By Delia / Last update October 26, 2021

Why backup Windows Server 2019 to NAS

Windows Server enables a computer to manage network roles (print server, domain controller, web server, file server) and provide services for other networked computers. It’s used in business settings under most conditions and therefore involves a lot of important data & information.

NAS (Network Attached Storage), also popular with companies, enables multiple clients to store and share files with fast data access and easy administration. If you are considering backing up Windows Server like 2019, NAS could be an ideal destination. It has following advantages in practical use:

  • NAS offers you a considerable storage space to back up Windows Server, which generally contains a huge amount of data. Compared with other removable storage devices, NAS costs lower in the long term.

  • Data could be accessed and shared with multiple clients as long as they are network connected. For example, it’s possible to use a backup image stored on NAS to restore system to many other computers.

  • With NAS, it’s able to stream media like movies, TV shows, music, and photos on multiple computers.

  • Compared with PC, NAS storage is less likely to be damaged by accidents.

  • Some NAS drives come with RAID options to duplicate data on multiple drives as a NAS disaster recovery strategy.

Windows Server 2019

3 Methods for Windows Server backup to NAS

Since there are so many benefits to backing up Windows Server to NAS, how to achieve it? Here I compiled 3 methods and hopefully one of them could suit your case.

☛ Method 1. Windows Server Backup

You might think of Windows Server Backup at first, it’s the built-in backup solution for Windows Server, including the latest system Windows Server 2019. In fact, the “Remote shared folder” option has been contained since Windows Server 2012, but there are still some functional limitations of Windows Server Backup, like the latter backup will overwrite the former one, so it can only keep one full backup.

Meanwhile, there are many reported errors when specifying NAS drives as destination. To perform Windows Server backup to NAS successfully, you could try creating a VHD or iSCSI Target on your NAS drive before backing up Windows Server, then select the created volume as the backup destination in Windows Server Backup. The steps are honestly quite complicated. You could refer to following tutorials with detailed screenshots.

>> Create a virtual hard disk and attach it to NAS

>> Create an iSCSI Target on NAS device

If you are not sure how to access and use the utility for image backup, please read Windows Server Backup guide.

☛ Method 2. Active Backup for Business

If you are trying to perform Windows Server backup to Synology NAS, then Active Backup for Business could be backup solution for Windows physical server, PC, rsync/SMB file server, and VMware vSphere/Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machine. Here are 2 official tutorials about it:

>> Backup full Windows PC/Server

>> Backup individual folders on Windows Server

☛ Method 3. AOMEI Backupper (Recommended)

As you can see from above, there are some must-do configurations before Windows Server 2019 backup to NAS, and different NAS may also have different scenarios. If you don't want to spend time on these steps, and prefer a direct solution with higher success rate, the following method may suit you better.

Easiest way to backup Windows Server to any NAS

AOMEI Backupper Server is a specialized backup & restore program for Windows Servers. It comes with complete features including backup/sync/clone, and supports a wide range of OS and storage devices. You can directly backup Windows Server 2019, 2022, 2016, etc. to NAS/network share/cloud or vice versa in several clicks. No more complicated operation.

And unlike Windows Server Backup, you can schedule incremental or differential backup to create and keep multiple backup images for an accurate restore. It also enables you to customize a scheme specifying how many backups to retain.

Supported Systems and Devices of AOMEI Backupper Server

Operating Systems

Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2003 (including R2)

Windows SBS 2003, 2008, 2011

Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP

File Systems

NTFS, FAT32/FAT16

exFAT/ReFS *, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 *, Other file systems *

* Display as RAW partition and perform a sector-by-sector backup mode.

Disk Styles and Types

Master Boot Record (MBR) Disk, GUID Partition Table (GPT) Disk

Compatible with GPT/UEFI Boot, Compatible with Dynamic Disk Volumes

Storage Devices

All devices recognized by Windows, such as IDE, SATA, iSCSI, SCSI disk, IEEE1394 (Firewire).

Traditional hard disk drive (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD) and SSHD.

External hard drives (USB 1.0/2.0/3.0), PC card, All removable flash drives and thumb drives.

Backup data to disc, such as CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, BD-R.s

Hardware RAID, including RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, etc.

Network-Attached Storage (NAS), Shared Network and cloud drive.

Hyper-V, Virtual box, VMware virtual disk and other virtual systems.

If you are interested, just download the trial and follow the guide to have a try.

Download Free Trial Win PCs and Servers
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How to backup Windows Server 2019 to NAS/network share:

1. Make sure you can connect to your NAS, launch the software and select Backup > File Backup. You can also choose System Backup to protect the OS of Windows Server 2019.

File Backup

2. Click Add Folder or Add File to select the data you want to backup. If you choose System Backup in last step, the operating system will be automatically selected.

Click on the funnel icon beside folder path, you can use Filter settings to customize the file inclusion or exclusion.

Add File Or Folder

3. To make Windows Server backup to network share/NAS, click on the inverted triangle icon beside the destination box and choose Select a network location > Add Share or NAS Devices, enter the address to add it as target, then select a folder to receive the backup.

You can also add the path in Tools > Share/NAS Management. These Network locations could be invoked as source or target location.

Add Network Location

4. Before Start Backup, you can set up a Backup Schedule to perform automatic backup daily/weekly/monthly/event triggers/USB plug in. To save storage space in NAS, it’s also a good idea to create a cleanup scheme for obsolete backups auto deletion.

In Options, you can manage compression level, image splitting, encryption, operation priority, email notification, etc.

Start Backup To Network

Related tips:

  • If you are worried that Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/etc. will suddenly crash and not start properly, it’s best to create a system backup task on regular basis and creat a bootable media for system restore in WinPE.

  • If you want to replicate folders from Windows Server to NAS and keep the original format & structure, please use Sync features. AOMEI Backupper supports multiple synchronization modes including one-way sync, two-way sync, real-time sync, mirror sync. You can even sync files between 2 Windows Servers.

Conclusion

Want to backup Windows Server 2019 to NAS like Synology or QNAP? AOMEI Backupper Server could be a better option than Windows Server Backup with its high compatibility and complete features. No matter you want to perform Windows Server 2019 or Windows Server 2016 backup to NAS/network share, cloud drive or vice versa, the operation can be completed in several clicks. Simple and quick.

Besides backup, the restore function of AOMEI Backupper is also powerful, you can even perform Windows Server system restore to different hardware. And with the Clone feature, you are also allowed to migrate Windows Server to SSD without reinstalling.