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Backup to tape "freezes" after about one hour

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We're using 4 Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced licenses to back up 4 servers.

One of these servers is used as the central management server with a storage node and a tape loader attached.

We can create disk-based backups of every server without problems but backups on tape don't work correctly. So far we're only experiencing problems on our file server - which has the most files so this server takes the longest out of the 4 to save.

If i start a tape backup for this server, the tape loader will load a tape from the correct pool (we have 2 tape pools) and start the backup like normal. After about one our the tape loader stops writing... at that point there is no way to cancel the backup in Acronis... it will accept the command, but it won't do anything... the tape loader is show as "in use" in Acronis but it's not actually writing anything, in fact the web interface of the tape loader itself shows that it is idle.

At this point I have 2 options to cancel the backup - I can restart the agent on the server that's being backed up or I can restart the storage node service on the management server - both of these options usually cause the underlying process to crash (in fact I don't think i was ever able to restart all Acronis services without something crashing as well - but it's not always the same process and it doesn't happen every time). But anyway, after forcefully killing processes and restarting the backup in progress will cancel automatically.

If i just restart the agent on the remote server the backup will cancel but all the tape loader problems still remain - it will still display the device as "in use" and if i start an inventory of the whole device it will start the inventory and give me a (fake?) success message after 2 seconds... the tape loader will still do the inventory for 10-20 more minutes and Acronis does not get updated in any way. Even after the inventory is actually finished it still shows the same situation. I can even tell Acronis to move tapes around - which it will do, but it still won't update... so for example I tell Acronis to move tape 1 from the drive to slot 1... this it will actually do, but after it's done it still shows tape 1 in the drive, even though it's been successfully moved to slot 1.

If I restart the storage node service on the management server instead of the remote agent on the file server, the backup will fail as well but the tape loader won't misbehave like I mentioned.

UPDATE: after trying it again just now I had to restart the Managed Machine Service on the remote server (and forcefully kill the process after it didn't restart by itself). Restarting the remote agent or the storage node service did not help and they also didn't crash this time...

It looks to me as if this is related to the tape drive and doesn't have anything to do with the data that is being backed up - it won't freeze at the same point all the time anyway, sometimes it manages to back up 300 GB before crashing, sometimes it's 500 GB and so on. The first time we tested this it actually worked as well, we were able to back up the server on tape. But since then it never worked again. By the way this is the only server we have that takes longer than 1 hour to back up so it might also be time-related.

Finally, I monitored the StorageServer.exe process while it was backing up to see what's going wrong but the only thing I could see is that the process also stops creating TapeLocation libraries as soon as the tape loader stops writing. There is no error happening, all the log files I was looking through were no help at all, the tape loader did definitely not cause any error, it just did not receive any more information that should be written on tape.

We are using a "Dell PowerVault TL1000 Tape Library", which Acronis identified as an "IBM 3572-TL"... I didn't check this but the devices look the same so I think they might work with the same driver...and as already stated everything was working at least once before... even though Acronis does not show the state, number of drivers, number of slots or number of tapes for this device, you can still expand it and have access to all the slots and drives.

So, what else can I do to find the problem?

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Hi Thomas,

The symptoms indicate that most likely there is some hidden "need interaction" prompt occurred while writing data to tape. The details of these operations are logged in arsm.*.log files under C:\ProgramData\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\ARSM\ folder on the machine which has the tape connected. If looking through this log doesn't give any clues on what goes wrong then it makes sense to contact our support team for further assistance.

Thank you.

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Hi Vasily,

Thank you for pointing out the log files. Unfortunately, those don't help either...the arsm.X.log contains most of the information, but nothing that would indicate a problem. It logs when it moves a tape around, both from user interaction and when a scheduled backup starts, but it doesn't log anything about when it starts writing, stops writing or anything along the way.

