to back up the data from the Sentinel to the USB drive, however, it is possible to do it when you log in directly to the OS of the Sentinel (which is Windows Storage 2008 R2).

Follow-up (clarification) response:

  • You should be able to backup your SBS 2011, if this server allows you to install the Connector software, which is necessary to run the backup to the Sentinel. Since both SBS 2011 and WD Sentinel (Storage server 2008 R2) are from Microsoft, the compatibility should not be an issue.

  • To do the automatic / scheduled backup to the connected USB drive, you can use the “Windows Server Backup” function, which you can access in the operating system of the Sentinel.

  • You can connect to the OS of the WD Sentinel from any PC on your local network by using the “Remote Desktop Connection” tool.


Bless your heart.  It is a good thing you came back before you wasted any more time and money.  I did not bother telling you about the GREAT CLIENT BACKUP feature cause you felt so ill If I tell you about something you did not ask about.  (Did you flame WD for telling you you could use WSB to backup the DX ? Well actually you can not do that either.)

WD was very correct in saying you can use the DX to backup a PC if the client will install on it,  BUT the connector will not run on SBS 2011 Standard.  I am going on a limb and “assuming” you have standard as SBS 2011 Essentials has the same client backup feature as the DX and Windows Home Server 2011 for that matter.  Again, if you will refer to the link for specifications, you will only see desktop versions listed

Their is a file on the DX (all 3 of the essentials versions) called supportedos.xml  If you really want to, you can edit that file, insert the proper values for SBS 2011 and the connector will install.  But it will break the SBS Dashboard (BTDT) and is not supported by me, WD, or Microsoft. And it is worth notice that the connector on the newer essentials versions, 2012 and 2012R2 WILL install Server versions but does not offer Backup.  It simply shows in the dashboard for alerts etc, but backup is not available for those servers.

Now as far as the dude telling you that you can use Windows Server Backup which is built into Windows Storage Server 2008R2 that the DX runs on…  WD actually removed the links in the dashboard for server backup because WSB cannot backup drives larger than 2tb.  If you like I can post images of a non WD box and a WD box for you of this.

But to be honest I am not sure, but I think you can use WSB selecting files and folders as long as it is less than 2tb.  You just cannot select and entire drive.  I just always backup the entire box as if it dies, I want everything.  Because of the 2tb limitation I only use one 2tb drive in them so I can back them up.  WD has a 4tb version, that means 2tb usuable and you can configure backup using the native WSB GUI.

And just for giggles, I will talk about the client backup in the DX.  It is great and I would suggest it as a great companion to any SBS server.  You can backup up to 25 desktops every night.  It uses Single Instance Storage or some call it data deduplication.  What this means is you can backup say ten Win 7 boxes in the same space has one. After the first backup to the DX all the rest are a very small increase.  Just whatever is diff on the box gets added to the backup database.

To restore a file or folder, someone who knows the administrative password may launch the Dashboard.  From there the just pick a computer, a date from the calendar, what they want restored and sit back and wait.  If the hard drive dies in a PC, the dashboard has this handy dandy thumb drive creator.  You just create the thumb, boot the pc with a wired LAN connection, enter the Admin password, select the proper computer from the drop down, select a date from the calendar and wait. And then wait some more.  It is kinda slow, but hey, it works :)  It will lay down an image of the PC as it was from whatever date you selected.  Be it before the hard drive crashed, or say 2 days prior to following that link that infected the desktop.

For the client computer database you may select number of Days, Weeks, and Months to keep a backup.  Keep in mind that reducing from say 6 months to 3 months may not reduce the dtabase size.  It would only get smaller if a PC had a “bunch of stuff” on it 6 months ago, but no longer has that data.

Think about this.  How kewl is it that with just two USB drives offsite you can recreate an entire organization.  The Windows Server Backup USB drive from the SBS and the WSB USB drive from the DX.  Let them space debris fall, you are covered !

Also, there is a function in the DX dashboard where you may join the DX to the SBS Domain and it will be listed in the SBS dashboard for health alerts like windows updates.

FWIW, I will be more than happy to help you with your SBS questions as well.

