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  1. #1
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    * Backup Service architecture

    Anyone use r1soft for their backups? I have some clients that want to backup their data from their business offices regularly.

    They should be able to do the backup themselves easily. r1 soft comes to mind.

    Also coming to the main question:

    what should the backup service architecture be?
    scenario:
    I have a couple of servers in a DC, that say have r1 soft or simillar software installed on it. My clients backup their data on this server.
    My questions are:

    1) what kind of raid should i use?
    2) how should i backup the backup server, etc?
    3) a service such as bqbackup -- does anyone know what kind or how many servers they use to backup data and raid usage if any is used?

    thanks
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  2. #2
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    We recently started with r1soft. It worked well in the beginning, but then we had a disksafe become corrupt - they don't know why it can't be recovered. Now the recent upgrade of their linux agent is causing our server loads to spike to unacceptable levels.

    I think they have a great idea, but it looks like the implementation needs some work.




    Regards,

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnmolTech View Post
    3) a service such as bqbackup -- does anyone know what kind or how many servers they use to backup data and raid usage if any is used?

    thanks
    As far as I know, they use Dual Core Opteron 2212HE, 4GB of ECC RAM and about 12TB of RAID6 (N+2 redundancy) storage. However I am not sure how typical that is, it may vary from system to system.

  4. #4
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    There has got to be some kind of redundant backup architecture for backup services.

    Backing up a clients data from their office computer to a server in a database which is in some kind of Raid array ---- this part is easy to understand.

    The questions then arise are:
    1) what kind of software to provide the customers --- some kind of easy visual control panel so they can schedule their own backups?

    2) how to backup the server? how many backups of the backups server is reasonable.

    What other kind of technology is out there? anyone use or know anyone that uses "tape backup"?

    thanks
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  5. #5
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    You can always resell an established provider (no need to manage the servers etc.).

    Some hosts coming to my mind that offer r1soft CDP
    - FusionXhost (or BQbackup)
    - FutureHosting
    - Cartika
    - Handy Networks etc.
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  6. #6
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    I dont know how comfortable or un-comfortable i should feel about putting my clients data on a reseller account.

    I feel i am completely at the mercy of my reseller account/servers.
    It certainly is cost effective starting out -- maybe someone could shed some light on this aspect.

    Regards
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyFF View Post
    You can always resell an established provider (no need to manage the servers etc.).

    Some hosts coming to my mind that offer r1soft CDP
    - FusionXhost (or BQbackup)
    - FutureHosting
    - Cartika
    - Handy Networks etc.
    I did not know BQbackup offered or uses r1soft.Anyone heard of NAS backups -- do comment.

    regards
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  8. #8
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    They do not advertise it publicly - their reseller FusionXhost offers it and is well priced.

    There is also The Planet that offers premade R1soft boxes - but I suppose you have to manage the whole thing.

    For NAS backups, there are many appliances loaded with some kind of software to automate various tasks. You can search in a hardware store in your country for such solutions.
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  9. #9
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    Just to add:

    if you intend to do this on your own you should think of a scalable solution.

    R1Soft has some kind of datacenter licence, it would be good if you could ask them various questions about how to implement this - I am pretty sure they would like to help you.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyFF View Post
    They do not advertise it publicly - their reseller FusionXhost offers it and is well priced.

    There is also The Planet that offers premade R1soft boxes - but I suppose you have to manage the whole thing.

    For NAS backups, there are many appliances loaded with some kind of software to automate various tasks. You can search in a hardware store in your country for such solutions.
    I checked fusion hosts prices -- they are exactly double the prices of Bqbackup.

    anyway it does not make sense to be a reseller of a reseller. The profit margin is pretty much gone.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Salter View Post
    As far as I know, they use Dual Core Opteron 2212HE, 4GB of ECC RAM and about 12TB of RAID6 (N+2 redundancy) storage. However I am not sure how typical that is, it may vary from system to system.
    I wonder how many servers he has?

    I noticed it seems for there reseller accounts, they seem to be in a virtual environment of some sort.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody Salter View Post
    As far as I know, they use Dual Core Opteron 2212HE, 4GB of ECC RAM and about 12TB of RAID6 (N+2 redundancy) storage. However I am not sure how typical that is, it may vary from system to system.
    That sounds about right. Our newest servers run Open Solaris with a ZFS filesystem.

    Quote Originally Posted by amex View Post
    I wonder how many servers he has?
    We have 3 racks full of backup servers in 2 different datacenters in New York City, all tied together with secret sauce.

    Quote Originally Posted by amex View Post
    I noticed it seems for there reseller accounts, they seem to be in a virtual environment of some sort.
    Correct. On our newer servers, reseller accounts are set up as Solaris zones. On our older servers, they are FreeBSD jails.

