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businesshelper

Rotating External Hard Drive Backup Strategy

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I have a client that I setup Retrospect Desktop 5.0 running in OS 9.2 on a G4. We are also backing up Windows and Mac Clients. I am using two 120GB external FireWire drives that I want to rotate each week storing the rotated drive off-site.

 

 

 

I've set up many tape configurations in the past with no issues in rotation, but this is my first hard drive setup like this. I feel the primary problem is because the backup set contains "everything" and must be stored on the actual drive. I've searched and read this forum for help in setting up a strategy, but there is just not enough specific answers. I've also read the Tech Note NO. 503M Backup to Hard Drives-Macintosh in the knowledge base.

 

 

 

I plan to backup as File Backup Sets, not Duplicate and the drives are formatted in Mac OS Extended. Found this out the hardway when it reached the 2GB limit (there's no way to move a backup set, too).

 

 

 

My problem is creating a script that will account for this setup and rotation scheme. When I set up the script like I have in the past with tapes, Backup Set A refers to hard drive #1 and Backup Set B refers to hard drive #2. The big difference is that these sets are on the corresponding hard drives, instead of files on the local hard drive. I'm doing normal backups. So I have Backup Set A running every M,T,W,TH in one step, then every two weeks on Friday in another step. Then I have the same setup for Backup Set B starting every two weeks on the alternating Friday. This is a common setup for weekly rotation in the EasyScript setup.

 

 

 

The problem comes when I check the script or run the script. Both Hard Drives must be mounted with both Backup Sets available. This will not be the actual case. Only one hard drive will be mounted at a time. Please help.

 

 

 

Also, once I get the script worked out, is there a way to pop up a screen on Friday reminding to change drives?

 

 

 

Thanks for the help,

 

Matthew

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>>The problem comes when I check the script or run the script. Both Hard Drives must be mounted with both Backup Sets available. This will not be the actual case. Only one hard drive will be mounted at a time. Please help. <<<

 

 

 

There is nothing that we can do about this. When it checks - it checks to see if what it needs is ready for that night. If the drive that it doesn't want is hooked up then it will say it's not ready. But if you then hook up the correct drive before it's time to run its ok. You do not have to check it again. When it is time for Retrospect to run, it will launch and then check it's self for the correct media (in your case hard drive).

 

 

 

There is no function in Retrospect to make a pop up screen on a specific day.

 

 

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Melissa, thank you for replying.

 

 

 

Here's the point. During week 1, Hard Drive 2 is stored off-site (i.e. it cannot be connected to the backup computer and this would defeat the purpose of "off-site"). Hard Drive 2 contains the file Backup Set B. The script refers to both Backup Set A and Backup Set B. Drive 1 that contains Backup Set A is connected and ready to go. The Problem: when Retrospect launches, it wants access to both Backup Sets although one is only needed at a specific time. This is no problem in a Tape or Removeable Media situation since the Backup Sets are accessable to Retrospect and are not stored on the Backup Media.

 

 

 

Retrospect's own Tech Note, Tech Note 503M Backup to Hard Drives-Macintosh, makes this statement:

 

 

 

>>USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) drives that are hot swappable offer greater flexibility in this. Incorporating more than one backup drive allows for true media rotation, increasing the security of your backup strategy.<<

 

 

 

This is a great statement and one I am trying to achieve. I am just looking for a tutorial or script example for the proper way to backup to FireWire drives in a media rotation scenario.

 

 

 

My client needs to perform a normal backup every night, including networked computers. Then every other week the drive needs to be rotated. I have two drives. Each week, one drive is used in the backup, while the other drive is stored off-site. Then the following week they are rotated. This way, no matter what even if his building burns to the ground, he will only loose, at most, a weeks worth of work.

 

 

 

Each week, all I want is for my Client to unplug one drive and plug in the other and not have to worry about any other settings. I will write an AppleScript to pop up a dialog box every Friday Morning reminding him to swap the drives.

 

 

 

Thanks for the help,

 

Matthew

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I guess I am still not understanding what isn't working.

 

 

 

Week one - HD2 off site, HD1 being backed up to.

 

Week two - HD1 off site, HD2 being backed up to.

 

This is fine. Two backupsets (backupset A, backupset B), one script.

