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adamball

Newbie Q's about scheduling

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My background is in Legato (love that program) but Dantz is a much better fit for the company that I am at now. The Proactive backup is huge for us with our laptop users.

 

Now, I am struggling at changing my thought process from Legato's traditional view of scheduling to Dantz's.

 

I have my scripts: Live_servers, Beta_servers, Alpha_servers, Exchange_servers, etc.

 

I want to schedule them so that I get a running weekly backup, Week A, B, C, D and that at the end of each week, I get a full backup that I can take off-site. Then ideally, at the end of Week D, I get a Full Backup that would be a Monthly full.

 

Then, for retention, I want to recycle the running weekly backups every 4 weeks. I want to keep the weekly fulls that go offsite for 6 months and the monthly fulls for 1 year.

 

This way, I can go back to a specific day for a month, a specific week for 6 months and a specific month for up to a year.

 

Does this make sense? I thought I had it figured out and I'm pretty sure I have my weekly running backup working correctly. I have the scripts on Friday set to "New Backup Set" but what happened was that each script wrote to a new backup set (fine) on a new tape (not fine). All of those backup sets could have fit on one tape easily.

 

We are using a Dell PV132t which has a single LTO3 drive and 24 tapes in it.

 

Hopefully I provided enough info. I tried searching but didn't see anything close to what I am trying to do here. If I missed something, just point it out and my apologies.

 

Thanks,

 

Adam

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Hi

 

Retrospect handles the backup sets differently so you will have to change the way you look at things a bit.

 

Each backup set is a complete full backup independent of all the others. Here is what I would do:

 

do a full (recycle) backup to set A on Frida and then normal (incrementals) all week til Thursday. Every backup includes a full snapshot of each volume so it is as if you are getting a full backup every day even though you are only backing up files incrementally. On Friday - take Set A off site and repeat the above process with set B.

 

That handles the weekly backups.

 

For the 6 month weekly backup history I would simply stretch out the interval between recycle backups on sets A - D so that they keep 6 months worth of data. I would make a seperate backup set for the monthlies.

 

You might want to consider using Retrospect's disk to disk to tape capabilities instead. That way you can do your dailies to regular disk storage and dump a synthetic full backup to tape at any time.

 

Thanks

Nate

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Yeah, I know I have to re-learn what I know to a certain extent. Its hard to stop thinking Full, Incremental, etc.

 

I have my weekly backups happening the way you describe so it won't be hard to extend them.

 

Then I run into the problem of once I recycle Week A after 6 months, I no longer have 6 months worth of backups. I guess I will need to go to 8 backup sets? For the first 6 months, back up to A, B, C and D. Then for the next 6 months backup to D, E, F, G? Then at the year mark, start back with A, B, C and D? Then it doesn't matter about the monthly's if I did this but it seems like a lot of work cause I would have to change schedules every 6 months.

 

I am going to use D2D2T method for some of my backups but I can't do it for all. Too much data. Heck, we may have to two LTO3 drives just to keep backup windows short.

 

Thanks for the response, I know I'll catch on here, but years of Legato don't shake out overnight. smile.gif

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Hi

 

You should be able to do this with just the 4 backup sets. Just stagger the recyclest. For example, recycle set A, then do normals for two months. Recycle set B, do normals for two months etc.

 

In the end you will keep a "rolling" 6 months of backup. At any given time one set will have 6 months of backup, one will have 4 months, one will have 2 months and one will have 1 day.

 

Thanks

Nate

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NateW ... PLEASE help me. My scheduling problems are similar to Adam's.

 

I'm completely stuck in the Full/Incremental state of mind due to over 20 yrs of workstation admin and 15 yrs of Macintosh admin using Retrospect for Mac. I find Retrospect for Windows notions of Backup Sets and Recycle/Normal backups to be totally frustrating.

 

I'm on an XP server with a Quantum 80GB DLT running Retrospect for Windows 7.0. All the files I want to backup are on a 320GB RAID which is the D drive in my system.

 

My constraints:

 

1) I need to be able to do totally scripted UNATTENDED backups late in the evening, after the Engr staff and myself have gone home ... the Engr staff always stays later than I do. This means that Retrospect cannot call for any media changes during backup ... a single session MUST be on a single tape.

 

2) Engineering wants a safety net ... daily incremental[Normal] backups, so that if a major design file gets screwed up or corrupted, they can go back a day for it.

 

Right now, I have about 70GB of files to backup. Because a majority of files are already compressed file types, I only get about 25% compression writing to 40GB tapes. In order to meet constraint 1, I have to break the recycle backup into two separate operations.

 

This is when I ran into Retrospect's first brick wall: Doing a direct backup, I can access the folder/file browser and specify which folders to backup. In my situation, I wanted to break the backups into 1: everything inside D:/users/ called "UsersFull" and 2: everything outside of D:/users called "EngrFull". This pretty much split everything in half. But when trying to script these backups, I cannot access the folder/file browser. What's in the scripting options is rediculously complicated and I haven't found the magic incantation I need yet.