    Quote Originally Posted by AnmolTech View Post
    I did not know BQbackup offered or uses r1soft.
    We don't any longer. We had a closed trial available for customers that asked for it by name, but have since stopped accepting new orders. We have no plans to offer it again in the near future.
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  13. #13
    We don't any longer. We had a closed trial available for customers that asked for it by name, but have since stopped accepting new orders. We have no plans to offer it again in the near future.
    Scott, what is the reason behind abandoning R1Soft?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WN-Ali View Post
    Scott, what is the reason behind abandoning R1Soft?
    From what I understand, there were a bunch of issues with it. Maybe Scott can elaborate cause it seems some people have better experiences with R1Soft than others....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WN-Ali View Post
    Scott, what is the reason behind abandoning R1Soft?
    Quote Originally Posted by amex View Post
    From what I understand, there were a bunch of issues with it. Maybe Scott can elaborate cause it seems some people have better experiences with R1Soft than others....
    It may work differently on a local LAN in the same DC as the servers that are being backed up, but for our use as remote backup software, where users might be thousands of miles from the backup server, our customers were just not having a good experience.

    The main reason is that it was taking up too much time to support it compared to our traditional Rsync/FTP service. Our R1Soft customers were having frequent problems, compared to our Rsync customers whom we rarely ever hear from. I haven't calculated the numbers officially, but I don't think it would be unrealistic to say that our R1Soft service had a 50% churn rate, where about half of the customers that tried it decided to cancel within a couple months.

    Perhaps people that are using R1Soft on a LAN can contribute their experiences.
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by AnmolTech View Post
    I dont know how comfortable or un-comfortable i should feel about putting my clients data on a reseller account.
    You dont have to.

    Just go with a provider that has a site license of r1soft and they will give you your own CDP server. You install the agents on your customers machines, and it backs up to your own server. you could probably pay an additional fee and have the provider backup your backup server to their SAN as well...

    theplanet offers this (as do others) - but, I am not sure of the level of management you get from theplanet and I am also not sure if they will then backup your backup server...

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bqinternet View Post
    It may work differently on a local LAN in the same DC as the servers that are being backed up, but for our use as remote backup software, where users might be thousands of miles from the backup server, our customers were just not having a good experience.
    We have sold quite a few r1soft dedicated servers to customers who backup their remote data to our data center... most (not all granted) love it...

    The main reason is that it was taking up too much time to support it compared to our traditional Rsync/FTP service.
    OK - this I definately believe. it is certainly more complex then rsynch and the initial setups, drivers, etc can be a bit of a pain to setup. I certainly believe that its significantly more support then you are used to - as we have found that as well - at least on the initial setups - once you get past that, it is smooth sailing - but, in your case, I can completely see why you wouldnt want to deal with that when rsynch has been so successful for you...

    Perhaps people that are using R1Soft on a LAN can contribute their experiences.
    has been smooth sailing. the bare metal restores are awesome - both local and remote. Ability to restore a downed server simply by having it pingable and with new drives in mins to hours instead of hours to days is a HUGE value add. The way it handles mysql is amazing. Giving customers the ability to manage their own backups and restorations from a nice, easy to use and functional GUI - priceless....

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    We have sold quite a few r1soft dedicated servers to customers who backup their remote data to our data center... most (not all granted) love it...



    OK - this I definately believe. it is certainly more complex then rsynch and the initial setups, drivers, etc can be a bit of a pain to setup. I certainly believe that its significantly more support then you are used to - as we have found that as well - at least on the initial setups - once you get past that, it is smooth sailing - but, in your case, I can completely see why you wouldnt want to deal with that when rsynch has been so successful for you...



    has been smooth sailing. the bare metal restores are awesome - both local and remote. Ability to restore a downed server simply by having it pingable and with new drives in mins to hours instead of hours to days is a HUGE value add. The way it handles mysql is amazing. Giving customers the ability to manage their own backups and restorations from a nice, easy to use and functional GUI - priceless....
    What specs are you running on your CDP server? Have you ever handled a very large database with the mySQL module?
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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    What specs are you running on your CDP server? Have you ever handled a very large database with the mySQL module?
    server specs will vary on the CDP server and what that particular cdp server is doing. We have MANY cdp servers, not just 1...

    we use r1soft to backup everything except our FreeBSD boxes - and for BSD, we are still stuck using rsynch...

