Archives for: August 2011

08/31/11

  06:16:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 964 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Storage

Crashplan Evaluation Update

In the continuing evaluation of CrashPlan, I hit a snag last weekend. The servers were down...and everything stopped... not only could I test the online functionality that morning, local backups between my home computers also stopped. And, many of them required me to give the service a kick a time or two, before everything would work again. My laptop, the only computer I'm currently backing up to Crashplan hadn't backed up in nearly 48 hours....kept saying it was offline, but restarting the service finally got it to see that it wasn't. I had to reboot some of my Windows computers due to software upgrades, so I hadn't noticed this problem at first.

Wonder what the availability of the service is...does this thing happen often? Is there a notice somewhere, explanations, etc....or is my Enterprise IT background affecting my expectations?

Then last night I hit a new snag. In redoing the RAID5 on Zen, I went and recreated the old partition as a full 3TB...and its used for Windows Image Backups and Oops!backup. And, the remaining space ~1.1TB got made into a new partition that I set aside just for CrashPlan. Its a bit more than what they offer for their seed option.

I have a lot of media files that I've accumulated over the years...some organized, some not....but duplicated on different systems. And, some of those systems are getting old, and lately...I seem to spend more time/money on backups and maintaining... than replacing or migrating those systems. But, the main problem is the duplication of files among my different home computers.

Now I had originally looked at Crashplan (and other in the cloud solutions) as something to do backups of my laptop data, and not be tied to my home network, etc. And, then grew to being offsite backup for my important media collection, especially all those pictures and videos I've taken over the years (most of my traditional format is lost, water damage...someday I should sort through that)...and everything else as I become more and more digital. IE: when I did the closing on my mortgage....I signed lots and lots of papers for mortgage company, but my copy was just a CD-R. Seemed all the SA people I spoke to, said Crashplan was the one...though when I first raised the idea around the local IT crowd, Carbonite was mentioned. But, Crashplan supports Linux, and that's important...since I'm running a Linux laptop.... though cloud backup and my laptop was original more of an issue when I was thinking of getting a Windows 7 laptop (at the time Windows 7 had changed something that broke smbclient from talking to it, but smbclient has since updated to work again....so I can still do backuppc on my home network....)

So, initially I pointed Zen and 4 other computers to the 1.1TB Crashplan volume. Zen is just backing up my profile directory (default), which is less than what I have Oops!Backup protecting (since not everything crams into the My Documents/My Pictures/My Videos/My Music...and even those that do...aren't organized much and dumping them in with other unorganized data would just make things worse....but I had intended to get everything off of TARDIS onto Zen....though I don't know where I left off, and don't know how to get back.) So, obviously all of TARDIS is one of the other 4 computers. Figure I want lots of backups of that system for when it finally packs it in....plus I'm strongly considering a Mac to replace it. And, it likely won't have the kind of storage (initially) that TARDIS has now. I also pointed Gumby to it, it has a couple external drives...where I know there's duplicate files between them (I treat one drive as archive and the other as active media...and I haven't cleaned up the active drive in some time. And, I still make copies to a couple network shares....one of which is still from TARDIS. (one of the things that didn't make it to Zen, because the DVD media center app doesn't work beyond XP....even though the service part is Java) Someday I'll upgrade to Blu-Ray and retire the old DVD player....

And, then I pointed box to it (because it happened to throw up a SMART warning the other day, and I'm not ready to do anything about it) and a local for my laptop.

Well, last night I was checking the laptop's backup progress....it does take a long time to push out my home directory on the laptop to CrashPlan central. And, saw that the local backup had stopped because the destination was full. Hmmm. Didn't expected it. Thought the service did data deduplication? But, I stopped it. Only I clicked the button next to the destination, rather than the button much lower down on the dialog (which required me to expand the dialog to see it). This resulted in ~1.1TB of data going poof, and all the other computers to lose it as a destination. I only wanted my laptop to stop going to it. So, slowly...Zen, TARDIS, and Gumby are working on backing up to it again.

I then got to wondering that the data deduplication feature I thought Crashplan offered. I found out that its only deduplicating per computer, not per account. That's going to be a problem now....since I'm pretty sure given that my backuppc pool is ~4.1TB (of 5.5TB) right now..that a 1TB seed disk is going to help much...and its even worse since it hardly does any dedup...the kind that I need.

While I would backup less to Crashplan than backuppc, with the duplication of data between different home computers not getting deduped....I could end up needing more than 5.5TB to backup all my home computers to the cloud.

Guess I'm going to have to go back and figure out what I want in cloud backup....

08/23/11

  08:24:32 am, by The Dreamer   , 1100 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

Oops!Backup, Crashplan and RAID5 OCE on Zen

I may have mentioned that I've been trialing Oops!Backup on Zen....the 30-day free trial period ended last week, and a few days before it ended. I went and bought a license. But, not the 20% off that I found an email for after I had gotten the license....wonder if the 120-day guarantee still applies.

Because on Saturday my system crashed....it was acting weird, and the desktop had gotten messed up...figured explorer had crashed on me, and not all my systray icons came back. So, I logged out to log back in. Except instead of the login screen after the black one....I watched the bios boot sequence :??: And, it got stuck. So, I had to powercycle to get it to try again.

Starting to question my decision to go with HP. Especially since they sold me an extended warranty that doesn't apply to the computer that I bought it with... :## At least Dell did good with its extended warranty service....they replaced my Dell monitor that died under the Dell system warranty, even though I bought the monitor after I got the computer + warranty. (The Dell 18" LCD was a step down from the 21" CRT that I had....but it's an LCD!)

