How to do a biweekly full?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by VanguardLH, Feb 29, 2008.

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  1. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

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    The scheduling options in Acronis TrueImage are very poor. I can select to run a full backup every 2 weeks on Monday early morning. Okay, so how do I schedule an incremental backup to run biweekly, too, on the other Mondays?

    I schedule a full backup to run on Monday at 4AM. Its backup interval is 2 weeks. No start date can be specified. I could schedule an incremental backup to also run on Monday at 4AM with an interval of 2 weeks. Without the ability to specify the start date, I cannot get the full backup to run on one Monday, the incremental to run on the next Monday, and so on. If I schedule the incrementals to run on Tuesday to Sunday then there is no backup on every other Monday because I have a biweekly full but no biweekly incremental (that will NOT run on the same Monday as the full backup).

    Full backup
    - Biweekly.
    - Runs on Mondays at 4AM.
    - Start date is on next Monday.

    Incremental (Monday)
    - Biweekly.
    - Runs on Mondays at 4AM.
    - Start date is 2 Mondays from now.

    Incremental (Tuesday-Sunday)
    - Daily.
    - Runs every Tuesday to Sunday, inclusive.
    - Start date is irrelevant (but probably would specify to start after the next full backup).

    What happens if different backups overlap when they execute? If, say, a both a full and incremental backup were scheduled to run at the same time, what would TrueImage do? Will it actually try to run multiple concurrent backups jobs?
     
  2. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    No two tasks can run at the same time. The first running task has to finish or get interrupted first before the next task can start.
     
  3. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

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    So if the full backup is scheduled to start at 3AM on Monday and an incremental is scheduled to start at 4AM, will the incremental be put on hold until the full backup completes? If so, the pending incremental would be very tiny since the full backup just completed before the incremental could start.
     
  4. NumLock

    NumLock Registered Member

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    Yes thats true.
     
  5. jorge7

    jorge7 Registered Member

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    If the incremental start time is before the full backup end time, I don't think the incremental backup will automatically wait and start as soon as the full is done. Could you run your full backups every other Monday at 3 am and your incrementals every day including all Mondays at 4:30 or 5:00 am or an hour after the full backup would usually finish? That would allow enough time for an unexpectedly longer full backup, assuming the program did not hang up.
     
  6. VanguardLH

    VanguardLH Registered Member

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    Acronis provides no means to make its jobs conditional. That is, you cannot specify that a job does not run until another job has finished. That means you can never guarantee that a prior job finishes by the time the next job is scheduled.

    A full backup can take anywhere from 3 to 18 hours. It depends on whether or not the user is currently using the system, the priority of the backup job, other processes that are running at the time, and other factors. So matter how long I schedule the incremental job to start after the start of the full backup, there is a possibly of an overlap. Plus, I want the jobs to run while I am sleeping so the computer is as idle as possible and the jobs won't interfere with the responsiveness of the computer when I want to use it. There are other jobs scheduled to run while I am sleeping so backups do not get the entire night to execute.

    I normally start the backups at 4AM because that is when the computer should be free and also allow several hours for the backup to complete so hopefully they are done before I want to use the computer in the morning. Full backups usually take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to complete. It will take longer as the disk space consumption increases over time. The incremental backups should take less time so I can start them later, like 5AM.

    If the later starting incremental backup job will pend until the previously start full backup has completed then the setup will work. The daily incremental that pends waiting for the full backup to finish will be extremely tiny in size. The full backup just completed so there would be few files, if any, that have changed since the full backup just ended. That means a full + incremental job set on Monday should still complete before I want to use the computer in the morning. The incremental that immediately follows the full backup is really just a throw-away backup but Acronis doesn't provide start dates for backups to let me alternate them properly.

    "If the incremental start time is before the full backup end time, I don't think the incremental backup will automatically wait and start as soon as the full is done." No, it is the OTHER WAY around. I want to schedule the full backup to start at 4AM. The incremental backup will start at 5AM - which is LATER than when the full backup starts. If the full backup has not completed by 5AM (very likely) then I wanted to know if the *following* incremental would pend until the full backup completed.

    Full backup:
    - Monday.
    - Interval = 2 weeks.
    - 4AM

    Incremental backup:
    - Daily (including Monday).
    - Interval = 1 day
    - 5AM

    The full backup runs every 2 weeks on Monday and starts at 4AM. The daily incrementals run everyday and start at 5AM. This results in an overlap on Monday every 2 weeks for a full that runs at 4AM and an incremental that runs at 5AM.

    It would be far easier if Acronis provided a decent scheduler, or simply abandoned their scheduler and used the one in Windows. Yes, I know about using the command line to specify which TI scripts to run but: (1) It is a workaround that is exercised outside the program's config windows; (2) Isn't anything that I want to try to get other users to figure out; (3) TI seems to think scripts still exist after their tasks and files have been deleted; and, (4) The script filenames change if you edit the task and you end up having to figure out all over again which one to use in Task Scheduler. The workaround of manually creating and updating scheduled events in Task Scheduler really sucks and I'm not going to waste my time with it. If jobs in TI Home will pend when a job is currently executing then I can make do with that behavior. That is, if TI Home is only capable of serially executing its jobs then I can schedule them so they pend until the current job finishes.

    Acronis doesn't let me define scheduled tasks that are conditional; i.e., task B can't run until task A completes, and task C can't run until both tasks A & B complete, and so on. Even the Task Scheduler in Windows doesn't let me do that. There was a task scheduler at a prior employer that I used that let me define conditional task execution but I can't remember what it was called (and it wasn't cheap at, as I recall, around $150). However, Task Scheduler in Windows does let me define start dates. If the Acronis scheduler had that, or if Acronis decided to abandon their duplication of a scheduler and use the one already there in Windows, I could define a full backup that ran on every 2 weeks on Monday, an incremental that ran on every other Monday at 2 weeks, and a daily backup to run every day on Tuesday to Sunday, inclusive. Their Home version TI doesn't have any of that in its scheduler.
     
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