    Lets see, we back up all windows, linux and exchange servers using r1soft - close to 500 servers in total.

    we then have a number of clients leasing dedicated CDP servers from us to back up their remote data

    We have customers running dedicated, load balanced arrays of mysql nodes backing up using r1soft every hour. customers simply love it as they can log in and be as granular with the restore as they like (ie just restore a specific table from a specific point in time).

    r1soft has completely streamlined our backup processes. we have the data center version of the product and we can scale out almost infinitely across as many cdp servers and storage devices as we need to. We can centrally manage and even provision the agents and we can integrate all customers (including shared, reseller, vps, dedicated, dedicated cluster) into a central web interface while splitting their actual backup tasks across multiple CDP servers and their actual storage across multiple storage devices...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post

    The way it handles mysql is amazing. Giving customers the ability to manage their own backups and restorations from a nice, easy to use and functional GUI - priceless....

    Customers can't restore their own MySQL DBs yet.... very annoying they didn't provide this feature. There is also the issue of the non-existent user postgresql restores. The only thing r1soft has going for it is the block-level backup, which is slick. However, we've had issues recently with disksafes "suddenly" becoming corrupt. (invalid magic number issue) It's a nice concept, but we are disappointed with the implementation.

    Their sales team is great, especially when you need an issue resolved and support is not responsive.



    Regards,
    Last edited by utropicmedia-karl; 04-26-2008 at 01:42 PM.

  21. #21
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    R1Soft is pretty decent in a LAN environment. That being said, disk safe corruption happens on a relatively frequent basis and performance over a WAN can be very, very lame. The product is still relatively immature, as it seems like every time we turn a new customer up on it, we discover some other sort of bizarre issue.
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  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by tonyFF View Post
    They do not advertise it publicly - their reseller FusionXhost offers it and is well priced.
    Just to clarify, we are no longer resellers of BQ and run our own rsync and R1Soft servers
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    R1Soft is pretty decent in a LAN environment. That being said, disk safe corruption happens on a relatively frequent basis and performance over a WAN can be very, very lame. The product is still relatively immature, as it seems like every time we turn a new customer up on it, we discover some other sort of bizarre issue.
    We have a number of users that use our R1Soft services that are located in the Houston and Texas area and we see some pretty good results. Granted you may not get the same results as being on a LAN, but the transfer speeds are quite comparable. I can say that it is defiantly something that should be used in a local market and using R1Soft for long distances isn't a good idea.

    Ryan
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by utropicmedia-karl View Post
    Customers can't restore their own MySQL DBs yet....
    very annoying they didn't provide this feature.
    HUH? - sure they can - all of our customers have access. However, only dedicated clients have table level access - shared and reseller customers can restore their mysql db's without issue... though, we did custom code this for hsphere as that is one control panel they dont support - so, we needed to write that code...

    However, we've had issues recently with disksafes "suddenly" becoming corrupt. (invalid magic number issue)
    never seen anything like this over 100's of servers and TB's of data...

    support is not responsive.
    again, not an issue we have had....in fact, our experience has been quite the opposite...

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    That being said, disk safe corruption happens on a relatively frequent basis
    ok - this is the 3rd or so person in this thread that has indicated this. considering the size of our install base for r1soft - and considering we have never seen anything like this - I am starting to wonder out loud about some of y'alls deployment..

    what sort of cdp servers are you using? what specs? what sort of storage devices are you using? how many agents do you have running in a single CDP server?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    ok - this is the 3rd or so person in this thread that has indicated this. considering the size of our install base for r1soft - and considering we have never seen anything like this - I am starting to wonder out loud about some of y'alls deployment..

    what sort of cdp servers are you using? what specs? what sort of storage devices are you using? how many agents do you have running in a single CDP server?
    That is kind of what I asked you already as you are apparently the only one who doesn't have such issues. What specs are you running on CDP servers?

    For that matter I don't know a single person who hasn't had issues with the r1soft restore.
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  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    That is kind of what I asked you already as you are apparently the only one who doesn't have such issues. What specs are you running on CDP servers?
    As I said, it varies - but, typically, we are looking at dual or quad core, dual xeons, 4-8 GB RAM and then attached to a storage device. Most our our backup arrays (for backups like this, we tend to use Dell MD3000's with SAS drives...or some even with SATA drives - but, SATA produce slower restores) will have split backplanes - so, we can divide the volume up and have a CDP server per volume on the storage device...

    For that matter I don't know a single person who hasn't had issues with the r1soft restore.
    this just isnt an accurate statement. Many of our larger competitors use them exclusively without issue. Always seems to be the smaller installs that have the problems - which kind of says something to me...

    you guys are hammering on a product that works exactly as advertised and has saved us (and others I know) literally 100's of 1000's of dollars...

    looking at our stats, we have no less then 200-300 unique restore processes per day (and some days alot more). That means, that across our fleet and across our customer set (shared, reseller, dedicated, etc), we have 200-300 people per day logging into the system and executing a restore of some sort (web, email, data base, etc) - the restore process from the central controlling server then goes to 1 of multiple CDP servers and restores ultimately from various storage devices...