 

 

 

You wrote >>>The Problem: when Retrospect launches, it wants access to both Backup Sets although one is only needed at a specific time.<<<

 

What is meant by this? When does it want to access both backupsets? It shouldn't. If you have it scheduled to go to Backupset A on Week one...M-F it should only access that backupset on those days. That is it. It shouldn't bother with looking at the other set until it needs it. How are you seeing that it's trying to access both backupsets instead of just the one it wants?

 

 

 

 

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Melissa,

 

 

 

You wrote:

 

>>>That is it. It shouldn't bother with looking at the other set until it needs it. How are you seeing that it's trying to access both backupsets instead of just the one it wants?<<<

 

 

 

You're right and that's what I expected also. However, when I check the script by either exiting or pressing the check button, it gave an error message something to the effect that it's not ready because Backup Set B couldn't be found or something like that. Unfortunetely, I don't have remote access to this machine, so I can't check what the message says exactly. But it's telling me it won't back up.

 

 

 

If I have both drives mounted and both Backup Sets available, all is ok.

 

 

 

It seems to me that it checks the presence of all Backup Sets that are included in the script, even if it doesn't need all of them at that specific time. It just wants to verify they are there. Maybe this is a bug in 5.0?

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

Matthew

 

 

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Finally...I get it.

 

Ok I just ran this test. Your right. So it's checking in the future of what it needs and telling you ahead of time - "hey this won't run because you don't have the right stuff..." Although, in reality you will have hooked up the drive by then and it will run. So it's just letting you know that in case you don't come back to swap the media (it doesn't know that this particular media is really a hard drive).

 

I should have a bit more info on this later as I have inquired to find out the true logistics behind this. Although the above is what we believe is going on.

 

 

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Ok. Confirmation - it's clearly because we are checking ahead of time in case you are not planning on coming back to connect the correct hard drive. This is correct and how it should work.

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Melissa,

 

 

 

Sorry for missing this last post, for some reason I did not get an eMail notification.

 

 

 

That's great that you confirmed the reason why it won't work and that I'm not loosing my mind. So now what? I still have the problem.

 

 

 

Can I create two separate scripts instead of one without user intervention with Retrospect? In other words, I don't want my client to have to manually adjust or change any scripts, just swap the drives.

 

 

 

As stated before, Dantz makes the statement in it's own Tech Note, Tech Note 503M Backup to Hard Drives-Macintosh:

 

>>USB or IEEE 1394 (FireWire) drives that are hot swappable offer greater flexibility in this. Incorporating more than one backup drive allows for true media rotation, increasing the security of your backup strategy.<<

 

 

 

If I cannot accomplish this as per the tech note, then it is misleading and now I feel that after I did the proper research, the recommendation I made for this client is wrong.

 

 

 

How do we setup the scripts to accomplish this? I don't understand why these drives can't be treated like removeable disks, thus storing the backup sets on the local hard drive and the data on the Firewire drives.

 

 

 

Thanks Again,

 

Matthew

 

 

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Since it's clearly because we are checking ahead of time in case you are not planning on coming back to connect the correct hard drive, there really is no way to get around this. If you were to create two scripts - when you check the script or close out of Retrospect it would still say you didn't have the right media for one of the scripts scheduled to run.

 

 

 

Here is an idea. You could go to Special Preferences and go to Notification and Alerts. Then you could uncheck the alert that is for " Check validity of next script." This would alleviate the problem all together!

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Perhaps I misunderstand either businesshelper or Melissa, but it seems to me that Retro is CHECKING (ahead of time) for correct media, not finding it and correctly saying so, but that -- assuming by the time the script is actually to run the correct drive will have been connected -- it will actually RUN fine with the correct drive connected.

 

 

 

Unless: businesshelper: are you saying that the script won't run as scheduled? Or just that when you check the script it tells you it needs the other drive? I suspect the latter.

 

 

 

I'm going to run a setup just about like this one, so I need to understand this!

 

 

 

blair

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Having written the lot below, I realise I'm assuming you're using OS X...! If you're not, disregard this.

 

 

 

I haven't time to read the details of your plans (too busy), but have you considered:

 

 

 

1. Make two run documents from within Restrospect.

 

 

 

2. Write a little AppleScript which prompts the users, asking them to mount he appropriate drive,

 

and then executes the correct run document.

 

 

 

3. Pop the AppleScripts into cron to have them started up as desired.

 

 

 

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but a run document would avoid the problem of needing to "see"

 

the other drive.

 

 

 

FWIW, if I reading (guessing!) right, your scheme is effectively a fortnightly backup scheme, which is a

 

rather long time between backups.

 

 

 

 

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