Jump to content

Proactive backup seems to be doing nothing


Recommended Posts

I've got 40 clients that haven't been backed up in days, I restarted the backup server an hour ago, I have 11 proactive backup scripts defined, and no backups are executing yet.


Is it a malfunction? I can't tell because there's no way to tell what the proactive backup system is doing.


Or is there? Does anyone know how to find out what the proactive backup system is doing, if anything?


(Yeah, I know about the Proactive tab on the Activities page. It shows a ton of proactive scripts with a date of about 10 minutes ago. All have status "not yet determined")

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Replying to myself here... :-)


I discovered that if you create a file called "proactive_backup_log.utx" in /Library/Application Support/Retrospect/, that Retrospect will fill it with information about what Proactive Backup is doing.


However, it's in a hard-to-read syntax. Here is a four-line excerpt:


$[//]11/6/2009 9:08:50.694 AM: -1311109120: extcCheckItem: source = $[*!G20611,,14,+3]Macintosh HD, state = 11$[//15/%D %.2T: %d: %s/]$[/D/30/2009-11-06T09:08:50.694Z-05:00/]$[/T/30/2009-11-06T09:08:50.694Z-05:00/]$[/d/11/-1311109120/]$[/s/292/$[//]extcCheckItem: source = $[*!G20611,,14,+3]Macintosh HD, state = 11$[//38/extcCheckItem: source = %s, state = %d/]$[/s/152/$[//]$[*!G20611,,14,+3]Macintosh HD$[//4/%s%S/]$[/s/73/$[//]$[*!G20611,,14,+3]$[//17/$[*!%s%~d,,14,+3]/]$[/s/1/G/]$[/d/5/20611/]/]$[/s/12/Macintosh HD/]/]$[/d/2/11/]/]

$[//]11/6/2009 9:08:51.849 AM: -1319530496: extcUpdateScripts: updating scripts$[//15/%D %.2T: %d: %s/]$[/D/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.849Z-05:00/]$[/T/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.849Z-05:00/]$[/d/11/-1319530496/]$[/s/95/$[//]extcUpdateScripts: updating scripts$[//2/%s/]$[/s/35/extcUpdateScripts: updating scripts/]/]

$[//]11/6/2009 9:08:51.870 AM: -1319530496: extcPollDests: result 0$[//15/%D %.2T: %d: %s/]$[/D/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.870Z-05:00/]$[/T/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.870Z-05:00/]$[/d/11/-1319530496/]$[/s/71/$[//]extcPollDests: result 0$[//24/extcPollDests: result %d/]$[/d/1/0/]/]

$[//]11/6/2009 9:08:51.895 AM: -1311109120: extcCheckItem: source = $[*!20780,,14,+3]Harmony, state = 11$[//15/%D %.2T: %d: %s/]$[/D/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.895Z-05:00/]$[/T/30/2009-11-06T09:08:51.895Z-05:00/]$[/d/11/-1311109120/]$[/s/206/$[//]extcCheckItem: source = $[*!20780,,14,+3]Harmony, state = 11$[//38/extcCheckItem: source = %s, state = %d/]$[/s/73/$[//]$[*!20780,,14,+3]Harmony$[//19/$[*!20780,,14,+3]%S/]$[/s/7/Harmony/]/]$[/d/2/11/]/]


(It looks better on a wide screen)


The only way I've been able to read it is by dragging the file into TextEdit. Retrospect itself doesn't seem able to open the file and parse its contents for us. Still, since all the lines are timestamped, it can still tell us something about what the proactive backup system is doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Proactive Backups scheduling under 8.1 is a mystery as well to me as to when activities will fire off. I've asked about this and most people at EMC are in the dark about this as well.


Here's how I work with it and my observations.


1) A "Schedule" change for a client to "right now" -- will not back up the client "right now". It will move it up in the queue, but how soon -- it's not very soon.


This differs from the behavior of Retrospect 6 and setting a backup server client to ASAP.


2) Confirm that the clients are actually on and responding (I actually check via ARD admin if my clients are on -- we have a lot of laptop clients here and frequently they aren't on-line).


You might do a Sources --> Refresh to check a client.


3) If a client *has* been backed up previously -- I find the fastest way to get a client backed sooner, is to delete the previous activity of the client -- not "schedule" the client. This seems to move the client to near the head of the queue.


4) Check your scripts. Make sure they didn't get modified for some reason. When I've had engine crashes, I've had clients removed from my scripts -- or my rules reset to the default -- or the media set removed from the script. All of these will mess up the script.


5) Another way to get clients to fire up their proactive backup is to edit the script and remove the client -- wait a few minutes -- then re-add the client to the script.


You could do the same thing by removing the *media set* and readding it -- but I don't recommend this as that has the unfortunate effect of having to walk through each client in the script alphabetically before moving on to other scripts.



*In general* -- proactivity works -- once it's running. Things seem to backup 24 hours from the last time they were on (give or take).



I run 8 proactive scripts -- I've seen up to 5 of them running at one time on a 4G RAM machine.


I do find that (often), the engine will seem to sit there after backups have finished (for 10 minutes?) when I know there are clients ready to back up. And then there will be a burst of activity and 4 scripts will have started to run all within 30 seconds of each other. No idea what it's doing during the meantime.



The log is usually meaningless to me, too. Sometimes it *will* correctly say a client is off-line. Other times, it's not telling me anything -- except on how it's walking through things.



I would also not necessarily recommending deleting *all* past activities. This has the exact same effect as removing and readding the media set to your scripts -- the proactive server will do an alphabetical walk through of your *scripts* and then the clients *within* the script -- before going to the next script alphabetically, etc.



Not sure if any of this will help your situation, though. You didn't indicate if your "40 clients" are *all* your clients (meaning it doesn't seem like it's working at all)?


Or 40 clients out of 100 (meaning some clients are still backing up correctly...)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Proactive Backups scheduling under 8.1 is a mystery as well to me as to when activities will fire off. I've asked about this and most people at EMC are in the dark about this as well.

Steve, you are in luck. That section of the Retrospect 8 documentation has been found online:

Interactive Proactive Backup Scheduling answers


Just ask your question.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...