    We have also utilized r1soft for quite a few bare metal restores over the last couple of years very successfully. The only issue we had once was on windows where the system couldnt recognize the raid driver in the system and didnt want to restore unless we went with a single volume - sent it over to r1soft support, they wrote a new module for us, compiled it into our install and off we went...

    so - this claim of 100% problems with them, everyone has problems, data always gets corrupted, etc - sorry guys, Im not buying it, or else we would have seen it by now...

    r1soft wasnt our first attempt at a proper backup/recovery solution - this one was by far the best. I keep hearing people talking about rsynch - wow - frankly - no one with serious backup requirements can use rsynch - there is no scalability to the solution, no real automation, very little end user usability - it just isnt a viable solution for a company with any sort of significant noc presence...

    we have tried ashay (still own a bunch of licenses if someone wants to buy them - great product if you have a small handful of servers, useless after that), Arkeia (limiting), solution from CA (probably the only one close to r1soft functionality wise, but costs 10x as much if not more and still not as effective), acronis (decent, but limiting and very expensive), etc - Im sure there are a few more we tried as well...

    so, if r1soft doesnt work for you - what exactly are you guys using - I would love to know - and please dont tell me rsynch -
    Last edited by cartika-andrew; 04-26-2008 at 06:17 PM.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    As I said, it varies - but, typically, we are looking at dual or quad core, dual xeons, 4-8 GB RAM and then attached to a storage device. Most our our backup arrays (for backups like this, we tend to use Dell MD3000's with SAS drives...or some even with SATA drives - but, SATA produce slower restores) will have split backplanes - so, we can divide the volume up and have a CDP server per volume on the storage device...
    We have several hp blades and ultimately you have summed up what part of r1softs issue is, which is sata drives. We have been using 15x300gb sas drives in each of the new CDP servers as of a few weeks back and granted it has been "better" but it's still not all that great.


    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    this just isnt an accurate statement. Many of our larger competitors use them exclusively without issue. Always seems to be the smaller installs that have the problems - which kind of says something to me...
    In total we only backup just over 300 machines on 8 CDP servers. The overall issues with r1soft are most likely due to implimentation which ultimately is due to the requirements of r1soft (which are not documented). I actually spoken to David on the phone for a few hours just 2 weeks ago and to sum it up essentially he recommended running around 25 active hosts per CDP server (We have around 40-45 , however not all backup due to the driver issues with grsec kernels [which was actually fixed on the phone]).

    Nobody here is slating r1soft, their product is a great idea but it's not fully there yet. Which is why it's so cheap, David himself stated this. Does this mean it shouldn't be used? Ofcourse not.

    How dare you dismiss my own and everyone else's opinion. I am actually very shocked at your attituted in this thread.
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  29. #29
    How dare you dismiss my own and everyone else's opinion. I am actually very shocked at your attituted in this thread.
    did you actually just say "how dare I" - ok, got a good chuckle out of that... I think you need to relax - I am just stating things factually - sorry if that offended you...

    I am dismissing the possibility that 100% of installs have data corruption, etc... and that "everyone" as you put it has had problems.. the flip side is, I am hearing a few people speak of problems - and frankly, they just arent problems we have had...

    In total we only backup just over 300 machines on 8 CDP servers.
    ok - at least we are speaking a good install size here and you have avoided the common pitfall of not enough CDP servers for the number of agents you are backing up. What HAS annoyed me is people saying - well, r1soft corrupts data, stick with rsynch - and seriously, that isnt a viable option...

    you have summed up what part of r1softs issue is, which is sata drives.
    Can you elaborate. 1 of our storage devices is using SATA drives and havent had an issue - other then restores taking longer then we would like.... we do not seem to have this issue on the sas devices... for obvious reasons...

    We have several hp blades
    we use blades as well, but, not for the CDP servers. May I ask how you are connecting the blades to the storage devices. we had problems there as well, but, frankly, it was because of the cards used for the blades to connect to the storage devices turned out to be of poor quality. I just dont think the hardware was ready to take on those tasks in such a small size yet as found in those "mini" blade cards (this was while ago granted). we switched to traditional 1U server units, with known, tried tested and true components and off we went - but, this was a hardware architecture issue - not an r1soft issue...

  30. #30
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    We use r1soft for our backups, all across a LAN, all Linux, no issues, no corrupt disk safes, and a slick bare metal restore.

    - John C.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCrowley View Post
    We use r1soft for our backups, all across a LAN, all Linux, no issues, no corrupt disk safes, and a slick bare metal restore.

    - John C.


    phew, thought I was going crazy for a minute

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    I am dismissing the possibility that 100% of installs have data corruption, etc... and that "everyone" as you put it has had problems.. the flip side is, I am hearing a few people speak of problems - and frankly, they just arent problems we have had...
    I don't have those issues either, however I don't see anywhere in this thread where it says that 100% of installs have data corruption issues. Even though I do not encounter those issues it does not mean they don't exist.

