Home

Cardbox Talk

 

CardboxForumsCardbox Talk > "Backups"

Backups

Recommended backup procedure

Current user: [none]
Register / Log In · Help

Posted By Post

Juan

28-Jun-2009 15:51

I have been building up a database including non image files and it is now up to 46 Gb. Last night, after adding a record, it suddenly sort of crushed and looked more like the format file than the fields file. I thought I had lost it but after closing it down and re-openning it all seemed alright again. Now here comes my question. I use to back up the file on to a CD then a DVD; but now it is too big for that. So how do you guys back up your files, other than just copying it to an external hard disk drive. Or is that the answer ?.

bert

28-Jun-2009 17:16

Juan,

My db is not 46 GB, 'only 20 GB'... I backup on this way:

I added a field: "backup_record". Added a validator to that field so that if a record is edited, field "backup_record" (always) is filled with an "x". Also every record has unique number (used automatic numbering). Another field (date_saved) saves date + time a record was saved.
For backup I wrote a macro:
- select records with "x,
- write them with dmp format to disk (filename is date + time)
- remove all "x" in "backup_record".

Restoring is a little more complicated.

A macro reads the dmp file in a temp copy of the database.
In the temp db record by record is compared to field "date_saved".
If a record is newer in temp than in the existing db, the content is updated in the database.
When a record does not exist in the database it is added.
If record has an older "date_saved", it is ignored.
After the macro, all records in temp are deleted. Ready for next dmp file!

This seems complicated, however, it works fine. Actually there are only two macros: backup and restore.
This way of working saves a lot of disk space, you save also interim versions of your records, and it works easy.

Finally: it is always good from time to time to use the Cardbox option "rebuild database". Especially in large databases it speeds up your database, but you've also a fine check if your db is consistent.
Regards
Bert

Charles Welling

28-Jun-2009 17:37

Well yes, that's the answer. Tapes are unreliable. Many years of experience taught me that. Online backups are certainly no solution for larger databases. I've experimented with them for over a year and it was a huge failure. Too slow and generating fatal errors on a daily basis. By the way, this was not the built-in Cardbox S3 backup procedure.

The point with backups is that you should have enough copies in safe places to reduce the chance of disaster to an acceptable minimum. Hard disks are fast, cheap and reliable. One hard disk is not reliable enough, but at today's prices you can buy quite a few to spread the risks.

At the moment we are installing a simple server (could also be a PC) with no less than 7 Freecom Datatanks attached (USB). Each Datatank has 2 x 500 GB in RAID 1. A single one is used for daily backups and the remaining six contain the weekly and monthly backups.

Our files are copied across a fibre optic line to another location, but you could even make the backups and take the drives home every day. Or store them at your local bank.

All external drives we have used for quite a few years have been Freecom drives, and not a single one has ever broken down. I can really recommend them (www.freecom.com).

Skyscan

29-Jun-2009 08:58

We use a backup Synchronising software by PeerSoftware.com called Save n' Sync to backup the whole Cardbox database (and other office files) daily but it can also be set to backup in real time if needed.

We also backup to a different pc on the network so that if the main storage system fails ( a 1TB Network drive) we can switch the connections and begin work immediately feeding off the other pc, or you could use a second NAS drive. I also backup the whole lot monthly to external hard drives. We prefer not to use RAID in case the whole unit fails.

Another sync software in Chronosync I believe and I think Macs have something similar.
regards
Brenda Marks
Library Manager, SKYSCAN

Charles Welling

29-Jun-2009 19:48

Brenda, I'd like to respond to your "We prefer not to use RAID etc", because other users might get the wrong impression about RAID.
RAID is no substitute for backups. What RAID accomplishes for you depends on what RAID configuration you have. RAID1, i.e. two identical drives reading and writing simultaneously, increases the reliability of your system insofar that in case of a crash of one of the drives, the other one continues. If you use a single drive, all data written after the latest backup would be lost after a crash.

There are three categories of incidents you must protect yourself against.
In order of seriousness:

1. deletion of a file, including accidental overwriting
2. crashing hard disks
3. fire, explosions etc.

1: Easy. Make copies while you work.
2: That's where RAID1 comes in.
3: That's when you really need a backup in another building.

Not only my servers are RAID1, but, just to be on the safe side, all my backup drives are too. And, dont laugh, they have automatic fire extinguishers. Better safe than sorry.
By the way: did anyone of you ever calculate what it would cost to replace your data? I did, and it gave me a good scare.

Juan

29-Jun-2009 23:56

Thank you all for your suggestions.Bert I like your Macros and will try and have a go. For now I am going to continue backing up to various hard drives.
Thanks for suggesting RAID, probably not my prefered option; and Charles you never cease to amaze me with the extense of your knowledge and willingness to help.

Juan

29-Jun-2009 23:56

Thank you all for your suggestions.Bert I like your Macros and will try and have a go. For now I am going to continue backing up to various hard drives.
Brenda, thanks for suggesting RAID, probably not my prefered option; and Charles you never cease to amaze me with the extense of your knowledge and willingness to help.

Juan

29-Jun-2009 23:57

Thank you all for your suggestions.Bert I like your Macros and will try and have a go. For now I am going to continue backing up to various hard drives.
Brenda, thanks for suggesting RAID, probably not my prefered option for now; and Charles you never cease to amaze me with the extense of your knowledge and willingness to help.

Mags

15-Jul-2009 10:50

Hello, from a complete newbie with back up problems. I have a smallish database (all text) which I want to back up on to a memory stick. I have a simple version of cardbox bought earlier this year, so no macros or anything high powered. I just cannot find a simple way to back it up. For example, 'copy to' command, or drag and drop.

Please help!

Charles Welling

15-Jul-2009 11:08

"Copy", either chosen from a menu or invoked by CTRL-C is the best choice. Although "drag-and-drop" does the same thing, it tends to go wrong most of the time. First of all, if you don't hold the CTRL key while you drag, the file is moved instead of copied. And when you accidentally release the mouse button while in the process of dragging, the file is copied to the folder you were just passing over, but which one was it?

So, the safest way to copy is: use Windows Explorer, copy your database, navigate to your memory stick and paste the file. And keep in mind that memory sticks are easy to lose.

Mags

16-Jul-2009 15:13

Charles brilliant! I'm very grateful and so easy when you know how. I used copy and paste. Many thanks

Quick Reply

Please log in or register before trying to post a reply.

 
© 2010 Cardbox Software Limited   Home