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#368247 - 22/01/2017 00:45 CrashPlan vs. alternatives
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3653
I set up CrashPlan a long time ago and it's been doing its thing. Didn't think much of it, never needed to use it. I'm using the free version of CrashPlan to back up stuff from my home machine to my work machine, and of course I'm using Time Machine on both boxes, and anything that really matters is on Github or otherwise "out there". As such, CrashPlan is really only for the "whoops, my home machine got stolen / caught fire" case.

Anyway, over the last few days, CrashPlanServer has been humming along at 350% CPU usage (on a six-core CPU) for no apparent purpose, and crashing / auto-restarting every few minutes. It seems that CrashPlan has been auto-updating itself, but maybe not perfectly. I uninstalled and reinstalled and it's seeming happier now, but I'm still suspicious.

When poking around for online advice about this, I'm seeing things suggesting killing off the server during the day, or suggesting you give its Java VM more memory. What I'm not seeing are consistent bug reports about this problem. What did catch my attention, however, is that the "use your friend's machine for free" mode of operation is only supported by CrashPlan 4, and they're already on to CrashPlan 5 for enterprise-ish things, wherein there's no free version. CrashPlan 5 was released over a year ago, leading me to wonder whether I'm living in a world of unsupported flake-ware and it's time to move on.

So... do I need to move on to something else? I'm sure I could always set up rsync or whatnot, but I do prefer the idea of running "professional" software, and I'd even be willing to spend money on it if it was any good. I just don't need to do this "in the cloud". (Or do I?)

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#368248 - 23/01/2017 04:53 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3653
Update: My problem appears to have been the 1GB memory limit for the CrashPlan service on my machine. This means (surprise!) that nothing had actually been backed up for an awfully long time and I hadn't noticed at all.

It's now cranking away at a steady 5Mbps upload, with an estimated completion time of 1.4 days from now.

I guess I could push it to go faster, but this is roughly 1/3 of my total upstream budget, and seems to have no impact on interactive performance. I'm really, really enjoying my upgrade from 15Mbps/1.5Mbps AT&T Uverse to 200Mbps/15Mbps Comcast.

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#368249 - 23/01/2017 11:43 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Do you not have the emails reporting status set up? I get emails about machines that haven't backed up for a few days and also emails showing change in size or number of files of the dataset. Usually keep a bit of an eye on it.

I think it can do twitter too.

Note I'm using the paid version and it's v4.8. I wasn't aware there was a new stream. I wish they'd make some native clients though. Java is not my favourite.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368250 - 23/01/2017 11:47 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
Hang on. wait.... v5 looks like it completely removes computer to computer backup regardless of license type! That's almost a deal breaker for me (not that anyone else really supports it). I back up a number of machines to my NAS locally. But also my NAS to the cloud as well as a local machine (mainly for quick recovery).

That's pretty crappy and I've received no emails or notifications (like the change to cloud data retention recently).

EDIT: I'm even more confused now. Their main signup page explicitly mentions free machine to machine backup. Are we confusing the "green" personal backup with the "blue" and "black" business / enterprise versions?


Edited by Shonky (23/01/2017 11:51)
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368251 - 23/01/2017 11:54 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1914
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
To answer myself, yeah 4.8.0 is the latest personal version and still supports machine to machine.

v5 is the business/enterprise server version.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#368252 - 23/01/2017 14:47 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 11871
Loc: Sterling, VA
Often, a reinstall of Crashplan can fix issues like that too. I agree their use of Java is kind of crappy and leads to problems with the software, and I also agree that email notifications should be turned on to alert of any problems. It's possible to change the number of days before an alert or a warning.

But I mostly wanted to offer a little "FYI." The latest version of Crashplan finally has the ability to back up a network drive. Previously, I'd gone to a great deal of effort to install Crashplan directly onto my Synology as a headless installation, but the process was awful and the application kept stopping. It also kept me from updating the DSM for fear of breaking the Java/Crashplan apps.

Now, if you install Crashplan as a local user instead of the default system user, you can instruct it to back up any mapped network drive. I already have a laptop running at all times to control my home automation system, so I set that up as my backup computer. It was taxed for the first week as it backed everything up for the first time (Crashplan's adoption feature didn't work correctly), but after that it hasn't hurt my HA system.
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Matt

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#368253 - 23/01/2017 22:14 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Shonky]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3653
Originally Posted By: Shonky
Do you not have the emails reporting status set up?

Indeed I do, and I've indeed had sporadic reports from their email system, such as when the remote machine was powered off, but there was no indication that I hadn't had a decent backup in a while. I'm not sure what to make of all this, but suffice to say that my opinion of CrashPlan's reliability has been knocked down several pegs by this whole thing.

It's not like they couldn't have sent an email saying "gosh wow, CrashPlan Server was killed over 1000 times yesterday for using too much memory, we recommend you follow the instructions at URL to increase it."

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#368254 - 23/01/2017 22:29 Re: CrashPlan vs. alternatives [Re: Dignan]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Often, a reinstall of Crashplan can fix issues like that too. I agree their use of Java is kind of crappy and leads to problems with the software


My most common interaction with Java lately has been: Java runs out of memory and then you have to change the configuration of the JVM to allow more memory. This is on machines with oodles of free RAM.

WTF, Sun/Oracle? Why doesn't Java just use the memory available to it?
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Tony Fabris

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