The tape_select.X.log backup is always empty, and the tape_hotplug.X.log only logs something when I try to fix the problem, but not when it actually happens. So, entries like this:

2017-07-27 11:06:04:115 2772 I00000000: Starting Detect Hardware Command.
2017-07-27 11:06:04:117 2772 I00000000: Detect Hardware Command started.
2017-07-27 11:08:54:121 2636 I00000000: 'Added' device '\\?\scsi#sequential&ven_ibm&prod_ult3580-hh7#5&28e41149&0&000300#{53f5630b-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}'
2017-07-27 11:08:54:121 2636 I00000000: New scsi device appeared \\?\scsi#sequential&ven_ibm&prod_ult3580-hh7#5&28e41149&0&000300#{53f5630b-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}
2017-07-27 11:08:54:121 2636 I00000000: Sretting timeout for running Detect Hardware command.
2017-07-27 11:08:57:121 2772 I00000000: Starting Detect Hardware Command.
2017-07-27 11:08:57:123 2772 I00000000: Detect Hardware Command started.
2017-07-27 11:17:14:717 1600 I00000000: Removing hotplug callback.
2017-07-27 11:20:58:273 1592 I00000000: Sretting timeout for running Detect Hardware command.
2017-07-27 11:20:58:273 1592 I00000000: Registering hotplug callback.
2017-07-27 11:21:01:274 2744 I00000000: Starting Detect Hardware Command.
2017-07-27 11:21:01:692 2744 I00000000: Detect Hardware Command started.

...start appearing when I try to restart services in order to fix the problem that's already there.

I already contacted the support as well and linked this thread in my request.

By the way if you meant that the tape loader might prompt for something during the backup, I'm pretty sure that's not the case as I was monitoring everything on the tape loader interface and through Acronis at the same time. The tape has more than enough space, we even tried deleting everything on the tape before staring the backup but it doesn't make a difference.

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Thank you for the additional details. Right now I can suggest the following possible workarounds which may help:

1) Create a new backup plan with tape selected as backup destination. Then in Backup Options->Backup Format->set it to "version 11" instead of "Automatic" selection chosen by default.

2) This week we're planning to publish an Update 1 for Acronis Backup 12.5 which contains a lot of fixes for tape-related problems and it may also help to solve the issue, but can't say for sure.

The 1st workaround should have the best chances. If it doesn't help then you'll need to continue working with our support team on further investigation. Likely our developers will need to get involved to properly analyze the dumps from hung processes (I assume you will be asked by our support to capture the dump of service_process.exe process from the agent side responsible for writing the data to destination).

Thank you.

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Hello Vasily,

Setting the backup format to version 11 seems to be working, it was set to "Automatic" before but it never occurred to me to try to change that based on what happened.

It's still validating right now but it looks like it's going to finish - I never got to this part when I was trying before.

Thanks a lot for the help!

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Hello again,

So, the backup worked once for this one machine after I changed the format to version 11, but all other backups subsequently failed after that.

Of course I changed everything to version 11, I tried to create new plans multiple times with the same result every time.

Now it doesn't get stuck anymore, it will just fail... the backups start like normal and as soon as all of the data that should be saved has been copied to the backup server, the backup fails immediately. The tape loader starts writing as soon as data is being copied, so that's not the problem... the display for "Bytes processed" and "Bytes saved" shows that all of the data was read, but not all of it was written as soon as the backup crashes. But I guess those counters don't work correctly anyway, because even the backups that were successful still show much less Bytes saved than Bytes processed when looking at the details...but problems like this fade away compared to everything else that's going wrong...

This time I even get some error messages whenever a backup fails:

Es konnten keine Informationen für den Datenstrom (Stream) '2' im Archiv '63515250-8CFC-46CE-8867-6C7D7AE04824' abgerufen werden.
Datum und Zeit
02. August 2017, 18:15:59
Code
0x01350016+0x01350016+0x01330029+0x01350035+0x01350016+0x01350016+0x01490003+0x00010424+0x00070004+0x00040003+0x002700D8+0x002700B5+0x002700EC
Modul
309
Nachricht
Backup ist fehlgeschlagen