I was the First Microsft MVP for SBS in 1998.  I started and own the sbs2k  Yahoo Group.  If you would like to join it along with 3293 members I will glady aprove your membership

If you were an SBSC, Microsoft flew me to Redmond, paid my expenses and 800 bucks a day along with 4 of my other buds to write 70-282

I have been a speaker at Harry’s SMBNation as well as Jeff’s SBSMigration conferences.  I have been to Redmond over 20 times for meetings with the SBS/WSSE Dev team.  We have monthly con calls with Dev and Product Support.  If you have any issues you see often with SBS I will be more than happy to let them know for you.

I have been to Las Colinas TX, and Charlotte NC for new SBS release training for the PSS folks.  We sit with and take the same training that the folks who answer the phone when you Dial MS 1-800-help-me  Since support has now moved to Shanghai we did the last one Virtual/online

I am a Moderator for the Server Esentials forum at Microsoft if you need any help over there.

You said you were in the UK so you could also reach out to my bud Robert Pearman at

What I find amusing is that after all this we are back to my first answer.  It still stands.  The DX will not do what you are asking Out Of the Box.  You could write batch files for each day of the week to copy to a folder named Monday on the DX and schedule that.  The fist step in the batch file would be to delete the contents of the folder Monday on the DX.  Make 5, 6, or 7 of these for whatever other days.  Me personally, I see no sense in draging a TB of data across the lan every night.  The SBS box also has previous versions available if a file gets deleted or corupt or written over.

And you can do whatever you desire with a USB drive connected to the DX.  At minimum you could write another batch file to copy “Day of the Week” folder to the drive.  As I said, I think you may can use WSB if you only select folders and not a drive.  I do not have any 2008R2 boxes here larger than 2tb to test this for you.

Again, I am glad to help you in anyway I can.

Come on now, give me a kudo after all this typing.  Just 2 more needed  LOL

Seriously, I am sorry if I upset you.  I never meant to.  All I was trying to do was help and I hope you have a better understanding now of what the DX can and cannot do.


Thorough research is never a waste of time and no money has been spent.

Once again you take me for an ■■■■■ without justification. I already knew about the client backup, that is why I didn’t ask about it. The DX4000 was not wanted for client backup anyway. I also already knew there was a USB3 socket, that’s why I asked about a possible use of it.

“Bless your heart” - now you are patronising too.

As for your credentials, if they are true they are impressive (but not relevant to my questions). I could list mine but then I suspect you’d probably start comparing and trying to make me feel inferior again and, just like your credentials, they too are not relevant. Technically you might be on a higher level but, even if you are, that doesn’t make me incompetent and it doesn’t give you the right to adopt the supercilious attitude that you have taken to date.

I am going to refer your post to the WD technician for his response. I had already asked him if I can download the connector to see if will install. If that was not possible or it failed to install I was not going to recommend the product to my customer anyway. It is just one of a number of possibilities being explored. I won’t tell you what the other possibilities are because I don’t want your help with them. If he backtracks then I will give you kudos, not for your benefit but for the benfit of future readers.

Even if he is wrong, at least the WD technician treated me with civility.

The connector will not install stand alone.  I forget when it looks for the OS, but in any case one of the first steps is to select the server.  You may have more than one if you have more than 25 desktops or desire to keep the data below 2tb.

The install will not go forward if it does not see a server.

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For the benefit of future readers, the WD technician would not change his stance…

You should be able to backup your SBS 2011, if this server allows you to install the Connector software, which is necessary to run the backup to the Sentinel. Since both SBS 2011 and WD Sentinel (Storage server 2008 R2) are from Microsoft, the compatibility should not be an issue.”

Given the cost of a unit and WD’s inability to give a definitive answer I could not recommend the unit to my customer. We have pursued a different solution.

_ My _ involvement with this thread is at an end. Regardless of what, if anything, is subsequently posted I will not be returning, not even to read. The decision has been made, the DX4000 has been rejected because of an inconclusive dialogue with WD’s support department.

For the benefit of future readers :slight_smile:

WD is correct, “if” the connector will install…  It will not Video of such is  here

Also worth a note.  This forum is a great place for presales support.  WD can do a fine job telling you what hard drives will work in their products or how to recover them for example.  WD does not have the resources to test all the things we can throw at the box