Workstation for developer - OS/backup combo?

katit

Member
Mar 18, 2015
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Folks, what is your suggestion on OS/virtualization/backup setup?
Main goals:
1. Ease of backup and restore. Fastest recovery time.
2. Maximum performance

I develop in Windows/VisualStudio. OS of choice can be W7/8/10. Main problem is that it takes about 2-3 days to get system setup with all of the tools, SDKs, configs, etc. It's just PITA to reinstall whole thing. Tons of software, licenses.

Currently I work in Win8 inside VM. I run it on MacBook Pro inside VMWare fusion. Technically it is "easy" to move VM. And backup is just one file. But in reality I'm not backing it up that much - VM file is 180Gb! Takes forever on network and no way to do incremental? Time machine thinks whole file changed and it goes on forever. So, only periodic backups. It is nice to carry whole environment with me on laptop, but now the way I see it - I can use desktop. Laptop + virtualization = performance is not what I want.

So... I do have beefy workstation. With 32Ram and OC CPU (4.6 clock). It will run Perfect on bare metal, but main problem is system restore. So, I DO want to run it on metal. But at the same time I don't understand how to make downtime minimal.

VM: If system hardware failure I can take disk out, copy VM to laptop/other workstation and proceed working. But it will work slower. With VM I can setup replica functionality (if use Hyper-V), but can't use GPU/USB (right?)

On metal: If hardware failure - how do I resume my work? If disk OK, I still need operation hardware to use it with, can't just move somewhere as easy?


So, question is, how do I achieve those 2 points on top? I'm going to run it on Desktop but not sure which way to go. I really want max performance out of this system. For Visual studio I learned it needs to be as much CPU clock as possible (bad multi-threading performance) and nice SSD

Looking for suggestions on what software combo would you use? I kind of want to run on metal this time (last 5 years use VMs) but not sure how to protect myself from hardware failure..
 

katit

Member
Mar 18, 2015
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No one? :(

I read good things Acronis. Looks like it is able to do incremental backup as I work. Also, they say something about backup to virtual. Is it possible to run incremental backups and if system crashes (hardware) - I just restore machine as a VM on server?
 

Patrick

Administrator
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Dec 21, 2010
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@katit I would probably just build a Windows 10 Pro system and use backup and restore which gets around re-imaging metal. The other idea is to get 2x SSDs. You have 10x the reliability of hard drives with SSDs. If you RAID 1 you will rarely if ever need to restore from incremental backups.

Ultra good solution is to then backup to a FreeNAS appliance so you can use ZFS snapshots as a just-in-case protection against crypto locker type malware.
 

mumford

New Member
Jun 25, 2016
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Can't help you with Windows, but there is thing such as NixOS (Linux) that let you define all your configurations in one configuration file and you can copy this file to a new machine and rebuild everything. I suppose that you have Raid 1 on the stuffs that you write. The stuff that MSFT and other people write, I personally would not worry about it too much.
 

katit

Member
Mar 18, 2015
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@katit I would probably just build a Windows 10 Pro system and use backup and restore which gets around re-imaging metal. The other idea is to get 2x SSDs. You have 10x the reliability of hard drives with SSDs. If you RAID 1 you will rarely if ever need to restore from incremental backups.

Ultra good solution is to then backup to a FreeNAS appliance so you can use ZFS snapshots as a just-in-case protection against crypto locker type malware.
For some reason I'm more afraid of other component failure, not disk. I'm going to use Intel S3710 btw.. I don't worry so much about SSD, but I do worry about components like MB, RAM, power supply. If something breaks I will need to get system running ASAP. With VM it's super-easy, I can temporary put it on my Laptop or our server...

Can't help you with Windows, but there is thing such as NixOS (Linux) that let you define all your configurations in one configuration file and you can copy this file to a new machine and rebuild everything. I suppose that you have Raid 1 on the stuffs that you write. The stuff that MSFT and other people write, I personally would not worry about it too much.
I don't even worry about stuff that I write. I do regular check ins and all of files on network share. There going to be no catastrophic failure of any kind. But I worry about config time. It takes a while to configure everything just right. All SDKs, utilities, etc. This is what I don't like to repeat again.
 

Marsh

Moderator
May 12, 2013
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Google "boot to vhd"
Your bare metal OS partition resides in a vhd file, then you backup the vhd file like any other file.
 

katit

Member
Mar 18, 2015
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Google "boot to vhd"
Your bare metal OS partition resides in a vhd file, then you backup the vhd file like any other file.
Ok, but then what do I gain? I guess performance, right? Will there be any overhead storage performance-wise?

And main problem... Easy to say "backup as any other file" when it's 200Gb. How will I back it up? And to where? To me backup is when it's backed up off-premises. Or on server (gigabit). Off premises almost not possible, but even to local server it very slow over gigabit.