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applepie

user interface incredibly slow.

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Hi,

 

we have updated our server, now using an xserve g4, running osx server 10.3.8, and retrospect 6.0.204

 

previously the user interface was pretty snappy on osx server 10.2.something, and retrospect 6 (not sure exactly what versions, but i know our tech guy installed an update to retro when he put the server in.)

 

The user interface is astoundingly slow now, so it takes between 2 and 9 secongs to respond to clicks, when doing going through the motions of restoring stuff. This is not waiting for a tape to locate or anything like that, or to look for extra storage sets.

 

Does anyone know what might be going on here and if it can be fixed? its driving me crazy, its almost unusable, especially when your trying to track down an old job and have to search for several things

 

thanks.

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Thanks for your response.

 

I got the impresion from our tech guy that it was normal to be really slow, but when I experienced it myself I thought if it is a common issue there wil complaints about it somewhere, did a search here but didn't find anything.

 

the new server is a 1.33 G4, 768 mb ram. I don't suppose it matters what it is backing up to, as its just the GUi rather than the speed of backing up, but its a firewire AIT2 drive.

 

The previous server was just an early G4 tower, 400 mhz, don't remember the amount of ram, but probably about the same. retro ran a lot quicker on that...

 

thanks...

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So lemme get this straight; the program ran much faster on the old 400Mhz G4 then it does on the new 1.3Ghz G4, and your "tech guy" tells you that it's normal? Did he perhaps defend this statement with any other rationalizations? Technical ability should not preclude common sense!

 

- If you create a new user, and log in as that user, is there any difference in speed?

- Is the XServe running a lot of other processes?

- What does Activity Monitor (or the Server Tools) show for processor usage?

 

It's not normal for Retrospect to take between 2 to 9 seconds to respond to mouse clicks.

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Well, he didn't specifically say its normal, i just overheard him say 'retrospect is so slow' or somesuch thing, something in the what he said gave me the feeling that it was a common problem. Like maybe it was a buggy release or something... I don't know, I'm not overwhelmingly techy!

 

Our file server runs a mail server for mail including some unix spam and virus protection stuff, for both our offices, this one and a bigger one one in another city. It serves files to 2 graphic designers, 1 account servicing person and an accountant. So its not a heavy workload. It has 2 mirrored 400 giig drives in it which are currently laess than half full.

 

There are lots of red spikes in the activity monitor when I use the interface (its even slow to grab the top of the window to move it, about a half second lag). I went to restore some files from some commonly used backup sets. from clicking 'OK', it took about 13 seconds for the retrieval destination window to open, upon cancelling that about 6 seconds for the main retrospect window to become active again.

 

I'm not sure about creating a new user on that thing, I'm not too familiar with the server software. there is one administrator account that I use for accessing retrospect, thats pretty much the only thing I do on it...

 

Thanks for your help. I take it that it shouldn't be slow then....

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I am running into the same problem. Slow user interface, CPU spikes, hesitation, and erratic backup performance if any.

 

I have Mac OS X Panther Server 10.3.8 installed on a mirror-drive Seagate 120GB RAID on a Power Mac G4 Graphite 500 Mhz.

 

It is using a Firewire Sony AIT mechanism.

 

Retrospect crawls like a dead dog in the user interface.

 

It is definitely a problem that is not going away. One thing had changed. The upgrade from Jaguar server to Panther server.

 

The only thing that I have found that remedies the problem and THIS IS NOT A PERMANENT NOR COMPLETE FIX is to boot into safe boot. That has disabled the retrorun script. I have also done a kill process on it in the hopes that I need not do a safe boot everytime on a server. Instead of hesitating every second it hesitates every ten seconds in safe boot.

 

DANTZ FIX THIS PROBLEM. It is most irritating. I have five business clients who are dealing with this problem. They can't have their backups jeopardized because of buggy software.

 

Oh, and this is not exclusive to version 6. I have a client that has nearly identical the config stated above except they are on Retrospect 5.1. I had upgraded one client to 6 in the hopes that this would fix it.

 

Nope. I say again DANTZ fix this problem. You are really dropping the ball. I have called your techsupport and your guys are stumped. The Mac specialist in an email suggested I "ignore IDs" of drives to see if that fixes it. NOPE. That did not work.

 

Get your engineers to fix this. I have sent, at request of your technicians, a system profile of the server in question and a screenshot of the spikes I speak of in Activity Monitor.

 

Very upset with Dantz. As an IT professional, I am definitely looking towards other backup vendors.

 

Good day!

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Do you see a quantafiable difference between how the Retrospect application behaves when the retrorun process is running and when the retrorun process is not running?

 

A valid test would have you try the program and note its behavior, then kill retrorun and see if there's a difference, and if there is you would re-launch retrorun to see if the behavior changes back to its original state. Although your observations would be objective, it would be interesting to have before/after/'before' tests to see.

 

- That said, is the "nearly identical" configuration you note (running 5.1) also using OS X Server?

- Do you see this behavior with OS X Server system only? Or have you seen it on even one OS X desktop OS machine?

 

retrorun is a pretty well baked bit of unix code. Apple has made changes to the OS before that has broken it, but Panther server has been out for long enough that a system level compatibility would be confirmed by Dantz.

 

Is there anything about the hardware configuration you're not providing?

 

Perhaps an unsupported SCSI host adapter?

 

Dave

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Quote:

we're in the same boat with our 2.5 g5

 


 

- Is your 2.5 g5 running Mac OS X Server?

 

Since you've provided exactly _no_ information about the hardware other then the processor and its speed, or the software its running, it's not likely any suggestions are going to be forthcoming.

 

Complete details go a _long_ way in online troubleshooting.

 

Dave

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sorry dave.

