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[Suggestion] About local backup

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TheMartin View Drop Down

Joined: 20/May/2012
Location: Argentina
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheMartin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: [Suggestion] About local backup
    Posted: 22/May/2012 at 1:36am
Truth to be said is that the "Local backup" option is not working very well in current version. The only way I found for preventing "c:\User\Johnny\Local\BuddyBackup\MyFiles" to grow in size was to create an exclusion for each of the directories I had added to my backup. That's number one issue.

Number two issue is that: when I open the application and see the listing of the backed up folders below "Backed up folders" title, if I click in the "options" of one of those folders and uncheck the 'keep local backups' option and then click 'Ok', it has no effect at all (at least for what I've seen by monitoring the size of the previously mentioned `MyFiles` directory). I believe that this check-boxes, if kept in future releases, should add an exception to the Tools->Options->Advanced->Don't_keep_backups_for _the_following_folders list when unchecked.

I sincerely don't understand why the creators of this great piece of app force users to keep local backups by default. They shouldn't be needed to perform differential updates on the buddy. I don't know exactly how differential updates work, but I believe that if you kept a database of md5 hashes for every 256kb of data of every frequently updated file, that should be enough to update only the parts of the file which's md5 has changed.
And one more reason for not having local backups by default is that they use a lot of space which I'm already using in my buddies PC's and I certainly DON'T want to use in my own hard drive unless I explicitly set it to do so.

Hope you like my suggestions,

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Amber Computers View Drop Down
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Joined: 24/June/2011
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Amber Computers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30/May/2012 at 12:37am

1a) A better way to achieve this may be to just to un-check “Keep local backup copies” in advanced settings, though you will loose some important functionality if you do this.

1b) Have you tried using the “Automatically remove backups older than” Advanced Setting to prevent the Local backup growing too large rather than using exclusions?

2) I am not 100% sure, but if you uncheck the 'keep local backups' option where you initially indicated, this should prevent any future local backups of that folder being taken. BB may keep the existing local files indefinitely unless you setup “Automatically remove backups older than”. BB does run several cleanup tasks possibly every week/month, which I think will remove any unwanted local files. I would recommend monitoring MyFiles folder for at least a month and see what happens (remember if you still have other local backups for other folders these will be adding to you’re MyFiles folder, so you should uncheck the 'keep local backups' option where you initially indicated for all you folders for a true test). Under Tools there is a Remove Old Backups button, which may clear up your MyFiles folder (again not sure, experiment and let us know what your find).

The GUI is unclear here and needs updating. For instance if “Keep local backup copies” is unchecked in Advanced Setting then I would like to see this setting unchecked or greyed out in the Options for Backed up Folders.

Re Local backup. I agree that having local backups does use up valuable space, but being able to restore file on the fly, without the need of a buddy is a good function. I do not understand the technology, but I must admit I have not found an alternative that does a better job than BB does at minimising bandwidth. I think the option is on by default, because for the average user saving bandwidth is more important than saving space. If you do not wish to have local backups and do not mind losing some functionality, just uncheck “keep local backup copies” in advanced setting. If local space could be reduced, without sacrificing functionality or increasing bandwidth, them I’m all for it too.

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John View Drop Down
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Joined: 02/May/2006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/June/2012 at 12:58pm
Hi all,

Good discussion.

First - excellent point by TheMartin. You're absolutely right, one method of doing sub-incremental backup is "block" based - i.e. MD5 hashes of blocks. For better of for worse, we actually went with the other method which is "binary incremental" (where it does byte-level diffs of the file). This gives far superior incremental compression BUT requires the previous version to be accessible.

I think we'd felt that user's would appreciate having local backups, more than they actually did. In fact, the original motivation for BB was as much about having a pseudo versioning filesystem (where old copies of your files are accessible locally). It did come as a surprise to us that what with increasing broadband speed, most users actually don't care too much about rolling back old versions instantly, and really just want to use BB as an offsite backup tool and NOT a local file versioning tool - which is fair enough.

We did start some work recently to include a block-level based incremental backup to allow exactly this behaviour - no local backups, and still allow reasonable sub-incremental backup.

Just one further comment: even if you turn off local backups, and even if we one day used block-incremental backup, the "MyFiles" area WILL still contain files for a short period of time.

Let me explain why this is the case: when BB spots a file changes, it immediately copies it to the "MyFiles" area. This is a deliberate choice so that we know we have a copy we can backup, even if the user deletes the original. The intent here was that the user would be protected if they created a file, and then a couple of minutes later accidentally deleted it.

So, files will live in the MyFiles are until they're FULLY backed up. And remember that fully backed up may mean backing up to several buddies.

(Actually, I'm simplifying here - BB will limit how much it keeps in the MyFiles folder when you turn off local backups, but it can still be quite a lot).

So, don't necessarily be alarmed if it seems there are files in MyFiles - eventually they will dissapear once backups are safely on your buddies.

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Niels View Drop Down
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Joined: 24/December/2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Niels Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/June/2012 at 5:36pm
Hi John,

I just want to mention that I'm one of the users that do appreciate the versioning filesystem. It helped me a couple of times to get older versions back. In addition, I prefer to have a local backup to be able to immediately recover a accidentally removed file.

I think people underestimate the value of a local backup Smile.

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