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cpragman

Client disconnects, leaving engine frozen

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Have a few Mac laptop users in the office, as well as several non-portable iMacs.  Retrospect server is 10.2 and clients are up-to-date as well.  All these machines are backed up via a proactive backup script.

 

When a laptop user disconnects from the network while in the midst of getting backed-up, the Retrospect engine does not handle the situation well.

The engine sends me e-mails about the backup failing due to communiation error (which is fine).

When I access the server, I see that this backup job is still showing as in-progress, even days later.  This keeps the backup set locked, preventing other proactive clients from backing up.  This also prevents my nightly and weekly routines (rotations, grooming) from processing on this backup set.

 

It would seem that the engine needs the intelligence to "give up" at some point, and move on with the other clients.  I don't remember this happening under 10.1 or earlier versions. 

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This post doesn't solve your problem, which is a valid one, but as a workaround; you could create a media set for each laptop source.  This allows Retrospect server to use multi threads for backups and you could have multiple laptops being backed up at the same time, instead of waiting in line.

 

Retrospect shines in this area and is incredibly fast, hampered only by the speed of the hard drive you are backing up to.

 

We have a 25 TB raid that Retrospect is backup up to.  I've created a media set for each source.  17 sources.  It takes some setup but when the backups run it maxes out the Raid write speed.

 

The first couple times I set up Retrospect, I was using 1 disk media set per hard drive destination volume.  Although it makes it easier to make sure you don't overfill the hard drive volume, it can slow down the backups. 

 

In a perfect world, Retrospect would back up multiple sources to 1 media set using multiple backup threads.  If this were possible, I'd change my media sets from being by each source, to the physical hard drive destination volumes.

 

Your setup may be different with smaller hard drive destination volumes and it takes more time to setup a media set for each source, but you may like the benefits.

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One of Retrospect's strong features is that identical files are backed up only once per media set.

 

The drawback of creating "many" media sets is that identical files are backed up "many" times. This takes time and space.

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One of Retrospect's strong features is that identical files are backed up only once per media set.

 

The drawback of creating "many" media sets is that identical files are backed up "many" times. This takes time and space.

 

Interesting point.  Are you saying if two laptops whose OS is being backed up to the same media set, then identical files found on the OS system are only backed as 1 file?  That is impressive, and not something I was aware of.

 

I may need to rethink my backup setup if this is true.  Can you point me to documentation about this?  I suppose I could do a test with two of my backups, note the size they are taking, delete then back both up to 1 media set and see the difference in size.  But that would take some time and I would be without a backup while it occurred.  

 

I would loose the ability to multi thread backups as well, which can be really helpful for proactive backups as a laptop may not be on the network for very long.  If that laptop is waiting for another backup to complete, it may not get backed up before it disconnects from the network.

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"Automatic File-level Deduplication

Retrospect maximizes storage usage by only copying unique files—even across multiple computers—to the backup media."

http://download.retrospect.com/partners/sales_tools/data_sheets/retrospect_10/retrospect_10_mac_datash_enna.pdf

 

What you are doing is suitable only for a small amount of clients. There was a poster the other year that had problems with this. It turned out he had over 60 clients, each with their own media set.

 

So it's up to you to decide how you want to proceed. It you have lots of disk space and few clients, you can continue the way you do. But I would try to group at least three clients to each media set, preferably with the same OS or (roughly) the same set of documents to maximize the value of file de-duplication.

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