The overview of file server
File server (or Fileserver) is a computer attached to a network that provides a location for shared disk access. For example, a shared storage of computer files (such as documents, sound files, photographs, movies, images, databases, etc.) can be accessed by the workstations that are able to reach the computer through a computer network.
It is designed primarily to enable the storage and retrieval of data. That’s to say, a file server can act as the central storage and manage the data files. And ensure other computers on the same network can access the shared files over a network without physically transferring files to any device.
Aside by that, any computer can be configured to be a host and act as a file server. To put it simply, a file server may be an ordinary PC that handles requests for files and sends it over the network. In a more sophisticated network, a file server might be a dedicated network-attached storage (NAS) device that also serves as a remote hard disk drive for other computers.
A program or mechanism that enables the required processes for file sharing can also be called file server. On the Internet, such programs often use the File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
Why backup file server?
When it comes to backing up network-attached storage, you will think about backing up a NAS. A few people will think about backing up a file server. However, it's still important to backup your file server. And why?
Like any other device (NAS storage, hard drive, etc), your file server is subject to problems, such as power failure, hardware failure, physical damage. Thus, if your file server encounters any problem, data loss can hardly be avoided.
How to configure and perform Windows file server backup?
When you are going to use Windows Server as a file server, File Server Resource Manager (FSRM) may be a magic tool to set storage quotas and to control the types of files that can be saved to a file server.
It was introduced in Windows Server over a decade ago, but that is alive and well in Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2. And it's is a part of the File and Storage Services role. The role is installed by default on Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, but the File Server Resource Manager is not. Thus, you need to manually install and configure file server, then backup.
Part 1: Install FSRM and File Server
To install it, you can follow the steps below.
Step 1. You must open the Server Manager and choose the Add Roles and Features command from the Manage menu.
Step 2. Expand the File and Storage Services role>File and iSCSI Services component subsequently on the interface of Add Roles and Features Wizard, then select the File Server Resource Manager option. If you do not install file server, you can select File Server and follow the prompt to install both of them.
Part 2: Configure file server sharing
To configure file server sharing, you can follow the specific steps below
Step 1. After install File and Storage Services, you can see it on the main page of Server Manager. Open it and click Servers, you will see the detailed information of your file server. Then create volumes/ storage pools as you like.
Step 2.Select New Share option from the Task button given in the top right corner. Then, you will enter the New Share Wizard and follow the prompt on the wizard until the last step.
Step 3. After you configure file server sharing, you can see your shared folder on the destination location you specify.
Part 3: Perform Windows file server backup via Map network drive
Step 1. Specify a drive letter for your file server via Map network drive. You can directly navigate to This PC>Computer>Map network drive, then specify a drive letter for your file server and type the location of your file server as well as choose your file server sharing folder. After all things ensure, click OK and Finish subsequently.
Step 2. After successfully specify a drive letter for your file server and choose the file server sharing folder, you can backup it with either Windows Server Backup software or a reliable third-party backup software.
If you do not want to map a network drive or require more advanced features, you can choose a reliable Windows file server backup software to realize your purpose.
Another way to create Windows Server 2012 file server backup
When it comes to Windows file server backup software for Server 2003(R2)/2008(R2)/2012 (R2)/2016/2019 , AOMEI Backup Server is worth to mention. It supports all the basic backup options, such as System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, File Sync, etc.
Also, it has many advanced features for backup, including, compression, encryption, daily/weekly/monthly, USB plug in, incremental or differential backup etc. Now, let's have a closer look at these features.
Daily/weekly/monthly: To backup files regularly, daily/weekly/monthly backup settings can help you. After you create schedule backup with daily backup, for example, it will backup your files at the specific time you set.
USB plug in: To backup files flexibly and take it everywhere, you could consider using "USB plug in". This feature will backup files from or to USB flash drive when connected to your computer.
Incremental and differential backup: Compared with full backup, incremental or differential backup requires less backup time and disk space. It's suggested to use this feature if your disk does not have enough space.
Backup Scheme: Backup disk full will be a headache sonner or later if you don't delete file backup regularly to free up more space. What's more, you don't need keep many old backups.
Continue to see below, I will show you the detailed steps to perform Windows 2008/2012 file server backup.
Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Server, install and launch it.
Step 2. Open Windows file server backup software, click Backup and File Backup subsequently.
Step 3. Click Add Folder and then Share/ NAS. At the same time, click Add Network Location and type display name, IP adress, username and password of your file server, then click OK.
Step 4. After select Windows file server sharing folder, choose a destination path to save your file server sharing folder. To destination path, you can choose PC, external hard drive, floppy hard drive, USB flash drive, etc. confirm all things and click Start Backup.
Tips: you can restore backed up files when necessary. Also, you are allowed to make Windows Server Backup restore files to different computer.
To ensure the security of your data, you would better keep 3 copy of Windows file server backup and store them to 2 different place. If possible, you could create an offsite backup, such as, sync local folder to Google Drive. Whenever you encounter unexpected failure, you can use the backup image to restore your data.