    Which is ultimately why I have taken offense to your statements, you have claimed that because you do not encounter the issues highlighted by people in this thread that they do not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post

    Can you elaborate. 1 of our storage devices is using SATA drives and havent had an issue - other then restores taking longer then we would like.... we do not seem to have this issue on the sas devices... for obvious reasons...
    The restores taking long is the primary issue, for example over 8 hours for 10-20gb of data.

    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    we use blades as well, but, not for the CDP servers. May I ask how you are connecting the blades to the storage devices. we had problems there as well, but, frankly, it was because of the cards used for the blades to connect to the storage devices turned out to be of poor quality. I just dont think the hardware was ready to take on those tasks in such a small size yet as found in those "mini" blade cards (this was while ago granted). we switched to traditional 1U server units, with known, tried tested and true components and off we went - but, this was a hardware architecture issue - not an r1soft issue...
    The issue with the slow restores is just sheer I/O that r1soft requires during restores/backup routines. The hardware r1soft requires (As I said above, if you plan to use any sort of active install you will need very fast drives otherwise you're in for a very long wait for any sort of restore.

    We ultimately had 4 primary issues with r1soft which were the slow restores (using faster drives, around 25 hosts per CDP server, dropping the number of backup threads during restores) is the solution to that.

    R1soft causing I/O issues on virutozzo systems when it hits the /vz partition. This still exists but ultimately the only way to get anywhere is to run with those I/O issues for r1soft to have the data they require.

    The driver hanging when installing, this is because of the network socket, while it's not resolved it's easily fixed.

    Slow support, it can take forever for responses. It took over 7 days to get a response to the slow restore questions posed and the only reason a response was in 7 days is because I called sales. This was however explained and I had a nice conversation with David on the phone.

    Overall r1soft does have issues , theres no questioning that and r1soft will tell you as much themselves and as I said in my previous post it's also the reason why it's so cheap.

    Despite the issues there's nothing available that compares to it, many of the people I have spoken to have issues are all similar related issues which are generally all due to I/O, support, the driver or the windows client.
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  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    Which is ultimately why I have taken offense to your statements, you have claimed that because you do not encounter the issues highlighted by people in this thread that they do not exist.
    I was speaking specifically of data corruption - not anything else...so, fair enough - I certainly didnt mean to offend you. r1soft isnt perfect - it is, in my opinion, the best solution available...but, many in this thread and another one have stated - the data corrupts and is useless - and honestly 1) that isnt true and 2) its a pretty strong statement about a solution that provides backups - so, I felt obligated to defend them because they have done wonders for us...

    We ultimately had 4 primary issues with r1soft which were the slow restores (using faster drives, around 25 hosts per CDP server, dropping the number of backup threads during restores) is the solution to that.
    Agreed, IO is an issue - but, you somewhat expect that with the way the solution works. SCSI or SAS drives will resolve this. Ive got to say, havent seen restore times as long as you are talking about, even with SATA drives - but, fair enough..

    R1soft causing I/O issues on virutozzo systems when it hits the /vz partition. This still exists but ultimately the only way to get anywhere is to run with those I/O issues for r1soft to have the data they require.
    Interesting, we do not run Virtuozzo, but, nice to know...

    The driver hanging when installing, this is because of the network socket, while it's not resolved it's easily fixed.
    hmmm - we may have hit that on the first install. Since we automate provisioning, I am assuming this was resolved at that level as I havent heard about it.. but, we can agree this isnt a big deal..

    Slow support, it can take forever for responses. It took over 7 days to get a response to the slow restore questions posed and the only reason a response was in 7 days is because I called sales. This was however explained and I had a nice conversation with David on the phone.
    if they are indeed providing consistently slow support - then yes, this is something they will need to address - no doubt about it..

    Overall r1soft does have issues , theres no questioning that and r1soft will tell you as much themselves and as I said in my previous post it's also the reason why it's so cheap.
    They, like any good software vendor will tell you the deficiencies in their product and outline a roadmap to resolution/improvement - no doubt about that...

    Despite the issues there's nothing available that compares to it, many of the people I have spoken to have issues are all similar related issues which are generally all due to I/O, support, the driver or the windows client.
    OK - at least this is a fair assessment - the Windows client has had a lot of work done to it and is working pretty close to flawlessly. When we first signed on, the windows agents were still in beta (heck, havent checked in awhile, they still may be) - but, for a beta, they were incredibly stable with very few bugs - which have been addressed. However, the issues you have listed above are pretty typical for a solution like this. IO will always be an issue with disk based storage and retrieval systems. Support sounds like its something they need to work on. However, this is a far cry from data corrupting, etc - the product works and works very well. Are there areas for improvement? certainly - no question - but, customers of r1soft also need to put together the right infrastructure for this sort of thing... simply slapping up a CDP server with a huge IDE drive and expecting it to backup 50 servers countinuously and perform bare metal restores in minutes isnt really reasonable (not insinuating this is what you did or said - but, I get the impression from some, that this is exactly what they tried)...

