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Alexandre Takacs



Joined: 05-Jul-14 12:00
Messages: 22
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Hi

Sorry I really did try to find this in the doc / FAQ but can't seem to locate the answer.

Is it possible to set a fixed limit for the archive size - say 1TB - and let QRecall manage it so that it doesn't grow past that ?
James Bucanek



Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
Messages: 1546
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Alexandre Takacs wrote:Is it possible to set a fixed limit for the archive size - say 1TB - and let QRecall manage it so that it doesn't grow past that ?

No such option currently exists, for a variety of reasons, which I'll touch on in a moment.

If you really want do have a "hard" limit on how much your archive grows I suggest placing the archive in its own drive partition of the desired size. QRecall detects when the disk is nearly full and will abort captures and other actions that would fail if they ran out of disk space.

If you do this, you'll probably want to adopt the actions created by the capture assistant when you choose "keep items as long as possible" and "use all available space":

  • Merge that first three (0 through 2) layers whenever the free space on the volume is less than 10%, run daily.

  • Compact the archive whenever the free space on the volume is less than 10%, run daily, after the merge.

  • These two actions mimic Time Machine's logic. They monitor the free space on the volume and start discarding the oldest items in the archive whenever the volume starts to get too full. The rest of the time, they do nothing.

    A requested feature, which is on the wish list for the next major version of QRecall, is to add a new "archive size more than X" schedule condition. That would allows actions to be scheduled based directly on the archive's size, rather than indirectly based on the free space available on its volume. If a feature like that would satisfy your needs, let me know.

    It would be technically very easy to add an option that strictly limits the size of an archive. But doing so just sets up QRecall for failure (rather than success). The logic that prevents the archive from getting too big when the disk space is low works by aborting capture actions, leaving items un-captured. In this situation, QRecall is choosing to protect the integrity of the archive over capturing all of the new items. But this is still a capture failure.

    If I implemented a user-configurable archive size, it just creates a situation where QRecall arbitratily stops working, and that seems like a bad idea.

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    Alexandre Takacs



    Joined: 05-Jul-14 12:00
    Messages: 22
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    Thanks for the detailed answer.

    Well to be honest I am looking for something that would be working as nicely as Time Machine when it comes to managing archive space - with TM is is really "set and forget" while in QR I have to regularly manually manage my archives. I will look into the advice you gave but somehow I feel there is room for improvement.
    James Bucanek



    Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
    Messages: 1546
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    Alexandre,

    Scheduled actions are the way you "set and forget" in QRecall. The actions described in the earlier post will manage your archive's overall size automatically, every day. Add a routine verify action and maybe an automated repair action, and you're good to go.

    If you want help setting up a comprehensive set of actions, use the QRecall Assistant (under the Help menu). It will ask you a series of questions and create a set of actions that implement your answers. You can then review the actions the assistant created, edit them to refine your solution, or throw them away and start over.

    The notable difference is that Time Machine has one management algorithm which you have no control over. QRecall gives you broad discretion on how you manage your archive. And that management can be completely automated, manual, or some combination you choose.

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    Alexandre Takacs



    Joined: 05-Jul-14 12:00
    Messages: 22
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    I certainly see your point but I have not - yet - found the "sweet spot"...

    Where TM "just works", capturing my system state every 2 hours and managing to provide 6 months history on a 2Tb usb3 drive without _any_ overwatch from me (and it _does_ work as tested multiple times) I have not yet managed to keep more than a dozen daily captures with QR and have to manually manage them (for the time being). The automated actions are not working within a decent time frame (ie 24h is not enough for QR to stay current - even with a single daily capture, with the very same hardware that works just fine with TM). I'm sure I am not using it correctly but there is a definite opportunity for improvement here IMHO.
    James Bucanek



    Joined: 14-Feb-07 10:05
    Messages: 1546
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    Alexandre,

    I suspect something else is going on.

    QRecall can certainly be configured to "just work," but in QRecall that's a choice.

    It doesn't make sense to me that you can keep 6 months of Time Machine data on a volume, but QRecall runs out of space in a couple of weeks. QRecall is much more space efficient than Time Machine. You should be able to keep anywhere from 2 to 4 times as much history using QRecall.

    For example, my main development system has a 960GB SSD. I capture my home directory every 3 hours and the entire volume daily. There's a rolling merge that keeps every capture for the past three days, consolidates daily captures for 30 days, then consolidates those into weekly layers for 26 weeks, and then finally merges those into monthly layers going back 18 months.

    This means I have captured data, at various levels of granularity, stretching back over 2 years. The archive size is 1.2TB (60% of a 2TB volume). I have never, once, had to "manually" manage anything about this archive.

    I'd be happy to help you find out what's going on. There are a number of possibilities. QRecall might be capturing a lot more data than Time Machine backs up, something else is using the space on your archive volume, or you need a different set of merge and compact actions to automatically manage its size.

    Taking the last one first, I would recommend deleting all of the actions you have for this archive and use the Capture Assistant (in the Help menu) to create a fresh set of actions. For you, I suggest choosing the "Keep 5 days, then less frequently for 1 month" and "Yes, discard the oldest items to make more room" options in the assistant. When the assistant is done, I invite you to review the rolling merge action and adjust the time scale/granularity to your liking. You might also want to create an additional capture action that captures your home folder every few hours during the day. This combination will most closely emulate Time Machine's default schedule.

    One of the important differences between QRecall and Time Machine is that when you run out of disk space, QRecall stops and lets you know. Time Machine just starts deleting things, without warning, until it has enough room.

    This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 13-Dec-16 14:09


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