B&R 10 Suite Paid Edition - scheduled cyclic backup w/email notification

Discussion in 'Paragon Drive Backup Product Line' started by netznyc, Aug 9, 2010.

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  1. netznyc

    netznyc Registered Member

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    I'm trying to set up a cyclic backup with the paid edition of Backup and Recovery 10 Suite. All the threads in the forum refer to the above file, but it no longer exists on the Paragon FTP server.

    I want to set up a scheduled daily cyclic backup that backs up a WinXP computer so that it does not exceed the capacity of the NTFS-formatted 1TB USB drive to which it would be backed up.

    I would like to receive an email notification of successful backup upon completion.

    I have a second NTFS-formatted 1TB USB backup drive that I would like to periodically swap with the first USB backup drive in case one of the backup drives becomes corrupted.

    Could somebody walk me through the steps of accomplishing the above? I've reviewed the documentation, but find it confusing and see how I might achieve pieces of what I want to do but not how to put it together.
     
  2. Paragon_MattK

    Paragon_MattK Paragon Moderator

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  3. netznyc

    netznyc Registered Member

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    That's an interesting tutorial, but unfortunately it doesn't describe my desired backup configuration as described in the original post.

    The fault-tolerance the article describes is weak. If you have a backup media failure (the backup drive itself fails) then having two different backup sets on the backup drive is useless. It would seem to me better fault tolerance is achieved through having two backup drives that are swapped periodically. If possible, I would like it so the user can swap the two drives at will. Setting this up is effortless using Win7's built-in backup. It can be scheduled/set up in less than a minute including Win7 automatically eliminating older backups when the backup media is nearing capacity. Could you explain how to accomplish the same thing using the Backup & Recovery 10 Suite, paid version?

    Also, what is the advantage of using the differential backup wizard, vs the cyclic backup wizard?
     
  4. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    For the fault tolerance part, I am curious, why not go with a simple inexpsensive hardware raid drives enclosure of 2 drives using Raid 1, like one of the Sans Digital TowerRaid or MobileStor Models (tr4ut-b, ms2utn, etc) and get active protection ?
     
  5. DrumMemory

    DrumMemory Registered Member

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    netznyc,

    Please explain what is involved in your scheme to "swap" disks. If these are external drives, and only one is mounted at any time, you can assign the same drive letter to both and the swap will be essentially transparent to either Windows 7 backup or Paragon's backup. In either case, you would want to manually force the backup program to begin by doing a full backup. It's easy in both cases. (On the other hand, if these are internal hard drives, you've taken a more challenging approach!)

    Again, if these are external drives, you can give yourself additional redundancy either by storing one of the drives off site or by mounting both and using Windows 7 backup to back up to one and Paragon to the other.

    My reading of the Windows 7 backup storage management scheme is different from yours.

    Windows 7 distinguishes between "system images" and "backup sets". Assuming that you have more than one partition -- the system image is taken only of the partition holding the operating system; the backup set backs up all partitions. Both kinds of backup data are created and stored, so there are multiple copies of some of your files, in two different forms. The backup set is actually a full backup plus a set of differential backups. Especially if you have multiple partitions, the backup set will be considerably larger than the system image files. The program creates a new backup set when the old set becomes some percentage larger than the original space for the full backup -- you can't control this decision.

    But the key issue for you is that, if I read their documentation correctly, they automatically delete only old system images, not old backup data sets. They maintain a limit on system image files that they occupy no more than 30% of the space on the disk. But there is no corresponding 70% limit on the backup data sets. You have to manage that space yourself, manually. That is not what you expected or want. Paragon Tommy's scheme allows you to set up a completely automatic space management system.
     
  6. netznyc

    netznyc Registered Member

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    DrumMemory, thanks for the very thoughtful and detailed response. What you describe is exactly the setup I have in mind. And to answer JosephB's question about why not an external RAID tower instead, using two external drives very inexpensively provides the ability to keep a backup at an offsite location, which a NAS or RAID tower does not.

    It may be that I misunderstand Paragon Tommy's method. Could you actually use that method to swap two external drives at will, automatically managing the space without paying very close attention to the day of the week that you perform the swap? In other words, if you swapped the drives on random days, would the full/differential backup cycle chug merrily along without getting confused and reporting an error condition?

    It appears that PT's method manages space simply by recycling the full and differential backups periodically. If at all possible, I'd prefer the differentials continue to be made until the external drives approach capacity for the purposes of greater backup depth. I'm also am unsure how to use the wizard method he describes yet still avail myself of the option to set up successful backup notification emails.

    Thanks for the clarification on the Win7 backup. I had been under the impression that all backups it created were handled by the space management feature. Was unaware that it was images only that are managed.
     
  7. DrumMemory

    DrumMemory Registered Member

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    The answer to your question is YES, as long as the drive contains a full backup of the appropriate name. Once you got going with both drives, this would always be the case. But you probably would be better off if you "seeded" the new differentials with a new full backup, as I mentioned in my original note. The reason is that without a new full backup, the differentials would be taken against an older full image, and so the differential files would be larger. This would, however, give you more redundancy, but only for the first week in which the "new" drive was in place.

    Your description of PT's method is correct. I think it will be hard to devise an automatic scheme to switch external drives when one is getting full. If you are willing to do that manually, you could just use the "cyclic" wizard and let it take differential backups until you noticed that the disk was getting full. This does take manual intervention by you.

    But note that, as you said, PT's method takes differentials periodically. You can change the period based on how often you want to swap external drives and so you could use more of their capacity. You could easily extend PT's method to do more than two weeks -- I keep the last four full backups and all the daily differentials thereon. This requires making four copies of each of the two scripts rather than two. Alternatively, you could change PT's method from weekly to monthly easily -- there is a "day of month" function in the script language as well as a "day of week" function.

    One final note, cribbed from what I just added on another thread: "DB10 has one surprising characteristic vis a vis differential backups. As you probably expect the storage required is considerably less than for a full backup. However the time required is similar to a full system backup. Apparently DB10 checks every sector to see if it has been modified, so a differential backup reads as much data as a full image backup; it just writes much less. DB10 is considerably faster than some other backup programs, so this" isn't really an issue. The point is that the idea of seeding the external disk with a new full backup isn't a big deal -- you only have to remember where (in which week) the schedule is (by looking at the scheduled tasks in the Windows task scheduler). The cost of doing the full backup in this case is not greater than the cost of just letting it start up with a differential backup. Either will work, so you don't need to worry about forgetting to do the full backup.

    Email notification is a completely independent option, which you set up once in DB10 Pro or Server. Once set up, every DB10 task, manual or automatic, will result in an email.
     
  8. netznyc

    netznyc Registered Member

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    Thanks for all the good info, DrumMemory. I'll give it a whirl.
     
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