Microsoft reveals details for Windows Server 8 online backup service

Alongside the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview version on February 29, Microsoft also launched the beta for Windows Server 8. This week, the official Windows Server blog revealed some details about Microsoft's plans for an online backup service that will be launched for Windows Server 8.

The service will use the already established Windows Azure cloud-based platform as its basis, according to the blog. It will also use the downloadable Microsoft Online Backup Agent in order for server administrators to transfer files to the backup service. Users of the beta version of Windows Server 8 can register for an account for the service right now, which provides 10 GB of cloud storage for free.

The blog goes into more detail about what kinds of features Windows Server 8 users can expect from this backup service. They include a simple user interface to access any files that are backed up online, as shown by the screenshot above. Windows Server 8 can be configured to just back up changed blocks of data to the service, which should cut down on the amount of bandwidth and storage that is used.

The service also checks the integrity of any data automatically. That means that if any of the files turn out to be corrupted, they can be dealt with in the next automatic backup. The blog post also goes into detail on how Windows 8 Server users can set up times to back up their files to the online service, along with how to start the actual backup of files and recovering any data from the service.

Images via Microsoft

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All your backups are belong to us.

"Partners who want to offer their own cloud backup solution by integrating with Windows Server Backup, please refer to our Cloud Backup Provider API Reference"
--
Is the only news of any value in that whole blog post.

knighthawk said,
All your backups are belong to us.

"Partners who want to offer their own cloud backup solution by integrating with Windows Server Backup, please refer to our Cloud Backup Provider API Reference"
--
Is the only news of any value in that whole blog post.

Ya cause that 256 bit double encryption that it is stored with is so easy to crack.

Microsoft will be reading your data in maybe 1 billion years. Of course it is about a billion years to crack each account, so if there are 16 companies that use it, it will take Microsoft longer than the universe has existed to gain access to the data.

(Microsoft is NOT Google, data is highly secure, and non-human readable.)

ahhell said,
Most companies purchase their own backup software anyway.

And how do you know that? Do you own any kind of statistics, because if so, then this one won't be used either.

SubZenit said,

And how do you know that? Do you own any kind of statistics, because if so, then this one won't be used either.

The built in backup software is usually pretty basic. If you want more advanced features/more robust software you have to go 3rd party. Win8 might be different but I doubt it.

xpclient said,
While the Backup and Restore software itself is being deprecated in Windows 8.

it is still there.

...actually you know what i would get mad if they removed it.

Ci7 said,

it is still there.

...actually you know what i would get mad if they removed it.

Then you can get mad in Windows 9 where it will be removed because it's deprecated now.

xpclient said,

Then you can get mad in Windows 9 where it will be removed because it's deprecated now.

Wow... So much misunderstanding it is almost painful to read.

The current backup/restore technology is depreciated, just like the XP version was deprecated when Vista was released and even the Vista version was deprecated when Windows 7 moved to a newer technology.

Windows 8 shoves the 'universal' metaphor of restore and backup in the face of the public, which just means the old concept of backup/restore is dated.

So in Windows 8 there is no 'backup/restore' software in the traditional metaphor. However there is what was known as 'History Vault' and is just called 'File History'

It is what Windows Vista and Windows 7 have been doing all along, but in a more in your face manner.

The disconnect was that users did not realized the importance of 'backup/restore' and that is also included file versions and a time that worked hand in hand with the NTFS provided technology of 'copy on write/shadow copy' that was available by right click on any file/folder and selecting 'Previous Versions'.

(See the backup even if ran once a week would take the 'Versions' from the volume and also store them and keep them for months and years if you have a large enough external backup device.)

In Vista and Windows 7 this was like Apple's Time Machine, but with 10 times the functionality. Sadly though less than 10% of users even used backup and less than 1% of users use 'Previous Versions' - especially from the backups

If you do backups on Windows 7, right click on any file or folder and select 'Previous Versions' and you will notice you get a nice time-line of the versions that are both on the NTFS volume and also on the external backup. You can open the File/Folder from any of these points from the Time-line and use them like a regular folder to grab stuff that you lost or changed months ago, and even the saved 'versions' that are more frequent than the backups.

(No need to open something like TimeMachine or even Windows Restore, just right click, 'Previous Versions' and grab a file or folder without having to do a 'restore'.)

The on volume 'versioning/timeline' and these also being in the backups are things Apple's Time Machine cannot do. Apple's Time Machine is also more demanding on the system, as it MUST do the external transfers all the time to keep the 'versions' where on Windows you can be on the road for a week, come home and on the next backup, all the versions are preserved since you don't have to do an hourly backup like Apple's Time Machine.

So Microsoft looked at the data and saw all this brilliant technology wasn't being used, especially with the Microsoft's Marketing being too stupid to even realize this functionality was there and hit back at Apple's Time Machine. Microsoft's fault that upper divisions often don't have the technical knowledge of Windows, and features are often not explained with 'understanding.' Marketing should have done a single one time simple Ad saying, ya Windows already does this for you, and you don't have to run 'Time Machine', as you can use 'Previous Versions' from even inside a dialog box of an Application or any place you can see your files.

So the traditional backup/restore dedicated software is deprecated but the functionality is not.

In fact it gets better with new system options to put the system back to how it was first installed and then pull data from the new 'File History' to restore your data and your Applications as well, that also work in cooperation with your Microsoft Account and your 'personal' Apps that are delivered through the Windows Marketplace and they are put back as well.

The Windows Market and your Microsoft Account for online settings even allow you to use Microsoft server for remote storage of your File History (Backups) and current data if you choose, so that you can walk up to a new computer at a friends home, use your LiveID (Microsoft Account) and have all your settings, Apps, and Data.) And this information is also protected from the 'friend' even though you are using their computer, by telling it to not keep anything 'cached' and even keep your data but keep it encrypted from your friend, that can only delete it, but NEVER see inside your profile/folder. (This is like roaming profiles and something NT has offered forever, but needed a local server.)

So don't fret over the current backup/restore software going away, and even when it does, old backups will still be accessible through both Microsoft access tools to convert the ones that are not already stored as VHDs to VHDs that can be mounted and accessed.


All this doom and gloom over the word 'deprecated', yet nobody is truly looking at the bigger picture and connecting the dots to have understand of why it is deprecated since it no longer has use.

(Think of Windows 8 more like the how WP7, or Android, or iOS works and that Apps and settings can be automatically restored, then add in 100x the functionality for user files, folders, data, content, settings, and even local Applications.)

Good to see MS pushing integrated services again.. relying on 3rd parties to steal the show was almost the only thing they could do while under DoJ scrutiny, but now, the hounds are free and its cool to see some stuff like this coming to fruition