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While at Collaboration University last year, I saw something that caught my eye about how to quickly and easily make a backup of a place, or all places in Quickr, using the command, "qptool -archive". Rob Novak of SNAPPS referred to it as the "poor man's backup". While it may be that, I use it, in conjunction with a number of other products to backup my places on a daily basis.
So, to get started, you are going to need a number of components.
* Enough free disk space, locally on the Quickr Server, to make a copy of all your places. You don't need enough room here for 5-7 copies of the data, as we are only going to have one copy on the server at a time
* A program document in your Address Book, to schedule the qptool command
* A FreeNAS server
or any server that can act as a rsync server, with enough free disk space to handle 5-7 copies of your places.
* A copy of DeltaCopy
- a nice Windows implementation of an rsync
client. Sure you can use other methods, but I find this application very robust and clean, plus, it can produce logs, which can also be emailed to me via SMTP
qptool program document setup
Arguments for qptool archive
From the IBM Help
Prints help on the command.
-dir path directory
Directory in which to archive places. If you specify an archive directory without an explicit path, the specified archive directory is put in the server data directory. If the specified directory does not already exist, it is created.
Note: The archive command does not archive a place that already exists in the archive directory.
My note: Yes it does! It readily overwrites the contents of the directory!
Corroborated by Rob Novak as well.
Archive all places.
Specifies a place or a space-separated list of places to archive.
XML input file located in the server program directory that specifies the places to archive.
XML output file that logs the results of the command. By default the command logs results to qptool.archive.xml in the server program directory.
My Program Document
So, my program document backs up all my places, every day of the week, to the D:\Quickrbu_temp directory, starting a 7:15PM.
If effectively runs this:
load qptool archive -dir D:\quickrbu_temp -a
Keep in mind that while qptool is running, it will lock the place it is currently "archiving", so, it will be unavailable during this time, but, it doesn't look all the places at once, only as it is working to "archive" it.
Introduction to FreeNAS
I'm not going to explain the whole setup of a FreeNAS server, but suffice it to say, if you have any working knowledge of Unix/Linux hard drive, device, partitioning, and mount points, it should be very simple to get it running. Even if you aren't that familiar with it - the learning curve isn't so steep. In terms of hardware, I run it on older Pentium III server with 512MB and it is more than adequate for this sort of usage. Just put some fresh drives in an older server, and run with it.
My two mount points for the storage are segregated by the source of data I store on them for my own purposes, but you could have any setup you like.
I setup a user in FreeNAS that will be used later in the FreeNAS module setup, as well as in DeltaCopy
Using the user I created, I begin the Rsync setup:
Then, I define the modules. I setup 5 paths where I will store the daily backups:
Once this setup is complete, we move onto the Quickr server to configure DeltaCopy
Introduction to DeltaCopy
DeltaCopy is a Windows interface to Rsync. If you are unfamiliar with Rsync, it is basically a file transfer program, originally for Unix only, but has since been ported for use in other Operating systems. While its core feature, of being able to copy just the differences in files and file structures is barely used in active places, another tip garnered from Rob Novak is that it can also be a fairly effective means of ensuring you have backups of deleted places, since, it is not going to delete the destination files that don't exist on the local files that qptool is creating. Also keep this in mind if you are running out of space on the FreeNAS box, since it is accumulating anything that qptool creates. Yes, i know rsync has an option to delete, just don't use it. I'll take on that small management task for the sake of safety in deleted places, even if the confirmation to delete a place in Quickr is more than robust. "Accidentally" deleting places somehow manages to happen...
Once you have it installed, fire up the DeltaCopy client. We don't need the server piece running at all on the Quickr server, nor do you have to configure anything in it.
First step, I create a series of profiles correspoding to the days that I want backups for:
In here, you give it a name, tell it the server name, and, if you hit the little "..." button, if you configure the rsync server to not be tied into the quickbu user, it would go off to your FreeNAS box and retrieve the list of modules we defined in FreeNAS. However, since I do use some security around it, just enter the the name of the FreeNAS module corresponding to the day, check the "add to scheduler" option and then, after you click the "Add Profile" button, go to the Authentication tab, and enter the username and password.
Add Folders and Files
Click the Add Folders, and select the output folder defined in the output folder of the -dir parameter you used in the qptool program document
You can also add in whatever other folders and files you'd like to include. I've added my notes.ini in there too.
There are a number of options, I'll leave these up to you, but the options I've selected work just fine.
Scheduling your profile
Once you have all your profiles defined, I schedule them to run. This utilized Windows' scheduler, so ensure that the Windows service is for this is set to run automatically on boot up, otherwise your scheduled jobs won't run. Also, you will need a Windows account that has permissions, be it a domain or local computer account, to get at the backup folder. Since we are going to schedule these jobs to run even if we aren't logged in, if we don't supply the jobs with a Windows account, the jobs will fail because it wouldn't have permissions to get at the local backup folder on the Quickr server.
So, click on the Modify Schedule (It will be add schedule if you forgot to check off the box in profile setup) and schedule the task.
The "Run" field and "Start in" will be populated, enter any comments you like, and in the "Run As", enter the DOMAIN\Username or HOSTNAME\Username that you will run this task as.
Next, setup the schedule. Keep in mind that the qptool needs time to complete, so be sure to allow for the execution time of it, and schedule the DeltaCopy job to run on "Weekdays", pick the day of the week corresponding to the profile, pick the time and OK/Apply it.
You can optionally configure the schedule settings, ensuring that the job doesn't run endlessly if something is wrong with it:
The scheduled jobs will show up in Windows' Scheduled Task Control Panel applet, but I do not recommend modifying them through this interface. Simply renaming them will cause DeltaCopy's interface to lose track of them, and the schedule won't display in the bottom of the DeltaCopy interace.
DeltaCopy Email Settings
Finally, you can configure DeltaCopy to email results of the job to you. Don't forget to ensure that the sending account is allowed to use your Domino SMTP server, and that you may need to get the Domino SMTP server to accept the Quickr server's IP address, and/or any other SMTP limitations you might have.
This, while it may sound a bit complex, is a great way to get your places backed up. If your server completely dies, you would have to rebuild the Place Catalog and a number of other items, but as long as you have the places, just about anything else can be pretty easily recreated. It might be helpful so schedule some other files, but with a Notes.ini, and all the places, rebuilding, while it may be time consuming, it can certainly be done.
Also, don't forget that this doesn't replace the need for other backups. My entire FreeNAS box gets backed up to LTO4 tape, and I off-site those tapes daily.