Windows Server 2012 R2 Backup – Remote Server Target

I recently had the need to use Windows Server Backup to back up a server to another remote server. We don’t have a real backup solution and Windows Backup seems to be the best option for now. The main limitation of using another server as a backup target is that Windows Backup will overwrite the previous backup each time it runs. This means you cannot have any backup history. Our requirement is to have seven days’ worth of backups.


To get around this limitation, I knew that I needed to be able to make the remote volume appear as if it were locally attached storage instead. I started by creating a nice large partition on the target server. Then I created a VHD file on that new partition and used iSCSI to make it a target. I was then able to add this iSCSI disk to the local server, where it appeared as any other local volume would. Rather than format it NTFS, I left it as an unformatted volume. When I set up the scheduled backup job, I configured Windows Backup to use this unformatted volume as the target. This allows Windows Backup and VSS to handle versioning and purging of old backups.


The backups have been running great and I have enough backup history to satisfy our IT policies. This is in no way a long term solution, but it will do until we have implemented a new backup solution through our managed services partner.



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