    We probably should have been the last 2 people in this thread to get into a pissing match - as honestly, we arent that far apart - but, when I see people posting that r1soft will suddenly corrupt data, etc - that is what got me a little frustrated - because its fairly obvious to anyone that has used it that data corruption is not an issue - unless you are so poorly architected to handle disk based backups that you have created this issue for yourself...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    The restores taking long is the primary issue, for example over 8 hours for 10-20gb of data.
    We've had complaints of slow restores as well, but it doesn't even compare to the speed for disk safe verification and defragmentation. We ran a defragmentation for a customer a few weeks back (in response to a complaint that the disk safe usage numbers are wrong, which R1Soft is now investigating), and it took over 3 days to defragment a 150GB disk safe. During that time, they could not perform any backups or restores without canceling the defragmentation task. I've seen plenty of similar complaints on R1Soft's own forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    The issue with the slow restores is just sheer I/O that r1soft requires during restores/backup routines.
    I have watched the output of various I/O profiling tools while the R1Soft server software runs, and it causes obscene amounts of I/O. It could easily be cut down by 90%+ if R1Soft would use efficient algorithms. The current solution, as you noted, seems to be to throw hardware at the problem. It shouldn't have to be like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott.Mc View Post
    I actually spoken to David on the phone for a few hours just 2 weeks ago and to sum it up essentially he recommended running around 25 active hosts per CDP server
    This is another problem for us. To require a dedicated backup server just to back up 25 hosts is unacceptable, and drives costs up. It comes back to efficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    if they are indeed providing consistently slow support - then yes, this is something they will need to address - no doubt about it..
    We have experienced this as well. I'm sure R1Soft is busy, but when a customer's backups suddenly stop working, they don't want to wait 2 weeks to get it resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    its fairly obvious to anyone that has used it that data corruption is not an issue - unless you are so poorly architected to handle disk based backups that you have created this issue for yourself...
    I've counted a good number of people in this thread that have indicated that they have had disk safe corruption problems. It's great that you've been lucky and it hasn't happened to you, but when this many people are saying it does happen, that's not a gamble I'm willing to take with my customers' backup data. It's obviously not an isolated issue.

    It has been a while since one of our customers lost their backups due to disk safe corruption, so R1Soft has made improvements in this area. The problems we did have in the past were confirmed by R1Soft support to be bugs in their software. For example, it happened a few times due to crashes in the JVM, confirmed and later fixed by R1Soft.

    Since 2.0, I've seen a few more cases of minor disk safe corruption, but their new disk safe repair utility has fixed those. There were a couple of times where the repair utility couldn't finish, but R1Soft released fixes which allowed us to recover the disk safes at a later date.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    The product is still relatively immature, as it seems like every time we turn a new customer up on it, we discover some other sort of bizarre issue.
    This is what really put the last nail in the coffin as far as our decision to stop offering this service. It seems like every time a bug is fixed, a new one is introduced. As a software developer, I shake my head at some of the ways things have been implemented, and the amount of time it has taken to fix trivial problems.

    As a conclusion, I want to reiterate that the R1Soft software works fine for some folks, especially in a DC LAN environment. David and Mario at R1Soft seem to be nice guys, and I don't want it to look like I'm bashing their software. It just wasn't working out for us as a remote backup provider. As with anything, your mileage my vary.
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  35. #35
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    Scott,

    Have you found a good CDP alternative to r1soft?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MACscr View Post
    Scott,

    Have you found a good CDP alternative to r1soft?
    I'll be the first Scott to answer that

    I haven't seen any good alternatives to R1Soft that would be suitable for the web hosting market. They target the DC/hosting market, whereas the other big backup solutions out there are more designed for backing up enterprise networks at big corporations, and are a lot more expensive and fairly clunky.

    With that said, I haven't been looking too hard. Our specialty is doing cheap backups using open-source tools, so using a big proprietary backup system doesn't really fit what we do.
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
    Remote Rsync and FTP backup solutions
    *** http://www.bqbackup.com/ ***

  37. #37
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    Just to add a few comments about our CDP experience:

    Our current disk safe corruption issues, admittedly, all happen on the same server, which is a SuperMicro box with a 16 port Areca RAID controller. We recently swapped everything except for the drives in the server itself, and that didn't fix the issue. I really can't see the issue being the drives themselves, but who knows. I will also add that the same server was working perfectly fine on a different backup platform for about a year before we moved to CDP. Before CDP 2.0 came out, we had disk safe corruption all over the place across multiple servers and it was frequent and persistent. It also didn't help that their techs dorked up our CDP server by putting a 32bit development load onto our 64bit server. I honestly wonder if there isn't still some sort of underlying corruption of R1Soft data files on the system that still has corruption issues because of that incident.

