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homenhomer

(Relatively) simple questions looking for simple answers...

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Hi,

 

I've been using Retrospect Workgroup for OS X for almost a year now and I love it. But I still am unsure of two aspects:

 

1.) How are the clients' deleted files handled? If on Monday Mr. Blow has a 1 GB file that gets backed up on Monday night, and on Tuesday he deletes that file on his computer is that file deleted from the backup catalog? I have always assumed not but this seems to be a recipe for large catalog sizes.

 

2.) I have 3 users getting backed up into the same backup set. I want to see how much space each user is taking up but I have to go through and manually add up the incremental backup sizes of each user for the past 6 months. Is this right? I'd like to "sort" by user and then have Retrospect give me a tally. Any ideas?

 

I love the forums. Thanks.

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1. If you do a normal backup and delete a file from the hard disk, the file will remain on the backup media. The file will not appear in the newest snapshot for the source disk.

 

2. Reports>Contents may make it easier. You go to configure>backup sets and view the total size of the backup set.

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Thanks Mayoff. That certainly answers the first question regarding deleted files, but the second problem still exists. The problem is that I am backing up 3 users into one backup set/catalog. viewing the contents of the catalog only reveals the files backed up by each user at each backup interval. I can even go into each snapshot and get the size of each backup, but there is no easy way to add up, say, every backup made by Bob since January. I want to know how much space each person is using so I can crack down on redundant and unnecessary backups. I'm assuming there's no easy solution (aside from put each user in her own backup set) but if anyone knows of something tricky, please let me know. Many thanks.

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It will take a bunch of work on your part: Configure Retrospect to automatically export the backup report under the preferences. The backup report will track KB Stored and KB transfered.

 

You can then use an AppleScript (see the AppleScript Examples in the Retrospect folder) to import the backup report into FileMaker Pro or another database automatically. Then configure the database to make the calculations you need.

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Quote:

I want to know how much space each person is using so I can crack down on redundant and unnecessary backups.

 


 

One small trap to be aware of is that with the default settings, an identical file is only backed up once even from multiple clients. So looking at the incremental backup sizes does point out problem files, it does not always tell you all the places the problem files are appearing. (e.g. Jane has no files to backup, but only because they all got backed up from Bob's computer first.)

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In the same vein, I have to question the original philosophy here. What exactly is a "redundant and unnecessary backup"? Since Retrospect won't write a file unless it's been changed, someone could ask the server to do a backup ASAP 10 times in a row and not make a significant increase in the size of the backup set. (The catalog will need to store all the snapshots, so it will cause the catalog to grow.) I figure media is cheap and if a person wants to wear a belt and suspenders, fine. I would rather have someone overuse the backup system than not backup at all (which is what I struggle with--people not wanting "foreign programs" copying things off their disk). Besides, one person's backups might be larger just because they are doing more work than the others!

 

Now if you are looking at the TYPE of files being backed up, that's another story. I've seen many instances where having large, out-of-the-norm backups every day was an indication that someone was busy downloading movies and such that they shouldn't be onto their computer (usually from X rated sites).

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