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General Problem with Offsite Copy to USB

Created: 28 Feb 2013 | 5 comments


I currently look after approximately 100ish System Recovery installs from the days of 8.5 through to 2013 (majority on 2011 or 2013) all on windows server operating systems from 2003 - 2012.

We have a pretty general problem with offsite usb drives not automatically optimising when the job is ran, ie, we keep 2 weeks of recovery points on the NAS (total of say 800gb to make the maths easy!) and then have two offsite usb drives, each with 1tb capacity, what we find is that the drive will update fine when it is completely empty and write all 800gb across over the course of the two weeks to each drive as it is changed in turn.  Then when the NAS optimises (and this works without issue) the onsite job will complete and then when it tries to run the offsite copy it will run the drive out of space because there is not room for a full base recovery point (400gb) on the drive.  We then end up at the point where symantec is no longer aware of the recovery points from the last two weeks and there is no chance of the USB offsite copy being deleted automatically. This then has to be done manually and then the job will need to catch up taking the time to write all of the recovery points that have been created since the last optimisation of the NAS.  

As you can imagine with looking after a large number of clients running system recovery this has pretty much become a full time job for something i feel should "just work"  I understand any product requires some amount on hand holding but the amount of time spent on this is becoming a bit ridiculous.

If anybody else has experienced this please lets see if we can try and resolve this because I have read a lot of similar issues on these forums but the fix always appears to be "delete the points manually" If i was looking after one server, even ten servers this would be fine but with the large amount we support we are considering moving to another product to reduce the amount of maintenance time required.

Thanks in advance,

Sam Walsh

Operating Systems:

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Chris Riley's picture

I'm not sure I completely follow the description of your problem but does this sound like the issue you are seeing?

Samwalsh's picture

That looks very familiar I must admit! That looks as if it is related to only 2010, are there any hotfixes available for other versions, i would expect to see more instances of it reported as it seems to be a pretty major problem for all of the installs we do in completely different environments.  But then again it could be the way we are setting the job up.  What would you recommend as a setup with the following theoretical hardware setup

1 x 2TB NAS (for onsite)

2 x 1TB USB (for offsite)

200GB compressed data (eg, 1 recovery point)

Keeping weekly incremental recovery points (Monday - Base, Tuesday-Sunday Incrementals)

The way I would look at that is that we could aim to keep 10 weeks of onsite backups at a time and the USB drives should stay updated accordingly keeping 5 weeks at a time.  However, what we are finding is that on week 6 the offsite copy fails saying that the USB drive has ran out of space and that is what is physically occuring on the drive.

Any help would be appreciated.



Chris Riley's picture

I will have to check but I'm fairly certain this will also affect 2011 and 2013 versions of SSR.

You are using 2 x USB drives but can you confirm if you have set 2 offsite locations or just 1 offsite location and then rotating these 2 drives?

How many recovery points sets have you specified within the backup job (setting for 'limit the number of recovery points saved for this backup')?

Samwalsh's picture

The job is configured with two offsite locations (i,e 2 drive letters) and then the drives are rotated and keep their fixed drive letter.

Like I said the above is theoretical but if this is the real life situation I would configure this to keep 10 recovery points on the job settings and all of the automatic optimisation settings as you normally would to autodelete recovery points, as I said, the "Onsite" backup to NAS works fine and optimisation occurs on there as you would expect it is just the offsite drive that is not kept up to date.

Thanks, Sam

Chris Riley's picture

Do you have a current active machine that is experiencing this issue? If yes, can you provide a directory listing of what is held on the primary and offsite locations? This should give me an idea of what is going on here.