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Backup Sets & Removable Drives

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I suspect I may have an issue around using Removable USB Drives, and I cannot find a clear explanation in the docs regarding how Retrospect treats removable drives.

There is mention of it making provision for them, but exactly how is not elaborated.


I have 2 disk backups sets, Romeo & Sierra, each with a single member on a removable drive with Volumes and Physical Drives, also labelled Romeo & Sierra.

A single Pro-Active script points to both Romeo & Sierra backup Sets.

The theory is that RS will backup to whichever Disk Drive is available.

The user alternately takes 1 drive off site each day.

This is based on the white paper describing using Pro_Active backup with Removable drives.



All was well until Romeo kept filling and Sierra did not, and backups failed entirely if the Romeo Drive was offsite.


On investigation, by inspecting the Directory structures on the Disks, and the Porperties of the Members, I discovered that BOTH Romeo & Sierra Backup Sets were pointing to the Romeo Disk Drive. Quite how this happened I don't know.


I checked that all Sierra BackupSet's container files were accounted for, and copied them all back to Sierra Disk Drive, Re-built the catalog, and all has been well since.


However, on any given day, one of the drives is offsite. Pro-Active Monitor Tab (Backup Sets) shows the present drive as "Ready", and the missing drive as "Media", this seems reasonable, BUT if I go to Backup Sets, and check the member properties for the Backup Set on the Offsite drive, it points to the "Other" present drive.


I suspect that this is OK provided no backup attempts to run to the "Missing" backup Set. If it does, I think RS will create a directory structure for the Backup Set on any available removable drive.


I am beginnnig to wonder if Retrospect would prefer to have a single Backup Set, with two members, one on each physical drive. It might then write to whichever "MEMBER" is available.


Can anyone elaborate on how best to setup Retrospect to deal with this situation, and explain how it works, or point me to some documentation on this?






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Version is 7.6.123


On the customer production site I use two Iomega USB External Hard Drives, each with a separate Disk Backupset.


For testing I use two USB Flash Drives each with separate Disk Backup Set.


I did not use Removable Disk Backup set, since I figure that USB External HDD and Flash Drives are not "removable" in the sense that say a Rev Drive is "Removable". Is that possibly an issue?


I am right now experimenting with the alternate approach of using a single BackupSet with two Members.


A first observation on this setup is that when monitoring the BackupSet in Pro-Active monitor it shows ready if either or both of the member disks are present, which is cool. But since it shows ready if any member is present there seems to be no way of telling if ONLY one or BOTH members are present. {It would be cool if there was a visual indication in the BackupSet\Members window indicating which members are online/offline}

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A second observation is that the Single backup Set with 2 members approach is not going to work automatically with Pro-Active backup.


I started my test with Both drives connected, repeated backups went to the First Listed member of the BUSet.

If I removed this member the on the next pro-active cycle Retro Stops and asks for the first member instead of automatically using the 2nd member which is present and online.


This is in contrast to the 2 BackupSet 2 Disk Approach which automatically uses whichever Backupset/Disk is available.

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No, should I have?


I tried again, stopping ProActive backup but it did not make any difference. In fact it was worse in that this time it did not pop up the Media Request Window, The status of the Source in Proactive monitoring just showed "Media"


So it looks like the correct approach is Individual backupSets on individual drives. That indicates that the logic to choose whichever backup target resource is available resides in the script processing rather than the BackupSet.

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Experimenting further with the 2 BUSet 2Drive approach, I noticed the following:-


(Note I am using 2 Flash drives to simulate the USB Hard Drives.


When Creating the Backup Sets :-

Specify the root of the drive - RS warns and then overwrites the whole drive, and sets the VOlume Label to the backupset member name.


Specify a directory on the drive - RS creates the BUSet structure in the directory specified and sets the Volume name to the BUSet Member Name.


I seem to remember reading somewhere that this is the clever bit. Recognising a USB drive, and the fact that being removable, the drive letter is unpredictable, RS labels the volume for the BUSet member so it always knows which BUSet the member belongs to, even if the drive letter changes.

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  • 4 months later...

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