Zusätzliche Informationen:
------------------------
Fehlercode: 22
Modul: 309
Zeileninfo: 0x8D165E86FB81959B
Felder: {"CommandID":"D332948D-A7A9-4E07-B76C-253DCF6E17FB","$module":"mms_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: TOL: Failed to execute the command. Backup-Plan 'SRV-MN-EXCH TakeAwayTest'
------------------------
Fehlercode: 22
Modul: 309
Zeileninfo: 0x8D165E86FB81959B
Felder: {"CommandID":"D332948D-A7A9-4E07-B76C-253DCF6E17FB","$module":"agent_protection_addon_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: TOL: Failed to execute the command. Backup-Plan 'SRV-MN-EXCH TakeAwayTest'
------------------------
Fehlercode: 41
Modul: 307
Zeileninfo: 0xE6792A5EE190DE2C
Felder: {"$module":"agent_protection_addon_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Ausführen des Befehls fehlgeschlagen.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 53
Modul: 309
Zeileninfo: 0x2E7E9E174F1FB719
Felder: {"$module":"agent_protection_addon_vsa64_7048","FailCount":"2"}
Nachricht: 2 Aktivitäten konnten nicht erfolgreich abgeschlossen werden. Eine davon wird angezeigt.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 22
Modul: 309
Zeileninfo: 0x8D165E86FB81959B
Felder: {"CommandID":"8F01AC13-F59E-4851-9204-DE1FD77E36B4","$module":"service_process_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: TOL: Failed to execute the command. Backup
------------------------
Fehlercode: 22
Modul: 309
Zeileninfo: 0x8D165E86FB81959B
Felder: {"CommandID":"8F01AC13-F59E-4851-9204-DE1FD77E36B4","$module":"gtob_backup_command_addon_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: TOL: Failed to execute the command. Backup
------------------------
Fehlercode: 3
Modul: 329
Zeileninfo: 0x1CD98AAE889424F9
Felder: {"$module":"disk_bundle_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Backup ist fehlgeschlagen.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 1060
Modul: 1
Zeileninfo: 0xB43E776571144DEF
Felder: {"$module":"disk_bundle_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Ausführen der Aktionen fehlgeschlagen.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 4
Modul: 7
Zeileninfo: 0x9D2DE1F088CBC4EC
Felder: {"$module":"disk_bundle_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Schreibfehler
------------------------
Fehlercode: 3
Modul: 4
Zeileninfo: 0xB0ED2A9FF6BEEAE7
Felder: {"$module":"storage_server_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Fehler beim Schreiben in die Datei.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 216
Modul: 39
Zeileninfo: 0x859C2CFFFC9114E4
Felder: {"$module":"storage_server_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Die Daten der Aktion '7CB40453-BC1E-40FC-AF70-69027E09A282' konnten nicht geleert werden.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 181
Modul: 39
Zeileninfo: 0xD5499AE2FAE4457C
Felder: {"$module":"storage_server_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Fehler beim Verarbeiten von Metadaten in der Datenbank.
------------------------
Fehlercode: 236
Modul: 39
Zeileninfo: 0xD5499AE2FAE44574
Felder: {"$module":"storage_server_vsa64_7048"}
Nachricht: Es konnten keine Informationen für den Datenstrom (Stream) '2' im Archiv '63515250-8CFC-46CE-8867-6C7D7AE04824' abgerufen werden.

 

...so... should i just wait for the update then? It seems to me like the customers are beta-testing this product right now, which would also explain why Acronis support usually immediately asks for debug information they can hand to the developers...

To say that I'm disappointed would be an understatement. I'd rather wait however long it takes for the update to come out than waste any more of my time on this.

Vasily, if you have an idea about what it could be, i'm more than happy to try to change something... you're the only reason I haven't just given up already and asked for a refund... but if i'm supposed to provide debug information again to finish this unfinished product i'd rather just wait for the update...

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Thomas,

The error you quote may appear if there is application protection enabled in the backup plan. I've found a bug record  (internal ID: ABR-131539) in our tracking system with the same errors, but that bug is marked as fixed in the released Acronis Backup 12.5 build (7048), so it may mean that the fix could've been verified improperly on our side. To confirm you can disable the application protection option in the backup plan. In other words the issue is caused by combination of the following factors: backup to centralized location + location on tape + application protection.

In either case please submit a request to our support team (if not submitted yet) for further investigation. The above suggestion is only a workaround, rather than permanent fix obviously.

Thank you.

