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Retrospect 18 ignores Activity Thread setting


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So far I've observed two backup servers running Retrospect 18 that ignore the number of threads set in Preferences > General > Allow ___ Activity Threads. I set to something other than 16, but the Engine still spawns up to 16 executions. Quit and relaunch Console and setting is back to 16. Lather, rinse, repeat...same thing happens. When I then rebuild or groom a storage group (because they require constant attention), 16 threads fire up and a 6-core Mac mini runs at about 900% CPU for hours w/o getting any single thread finished in a reasonable amount of time. Glad for the seemingly massively parallel CPU utilization, but I need a way to limit that a little bit.


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I'm not familiar with how storage group works. Do they by default use a lot of activity threads simultaneously?

For old style activities, using (say) Disk media sets, Retrospect uses one activity thread per activity. As a workaround to your problem, you could set an activity to specifically use thread 1, another thread 2 and so on. And NOT let any activity use "Any activity thread". That way you could limit the number of threads actually used.

By the way, this forum is mainly user-to-user. You need to request support here: https://www.retrospect.com/en/support/edition

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Yes, I know...user forum...I don't post all the time, but do refer and post periodically. Also, this subforum _is_ called Bug Reports, so if Robin, et al, are not checking or perusing anymore, perhaps it should be renamed or shuttered?

So yeah, Storage Groups sets are basically like an envelope holding a bunch of source-specific "subsets". You can therefore have simultaneous operations going to a single media set, like multiple network clients backing up at the same time w/o having to go sequentially and wait on each other. I'm not sure how you are suggesting to prohibit the activities from using "any thread"...I could give it a try, but the heart of the matter is that the functionality just isn't functioning like it's supposed to (and was).

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12 minutes ago, fredturner said:

the heart of the matter is that the functionality just isn't functioning like it's supposed to (and was).

Yes, I understand that. :)   Or maybe I should have used the sad smiley? :( 


14 minutes ago, fredturner said:

Also, this subforum _is_ called Bug Reports, so if Robin, et al, are not checking or perusing anymore, perhaps it should be renamed or shuttered?

Agreed. :) 

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  • 1 month later...

(Disclaimer: Anything I may say about the intentions of Retrospect "Inc." in this or any other post is merely the result of "reading the tea leaves", the "tea leaves" being documentation and public announcements supplemented by an occasional morsel from Retrospect Sales.  I have never been paid a cent by Retrospect "Inc." or its predecessors, and I pay for my upgrades. Any judgements expressed are—obviously—mine alone. The same is true of Retrospect's history, especially with references to here.  Any apparent aspersions I cast are meant to apply to the widest applicable group of Retrospect "Inc." employees, not to an individual employee.)


First, this sub-Forum hasn't been regularly read by anybody from Retrospect Technical Support for the past 2 years or so.  The post by the head of RTS directly above yours is a rare exception (I think he scans posts that use his name), and it looks to me as if the engineers' bug fix in Retrospect Mac he referred to


Concurrent Executions: Fixed issue where the number of execution units could not be reduced (#9435)

didn't actually fix fredturner's problem.  So you'll have to submit a Support Case; here's how to do that.

Are you, like fredturner, using a Storage Group?  If so, be sure to say that in the Problem Statement of your Support Case.  A major advantage of a Storage Group is that it can be backed up to from a maximum of 14 Sources simultaneously—each Source backed up in its own Activity Thread to a separate component Media Set.  Maybe the engineers put in code that resets Preferences -> General -> Allow ___ Activity Threads to 16, ignoring the possibility that an administrator is running Retrospect on a "backup server" that doesn't have enough RAM or enough processor speed for 14 generated component Activity Thread sub-Scripts—plus one for a possible parent Proactive Script and one for the overall "backup server".

If you are instead using only  stand-alone Media Sets, my guess is that you've run into the aggressive re-introduction of "value pricing" for lower-priced Editions in Version 18.  As described in both tables (Windows and Mac) in this official Retrospect document—linked to from this Knowledge Base article, the Solo and Desktop Editions are now limited to 2 and 4 concurrent Script executions—meaning Activity Threads for Retrospect Mac—respectively.  (Those Editions used to be limited to only one Script execution at a time, but that limitation was removed—I'm told by a single engineer acting alone—a couple of years ago.)  My guess is that the re-introduced limitation on concurrent Script executions was made dependent solely on the Edition license, ignoring what the user may have put into Preferences -> General -> Allow ___ Activity Threads in a preceding execution of the Console.  (Here in the Retrospect Mac cumulative Release Notes for is an example


Concurrent Executions: Fixed issue where execution units were reset to 2 for certain licenses (#9459)

of a fix for a mess-up in 18.0, where AFAICT Preferences -> General -> Allow ___ Activity Threads was being reset purely based on Edition. ☹️ )

Edited by DavidHertzberg
In final paragraph, add parenthesized example of fix in for mess-up in 18.0.
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