    We are primarily a Windows shop, and we bought a site license in March 2007 and were basically promised that a real Windows agent was just around the corner. While they have actually had a beta Windows agent since April 2007, it was more like alpha quality and literally hundreds of hours were put into dealing with all its issues. Now, the Windows agent is finally pretty decent, but the big issue is that they still don't have a device driver released for Windows which allows them to do speedy backups. But because of this, we still about 100 additional hosts we are waiting to move to CDP. This driver is supposedly right around the corner ... and has been since 6 months ago. CDP also relies entirely on VSS on Windows, and they are very quick to make the issue into a VSS one, not a R1Soft one. The way I see it is they decided to use VSS, they should support the VSS issues that come with it.

    Curiously, the hardware that they recommend you use is also a moving target. When we initially setup our CDP, we did it as they said we should have, and then 6 months down the road, they were trying to blame issues we were having because we were using a non recommended hardware setup (WTF???).

    The data center edition of CDP is also missing many critical utilities that would exist in a truly multi-server system. There is no way for disk safes to span multiple volumes or servers. There is no way to move disk safes between servers. There is no way to move a client between servers. In a nut shell, this means if you run out of room on one server, you have to delete all the backups you have for a few clients, move them over to a new server, and cross your fingers the customers doesn't need any backups for a few days. Not very smooth.

    The biggest pain in the *** is the support department. The typical initial response on any sort of issue is minimum 24-48 hours, if we are lucky. And that response will usually be some sort of a stall tactic (please send us this other log file, blah blah blah) -- meanwhile, the are fully capable of getting those log files themselves because we have repeatedly provided them with the credentials to our CDP server. I believe we currently have some tickets that are about 4-8 weeks old and have no resolution and don't even seem to be on the path to resolution. Aside from that, their support systems just suck. They use some sort of email based ticketing system that has no customer front end and does not send a ticket history with their replies. As a result, we have to spend additional time digging through our inboxes and sent items once they actually do response so that we can figure out which issue they are talking about. There's really no reason why they can't manage to use a helpdesk system with a customer front end. They also used to provide phone support, but no longer do so.

    Ultimately, I do feel that our investment in CDP will pay off, but there's still a long way for the product to go.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
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  38. #38
    ok - these last few posts best illustrate my point. Everyone seems to agree there isnt a better solution, but, that is only after being called to the carpet on it....

    almost every issue I have seen outlined here appears to be a hardware architecture issue. Now, the argument can be made that r1soft didnt and hasnt documented all of this very well, but, you need to remember - 1) they are fairly new (so, I am sure they havent had time - but, by the sounds of it, they should make the time) and 2) I am sure they are learning alot of this as they go...

    I have watched the output of various I/O profiling tools while the R1Soft server software runs, and it causes obscene amounts of I/O.
    Well of course it will. But, no one has actually answered my question. What you you running? what sort of processors, how much ram, what speed drives, what kind of drives, how many agents on that particular cdp server?

    Its all fine and dandy to say you have had IO issues, but, are you being reasonable with your expectations. I can pretty much guarantee that the corruption issues being reported are caused by insufficient hardware to handle the tasks, resulting in very high IO, which of course can lead to data corruption..

    I know I am going to be called all sorts of nasty names again - but, thats alright - I can take it

    you guys are all hosts - forget you even knew about r1soft. If a managed hosting customer of yours was running their own solution that backed up lets say 40 client servers every 2 mins - and they had a PIV server with 1 GB RAM and a couple of large IDE drives in there (and lets hope they werent using software raid - LOL) and they came to you and complained of high IO and data corruption - so, you look at their system and see that their software is backing up from multiple sources on a countinual basis (every 2 mins) and occassionally even performing a restore - you looked at the server, saw the server hitting swap hard, and saw really high IO caused from the constant reading/writing as an unsustainable pace for the speed of their drives and their overall IO capability - what exactly would you tell them?

    It could easily be cut down by 90%+ if R1Soft would use efficient algorithms. The current solution, as you noted, seems to be to throw hardware at the problem. It shouldn't have to be like that.
    oh come on man - I am seriously not trying to be an @$$ - but - please - write me the algorithm that would allow continual read and writes from multiple sources without causing IO issues and without needing to throw hardware at it - if you could do this - well, you are a heck of alot smarter then any of the companies currently trying to do this...