 

i have a dual 2.5 g5 with 3.5 gb ram running os10.3.8 (not server). latest version of retrospect6 with driver updates backing up to a sony ait-2 fw400 drive.

 

our dual 1.25 g4 running 10.3.7 and retrospect 5 (latest version) works a treat with the same drive (backing up same files - between 150mb and 1.5gb)

 

on the g5s it is really unuseable. i have tried logging in in safe boot mode and very little difference. i've also tried creating a new user account but it makes no difference. >6 seconds per mouse click or other operation.

 

hope this is more helpful

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It's helpful in some ways; for one, it's an example of this slowness being seen in the desktop build of Mac OS X, not just the server release. Helps to avoid red herrings in trying to understand what's going on.

 

Since most other Retrospect users don't see this slowdown, it'd be helpful to understand if it's hardware or software related.

 

The first test I would do (if it were happening to me and I wanted it to stop happening to me) would be to boot from another drive, one with a clean, fresh test install of OS X (I keep just such a volume available on a FireWire drive for just such tests). Install Retrospect on this system, and see how it behaves. If it behaves normally, then there's something in your system software/Retrospect install that's the cause.

 

If it is also slow, then there's some interaction between your computer hardware and Retrospect.

 

Once that basic fork in the road is known (is that a valid metaphor?), further tests can be considered to narrow down the possible causes.

 

But just wondering, does the problem persist when the Sony FW drive is disconnected?

 

Dave

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hi dave

 

i did a fresh install of 10.3.7 and still exactly the same behaviour.

 

furthermore i did another install of the os from scratch then installed a new copy of retro6 that came with a new ait2 turbo drive (lacie) today. first off retro6 was still reacting very slowly but eventually it started backing up only to crash after about 130mb of a 2gb backup. it did it every time i tried.

 

this is with all the latest drivers.

 

retro5 is also very slow but at least it doesn't crash.

 

i'm beginning to think it's a g5 issue as we've got two dual 2.5 g5s and its the same on both.

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further to this i installed retro6 on our office imac (g4 - 10.3.9). worked great with the ait2 fw drive with no crashes or slow interface. this compounds my feeling that it's a g5 issue.

 

it's *so* frustrating.

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Retrospect is not inherently slow on a G5 CPU, and in fact the first post in this thread was a report of an XServer G4.

 

There's something else going on.

 

Your latest post mentions a crash; can you provide more information about that?

 

Dave

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hi dave

 

it seems that i can't get retro6 to backup without crashing full stop.

 

today i tried a backup (1.4gb) to our new ait2 turbo drive. first off i got a crash. here's a small picture:

 

http://www.redfacilities.com/retrospect_crash.pdf

 

then i booted in safe mode and tried the same thing. it crashed after a couple of hundred mb but i noticed for the first time that it displayed 'writing index' just before it crashed. hope this helps.

 

best wishes

max

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one step closer i think...

 

it seems that retro6 doesn't like the fact we have the two internal drives striped as a raid array. if i try to do a backup from this drive retro is so slow it's unuseable. if i copy a folder from the raid to a fw800m drive and try again retro6 works great.

 

well, i say great, it backs up some folders but continually crashes one folder when it comes to 'writing index' (whatever that means). any ideas?

 

best wishes

max

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Quote:

one step closer i think...

 

it seems that retro6 doesn't like the fact we have the two internal drives striped as a raid array. if i try to do a backup from this drive retro is so slow it's unuseable. if i copy a folder from the raid to a fw800m drive and try again retro6 works great.

 

well, i say great, it backs up some folders but continually crashes one folder when it comes to 'writing index' (whatever that means). any ideas?

 

best wishes

max

 


 

That's interesting I also have a striped RAID 1 drive as my primary drive- 2 250gig drives, in my G5. Perhaps that is making retrospect all but unsable -- the UI sucks up 60% of the cpu as soon as it launched.

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andy

 

the sluggishness is definitely caused by the raids. we boot from an ext fw800 drive and as long as i don't define any folders on the raid retro6 works at normal speed (altho still crashes but thats another issue). the minute i define a folder on the raid it gets slow. and the more folders i define on the raid the slower it gets.

 

i would love to get this fixed.

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Hi

 

Where are you storing the backup?

 

Am I correct in assuming this is software RAID on a standard IDE controller? Are you doing mirroring or are you combining disks into a large single volume?

 

Thanks

Nate

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hi nate

 

the raid is a raid0 of the two internal g5 drives for super-fast disk throughput (audio & video). the backup logs are kept on the boot drive (ext fw800 lacie 250gb). i noticed that andy's setting is mirrored and he has the same problem so it's not just a raid0 issue.

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My raid is using 2 x SATA 250G drives mounted on the bottom of my g5-- using a G5Bracket. I have a PCI SATA card (Firmtek) connecting them to the mac. They are a normal RAID 1 done when installing Panther on them.

 

Retrospect runs from the raid of course, its the only bootable drive on my system.

 

I have an external 100G drive via FW800 to use as a disk store for Retro, but I also have the Sony AIT1 external FW from LaCie via FW400.

 

This really sucks- can't EMC just build a mac w/ a raid boot drive and install Retrospect on it and see what happens?!?!?!?!

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"This really sucks- can't EMC just build a mac w/ a raid boot drive and install Retrospect on it and see what happens?!?!?!?!"

 

andy

 

that's *precisely* what i was thinking.

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OK - I'm chiming in here to report the same exact problem.

 

G5 running 10.3.8 server....

 

Mirrored 250GB ATA drives

 

User interface in Retrospect is SUPER sluggish.... hogging machine cycles...slowing down the machine.

 

The only answer we've come up with is to not have to app open during the day. which sucks obviously.

 

So it really does sound related to RAID drives...

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