details on quotas on backup locations?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by kronhead, Dec 30, 2006.

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  1. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    I am using True Image 10. Is there more detail on how quotas in backup locations actually work, and the best way to use them? I am doing some testing, and have two issues:

    1) it appears quotas are applied AFTER the backup is complete. So I think you would have to set the quota BELOW the physical space you have, allowing sufficient room for the largest backup to be created. Originally, I had a 30 gig partition, and set the quota to 29.5 gig (just to avoid running out of space COMPLETELY) - but I guess I need to lower that if a full backup takes, for example, 3 gig. Does this make sense?

    2) I created a smaller partition (7.9 gig) so I could run tests and see what happens when the quotas are hit, and space is short. I am waiting for a full backup tomorrow to confirm item 1 above. But tonite, after the backup, I had a full backup and 4 differentials, totaling 4.7 gig. The space quota is 6.2 gig. There is another 2.8 gig file there that I created to ensure tomorrow's backup would NOT fit - it happens to be a copy of a full backup - but with a different name and no suffix, so I don't think TI would know it was a backup. Anyway, the disk space quota was hit - why? I guess I just assumed the location size quota only applied to backups - not to anything else there. Bad assumption, I guess.

    But - once it was triggered, I expected the oldest differential to be deleted. The log says it will delete one backup, then it says "disk is full", then "error while clone operation executed" (twice) - then it starts a verify for the latest backup, then ends when that was done. There is about 1 gig of free space at the moment. Why didn't it just delete the oldest differential?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Dan
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello kronhead,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Yes, you are right. The backup location checked for rules violations after the backup archive creation. If any limitation is exceeded, the oldest backups will be consolidated or deleted after the new backup will be created.

    Please note that this for done to provide Acronis True Image users with more security. It could happen that for some reasons the new backup archive creation may fails and the user might end up with no backup archives at all (since the oldest backup was deleted first).

    If you would like to have only one full backup and wish it to be overwritten each time, you could set backup location maximum size to the size of the backup archive (3 GB, in this example). If you wish to store more than one backup the size should be set to fit all the needed backup archives.

    Taking into consideration my comments above and the fact that the partition size is 7.9 GB, used space to the moment of the full backup archive creation is 4.7+2.8=7.5 GB, there is not enough space on this partition to fit file larger than 0.4 GB.

    I hope my explanation helps you to figure out how the backup location works. If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2007
  3. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    I was suggesting that checks were done AFTER the backup - is your comment a typo, or is it really checked before backup? I guess I don't care so much about limits on #'s of backups - my concern is that Acronis cannot deal with the situation where there is insufficient room for a new backup - a situation that could be handled by deleting the backup first, or dealing with an out of space condition when it occurs during the backup.

    I understand the risk of deleting an old backup before a new one is created - but not GETTING a new backup is a pretty serious situation as well.

    And my testing indicated is that you need not just enough free space for the new backup, but also for whatever this "consolidation" process is - is there any documentation on this? - because I had DELETE's fail - and how much space should it take to do a DELETE?

    Actually, I am trying to figure out how to MAXIMIZE the # of backups I can have in, say, 30 gig. I have submitted a tech support request - case 869712 - and am still waiting for an answer.

    Dan
     
  4. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    If using size limits, I think you need to leave room for one more backup. Say you want a limit of 20gb and the backups are about 10gb each. Then you would want to have rom for at least 30gb. Why? Because ATI doesn't delete the excess backup until it has successfully made a new one -- a good safety measure, if you think about it.
     
  5. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    Thanks for the input but I think its even worse than that. Here's the response from support:

    the old archive files are deleted only after the consolidation process, so the limit can still be exceeded. The amount of space needed for the consolidation is equal for full backup size + the first incremental backup size.​

    I wish I knew where consolidation was explained - I am not sure why only the FIRST incremental backup applies here. But using this info: it seems to me I need space for a new full backup PLUS a full backup plus the first incremental backup. So if I have 30 gig, and a full backup takes 3 gig, and the first incremental take 300 meg, I need to set the upper limit to no more than 23.7 gig - probably less, to allow for growth, variability, etc.

    What I would prefer is just deleting old versions without consolidation. I am using differential backups instead of incrementals, so simply deleting the oldest differentials, and then, when all the differentials are gone, deleting the preceeding full backup, would maximize my recovery options. As it is, I guess I will change from differentials to incrementals.

