The 2TB brick wall

On December 10, 2011, in news, by

As you start to build out a SBS essentials or purchase a Windows Storage Server Essentials there’s a number you need to be aware of.  2T.

Consider it a brick wall until Windows 8 comes to solve the problem.

That’s right 2 terabytes.  What’s the big deal about 2TB?  Consider it a brick wall that you can’t get over.  Not without a third party solution.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772523.aspx

You cannot use Windows Server Backup to back up file and folders on volumes that require more than 2040 GB (or 2 TB). However, as long as the data size is less than 2 TB, you can perform a file or folder backup. For example, you can back up 1.5 TB of data from a 3-TB volume. But, a full server or volume recovery using the backup will recreate a 2-TB volume instead of a 3-TB volume.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/faq-for-windows-home-and-small-business-server-backup.aspx

What’s the server backup size limit?

Server Backup uses the .VHD file format to store the backup data. It has a 2TB limit for its maximum size. So, please make sure the total size of your backup source data is less than 2TB.

And more

http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2010/02/18/understanding-the-2-tb-limit-in-windows-storage.aspx

So Susan?  What does this mean? 
It means that if you have any unit where you have more than 2TB of data on a volume you will not be able to back it up without some sort of third party solution.  If you want to stick with the native backup make sure you keep the 2TB block in mind.  If you see a vendor tell you that their solution to solve this 2TB limit is to offer you some sort of cloud backup solution… keep in mind that shoving that much data over an Internet connection can be painful and take a long long time.

Bottom line, when looking at solutions and thinking “How cool, a big big terabyte raid which gives me a huge terabyte drive space!” you should think instead “Gee, how am I going to back up that sucker?”

 

One Response to The 2TB brick wall

  1. John Doe says:

    Just ran into this with new USB 3TB external hard drives. I cannot fathom how Microsoft could release a product in the year 2011 that would be limited to 2TB. I am very disappointed. This has caused me and my customers grief for sure. Thanks for the article!