 

Why isn't the folder/file browser available for scripting?????????????????????????

 

On to constraint 2: I would like to do daily Incremental [Normal] backups. This wouldn't be a problem except for constraint 1: I need to do the daily Normal Backups ON SEPARATE TAPES, so that Retrospect won't ask for a new tape in the middle of the night, when no one's here.

 

Further, after having split the recycle backups into two separate chunks, how do I do daily normal backups of the ENTIRE RAID without having to swap tapes????????????????????????

 

Please come up with a way to hit me over the head so I can see this stuff in the new Retrospect way and meet my goals and constraints!!!!

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Hi

 

Scripted operations and immediate operations are identical. The only difference is the ability to schedule them. What file browser do you mean? You can select individual folders as backup sources using the "sub volume" button in the configure->volumes window.

 

With so much data and such a small tape drive you are really stuck. I'd like to propose a different solution for you:

 

1) Buy a big USB hard drive. 400 GB if you can afford it.

2) Every night run a backup to the hard drive of the entire RAID. Either incremental or full will work fine.

3) During the day use Retrospect's snapshot transfer feature to copy your backups from the USB disk to tape.

4) Use the "grooming" feature in Retrospect to control the size of the disk backup set so you can continue doing incrementals forever to disk. You can do a synthetic full backup to tape at any time.

 

(An internal hard disk will do just fine too. It doesn't have to be USB)

 

There are some major advantages this way:

-You can be there to change tapes during the day

-The tape transfers will have minimal performance impact on the live server

-You always have a current backup on disk that you can restore from

 

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have questions.

 

Thanks

Nate

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Hi Nate!

Thanks both for your reply and your suggestions.

Sorry I didn't get right back to you, but sysadmin is only part time for me. I also have engr and production duties that keep me more than busy.

 

Your HDD suggestion makes alot of sense ... believe it or not, I can get an external 400GB drive for between $170 and $250 on eBay, which is very affordable, considering I spent over $4000 seting up this server.

I need to study the snapshot transfer and grooming features to see what they can do for me.

 

The nice thing about two different backup destinations is that I could then schedule any number of backups to the HDD any evening along with one backup to the tape drive.

 

Thank you VERY VERY MUCH for you time and suggestions.

 

I have to tell you that, after all my experience with Retrospect on the Mac, and Dantz's excellent support in the past, I feel very much abandoned after spending $500 on Retrospect Server for Windows with its bazaar new support policies. I was beyond surprised and dismayed to discover that absolutely no support came with the program itself. I sent a polite email to EMC customer support explaining my unhappiness with Retrospect and its bizarre support policies, but, of course, received no answer at all.

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Hi

 

We offer 2 free support incidents during the first 30 days of product purchase. You might want to consider an Annual Support and Maintainence contract. You get unlimited support and free upgrades for Retrospect for a full year.

 

FWIW the support policy is the same for Mac products as well. Honestly speaking I think we would all prefer free support but we would have to raise product prices significantly to do it.

 

Thanks

Nate

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Nate ... I totally understand about support costs. I have over 17 years experience in 2nd & 3rd level tech support engr positions. And my Mac support experience with Dantz ranged from 1990 to 2000, a little before EMC came along. During that decade I had no problem getting full support via email without having to purchase any contracts.

 

The point I wish to make ... and please pass this on to your management ... is that the 30day limit on support is totally unrealistic. The two free support incidents is ok, but you should allow new customers at least 90days or 6mo ... or, dare I say it, even a year from the purchase date to use up those two incidents ... and then charge for yearly support/maint. This wouldn't increase costs: two incidents is two incidents, no matter when they happen.

 

Look at my situation: I came into my present job last Oct. One of my first major tasks was to build a reliable Windows server system and implement a total company backup strategy. The server I built is based on an Intel dual processor server motherboard and Intel server case with a four drive 1+0 RAID and a tape backup. I built this machine literally from scratch by hand.

 

It is important to note that it took me over a month to get all the parts [including S/W and including Retrospect] together due to several companies shipping me the wrong parts ... incorrect memory DIMMS and so on. Going back and forth between my Engr Tech duties and SysAdmin duties, it took me another month to get all these parts assembled, get XP and all the S/W loaded, and most importantly, get all the firmware and S/W up-to-date so the damn thing quit freezing up on me.

 

By the time the system was totally stable and I was ready to start backing up company files, over 70 days had passed since I bought Retrospect. And here I was running it for practically the first time.

 

And then I run into Retrospect 6 for Windows ... something TOTALLY different from Retrospect 2,3, & 4 for the Macintosh. And then I look at EMC/Dantz's support and find that I am S.O.L. because I didn't ask all my questions in the first 30 days.

 

I am happy enough now at least, since I am able to talk to you thru this forum. But I have to repeat: the 30day limit on two support incidents is totally useless and a very stupid decision by your management. ... but then I guess it really does save you money: if there are lots of other people like me who don't get their questions in within 30days, you make them pay ... and that sucks.