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Hi Vasily,

Did you mean application backups by "application protection"? I tried turning that off and also tried to backup a server that does not have any applications to be backed up, but unfortunately that does not solve the problem.

If that's not what you meant then please specify... there's an "active protection service" that comes with Acronis Backup Advanced but it's disabled by default and we did not enable it.

A support request has been made (case #03052339) but I don't have access to that account right now so I'm not sure what the status is there. I will check that asap...

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Already opened case #03034954 , for the same reason. Tape replication hangs after 1 hour. The case is opened from almost 1 month, without any chance to get it solved.

 

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Hello Nicola,

Thank you for that, I was just about to create a new topic and ask other users if they have the same problem.

My support case has been open for quite some time too but I provided a lot more information to them today, so hopefully something will happen.

 

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Hello Stefan,

 

i'm uploading right now, once again, reports from management server. I hope Acronis will solve the issue, even if, i'm pretty sure they're debugging right now tape features under 12.5 Advanced. As far as i can see 12.5 has a lot of bugs (even with latest build).

Just to be sure, are you experiencing the issue with tapes with direct backup or backup replication ? Does the management hangs up without any chance to cancel the operation ?

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Hello Nicola,

I'm using direct backups but I don't think that really matters, I could test replication as well and I expect it would result in the same problem (maybe i'll try that later). I made multiple attempts trying out different servers, different backup options (like backup format and such) but it's always the same problem.

The management server does not hang itself up but the job does. So I can still see the activity and it's still saying it's backing up but the percentage will never go up even if you leave it running for days. If i try to cancel it, it will say "cancelling..." (or whatever it says) but nothing happens. When I close the activity tab and open it again the job is still running and I can hit cancel again if I like - it's not like it actually does anything of course.

In my case, restarting the managed machine service on the server that's getting backed up (in your case it would probably be the managed machine service running on the server that's doing the replication) results in an error because the child process - service_process.exe - does not want to be stopped. Only after I kill this service_process.exe I immediately get an email informing me about the failed backup (sometimes it even says "completed with warnings").

It seems like the setup does not really matter...just writing to tape for more than one hour seems to be the deciding factor. May I ask what kind of tape device you are using? We are using a Dell TL1000 (the IBM equivalent would be an "IBM 3572-TL").

And by the way, I've stated multiple times here and through support that I feel like a beta tester for Acronis... the amount of bugs I encountered just to get to this point where I'm at now is simply astonishing...

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Even our environment is behaving as you described.

and yes, the number of bugs and the real no support provided is quite astonishing !

In reply to by Stefan Leuenberger

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Hi Guys!

I got the same Problem with freezing, the difference to you all ist, that i backup to a NAS. (Synology) Some Devices have no Problem, some have. I think it's just a softwarebug like so much others in this software.

And by the way, I've stated multiple times here and through support that I feel like a beta tester for Acronis... the amount of bugs I encountered just to get to this point where I'm at now is simply astonishing...

Feel the same... and you pay a lot of money to be a Beta-Tester... it's just crazy.

Regards from Switzerland

Manuel

In reply to by Erik Woltmann

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I don't think the post you provided should be called a solution !

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Hello Stefan.

You have attached logs from tape_hotplug logs. There are only logs appear when device appear/disappear in the OS. Once you have used tape drive then devices detected sucessfully.

Can you please attach logs from  arsm.*.log. All errors happened during backup will appear here.

 

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Hi Alexander and everyone interested,

I'm Thomas, aka Stefan :) I was using an account of my colleague (Stefan) to send the support request and didn't change back when I returned to the forum - more than once, as can be seen above.

I think I understand what you mean, but the error messages you are referring to only appeared once I was trying to solve the "hanging" problem...during the actual backup there were no error messages in that log whatsoever. As far as I remember, restarting the storage node service is what's causing entires like this:

2017-07-27 11:08:54:121 2636 I00000000: New scsi device appeared \\?\scsi#sequential&ven_ibm&prod_ult3580-hh7#5&28e41149&0&000300#{53f5630b-b6bf-11d0-94f2-00a0c91efb8b}
2017-07-27 11:08:54:121 2636 I00000000: Sretting timeout for running Detect Hardware command.
2017-07-27 11:08:57:121 2772 I00000000: Starting Detect Hardware Command.
2017-07-27 11:08:57:123 2772 I00000000: Detect Hardware Command started.
2017-07-27 11:17:14:717 1600 I00000000: Removing hotplug callback.

