In an effort to migrate away from WHS (Windows Home Server, Ver 1, and the 2nd Ver "2011" - support for which was dropped):
I went looking for a replacement OS/NAS package with similar capabilities and ease of operation. That search led me to OMV. Where services were concerned, OMV proved to be superior to WHS in every way with the exception of a client backup with a "bare metal" restoration utility, that is easy to use.
("Bare Metal restore" meaning the ability to restore the preexisting OS, to a working client platform with a functional hard drive.)
That changed with the inclusion of UrBackup in OMV 3. UrBackup is available as a plugin. It's an open source, locally archived, cross platform backup solution.
However, in many cases, users (myself included) are backing up their network clients without verifying that a full "bare metal" restore is possible.
The purpose of this test was to verify that bare metal UrBackup Client restorations are easy to perform and without ugly surprises.
The test was performed using;
Core i3 - 12GB RAM - USB boot drive
Urbackup Server 2.1.19
Urbackup Restoration CD 2.0.2
(While the server has a 1GB NIC, the speed of the test was limited by the client, with a 100MB NIC.)
Windows Vista - SP2
AMD Athelon - Dual Core 4450E
The drive image was approximately 54GB and was restored to a single partition. Drive partitioning was not required.
The restore CD boot process took roughly 3 minutes which included a network - UrBackup server discovery process, logging onto the UrBackup server (user name "admin" and password), and selecting the appropriate image for restoration. With the "OK's" and dialog box choices, about 5 operations were required to select an image and start the restoration. It was very straight forward.
The entire restore operation took a bit less than 32 minutes. Considering the 100MBS NIC choke point, performance is good.
Based on the clients 100MBS NIC and the image size of 54GB, the restoration of a 500GB image over a 1GB NIC shouldn't take longer than 3 or 4 hours.
The restoration CD software simply stated that it was "complete" and prompted for a reboot. That was it. There were no issues.
Even with Windows Home Server taken into account; this was, by far, the simplest "Bare Metal" client restoration I've ever performed. The restoration CD seemed to have everything required to get the job done, to include network adapter drivers to activate the client's NIC.
If I was to be critical of anything noted during this restoration, it would be that the "status" (as in percent complete bar) displayed by the server lags behind the true status. Also, during the restoration, the Client CD software jumped from an indicated 8 or 9% complete, to completely finished.
This same observation seems to be true during standard backups as well, but not to such a drastic degree. As it appears, the servers Web GUI doesn't update the status frequently.
In the bottom line:
With OMV's standard features and the Urbackup plugin, WHS is no longer needed (or wanted).