December 16, 2008

More BackupPC sizing considerations

Filed under: UNIX & Linux — Tags: , — martin @ 7:12 am

After the ALIX had failed, I moved my BackupPC instance to a leftover Dell workstation with 1.7 GHZ Pentium 4 and 768 GB MB of RAM.

While this is somewhat usable, the machine is badly overloaded. When multiple backup tasks are running, all RAM plus 1 GB of swap space are fully used. And the USB 2.0 disk used for storage causes the system to be waiting for I/O 70-90% of the time. On the other hand, I should probably stop the manual scheduling of backup jobs and let BackupPC do it on its own.

Nevertheless, it can be said that retrieving, compressing and indexing files surely appears to be a lot more work than just serving them. 🙂


  1. Was fuer Backups faehrst du da, dass du 768 GB RAM voll bekommst und dann noch ein extra GB swappen musst? 😉

    Comment by Jens — December 16, 2008 @ 7:44 am

  2. Uuuuumpf. Voll in die Falle getappt und dahergelabert wie ein Mediamarkt-Verkäufer. 😮

    Comment by martin — December 16, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  3. That any type of USB drive makes you wait hours for I/O is not surprising here. Nonetheless, I wonder what’s stressing the backup server so badly? Is BackupPC based on rsync? If not, I wonder if an rsync-based solution would be easier on your system (considering it’s been a well-used technology for-like-ever so it may be quite fast).

    Comment by Fred — December 17, 2008 @ 6:32 am

  4. Actually, rsync appears to be part of the problem. My main file server has 2 million files. The incremental rsync grew to 1.5 GB process size over 24 hours before I killed it. Swapping plus rsync examining local files just doesn’t seem to scale all that well. I probably just need to acquire decent hardware for the job. 🙂

    Comment by martin — December 17, 2008 @ 6:57 am

  5. Let’s not forget that “decent” would probably mean 64 bit, as you would otherwise soon hit the next limit (3/4 GB RAM) as your MP3-collection grows further… 😉

    Perhaps “Enterprise-Grade” isn’t the best description for BackupPC after all as long as it is not able to split rsync jobs.

    Comment by kg — December 18, 2008 @ 9:32 pm

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