...but I only added them to show that that's the only thing that's getting logged... I included the whole log, if there was anything written during the backup I would have included it here as well.

I am (now) aware there was apparently a bug related to "Scalar" devices which caused problems when trying to switch tapes or something like that...this is not what's happening here (not for me, and not for most of the other guys who wrote here according to their observations). I'm not using a Scalar library and I'm not even using 10% of the space of a (completely empty) tape to get to this problem...

I have been informed yesterday that my support case was escalated to an "expert team"... I am optimistic that I will be able to solve this problem if I can talk to an actual developer instead of someone sitting in India who does not actually read (or understand) what I say and just sends useless KB-articles. I feel sorry for the guy since he had to deal with my frustration but on the other hand the support really was abysmal - and to think that we pay for that as part of the licensing didn't make me calm down either...

Anyway, I will keep this thread updated as I - hopefully - receive more information. I always was and still am willing to try out any suggestions made by Vasily, Alexander and all the other people who seem like they know what they are talking about. Please also refer to my support case #03052339 if you have access to that because it contains updated log files, system information and procmon logs. If needed I could also post the logs here again, but the procmon log in particular is about 500 MB so that might be a bit problematic.

 

Regards,
Thomas

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Hello again,

I have not been contacted by any "expert team" yet.

I have seen at least 4 other threads on this forum that complain about the same problem - but I have yet to see Acronis acknowledge this as a known problem - every thread I see starts with the same questions and suggestions and ends with "please contact support"... but support doesn't help!

I have tried setting my logs to "debug" as suggested Alexander Rykovanov in another thread but that still doesn't help... the backup-api.0.log will grow to about 500 MB during the backup because it creates a log entry for every few kilobytes it writes... but it still just freezes with no error message before all the data is written.

Is Acronis unable to solve this problem? You seem to be unable to recognize it at least... I don't know if this is something that everyone using a tape device is getting or if it's something that only happens in very distinct circumstances. As far as I can tell the people here who are experiencing this problem have quite different hardware and software setups, so I will assume that EVERYONE using tape backups is experiencing this problem... but maybe not everyone noticed yet because it only happens for backups taking longer than 1 hour (or if they are bigger than a certain size).

Is there anyone out there using tape backups with Acronis 12.5 who does not experience this problem?

Regards,
Thomas

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Hi Thomas,

As far as I've confirmed with our support team managers, your support case will be reviewed shortly (and escalated to development). The problems with tape backups you've run into are not affecting everyone using tape, and the main difficulty with such cases is that each incident requires separate investigation (since we're also unable to reproduce these problems in our QA lab), involving large logs collection and analysis, which proper tracking can be done only through a support ticket, e.g. it's hardly possible to properly solve these issues via forum. 

Thank you.

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Hi Vasily,

Thank you, it's good to get some feedback about the scale of this problem.

I just posted some more logs to this thread: https://forum.acronis.com/forum/acronis-backup-125/tape-backup-stops-af… as I'm suspecting this to be the same problem as I have... Alexander Rykovanov was interested in some additional logs to investigate the problem. I don't think the logs will help but maybe it helps to eliminate one more possible cause.

Regards,
Thomas

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Hi,

The problem has been solved. I had to replace a file called "archive3.dll" on every machine with a remote agent with a file provided by Acronis support.

If anyone has this problem, contact support and maybe reference case number 03052339 to get the fix.

Regards,
Thomas

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I have the same tape errors. Error 309 module 22.

If I backup a small share to tape it works fine. If its a large share it fails.

So glad to see that a new DLL file fixed your problem.

I will reach out and see how to get the file.

Thanks

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Hi,

For convenience I've uploaded the archive3.dll to the following FTP address: ftp://8g2usnfjey:5ekqzqwlws@cftp.acronis.com/

The archive3.dll should be replaced in the following folder on each of the agents which are performing backups to centralized location on tapes (e.g. to tapes connected to Acronis Storage Node):

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Acronis\BackupAndRecovery\Common\

Thank you.

