TI Backup schedules/schemes thoughts

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by deerwood, Feb 17, 2006.

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  1. deerwood

    deerwood Registered Member

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    Hi all,

    very satisfied with TI's basic backup/restore mechanisms I'm disappointed by the scheduling/task interface (I've seen more then 10 requests for the standard windows task manager instead of the TI one, probably because of the more advanced features?)

    An even better task manager would be UNIX/Linux cron (probably with some better usable interface for most of us, I would be fine with the bare bones).

    But a good Backup software has to offer even more: e.g. UNIX/Linux Amanda offers intelligent switching from differential to incremental backups depending on the (estimated) size of backups: if an incremental is too small, a new differential is done instead, to save restore time and backup space.

    And Amanda does even more: it manages the whole schedule automatically (depending on configuration, naturally), so that, at least, the last XXX days are restorable. Amanda decides on it's own, if it is time to do a full backup, a differential, or another incremental.

    I would wanna have sort of that!

    These are just first thoughts, please don't come on in this too heavily.

    Best regards, Georg
     
  2. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello deerwood,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Your collaboration on this matter is very much appreciated.

    If you want us to change the behaviour of Acronis True Image in any way or add some new features to this product, please feel free to post any of your suggestions in Acronis True Image WISH-LIST thread.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  3. deerwood

    deerwood Registered Member

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    Dear Alexey,

    thanks for your friendly answer(s) here, elsewhere and all the time!

    Before adding to the WISH-LIST, (which is flooded already and might better get it's own forum) I prefer explanations/discussion in this thread, until some reasonable suggestion is found.

    I'm aware, that backup schemes around are VERY different, depending on users/companies needs. Anyway, let's think about just one type of requirement/preference.

    Today I'll try to note/discuss one point: TI schedulers lack of features compared to XP task manager.

    Say, I wanna have a backup schedule keeping 7 days of work at minimum and 14 days of work at maximum. Every week (sunday) I wanna have a full backup, every other day in the week I prefer a differential backup against the sunday one.

    With TI's scheduler I can easily have a full backup every sunday and differential ones every other day. Fine. But the next sunday the full backup will be overwritten, rendering ALL existing differentials useless, as they refer to a full backup no longer existing/valid.



    (If I'm wrong here, please correct me asap, to not confuse others, and tell me, that e.g. TI automatically moves the old backup to a different name and makes all diffs refer to that moved backup! Or whatever clever solution YOU might have implemented. But then, I will complain about a documentation error [one of the worst in backup/restore scenarios]!)



    TI's scheduler offers also 'everey 2 weeks'. Fine. But that just elongates the time period from 7 to 14 days. On the sunday 2 weeks later again all differentials only take up backup space, as the original full backup got overwritten.

    What is missing in TI's scheduler is some sort of an OFFSET!

    So that I can tell TI to backup my disk every 1st, 3rd, 5th ... sunday fully to 'disk_odd' and add another task to tell TI to backup every 2nd, 4th, 6th ... sunday to 'disk_even'. The differentials would be setup/done similar.

    The XP task manager at first looks very similar, almost identical, to TI's scheduler. BUT it has an advanced mode, where sort of an offset can be set for jobs. Especially one can specify a start date for jobs.

    That way, one is able to tell the XP scheduler the essential difference between 1st ... odd and 2nd ... even weeks.


    Still only first thoughts and nothing for the WISH-LIST (except eventually whats's between the lines).

    Best regards, Georg
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Georg,

    Please accept our apologies for the delay with the response.

    Please be aware that Acronis True Image overwrites all the differential backups if they are taken from a full backup that were already overwritten.

    This algorithm makes all the differential backups at the moment when the full backup was created useless, because the full backup that differentials were taken from no longer persists.

    Thank you.
    --
    Kirill Omelchenko
     
  5. thae

    thae Registered Member

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    georg, you can use the windows task scheduler together with acronis

    here's what we did:

    - created a task that executes a vbs script
    - the vbs script first tests if there is an existing backup set of 7 entries
    - if there is a 7-set backup (i.e. 1 week), that backup set is moved to /old
    - then, trueimage is invoked by executing precreated .tib files (see acronis documentation for this)
    - additonally, after the backup, the freshly created backup is copied to a remote share

    that way you can have all the needed flexibility...
     
  6. deerwood

    deerwood Registered Member

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    Dear thea,

    Good idea! Instead of using vbs, I think, one will equally be fine to just execute a batch file from windows task scheduler? Or a shell script in my case, as I'm using cygwin? Or even cygwin cron/crontab instead of windows task scheduler? I'll give that a try and will report back.

    But still: I initiated this thread, to discuss deficiencies of the Acronis scheduler with the intention to make TI a better product. So that Acronis gets told, what users needs are, when scheduling jobs.

    And one point/requirement already was between the lines of my previous post: TI's scheduler SHOULD have another user setting: the start date/time of a job (and, maybe, an end date/time for very specific needs?)

    Thanks, best regards, Georg

    PS: get me right, please; TI saved my (developers) life with it's essential features. It was able to backup an almost broken harddisk (60MB) completely to an external USB drive in 2 hours (due to the problems with the already almost broken device) and restored to a totally new and unformatted 80MB harddisk in about 1 hour, extending the partitions at the same time, to use all the new available space. After reboot I just could continue work!

    The best 39.00 Euros I ever invested. I'm using open source most/rest of the time :) ! And thus, I'm missing the ability to inspect the current implementation, think about and just :) develop, test and contribute a better solution.

    Maybe, Acronis would do well, to open the source of it's software in some minor areas, as the scheduler for instance. I'm NOT asking for the source of the essential features, I'm fine with Acronis keeping that part secret (as long, as it works!!!).

    But, in my impression, Acronis would profit from the Open Source concept in those minor areas, when they would publish/make available the basic API, well documented. And they clearly should have the final control over all contributions.

    I believe, they would get back many good ideas, almost ready to be included into the product, with little cost.

    At least, I would do my homework, to be able to do, what I want, from inside TI.

    Again, best regards, Georg
     
  7. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    Frankly I think Acronis has their hands full fixing all the bugs in the basic functions when releasing new versions and addressing newer hardware.

    You found 10 posts concerning scheduling.
    There are probably hundreds asking for direct dvd burning and they have been promising that for 3 years and are still promising it in future builds.

    I, for one, am extremely pleased that I have reliable basic functionality to restore an os drive, saving me weeks of work.
     
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