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I agree, 30 days is ridiculous. appl.gif I think companies nowadays are really skimping on support for their products. Good customer service is a thing of the past.

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Thanks for confirming my long felt belief, retro is a mac product that was hacked to run on windows.

nice to hear you got some kind of support; we purchased pro, multi, sbs 2k w/all addons a couple of years back it was a lot of cash for nothing. once pro was installed, no other version would work, and the noted ineffective supportfor windows. it seems most real support is going to volume buyers, smaller users must fight !!!!!!

 

we never got satisfaction, zero competent support EVEN with the support contract !!!!

 

we no longer use retro c... for anything, I just watch the forum to see if we have made the right choice. from all I have been reading we did.

 

have a wonderful day

 

by the way, anyway to re-sell our licences

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This is astonishing! and depressing, since I've seen it all too commonly in the A/E world. Someone (perhaps you) should have asked your firm, "What's expensive?" before rinky-dinkying around with one of those Intel servers. We purchased one from an "Intel VAR", so I'm not blowing smoke here, when I say that _we_ were helping _them_ install the OS. The 7520BD2D logic board with megaRAID controller appears to fall asleep regularly ... but that's for another forum at another company.

 

The point here is that in the name of saving a few bucks, American ingenuity has once again wasted (how much time?) getting its technological infrastructure up & running. I'll bet that the extra hours and headaches and the scrambling came out of _your_ hide ("wallet"), not the firm's. Again, what's "expensive"? I guess we've all lived and learned,.. and re-learned, and learned again, the same old lessons.

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Companies are skimping on support because they do not see revenue in it, &/or because they genuinely {cannot, do not} get revenue from it. I suspect that going public is a common business theme underlying the decline of marginally revenue-producing activities, even where those activities build and sustain a loyal customer base (as opposed to a customer base which is frequently locked in by circumstances, hardware, very special configurations, application-ebnvironment, etc.)

 

I have a number of positively outstanding examples of 1st rate technical support in the industry over the years since 1988. Most have gone away or receded from view: Silicon Graphics, Palindrome, very early Veritas, Dantz Retrospect, Apple in the early 90's up to the 1st major Friday massacre when 1,000 VARS were fired. In our A/E market we have struggled to provide excellent technical support for modeling softwares, but the market overall will not pay for it at the high quality level it "wants." Many in our market feel that if they spend 4x the price of Photoshop, why then they should get a week's worth of on site training at a time of their choosing, for at least up to a year after purchase, including for new employees during the period -- included in the price, of course.

 

While we cannot do that, we do see excellent support as an investment in our customer base, such that in combination with a very good product, we no longer have to market to those customers as if they were new prospects, but rather need to support them as they mature and their needs evolve. It is somewhat more cost effective -- we suspect -- to leverage our knowledge and competence among multiple customers, than it is to leverage marketing and fairly custom solutions among and to prospective customers. It would be interesting to hear your assessment of the overall nature and quality of support in this technology-laden industry -- perhaps off-line so others aren't bored by it.

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It's hard to grasp the significance of Retrospect being "hacked to run on windows," even supposing it was.

 

I suspect the the SBS 2K issues you probably experienced were a contributing factor to your conclusion of "lot of cash for nothing." SBS is a fairly specialized environment, contrary to what one might conclude from the marketed concept of "a little bit of everything for a small business." Essentially a lttle bit of each of several products have been aggregated or force-fit or boxed-together to help special environments get a significant taste and tangible productivity from a variety of puzzle pieces that big companies typically have integrated and maintained by on site staff. (We use SBS and have used other Server bases instead, and as well, including older Macintoshes.)

 

The fallacy implicit in using SBS may come to light if it is not chosen as a perfect match for the firm's needs or expected needs in the immediate future. I think it needs to be a perfect match to work effectively. One fallacy may be that because it's a little of several things only a little staff knowledge of several things is necessary. False. Another fallacy may be that because it's a small business, it probably only has "small" needs, and the SBS has commensurately "small" support demands. It requires an extensive appreciation of the integrated workflows that are possible and deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms that make that flow possible.

 

I think our experience shows, too, that SBS requires a very high-powered machine & disk system rather than a moderately powered one because it _is_ running a variety of integrated apps at or near the OS level. One cannot add anything new to such a machine with full confidence that there won't be an unforseen (bad) interaction between the new thing, and, not one or two major apps, but among the new thing and 5 majors apps. 30% of one 3.2 GHz processor is consumed simply by the defensive anti-virus and anti-spyware measures now required especially in the small firm. SQL server sucks up 900MB RAM just in the course of housekeeping details (no SQL users beyond the OS). IIS doesn't let the disks rest. Exchange server is frequently busy. And this is on the current Premium version of SBS, which fixes a host of previous deficiencies. I can _almost_ feel your pain if you used a previous version where every application's weakness appears unbidden.

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