Anyways....things eventually came back up and everything seemed fine....until the hour, Oops!Backup failed with "Oops!Backup encountered an error while versioning your files. Please try backing up again. (4043)". So, I tried it again. And, again.... I think the software needs some kind of self-repair?

It continued to not work for a while, so I tried looking online for an easy fix....found nothing. So, I fired off an email to support. Didn't really expect much, given that it was Saturday night. But, got an email on Sunday to download and run a tool to collect logs and send them the result. Almost the size of a typical explorer :>>

But, then I didn't hear anything until Tuesday morning. The explanation is that a particular metadata XML file has been corrupted or tampered with for some reason.

First I'm to make sure that I didn't tamper with it, and that I'm not continuing to tamper with it.... umm, sure blame me.

So, I'm to delete it, exclude it, backup, re-include, backup....and then what?

A backup takes a really long time....a lot of stuff has changed since Saturday night. Current attempt has been running for over 30 minutes....though the backup destination is busy with other things as well (more later).

No joy. :`(

It had said the metadata XML file that was corrupt was the one for the _gsdata_ under Documents. Digging around, I eventually found where the error logs are kept...and see that its now complaining about _gsdata_ under Pictures. Wonder if its more that there's a race every hour when GoodSync is running and sync'ng my Documents/Pictures/Music/Videos folders or it was just the crash that killed it. Or, if there's any need to have _gsdata_ backed up by Oops!Backup

17.17GB of changes with both _gsdata_'s excluded.... Another 70.75MB after including them back. Guess we'll see in 37 minutes if its all fine again.... U-(

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08/12/11

  07:50:08 am, by The Dreamer   , 216 words  
Categories: Hardware, Storage

ST31500341AS vs 0F12117

So, thinking about how the sync of the ST1500341AS to 0F12117 was slightly slower than the sync of 0F12117 to 0F12117, I wondered what specs about the new drive would edge out.

Specs for the ST31500341AS that I could track down include:

Formatted capacity               1500GB
Guaranteed sectors               2930277168
Heads                            8
Discs                            4
Bytes per sector                 512
CHS                              63/16/16383
Recording density                1462 kbits/in max
Track density                    190 ktracks/in avg
Areal density                    277 Gbits/in2 avg
Spindle Speed                    7200 RPM
Internal data transfer rate      1709Mbps max
Sustained data transfer rate OD  135 MBps max
I/O data-transfer rate           300 MBps max
Cache buffer                     32MB
Average Latency                  4.16 ms
Track-to-track seek time         <0.8ms read
                                 <1.0ms write
Average seek, read               <8.5ms
Average seek, write              <10.0ms

Specs for the 0F12117 that I could track down include:

Recording density                1443 Kbpi
Track density                    285 Ktpi
Max areal density                411 Gbits/in2
Data buffer                      32MB
Rotational Speed                 Coolspin (5940 RPM)
Media transfer rate              1366 Mbps max
Typ Sustained transfer rate      136 MBps max
Interface transfer rate          600 MBps max
Heads                            6
Discs                            3
Bytes per sector                 512
CHS                              63/16/16383
Total Logical Data Bytes         2000398934016 bytes
Number of sectors                3907029168
Track-to-track seek time         0.5ms typ 0.7ms max read
                                 0.6ms typ 0.8ms max write
Average seek, read               <8.5ms
Average seek, write              <10.0ms
Average Latency                  5.05 ms

Probably all comes down to recording density....the Hitachi 2TB having more data stored on in less area than the Seagate 1.5TB, makes the Hitachi faster than the Seagate....

08/11/11

  07:47:49 am, by The Dreamer   , 718 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Storage

The storage upgrades on Orac and Zen begin

Because one of the 1TB RAID1 drives was starting to fail...I was looking at options to replace it.

I original had a plan to upgraded one of my 1.5TB RAID1's to a pair of 2TB drives....freeing one of the 1.5TB drives to test out the OCE/ORLM feature of the RR622 & TR5M-BP on Zen...converting the current 2x1.5TB RAID0 to a 3x1.5TB RAID5 (or perhaps 4x1.5TB) Oops!Backup seems to be doing well and its filling up the space, I'm sure there's a setting to tell it not to, but not an issue at the moment. Guess I should buy it before the 30 day trial runs out.

At first I was looking at new 1TB drives....though for $20 more I could get 2TB drives, the same kind as the 6x2TB RAID10. The 1TB and 1.5TB drives have been 7200RPM (as were all previous drives)....the Hitachi's are the first of the greener drives....5940RPM. Given that I'm doing PM RAID in a first gen PCI Express box, I'm probably still not seeing the full potential of the greener drives.

Full story »

08/07/11

  06:43:59 pm, by The Dreamer   , 165 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Storage

Another Harddrive is biting the dust

Two years ago I bought a pair of 1TB drives from NewEgg.

This being first Sunday and all, mdadm checkarray ran on Orac for several of the arrays (the 3 arrays that share the 5-bay port multiplier enclosures are excluded, and get run individually later....since running at the same time is slow)

Anyways....1 of the 1TB drives spat lots of errors....and Orac is pausing now as it spits errors now and then. Guess I'll look to getting a new 1TB drive via Amazon Prime?

I was curious, and went to check warranty status on Seagate....nope. Really, went over to NewEgg to see when I had gotten the drives and what kind of warranty it had.... Only a 2 year warranty. Guess that's that.

Wonder if I should buy one new drive, two new drives....and if I go two new drives....should I get bigger ones? They don't fit the original expansion plan I had....plus my usage has grown to where the old plan doesn't work anymore....

hmmm.... &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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