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Problems with requester timeout with nbackup

Posted on 1998-11-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
Hi,

I have two NT 4,0 servers. One of them is equiped with
a HT DAT tape unit. Both the servers are backed-up by
night with an AT daemon. First the local discs are
saved, then the remote discs on the other server via
network. Often there is an error during the backup
of the remote discs. NBackup says that file is corrupted
(it is not) and there is a message in the system log.
The log says that the requester was timed out.

My questions are:

- is this problem with the network (disc..) or
is the only cause the speed of the network vs.
the speed of the tape ? I guess that the network
is to slow for the tape but I am not sure.

- can this be solved with setting of the timeout
parameter of the requester ? Where is this timeout
set-up ?

- would a better backup utility help ? Can you recomend
some ?

- if the problem is really a network one, haw can I¨find
the cause.


Thank you



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Question by:sladecek
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12 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:sladecek
ID: 1566441
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:tcalesa
ID: 1566442
I can only answer the second point for now. Cheyenne software puts out Arcserve backup software. It has significant speed improvements over the standard NT backup util. It allows you to use an agent on the remote servers that transfers data to the tape over the network at probably 50% speed improvement. I have a job that runs on three servers totalling over 60GB. NTBackup takes over 10 hours to complete, Arcserve takes about 6 hours.

I'll see if I can get some info for your other points, but NTBackup is definitely not the way to go if you can get the funding for a better solution.

Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:tekkel
ID: 1566443
The cause of this problem is due to the insufficient permissions
which you have with the AT command. Because the account
which is used during the job (is the "system" (buillt-in account))
does not have enough permissions.

To solve this problem on a easy way you can try to use a normal
backup program like " Backup Exec 6.0" this is easy to use for
backup and restore and it's also easy to backup other servers.
(for your  info i'm in no way releated to the makers of backup exec, neather do i recieve any commision to promote this product) i'm just a satisfied system manager.

Greetz,

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Author Comment

by:sladecek
ID: 1566444
This is definitely not a problem with the rights. I have had a problem with
the rights, which I have solved by changing of the user for the scheduler task on the
remote server from system to administrator. The administrator has
all the rights needed for the backup.

The backup is sometimes successfull, fails only ocassionally. The error is every time on a different file. The system disk is saved OK (because it is small ?), the problems are with the data disk.

Thank you for both the recomendations of better backup software. Nevertheless,  I would
like to at least understand the cause for the problems before I will spend money
on a solution.

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Expert Comment

by:tcalesa
ID: 1566445
What service pack are you using?
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Expert Comment

by:tcalesa
ID: 1566446
Does your Tape drive offer a setting (switch) for odd/even byte disconnect?
If so, make sure the streamer is set to disconnect on an even byte boundary. This came from the M$ KB.

Good luck
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Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 1566447
Sladecek,
  What are you trying to backup ?
  Are you trying to backup remote registries or system files ?
  If so, don't.
   
NTBACKUP is only suitable for small LANS.
 
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Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 1566448
Sladecek,
  What are you trying to backup ?
  Are you trying to backup remote registries or system files ?
  If so, don't.
  How are you trying to back up ?
  AT... what ?
  NTBACKUP has it's own scheduler.
  If you're doing AT time NET COPY or XCOPY or ROBOCOPY or what have you, you will have problems with locked / open files.
 
Tim
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
poomba1 earned 200 total points
ID: 1566449
Ok here we go
1.) NTBACKUP and similar MS file tools is in my OPINION how MS managed to stay out of the DOJ for so long. Your message indicates problems with open files and the week reporting ability's of NTBACKUP. Next if you're using the NWLINK protocol look into this, is it relevant to a timeout request
Run Registry Editor (REGEDT32.EXE).
From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:
 \SYSTEM\CURRENTCONTROLSET\SERVICES\NWRDR\PARAMETERS
 Add the following value:
 DefaultMaxPacketSize:REG_DWORD: 1012  (decimal)

2.) Better Software is a MUST, if you get crap from Management about it's cost, I would get there denial to fund you in WRITING. This will ensure your concerns have been addressed and WHEN you have a Server crash (And you will,like all servers in all NOS's eventually do) at least your ass is covered. Also remind them of the cost of backup compared to the cost of loss of data. Arceserve "IT" ver 6.6 for NT workgroups and the Arcserve "ProPack"(Allows for up to 7 more Servers) is a ideal choice, skip the Enterprise Edition, there new pricing scheme for that is a nightmare! Info is at
http://www.cheyenne.com
 