    I have to say that dealing with Support via email is like talking to someone on Pluto - it's hard to have a dialog when there is a 24 to 48 hour delay for a response. It does make you VERY CAREFUL to ask precise questions - I just wish they were as careful in giving precise and complete answers. And they don't even OFFER paid support for Home users.

    Dan
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello kronhead,

    We are sorry for the delayed response.

    Yes, it was a typo. I am sorry for this. I edited the post #2 accordantly.

    Let me clarify this. The first incremental backup here means the first incremental backup made after the full backup (the oldest incremental backup). Therefore, as Eugene said in his reply to your request, if the quotas are exceeded, the space needed to create a new incremental backup along with consolidation of the old incremental backup is equal to the size of full backup + the first (oldest) incremental backup.

    Actually, we do have phone-based support for Home users as well. It named Per-incident Support. If you wish to resolve your problem via phone, please visit Acronis on-line store regarding the purchase of phone priority support.

    Thank you.
    --
    Aleksandr Isakov
     
  7. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    Yeah - I saw that. Did I read it right - $29.99 PER INCIDENT? Pretty outrageous pricing! More than 1/2 the price of the product!

    Dan
     
  8. cnpeyton

    cnpeyton Registered Member

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    I feel your pain with the backup location enigma. I have been trying for quite some time to make sense of the backup location feature and the quota's and am lost. As a few suggested in my thread, your best bet is to just start changing things around and see if you can make it work. Personally i think this is ridiculous. My current scheduled back is exceeding the size quota, is currently on the 16 differential even though i said only do 14 before a new full, and keeps reporting disk is full errors when it tries to do the next full. IMO, it is an absolute joke that a company cannot document is features any better then this with some valid examples. The whole reason for backup locations is so that you don't have to do any work to make room for new backups like manually deleting old backups. Of course this sounds great, actually getting it to work is more of a magic trick.

    Chris
     
  9. majones

    majones Registered Member

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    As I calculate it, you need free disc space over and above your quota of one full backup plus two incremental backups. Let me know if I'm wrong.
     
  10. RTmxp

    RTmxp Registered Member

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    I can not get the backup location to work at all. Maximum Backups is set to one. I'm trying one incremental every full but TI always does two incrementals before the full and then two fulls and starts a third. TI is supposed to delete the oldest backup set before starting on the third but never does and I get a disk full error everytime. At least it's consistent (ly wrong). My full backups are 70gb and I have 180gb backup space in a external usb drive. I will try setting everything to zero but I am very disappointed right now and hope this will be fixed in a patch soon. Maybe if I donate more money it will happen faster.
     
  11. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    If you've set up your backup location to keep one backup, that includes any incremental backups that you might run. Since you're accumulating more than one file my first guess is that you haven't set up your Scheduled Task quite right. Are your backup file names in this format? 2007_01_28_16_52_27_379F.TIB
     
  12. RTmxp

    RTmxp Registered Member

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    Full backup is: 2007_01_28_14_39_47_839D.TIB
    Incremental after this is: 2007_01_28_14_39_47_839D2.TIB

    My incremental task was set to start another full backup after ONE incremental but I kept getting two incrementals and then the full and two more incrementals and then a full that filled the disk before completing. Backup Location was set to one backup...I (must/might) be missing something but it's just not working the way I think it should. I can't do what I want anyway. I would like to have at least a full backup and about a weeks worth of incrementals (as a set) at all times but to do that I guess I need at least 250gb backup space (depending on the size of the incrementals).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  13. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    As far as I can tell, it does not do any deletes BEFORE doing a backup. Their argument is they don't want to leave you without a backup ... I would say set yours to full backups only, keeping only one. But you will need enough space for two - so it can create the new backup before deleting the old one.

    You might be able to do one full, then one incremental, then one full ... it would depend on how big your incrementals are - but I don't think you would have enough room to do the consolidation it would do as it pruned your backups. Not that I understand consolidation ... not that it's documented.

    Dan
     
  14. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    RTmxp,

    This is what I would recommend, also.

