Does incremental backup need any exterior info?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by versus, Jul 15, 2008.

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  1. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    Does incremental backup need any external info?

    Have done an incremental backup on HP LTO3 tape from TI Echo Server 8076. Both full backup and 1 increment are visible when restoring from a system that is newer than these 2 on tape.

    Visible backups are:

    13.07 08.28 full
    13.07 09.03 increment

    After having restored to the 09.03 visible backups are

    13.07 08.28 full

    Why is it so? Looks like the info on backups is stored somewhere within the system. Shouldn't it all be on the tape itself? Does this mean I cannot go back to the latest increment if once I mess something up with my system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    It's not clear what's being recorded to what and when. Possible you just restored over the image that contained the other increment?

    Restoring should not have any effect on the restore source files, only on the target (where you are restoring to).
     
  3. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    You need to be clearer. Where are these images "visible"?
    If you store the backups on the drive you're backing up, that backup will not be in the image since it has not yet been created. If you then move that backup to an external device and restore from it, the restored drive will not contain the backup image file since, again, it was not in the image to begin with.
     
  4. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    My question is: Why is it that the listing of the available backups (visible after selecting the source - in my case LTO3 tape) vary according to what date your system disk is restored to.
     
  5. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    They are visible after I select the TAPE as a source of the backup. Tape should not be a subject of change, shouldn't it?
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I guess it depends. When you select tape as the location of the backup image, what happens? Does it read through the whole tape looking for files, does it read some sort of table of contents off the tape, or is there some file on the disk that the tape software created that holds the table of contents? I don't have a clue.
    Sorry.
    The contents of the tape have not changed. Is there a way to refresh the view when you get to the selection window? Maybe double clicking or collapsing and re-expanding the tape selection?
     
  7. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    I am afraid this is the case. This, of course, is higly impractical. Imagine you have restored to an archive and after messing you system up you can only restore to an earlier version as this one becomes unavailable due to a change made on the disk.

    Same happened when I inserted some other tape by mistake. Inserting the right one didn't help (neither did restarts and reinserts of the same tape) as some info got screwed concerning the the removable storage portion of the system and the tape could not be "allocated". No problem with the same tape on a "healthy" system (a copy of the same partition)



    In order to preserve you backup you should take care that you don't screw your server installation. This sucks big way.
     
  8. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    Maybe, in my first post, I failed to render my problem comprehensible so the gravity of it slipped by. This behavior of the serious backup software is totally unacceptable. I'll try to be more clear this time.

    By making a backup of your HD you want to make sure that what is contained on the backup media (in my case LT03 tape) is a "true image" of the data that existed at the time of the backup. Once your backup media is stored properly you can rest assure tha no matter what happened to the source of the data (whole building catches fire) the moment you provide new hardware (new computer, new HD and new LTO drive) you will be able to restore the data that existed on your defunct system to the last bit. This is what I want from decent backup software. Make the integrity of the data preserved within the backup media.

    So after having backed up incrementally (scheduled daily backups) my only HD within MS Server 2003 on the HP StorageWorks Ultrium 920 tape reader to a 800* GB RW LTO3 Tape using TI Echo Server build 8115 all of the archives are visible and are fully restorable.

    BUT WHAT IF YOUR MACHINE FAILS (and this is why we back-up)!!!


    Here's what I've planned:

    1. As With TI Echo Server bootable rescue media can only restore an archive created by itself and not created within Windows environment there will be no easy moves by putting a TI in the CD and restoring from the tape immediately. Ok, I can live with that.

    2. In order to avoid installing a system from scratch I planned on creating from the bootable rescue media an archive on tape A, holding only bare system (Windows 2003 Server) with TI Echo Server so I can later use it as a platform to restore other incremental backups created on tape B during the regular daily backups, as these cannot be restored by bootable media. This is when I hit the wall.


    Here's what actually happened:


    if I restore the bare archive contained on the tape A and boot into its system, TI cannot see the whole content of the tape B. It sees only the content created before the creation of the Tape A. So, the archive on the tape B is not independent, but it is linked with some info in the system which is by nature vulnerable thus negating the whole purpose of backup.


    My conclusion is: Backing up on tape in Windows with TI Echo Server is useless as you won't be able to restore the archives that are created latter to your system. The content of the tape is NOT INDEPENDENT. I know I had better tried this product extensively before buying but it was my naive philosophy that backups to tape in server environment should work flawlessly as so many people and businesses use it. Luckily I didn't lose any data as this happened only in the attempt to reproduce RL situation.

    Could someone test the above scenario and post the results? Do you see the whole tape no matter your system is antedated?


    thanks in advance


    P.s

    What if miss (uninstall) TI Echo server from the tape A and install it afterwards. I guess new install won't recognize tape at all. I'll try and will let you know.
     
  9. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “I planned on creating from the bootable rescue media an archive on tape A, holding only bare system (Windows 2003 Server) with TI Echo Server so I can later use it as a platform to restore other incremental backups created on tape B during the regular daily backups, as these cannot be restored by bootable media. This is when I hit the wall.”

    I’m probably missing something here and I don’t use tapes for backup, however as far as I know, the FULL and DIFF images need to be in the same place in order to restore. Using HDs as an example, I can’t restore from a DIFF image stored in folder MY_DIFFS if the FULL image is not also in that folder.
     
  10. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    Imagine this

    Your hardware, computer, system, whetever you call it, is GONE.
    All you got left from it is the TAPE B with your HD backed up incrementaly during a period of time (full archive and the incremenets are all there on the tape).

    Now you buy all new hardware and try to restore your HD as it was.

    With tapes you cannot simply put bootable TI cd and restore your TAPE B in PE envoronment as this was made in windows and these archives can only be restored in windows. So you need to put windows first. But since you don't want to install from the beginning, beside your TAPE B you have the TAPE A, made by boot cd, archive which contains early system with only Windows and TI . This is put on only to save time (avoid install from scratch). From there on you try to restore with TAPE B which contains both FULL and INC images. Why is it that you are only able to see only few backups (those that were made before you created TAPE A) and not all of them is still mystery to me. Some part of Storage Management probably needs reseting to make all of it visible. I just need to know for sure which one before relying my backups to TI.
     
  11. versus

    versus Registered Member

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    I am narrowing down my problem. This is from the manual

    "Additionally, the program stores metadata on tape, so that identification information can be obtained when mounting a tape that is not registered in the database.

    If the database is lost or not available (say, you detach the tape device and attach it to another computer or reinstall Windows) the necessary information is derived from the metadata saved on the tape and the database will be recreated on the new host using the
    new host RSM."

    how can "lose" database manually so I can get stored metadata from tape
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello versus,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Server Disk Backup Software.

    We are sorry for delayed response.

    In such situations it's recommended to rebuild the RSM database:
    1. Start the Computer Management tool, double-click Services and Applications, and then click Services.
    2. Locate and stop the Removable Storage service (or change the startup type from Automatic to Disabled), and then restart the computer.
    3. Start Windows Explorer, open the %SystemRoot%\System32\Ntmsdata folder, and then rename the existing files in this folder so that they have an .old file extension, or copy the files to a different folder.
    4. Restart the Removable Storage service (or change the startup type from Disabled to Automatic), and then restart the computer. After the RSM restarts, it creates a new database.

    Please also notice that the build (8115) of Acronis True Image Echo was recently released. To get access to updates you should first register your software.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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