    This is another problem for us. To require a dedicated backup server just to back up 25 hosts is unacceptable, and drives costs up. It comes back to efficiency.
    then dont back up countinually. If you backup once per day, you can get 100 or more agents per properly equipped CDP server without issue. Of course you will need more hardware if you are backing up every 2 mins for example (vs once per day)

    Our current disk safe corruption issues, admittedly, all happen on the same server, which is a SuperMicro box with a 16 port Areca RAID controller. We recently swapped everything except for the drives in the server itself, and that didn't fix the issue. I really can't see the issue being the drives themselves, but who knows.
    OK - thanks for being honest here - pretty clearly if it is 1 server, and 1 server ONLY causing the issue - then likely the issue is there. What are the server specs and drive specs here - how many agents is it supporting and how frequent are the backups - I imagine your problem will reveal itself once you look at it from this angle...

    The data center edition of CDP is also missing many critical utilities that would exist in a truly multi-server system. There is no way for disk safes to span multiple volumes or servers. There is no way to move disk safes between servers. There is no way to move a client between servers. In a nut shell, this means if you run out of room on one server, you have to delete all the backups you have for a few clients, move them over to a new server, and cross your fingers the customers doesn't need any backups for a few days. Not very smooth.
    Agreed - their Data Center version needs some work as far as streamlining processes - but, you must admit - there is NOTHING even remotely close to what r1soft is currently capable of in the marketplace today...

    Curiously, the hardware that they recommend you use is also a moving target. When we initially setup our CDP, we did it as they said we should have, and then 6 months down the road, they were trying to blame issues we were having because we were using a non recommended hardware setup (WTF???).
    Yeah, this is something we have had to figure out on our own via trial and error. I am hopeful they will have better documentation as they go along and as everyone figures this out... the entire concept is pretty new - they are re-inventing the wheel here...

    Ultimately, I do feel that our investment in CDP will pay off, but there's still a long way for the product to go.
    and here, in a nutshell - is where my issue with this entire thread is... We all seem to agree that nothing like this exists - it is the best and only real available solution that addresses our needs as hosting providers - yet, you really need to dig deep in this thread to see that - anyone reading this thread is not going to get any sort of true indication of the value this solution brings to our business. It is already heads and tails better then anything else available for our industry. constructive critisism is one thing - but, that isnt what has gone on here - and it really is too bad as all you are accomplishing is to hinder the development of a product we all need and we all can admit is best of breed for our industry.

    Now, if the company isnt support you all properly - then yes, a bit of a public flogging is in order - but, as far as R&D goes - they have proven, beyound a doubt (at least to me), that they listen to our feedback and have significantly improved the product from their initial release (which was still VERY strong) and are countinuing to do so - I am just stumped on why a vendor, of a best of breed product no less, is getting this sort of treatment...

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    OK - thanks for being honest here - pretty clearly if it is 1 server, and 1 server ONLY causing the issue - then likely the issue is there. What are the server specs and drive specs here - how many agents is it supporting and how frequent are the backups - I imagine your problem will reveal itself once you look at it from this angle...
    Xeon E5420, 4GB RAM, Win2003 64Bit Edition, Areca ARC-1160 with 1GB Cache and BBU. The drives are all 400GB WD drives. Nothing super fancy, but no reason for it to not work properly either. The system itself is very stable, as well. We have about 75 clients on that box doing just simple daily backups.

    Quote Originally Posted by CartikaHosting View Post
    Now, if the company isnt support you all properly - then yes, a bit of a public flogging is in order - but, as far as R&D goes - they have proven, beyound a doubt (at least to me), that they listen to our feedback and have significantly improved the product from their initial release (which was still VERY strong) and are countinuing to do so - I am just stumped on why a vendor, of a best of breed product no less, is getting this sort of treatment...
    Support. Their support is clearly overworked and under-resourced at the time. Some of that goes back to development in terms of getting weird issues fixed / troubleshooted in a timely manner as well.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
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  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    Xeon E5420, 4GB RAM, Win2003 64Bit Edition, Areca ARC-1160 with 1GB Cache and BBU. The drives are all 400GB WD drives. Nothing super fancy, but no reason for it to not work properly either. The system itself is very stable, as well. We have about 75 clients on that box doing just simple daily backups.
    fair enough - strange that only 1 server would be causing you an issue though - would you agree? 75 clients is pretty high, but, if its just daily backups, you should be fine. Cant say I can explain this one, but, you must admit it is strange that just this 1 server is causing you issues...

    Support. Their support is clearly overworked and under-resourced at the time. Some of that goes back to development in terms of getting weird issues fixed / troubleshooted in a timely manner as well.
    again - fair enough - if their support isnt up to par, this is something they need to address and is certainly fair game to be brought up in a public forum like this.

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