    I've spent quite a bit of time trying to understand this issue, with no success. If you set up a test backup location and a test scheduled task to backup a small amount of data, you can see how the process is supposed to work. It certainly appears that either the size of the backup or, more likely, the available space, is what is causing the function to fail. Acronis has posted how the process is supposed to work, but hasn't to my knowledge posted clear guidelines on what one needs as far as space and consolidation time to handle large backups with incrementals. If the program is failing it would be so very nice to know why.

    The following is not an answer to the Acronis problem, but if it makes sense and can work for you, I believe it is a better way to back up large amounts of data, depending on the type of files that make up the bulk of your data. My computer has approx 70GB of data, only 7GB of which I use TI to image. The rest, which consists of My Documents, music files and a large number of photo files, has been moved to separate partitions and is backed up, using a synchronization program, to the same external HD I use for images. I don’t know if this approach is feasible for you, it has worked extremely well for me. My TI images are small and fast, all full images (no incremental of differential), the other data is backed up with the sync program which copies only changes and deletions to the external drive, making that backup very fast also. It also keeps irreplaceable files out of the True Image cabinet files. I’ve never had a problem with a corrupt TI image, but if I do, I’m only faced with reinstalling all my programs and not becoming a problem drinker because I’ve lost all my data files.
     
  15. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    Catfan432 - can you say where Acronis has posted info on how incrementals, and/or the consolidation process, works? I would be interested in reading that.

    Also - what sync program are you using? I do the same thing you do, syncing data files between drives, using Sync Now from Liuxz.com. I did have a problem recently when my source USB hard drive failed, and, in the process, appeared empty at some point. So Sync Now proceeded to empty out my target drive as well. I don't blame Sync Now - I should have used a more conservative option of not deleting files automatically - and I had an offsite backup of JUST ABOUT everything - but I have now started a nightly TI backup of data as well.

    Dan
     
  16. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    Well, I was probably being too kind, as what I was referring to was the general description they've posted in this thread and others. I've seen nothing specific on the consolidation process. You might take a look at post #4 in this thread, where I posted what I was seeing as far as incrementals and consolidation. It's a process that I personally distrust, because of the consolidations, admittedly with no hard data to justify that mistrust.

    I'm using ViceVersa. It has a lot of nice features, one of which is to archive for a period of time (user defined) any files that are deleted on the target because they are no longer on the source.

    CF
     
  17. MikeE

    MikeE Registered Member

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    I have used FileBack PC for a long time and find it an excellent program. It operates automatically in the background backing up any files that are changed immediately after they have been saved (or on a schedule depending on how you configure it). The program is highly configurable and saves files as they are - not as proprietary formats. It is a good product in conjunction with an imaging program like TI.
    http://www.maxoutput.com/FileBack/
     
  18. whobie

    whobie Registered Member

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    Just to add my personal experience with quotas.....I have mine set to full back up after 6 differential with a max of 8 backups. I did this in the hopes of getting 1 full, 6 differential, then another full for a total of 8. Then I assumed (becuase of lack of documentation) that the oldest would stop dropping off. Well surprise, surprise....after the 6th diff. I don't know what it did. I have 7 backups under the naming scheme I set up that all now say "This is volume 1 of multivolume image archive DTBkup.00.tib.", "This is volume 2 of multivolume image archive DTBkup.00.tib.", etc. I suppose this is consolidation, who knows? Did I mention ther is no file named DTBkup.00.tib as the message states? The files are named DTBkup.001.tib through DTBkup.007.tib! :mad: Then I have a 3 volume archive (the latest) named 8B2394E2-786D-467B-AB65-F8C85B9E6BC4FDP1.TIB, 8B2394E2-786D-467B-AB65-F8C85B9E6BC4FDP2.TIB and 8B2394E2-786D-467B-AB65-F8C85B9E6BC4FDP3.TIB. It says these volumes are part of archive 8B2394E2-786D-467B-AB65-F8C85B9E6BC4FDP.TIB which also doesn't exist. Yes folks this give me a warm and fuzzy feeling that I am protected. Now I am getting a popup that I can't cancel or X out of that says this archive is password protected. Anybody have any ideas on this or am I just another user helping Acronis debug V10?
     
