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Feature to Pause Active jobs

Created: 11 Mar 2011 | 16 comments
Sush...'s picture
15 Agree
3 Disagree
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In Backup Exec sometimes there are jobs which run over a time of 30 to 40 hours.
Many time there happens to be need where we have to do some maintenance on the server and so have to cancel this long running active job. This waste the time of the user as that cancelled job is no good... So have to restart the entire job again.
So there could be one enhancement in Backup Exec and also in Backup Exec System Recovery where user will get a feature to PAUSE the active job and then start/ resume it later as per the convenience. This will save lot of time and will be more User friendly.

Hope this helps many users. Your suggestions are welcomed.

Thanks,
-Sush...

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pkh's picture

Let's say, the user paused the job for a day, how is BE going to backup a system which already has a day's worth of change between the start of the job and when the job resume?

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CraigV's picture

...no other vendor does that. From my side I simply put the job on hold, and then start it up later. Maintenance on a job that runs long would be done on a weekend, or a Monday morning from my side when the backups weren't running.

The ONLY practical application I can see this working in is with inserting additional tapes...but not for any length of time.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

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macpiano's picture

It's my understanding that a hold only stops the NExt job not the current one. My backups can be a couple days sometimes.

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CraigV's picture

...obviously it only affects the next job. I never said otherwise. I make the changes needed WHILE the job is on hold for the next run...not during. If I made changes, these would most likely necessitate a service restart which would result in a failed job anyway...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

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Andreas_Bechter's picture

To your point of "...no other vendor does that."

Actually Symantec NetBackup has the function to suspend and resume jobs and a couple of other means.

The driving force for the suggestion from Sush was the Maintenance aspect.

In NetBackup we have covered this aspect through a couple of measures:

1) Checkpoint Restart for Backup and Restore Jobs. If a job fails it can be picked up again at the last checkpoint.

2) Media Server Load Balancing. Jobs get dynamically assigned to Media Servers for the backup. As long as your infrastructure in the backend can be accessed through multiple Media Servers your job can be picked up again at the last checkpoint even if your Media Server that was doing the backup should fail in a worst case scenario. Without the shared backend the jobs will have to start from the beginning.

3) Media Server Maintenance Mode. Maintenance is a more common scenario where you want to shutdown a Media Server in a planned way. Once you initiate the Media Server Maintance Mode active jobs will be completed but no new jobs will be assigned to this Media Server. Once all jobs have finnished you can shutdown the server and do your maintenance. Bring it up again, end the Maintenance Mode and new jobs automatically will get assigned.

4) Client Offline. If you have a planned maintenance for your clients you can set the client to "offline until". Active jobs will complete, new jobs will not be queued. The time you had set the client to be offline until means that the machine will automatically be checked in again into the job scheduling without the admin having to worry to not forget a machine.

5) Suspend and Resume of jobs.Stop an active job and resume the job later. Let's say you backup to tape and all your drives are busy writing but you get this superurgent restore request. This allows you to supend an active job and get the restore in.

6) Re-prioritization of a job. Level up or down the priority for execution. In conjunction with #5 you want to give the restore job a higher priority so that no other backup job jumps on your freed up resource.

In general I think it is a valid consideration on dealing with maintenance windows that Sush was bringing up.

regards,

Andreas

Andreas Bechter
Regional Product Manager NetBackup IMG EMEA, Symantec Corporation

www.symantec.com
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pkh's picture

Suppose I am backing up 10 files that are updated by an application. The backup job is suspended/paused between the 5th and the 6th files, i.e. the first 5 files were backed up, but the last 5 files were not backed up. The application continues to update the files. When the backup job resumes, does NBU backup the first 5 files again since they have changed or does the job just continue with the last 5 files? If it is the latter, the completed backup would contain files from 2 points of time and they would be inconsistent.

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Rigas's picture

I've had scenario #5 happen twice in the past year.

/Nick

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amparisi's picture

Actually, Commvault Simpana Galaxy allows flat file jobs to be suspended (not databases or exchange stores). I've worked with versions 7, 8 and am testing 9 they all allows this.

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Sush...'s picture

@PKH: May be we can add a function to set the job in Pause mode for limited period of time which will not exceed lets say 12 or 24 hours time limit.

@CraigV: Well Maintenance on the servers is usually done on weekends only and most probably the 30-40 hours are also usually weekend full jobs....so this functionality will be helpful greatly to pause for pausing the weekend jobs for some time like 6 hours, then performing the maintenance on the server and resuming the job again...

Thanks,
-Sush...

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

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macpiano's picture

I was in the middle of a 72 hour job where I needed to put in a SCSI card for a tape drive. It would have been nice to pause it, shut down the server, install the card. start it up, then continue the job.

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Sush...'s picture

Thank you for sharing your scenario of backup jobs. I suppose your scenario will be most appropriate and perfect practical scenario where "Pausing of active jobs" will be helpful.

Thanks,
-Sush...

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

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Kiran Bandi's picture

Agree with sush..

May be some small disadvantages may be there, but will get good advantage with this feature while running some file server full backups for days...

Thanks...

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Linas's picture

I remember back with dos backing up with floppy disks

If you have an error on one disk your backup is worthless
if your backup takes days I would very strongly look at ways to change this

I realizes backing up to disk is much more reliable than tape or floppy disk but still.

We had a similer situation our backup were getting longer and longer  24 hours until we found our server was on a 100 meg hub we switchted it for Gig and it went down to 3 hours

If network speed is not the issue I would try to break up the backup in smaller chunks

Instead of backing up the whole drive try blocks of directories

If a backup take more than a day I don’t know how reliable your data is from user changes

Also running continues backups will degrade user ability to access data your backing up and all the additional load on your network

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wuchgwan_dunow's picture

Checkpoints! Checkpoints! We want checkpoints!

And a pony.

 

Thank you.

p.s.. (In all seriousness, please guys. Just go visit the Netbackup engineers and buy 'em a beer. "Hey, can you write how you guys do that checkpoint thing down on this napkin? Greeeeaaaaat.. thanks. Nice meeting you. Yay Team Symantec." *exit stage left*)

more p.s.(Take a LOT of napkins with you.)*

*(A whole lot. Like, fill your car with them. 'Cause that code is old and long as the day, can't believe you don't have it yet.)

 

Boy, I'd love it if I could pause this job in my job queue. Yup. Sure do wish I could.

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Sush...'s picture

Hello there,

    With BE 2012 Checkpoint feature is added in the Backup Exec. Checkpoint comes into picture and backs up only the leftover files from the selection list when the backup job fails at any one point.

 

Thanks,

-Sush...

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

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mackr89's picture

I really hate having to cancel a backup job just to inventory a drive because tape is full or something.  We only have 1 tape drive.  I used to use Commvault at a different company and it would allow me to pause a backup, inventory drive, and resume.  You should add this feature Symantec!

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