3.) If you think the network itself is the problem you must look at what time of day you are running your back up. How busy is the server etc... Again with proper backup software you can run PRE and POST execution scripts allowing for you do STOP and RESTART non essential service's while the job is in progress. If the NET  Monitor is not enough for you to access how the traffic is being handled you may need to get third party Network monitoring tools. I would get decent backup software first and then take it from there. If you're running the backups at night on a 10MB shared pipe with little online usage, I wouldn't suspect network. Also if you are into one of those AUTO 10/100 switchs FORCE the connections to run a 10MB half duplex. 100MB shared can be quite flakey for backups, especually if muliple servers are on the same backbone.
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Author Comment

by:sladecek
ID: 1566450
Hi everybody,

thank you for your comments and recomendations,

>    so long. Your message indicates problems with open files and the week reporting > ability's of
>    NTBACKUP.

The files on which the ntbackup fails are _not_ open at the time. I completly
agree with your opinion about the reporting ability of ntbackup. This is probably
true with other MS software too.

> Next if you're using the NWLINK protocol look into this, is it relevant to a timeout > request

I am. I will try this.

>    2.) Better Software is a MUST, if you get crap from Management about it's cost, I > would get there denial
>    to fund you in WRITING. This will ensure your concerns have been addressed and

nice idea, thank you

     
>    3.) If you think the network itself is the problem you must look at what time of day you >are running your
>    back up. How busy is the server etc... Again with proper backup software you can run

At night betwen 02:00-04:00. Almost no traffic.

>. Also if you are into one of those AUTO 10/100 switchs FORCE the
>   connections to run a 10MB half duplex. 100MB shared can be quite flakey for >backups, especually if
>    muliple servers are on the same backbone.

I do. I will try.

> What service pack are you using?

3

> Does your Tape drive offer a setting (switch) for odd/even byte disconnect?
>      If so, make sure the streamer is set to disconnect on an even byte boundary. This > came from the
>      M$ KB.

I am not sure. I will search for some configuration file.


>        What are you trying to backup ?

everything

>        Are you trying to backup remote registries or system files ?
>        If so, don't.

I do. The files are open and therefore not backed up. Thats why I run another
batch on the remote server which saves registry to a local file, The file is then
backed up to the tape.

>        How are you trying to back up ?

I don't understand the question.

>        AT... what ?

Scheduler service on NT. Commands are scheduled by the AT command.

>        NTBACKUP has it's own scheduler.

Really ? How can I access that ?

>        If you're doing AT time NET COPY or XCOPY or ROBOCOPY or what have you, > you will have
>      problems with locked / open files.
         
Well, do you know any method to avoid this ? By my opinion no backup
method can access a file which was exclusively open.
 
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Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 1566451
Ooops ! A bit of a mix up.
NTBACKUP doesn't have a scheduler, it does use the AT service.  Sorry.
It doesn't backup locked open or locked files / folders.
NTBACKUP must be used on completely quiescent systems.
NTBACKUP does not provide network backups - you can only back up mapped network drives.
As the requester service must be running there will be open files on the remote server, so it is advisable not to back up a complete drive, just the data.
Note that if ever a C: crashed, you would have to reinstall NT anyway and then perform a file restore, so I still don't see the point in backing up a complete drive (inclusive of WINNT directory).
There are many commercial alternatives available - I would go for either Computer Associates's Arcserve v6.5 or Seagate's Backup Exec....
Much less of a headache..
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Author Comment

by:sladecek
ID: 1566452
Of course I will probably have to reinstall the system area and not to use anything
from the system share. But my strategy is to backup as much as possible
because of the Murphy Laws. Usually one single file is missing, the one which is very
important. I cannot predict which one before the real need for backup. The system share contains some valuable files like login scripts, that's why I am paranoid. I am
backing up the registry and the system area of the disc too.

I do not have any problems to backup system share - it is small and backup is
very quick (5 minutes). My problems begin on the large data share.


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