Can I create incremental backups with Windows Server Backup over the network?
Windows Server has its built in utility Windows Server Backup wizard or WBadmin start backup command to schedule a backup to the network share, but only full backups will be performed.
Starting with Server 2008, the utility only allows you to keep one backup on remote shared folder, which means windows server backup incremental to network share is no longer available. Even if you map the network shared folder as a network drive, it will still fail to create incremental scheduled backup.
The fact is that Windows Server Backup only allows you to schedule an incremental backup task to your local disk. The question is whether it is possible to let the system regard the network shared folder as a local drive. The answer is clearly yes.
You can create a virtual hard drive (VHD) on the network location to perform Windows Server Backup incremental, and then Windows Server Backup will allow you to set the VHD as the destination drive for incremental backups.
Workaround to Window Server Backup incremental network share (VHD files)
Windows Server built in tool Disk Management is able to create VHD/VHDX files, which can be displayed in File Explorer as a local drive. In that way, you can let Windows Server backup to network share. Then you can use the VHD to perform incremental backups, which is quicker and less disk consuming than full backups.
1. Type "diskmgmt.msc" in the search box or Run box and press Enter to launch Disk Management.
2. Click Action and select Create VHD.
3. Enter a network location and disk size. Then click OK.
4. Right click on the new created disk and choose Initialize Disk.
5. Right click on the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.
6. Follow the wizard to create a new partition.
7. Type "backup" in the search box and select Windows Server Backup.
8. Click Backup Schedule and follow the Backup Schedule Wizard to schedule an incremental backup task to the virtual drive.
Only in this way, will Windows Server Backup allow you to schedule incremental backup to net work share folder. You cannot set another scheduled backup but modify or stop the existing schedule backup. Rather than spend time creating one schedule backup, you can also create incremental backups directly to network share folder with backup software.
Easier way to make Windows Server Backup to network share incremental
As a matter of fact, there is an easy to use Windows backup utility for Server 2003, 2008/R2, 2012/R2, 2016, and 2019. AOMEI Backupper Server that can schedule incremental backup task to network share effortlessly. It provides System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup, and File Backup to backup Servers. Let’s take System Backup as example:
1. Download, install and launch this program. Select System Backup under Backup tab.
2. As the program will automatically choose the partitions to be backed up, click Step 2. Then go to Share/NAS Management > Add share or NAS device and enter the path of the shared folder to configure the destination location.
3. Click Schedule to configure a specific time that you want the backup performed. Under Advanced tab, you can choose to perform Full/Differential/Incremental backup, and Incremental backup is set as default.
4. Review the backup task. Then click Start Backup.
This should be the easiest way to configures Windows Server backup incremental to network share. To being able to restore when your system not working, you can create a bootable recue media in Utilities. In case of running out of space after several runs of backups, click Scheme to enable Disk Space Management.
If you want to get notified whether the backup runs successfully or not, click Backup Option to enable Email Notification. Besides, you can also perform System Clone, Disk Clone, and Partition Clone to protect your data.
In addition, if you're a service provider, you can try AOMEI Backupper Technician to offer charged technical service to unlimited companies or individuals.
Related to network backup, AOMEI Technology released AOMEI Backupper Network (also known as AOMEI Centralized Backup) to backup computers and manages backup tasks within LAN on a central management console.