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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


Retrospect Server/Timed Scripts

September 24, 2004

It never ceases to amaze me how much I don't know about stuff I work with every day. I'm sure my clients don't want to hear that, but it's true.

I've used Retrospect for over ten years, both personally and professionally for my clients. The past few years we have been leaning heavily on the Backup Server mode of operation (where Retrospect is on 24/7, and backs up individual network clients when they need it as they are available-- it pretty much rules).

Today I learned that you can have Retrospect both act as a backup server and run timed scripts. Additionally, you can have a timed script always back up to whatever device is available (something that is basic stuff for the Backup Server Mode, but you do have to tolerate errors). Here's how:

Set up your backup server script as you need it, with it's sources, multiple destinations, criteria and on/off timings. Then create whatever specific timed scripts you need as well, and schedule them. It just works.

Now, if you want your timed scripts to run on whatever available media there is, set up your schedule as normal, except, for every scheduled execution, create an entry (at the same date/time) for each destination you have.

For example, we have a server that backs up 10 workstations plus itself. The workstations are a mix of desktops and laptops, so availability is unpredictable. The server must shut-down a particular process in order to backup successfully-- this happens at 2AM. So , I have two scripts.

Script 1 is a Backup Server script, and it backs up the Network Clients Container to Backup HD A and Backup HD B. I'm using pretty much the default settings, which means each client gets backed up as soon as they are available, any time after 24 hours after the last time they were backed up. We set Retrospect to back-up only folders and files that are Labeled Green.

Script 2 is a normal Backup script, and it backs up only the Local Desktop Container to Backup HD A or Backup HD B. It is scheduled twice each day at 2:05am, right after the server process shut-down, once to Backup HD A and once to Backup HD B. Since only one backup HD is available at a time (the other one being taken off-site), only one of the scheduled executions will execute successfully, the other will fail. But the data does get backed up, and on schedule without fail. A bit difficult to comprehend at first, but flawless.