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Regular Backup vs Proactive Backup

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I'm backing up 20 client machines on a nightly basis (to rotating LTO media sets). I've been using a regular backup script that's set to run at 10:30pm each not (and stops running at 6am the following morning)—plenty of time to complete all the backups (never had a backup "cut off" because it ran beyond the 6am cutoff). But, I have had instances where a machine, for whatever reason, didn't "appear" on the network during the schedule backup time, and thus, it's not backed up again until the following night.


Here's an example situation...


• regular backup script starts at 10:30pm

• script starts with client machine #1 and ends with client machine #20

• client machine #1 is backed up, then client machine #2 is backed up, but client machine #3 is offline when it's its turn in the queue, so script skips it and continues on to machine #4 (and so on)

• client machine #3 appears online, within that night's 10:30pm–6am window, but since it wasn't online when it was its turn in the backup queue, it doesn't get backed up (until the following night, when the script is run again)


I was thinking, if I just used the same schedule, but used a Proactive Backup script instead of a regular backup script, client machine #3 would be recognized when it comes back online and it would get backed up during that night's window.


Does that make sense?

Are there any negatives in using a Proactive Backup script over a regular backup script?


Any advice would be appreciated.




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One downside to a proactive script is that you get no indication in the log as to why the client may not be accessible. Another is that if you want to limit the backups to a particular time window, any backup that's running at the termination time will just stop, with no verification step. (At least with regular scripts, you can select "When done," which in your case sounds like it wouldn't normally cause problems.)


There are a lot of upsides to a proactive script, including the ability to back up clients when they are online and to back up to whatever media set(s) are available.


We use a blend of both types of scripts to use their different advantages.

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I run Proactive Backup scripts for 100% of my clients.  Most of them are laptops so there is no possible way of knowing when they'll be on line.


In general, though, you can try to schedule upcoming backups (in the Activities section of the Console) if you want to *try* to get them to back up at an approximate time.


i've had zero downside to running Proactive backups and have been doing it that way ever since Retrospect introduced the concept.

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One downside to a proactive script is that you get no indication in the log as to why the client may not be accessible. 


On the Windows version, you can see that in the "Backup Report". I have not seen anything like that report in the Mac version. The closest might be the "Sources" list, sorted by last backup date. There you can see that a client has not been backed up in a while, but not why.

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