  19. CatFan432

    CatFan432 Registered Member

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    These three files look like the file format I see when I open Explorer to the backup location during a consolidation. The files disappear then the process is done. Never seen three at once, tho. Hazarding a guess, it's possible that you're seeing the popup because the process isn't complete. I'm just speculating based on what I can see, it's not based on any hard data or, what's that word? Documentation?
     

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  20. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    I agree with CatFan432 that some of these - the ones with the long names - look like intermediate files. I think the password protection is also an indication of this - they do this so you don't try to use them if you are unlucky enough to find them.

    Did your backups terminate with errors? You should be able to see this in the logs. Or - did you have to terminate these tasks? I think I had to reboot to kill a backup task - which tended to leave these kinds of files behind. You can probably just delete them and try to go forward.

    Finally - I think the way you have your backups set, you will always be going through consolidation. When it is time to delete your oldest backup, it can't delete the full backup and leave you with useless incremental backups. So it uses consolidation to give you a new full backup that is one day newer, by combining the full backup and an incremental. And of course this takes disk space to do.

    (I wish it offered an option to just delete the oldest INCREMENTAL backup - leaving a gap in recovery ... or maybe this makes sense if you are using, and it deletes, differential backups ...)

    I think the best way to go is to not try to manage based on # of backups - unless you just have unlimited disk space. Instead, create a "backup location" and set the maximum space it can use for backups, and make sure that is less than the FREE space you have - allow enough extra space for the consolidation - which is the sum of one full backup and the largest incremental backup. Or do all full backups ...

    Does that make sense?

    Good luck
    Dan
     
  21. whobie

    whobie Registered Member

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    Thanks CatFan!

    Yes, it did have errors - Disk Full - but terminated "Successful". It was in the middle of a delete/Consolidation. Good call kronhead! I am going to follow your advice and try a size quota instead. Was/is V9 so sloppy and somewhat amaturistic? I've been writing code for 27 years on platforms varying from huge IBM mainframes down to PC's and never would I have let some of the things I have seen here make it to the end user!

    Thanks for your words of wisdom guys. I'll get something workable set up. I really didn't bank on having to dedicate this much time fooling around with this software just in order to do backups. I'll get there though.

    Lee
     
  22. majones

    majones Registered Member

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    Where have we got to in this thread? Is there a definitive answer - ie if you have a quota of X then you need additional free space of Y for the deletion and consolitaion process to work as it should?
     
  23. kronhead

    kronhead Registered Member

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    If anyone else is watching this thread:

    I have been running fine for several months with a 30 gig volume for backups, with a location size quota of 22 gig. Acronis has been able to do consolidation as needed. Today, I had a failure - Disk Full - during the consolidation.

    I see that some incremental backups have taken as much as 900 meg, while some are as small as 150 meg. One was 1.1 gig. The biggest used to be about 500 meg - I am not sure what changed. Full backups are 4 to 4.5 gig.

    So - I have to do cleanup of this failed consolidation myself, delete an old cycle of full and incremental backups, and lower the location size quota to avoid future problems. I am going to reduce it to 20 gig - leaving 10 gig unused!

    Basically, my opinion is that True Image has lousy disk space management and lousy error recovery.

    Dan
     
  24. ajmaske

    ajmaske Registered Member

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    Glad to hear someone is doing good with ATI, after I applied the udpate I was able to get the email notification working but now I'm back to the problem of the Backup Locations not appropriately deleting when the criteria specified is met. o_O

    Looks like I'm gonna have to try to completely uninstall and reinstall again for this update.... :(
     
  25. jez

    jez Registered Member

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    I stupidly paid for an update from version 9.1 to 10.

    After playing around with the quotas for hours I got no where. Acronis have no documentation or examples how this works, no explanation of the file structure. Does it work? I could write better documentation in the space of an hour if I only knew how it worked, instead of a couple of lines.

    Can someone confirm this for me... how can the incremental backups consolidate or delete the older versions when the quota is full anyway. Surely all the incrementals are needed for recovery anyhow.

    Would I be correct to say that it only works for differentials or full backup theno_O

    And while I'm complaining:

    1. What's the point of giving us error numbers, what's wrong with a useful description. God knows what my password error is for, my backup completed anyhow.

    2.what's the matter with confusing menu options on the left changing, updating and having the same options on the tool bar and again some where else. Why not just show all the options all the time, clearly in one place, there's no that many. It's like a game finding the "tasks" at times.
     
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