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More failures of console to update.


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Since Retrospect first introduced the console-engine model with version 8, the console has frequently exhibited problems in updating parameters and data that have changed in the engine. This seemed to have improved a bit with version 11.0, but may have gotten worse with version 11.5.3. I say "may" because I can't recall the last time I performed some of the operations below where the changes did not display correctly in the console. In any case, the following failures to update were observed with version 11.5.3:


Failure to display snapshots during Restore

In looking to restore a particular folder version, I initiated and canceled out of several Restore operations. I first initiated a search for the folder name across three specified media sets, A, B, and C. The folder was found in sets A and B, and I previewed both to confirm that the file I was looking for had existed at some time in both sets. I canceled out of this restore and initiated a "Restore selected files." On the "Select Backup" page, I  clicked on the "More backups..." button and attempted to retrieve a particular snapshot from media set A, which failed due to what I think was an unrelated issue. I canceled out of the restore and went to the Media Sets window where I retrieved a different snapshot from media set A.


I then initiated another "Restore selected files," but when I came to the "Select Backup" page, the only backup visible was the one I had just retrieved from media set A. Since this was the backup I wanted, I continued. I hit the Preview button to see if the file I wanted was there, but when the preview window opened, it indicated that the snapshot was from media set B. I suspect this may have occurred because the last window I had previewed in my first (canceled) restore operation had been from media set B. In any case, this bug appears to have been cosmetic.


Because the folder version I was looking for was not available in this snapshot, I then retrieved a different snapshot in the Media Sets window, this time from media set B. However, when I initiated a "Restore selected files," there were now no backups visible, and the "More backups..." button was grayed out.


I quit and relaunched the console, after which I was able to view all snapshots, properly display the preview pane, and successfully complete the restore.


Failure to update information on lost media set members after Verify

I wanted to verify a single tape member in the middle of a series, so I initiated a Verify operation, marking all of the earlier-numbered members one by one as "lost." After the Verify completed, I checked in the Media Sets window and none of the members were shown as lost. Simply closing and reopening the Media Sets window made no difference. After quitting and relaunching the console, the members were now properly shown as "lost."


(Let me comment here on the long delay between clicking on a Lost checkbox and the time it takes for the checkmark to appear or disappear, which in my system is around 5 seconds. Furthermore, if I click on the Lost box for one member, and then click on the Lost box for a second member, the console SPODs for about 10 seconds before highlighting this second member without changing the box's checkmark status. I then need to click the checkbox again to change the checkmark. My worry is that—given the above noted failure of the console to update properly—can I then safely rely on the checkmark status as displayed in the console being the same as what is in the engine?)


Failure to update past backups

The Past Backups window has long failed to update reliably after a backup operation has completed. In my experience, this problem has most frequently occurred with regular scheduled backups containing many sources, rather than with proactive backups which of course are always of a single source. Often, the Past Backups window will subsequently update with the missed event(s) if I manually run a backup to the same media set that the missing event used; less often if a proactive backup runs to this same media set; and essentially never if a regular scheduled backup runs to the same media set or if any type of backup is run to a different media set. The only sure way to get the Past Backups window to update properly is to quit and relaunch the console.


This problem was considerably better with version 11.5.2, typically occurring only after the console had been running for a while, but now seems to be worse in 11.5.3, where I've experienced it three times in the two days since I've upgraded.


Failure to promptly update information in the Activities> Running> Details pane

This is far less important than the issues listed above, but since I'm on the subject of delays, let me mention the moderately annoying update delay where, after the backup phase has completed, the Details pane continues to display a certain number of files left to be backed up when Retrospect has moved on to the snapshot-building phase.


The Retrospect server is a 3.2 GHz quad core Mac Pro running 10.6.8.


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For what it's worth, I have noticed a dramatic speedup in v 11 when dealing with remote engines over long-latency links, like when managing remote customer engines from my main office. The apparent optimizations often carry the risk of missing corner cases. I hope the "fix" to this doesn't take away the speed.


If given the choice between having to restart the console from time to time versus the downright snappy response on remote connections, I'll take the speed any day of the week.

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More evidence that the Past Backups updating is worse under 11.5.3 than 11.5.2: since updating, not one scheduled backup run had its backups appear in the Past Backups list without one of the interventions I list above.


I do concur with iCompute, that if the price of having the console update itself more consistently would be to slow other actions down—be it through excessive chatter or whatever—that price would be too high.


What would be really nice would be if the Refresh command in the View menu would update all data, or at least everything on the active page or pane, instead of simply updating the operations log. This would presumably avoid any problem of constant chatter-induced delay, while being more convenient than having to quit and relaunch the console to view updated data.

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