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How to back up laptops w/changing addresses?


Monafly
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I am wondering if there is some solution to this problem that I've missed somewhere.

 

I have no control over the network and DNS and addresses (I'm in a small department of a large university).

 

For desktop (and laptops when connected via wired) we have fixed addresses, so no problems with them being backed up by RS. The issue is laptops get different addresses each time they connect to our wireless network (which of course is the way the users prefer to connect). Since this address is constantly variable, RS can't find the clients and thus can't back them up. These addresses are all in a completely different subnet than the wired addresses and can't be predicted (they take the form of x-x-x-x.wireless, where x-x-x-x is their actual IP). 

 

What I could envision is that the RS client 'phones home' to the fixed address RS engine and says "I haven't been backed up recently and I'm at x.x.x.x so back me up". Is there any way that this can be done?

 

The current solution of having users connect their laptops via wired occasionally is the current solution, but it's certainly not ideal, nor convenient for the users. 

 

Thanks. 

 

 

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I can't see them via multicast, as it won't cross the subnet boundaries (will it??), unless I'm missing something in how to make that happen. How would I see a wireless laptop client via multicast?

 

Via Multicast I can only see machines on the same subnet as the engine (#.#.21.x). I can't even see those few client machines I have that are at #.#.29.x via subnet, so have had to add them manually. The wireless addresses are in completely different range (the first two numbers are different than the wired addresses). 

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You should try subnet broadcast instead of multicast; this method of discovery will access subnets across routers unless such searching has been blocked by your IT department. 

 

Go to Retrospect Preferences> Network and highlight your desired network interface in the upper frame (it probably will be "Default"). In the Details frame, click the "+" to add a subnet and type in the correct subnet mask and the address of one of your desired subnets, using a zero for each zero in the subnet mask. Repeat this process for all the subnets you wish to search.

 

In the sources window, when you prepare to add the source, select "Use subnet broadcast" instead of "Multicast."

 

The above method will not work if subnet broadcasting has been blocked. In that case, you will need to use direct IP addressing. However, your IT department should be able to provide an address reservation for each of your client computers based on their network interface MAC addresses, so that they will always be assigned the same IP address whenever they connect via the same subnet.

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Thanks Twickland, but this won't work for me.

Subnet broadcast is blocked, so that doesn't work for me. Clients in other subnets do have reserved wired addresses, so I can access them reliably via direct IP. 

IT folks won't reserve addresses in the wireless space so I'm out of luck there with direct IP also.

 

Any other suggestions? 

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Are the laptops discoverable by entering their DNS names in Retrospect? If so, Retrospect should continue to be able to find them, as it will always seek clients out by the original connection method.

 

If not, given all your other limitations, I'd try telling your laptop users they will not be backed up unless they plug in to the Ethernet (with an IT-assigned IP address reservation). This can be made easier if users can be provided with a docking station. This is what we do here.

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  • 2 months later...

I vaguely recall a similar thread from some years ago. The only solution offered (apart from persuading the network admin that allowing selected subnet broadcasts didn't turn his expensive switch into a hub) was to add each possible remote address as a /32 subnet. Thus the server would check each address individually - hence creating more traffic (and more server load and delays) than if the network admin allowed selective broadcasts.

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