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Backing up laptops on a Macintosh network

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Hi there,


As more & more of my clients are switching over to all laptops in their offices, how do you guys deal with backing those laptops up via Retrospect?


Since those machines aren't always there at night, and if they are they're probably sleeping, what is the best way to deal with this?


Does Retrospect have some sort of built-in functionality to backup laptop clients "when they become available"? Can you guys tell me what your best recommendations are for this sort of a situation?


Thanks so much for any advice!




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  • 2 weeks later...

Look up Backup Server, set up a script that will backup your clients as often as you require, let it run.


BUT, backups take time, if you have a lot of users, and they are in the habit of not leaving their computer running for any length of time, then you may find that they don't get backed up very often. Retrospect can only handle one client at a time, and it will work down the list of client to do (starting with the least recently backed up). As it comes across a client that is online and requires a backup, it will do it.


Depending on the volume of data, number of clients, speed of network, speed of backup storage, etc, you may find that clients are simply not connected to the network for long enough at a time - but that's something that's hard to predict beforehand. As someone who's used Retrospect for many years and used to have a network of 120 clients, I 'just have a feel' for it - but I can't quantify it.

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I seem to have a conflict between a Backup Server script for laptops and a regular scheduled Backup script for desktop computers on the same network. I have 6 removable hard drives paired up as backup sets A, B, and C. Only two pairs are connected to the server at any one time (the other pair is offsite during a rotation).


For illustration, let's say backup sets A and B are online while C is offsite. The desktop script will use set A throughout the week and then switch to B the following week.


The trouble comes when the laptop script starts using the B set which is supposed to be just sitting there not being used that week by the scheduled Desktop backup script. Today the second member of the A set was freshly erased (as part of a recycle backup to A) and the laptop script appropriated it and renamed it as the 3rd member of the B set. Now the A set has nowhere to expand once the first member is filled up.


The Retrospect manual states that "Volumes are backed up to the best available backup set media" but gives no indication what "best" means nor how to alter that behavior.


I'm not sure how to set this up so that the laptop script only uses the currently active backup set. Should I just unmount set B and leave only A online?

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As you've discovered, Retrospect will use any blank media as a continuation of the currently-in-use backup set, no matter what it happens to be named. Also, Backup Server scripts will intentionally rotate through all the available media in an effort to diversify its backups of your various clients. Nether of these defaults can be changed.


IF your goal is to have your backup server scripts use only the same backup set as your regular scripts, you should be sure that no other set is mounted during the time that the backup server scripts are allowed to run.

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