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Many  customers experienced the issue in latest 2 months (on 11.7 no issues about this topic!).

the issue , from many tests, affected every kind of backup/replication activity which was "big".

it is quite ebarassing that after a new build , tickets opened about 2 months ago, solution comes from a ticket and a dll to be replaced . acceptable in early 90's, not in late 2017. I suppose next time customers will have to manually regsvr32 dll's!

many customers of mine are still waiting for their case to be escalated to 2nd level , and the only way to try to solve their issues is to navigate in forum in order to check if someone else is so masochist to become unaware beta-tester of expensive and buggy enterprise backup platform.

 

 

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I think I am giving up on this product. I just tried a backup to a SAN Disk and it also failed with an error 309 module 22 error so its not limited to tape. If I backup something a few GB it works but if I try to backup anything large 1TB it fails. Clearly this product is not designed for full large scale backups. I really don't want to be part of their beta test group either and will send an email requesting a refund. The honest truth is that it just does not work on large backups regardless of where you try to store the backups. 

 

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I had the same issue with LTO7 standalone drive. 

new dll seems to solve the issue.

 

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I already tried replacing the archive03.dll and it still was freezing. I just installed a trial copy of Backupexec and its working perfectly. For me this confirms that it is the Acronis software and not my hardware. I will be seeking a full refund. I am usually very patient but I wasted over a week of my time and there support was dreadful. Many level one type people promising to call me back and then telling me they were busy or there shift was ended etc.

Not sure what happened to the company it used to make great software but as has already been stated this software is buggy to say the least.

 

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Hi James,

I suspect you have a different problem, as far as I know, everyone who reported this so far was trying to back up to tape and it usually failed after 1 hour, not after 1 TB of data saved.

Your frustration is understandable. I invested dozens of hours over the course of 2 months to try and solve this problem. The level 1 support from India was by far the most frustrating aspect for me - sure it can be very cheap to outsource your support to another country - but this is a backup software mainly used by people who understand what they are doing (i hope) and we pay for support with the license. As such, I'd rather not chat with someone who does not understand me or my problem for 1 1/2 months until I finally get escalated to a level which is appropriate for paid support.

But anyway, I could go on and on about what frustrated me (there was a lot) but I'd rather focus on finishing our backup strategy since we already wasted a lot of time... and I didn't even try to actually restore something yet :(

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high

i also have the tape backup stuck problem on large backups (over 2 TB) with a overland neo400s loader and lto-5 drive in it. short ones work. i have also spent a lot of time to solve the problem. i have changed the backup system from bakbones netvault (quest now i guess) to this bugy software. they have not the knowledge to backup to tapes ..i think

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FYI: for me the "freezing" also disappeared after installing "HF1" update.

...now I'm struggeling with "input/output errors", apparently produced by simultaneously running sub-jobs...

 

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Hello Dennis

Can you please describe your environment. Is there centralized tape vault (Storage Server, ASN vaut)? And what do you back up: Physical or Virtual machines? Approximate amount of data per machine.

 

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sure.

We have 2 clustered HyperV nodes (Server 2016 Datacenter) running approx. 15 VMs in total.
(Acronis HyperV agent installed on both hypervisors)

Also we have a dedicated backup server (Server 2016 Standard) with a single LTO7 attached via SAS and running Acronis 12.5 U1 HF1.
(no storage server, no vault)

We backup the VMs to local disks on backup server and to tape.

The amount of data varies: some VMs are 50 GB or less, but a few VMs also have over 500 GB.
Total amount to backup currently approx. 1,5 TB.

 

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Hello Dennis.

Please try change in the registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Acronis\ASN\Configuration\StorageNode

value DefaultIdleSessionTimeOut  from 600 to... 43200 (from 10 minutes to 12 hours).

 

 

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Hello all,

I'm facing similar problem, can anyone suggest the same ( "archive3.dll" ) but for Linux OS (CentOS 6.8)?

Many thanks.

 

EC