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Thread: Backups: Time machine, snapshots, smartguard

  1. #1

    Default Backups: Time machine, snapshots, smartguard

    I'm running parallels 6 with a Win XP vm. I've been googling/ researching to figure out how best to configure parallels to backup, but I still have a few questions.

    After selecting "configure virtual machine" and then navigating to the options tab and then to backup,

    1. If I enable Smartguard and select optimize for time machine, what exactly will happen? I understand that smartguard takes snapshots at certain intervals. Are these snapshots then backed up by time machine?

    2. Under default settings, smartguard saves 1 daily, 1 weekly, 1 monthly snapshot. Will I be able to access older snapshots (that smartguard has deleted) through time machine?

    3. If I turn on smartguard, but leave the box for "Time Machine: Do not back up virtual machine" checked, what will happen?

    4. Under the optimization settings, does selecting "Free Space: Automatically compress virtual disks" have any impact on how smartguard and time machine perform/ behave?

    Thanks,
    Josh



  2. #2
    Kilo Poster
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    These are excellent questions and exactly the questions I have as well. Why isn't there a response to this? Here's what I would like to accomplish, I want to know if it's possible and, if so, what combination of settings do I need to enable to make it happen?

    I am running an SSD, so the Time Machine performance impact, really isn't a concern for me. I'm primarily concerned about maintaining the integrity of the VHD file in my Time Machine backup since I have the VHD split into smaller files to minimize the amount of data I need to backup when Time Machine creates a new backup.

    What I'd like to have happen is to have Time Machine just backup the SmartGuard snapshots that are created every day and leave the active VHD files alone, unless Parallels somehow accounts for this already... Either way, it would be great to have more details about exactly what behavior is changed with the settings in Parallels v6. The manual is pretty light on details.



  3. #3
    Banned
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    well i guess it is already the 3 of us who need answers on these questions. same case here, hope someone from Parallel team will be able to address all of it.



  4. #4
    Kilo Poster
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    Anyone? Beuller?? Guess I'll have to open a support ticket...



  5. #5
    Kilo Poster
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    Anyone? Beuller?? I've opened a support ticket asking for clarification on this thread. We'll see if we can get any answers.



  6. #6
    Kilo Poster
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    Here is what I received back from support. Hope this answers everyone's questions. If there is still more clarification needed, let me know and I'll keep the ticket open. Just post the questions you have.

    1. If I enable Smartguard and select optimize for time machine, what exactly will happen? I understand that smartguard takes snapshots at certain intervals. Are these snapshots then backed up by time machine?

    - If you select this option, a snapshot will be taken every 24 hours. Time Machine, when backing up your Mac, will not back up the entire virtual machine, but only its latest snapshot. This allows you to reduce the amount of data that Time Machine backs up, to reduce the time Time Machine spends backing up the virtual hard disk(s), and to minimize the risk of data loss or corruption when restoring the virtual machine hard disk(s) from the Time Machine backup.

    2. Under default settings, smartguard saves 1 daily, 1 weekly, 1 monthly snapshot. Will I be able to access older snapshots (that smartguard has deleted) through time machine?

    - Yes, it would be possible. However, if you prefer to restore to the old snapshot, we will have to restore the complete virtual machine from the time machine and then restore to that specific snapshot which you prefer.

    3. If I turn on smartguard, but leave the box for "Time Machine: Do not back up virtual machine" checked, what will happen?

    - By default it should not backup the virtual machine's file (.pvm) in the time machine and as per the settings that you would have set under 'Smartguard/Custom', the snapshots will be taken periodically and will be saved under this .pvm file on your Mac.

    4. Under the optimization settings, does selecting "Free Space: Automatically compress virtual disks" have any impact on how smartguard and time machine perform/ behave?

    - This option "Automatically compress virtual disks" will be available only when smartguard is disabled. It will be available only for virtual machines that do not have snapshots and hence we would not be able to use both "Automatically compress virtual disks" and Smartguard simultaneously.



  7. #7

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    For me there are still open question regarding the restore perpective:

    1. Does a specific snapshot contain everything vor this version? Means does Parallels need more then one Snapshot being restored from time machine?

    2. What is best practice for the PVM intiial backup?

    3. What about if the initial PVM backup is timed out in time machine (Which happened to me one time). Means there is not anymore a backup.

    thx



  8. #8

    Default

    I had the same question and went to the Apple Geniuses. They made my Time Machine STOP backing up the VM so now the backup is quicker. What I do is every week, or more often, I do a complete clone using Carbon Copy Cloner to my portable drive. This way if I have an issue technically I'll be able to restore from my clone and everything will be back to normal. I say technically because I haven't tried to restore and I'm just counting on Carbon Copy Cloner to be a good reliable program as I've read everywhere.
    Mac Air, 13 inch, Mid 2011, running Mountain Lion 10.8.2 (12C60) and Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac / Build 7.0.15107 / Revision 796624 ( 3 SEP 2012 )



  9. #9

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    That sounds right and is along the lines what I was thinking of doing. However, what settings should be used on CCC? Since about two weeks after installing Parallels Desktop 7 (PD7) for Mac, my CCC backup has become bloated and I get a disk full error on my backup volume.

    Also, what would be the "Restore" process with this implementation? I would assume I restore from the latest CCC clone backup, then update that from my Time Machine backup?

    FYI, I'm using Windows 7 Professional on my PD7 virtual machine. Just trying to figure out what the best backup strategy is for my Mac w/virtual machine.

    Thanks!



  10. #10
    Kilo Poster
    Join Date
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    If you use Time Machine for backup, I suppose it would be the best setting to set PD's SmartGuard to Optimize for Time Machine.



  11. #11

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    BVR :

    I'm not even counting on Time Machine for a major restore because as per the geniuses it's not like a Windows Restore. That said they really didn't give me a good explanation of what it does if it isn't like a windows Restore! They just give you lots of mumbo jumbo trying to make you think it's better than Windows of course.

    Anyway once I restore from CCC then time machine on the laptop won't have anything newer because time machine will have what I cloned on CCC at that time. When you clone the entire disk you clone an entire bootable drive so you can actually boot up on another machine with your CCC backup like if it were your own machine. I did that at the Apple store with my portable drive that had my CCC backup and a store Mac Air so at least I know the clone was working fine.

    My settings look like this on CCC :

    Files and folders on "Mac CCC" that are not present on "Macintosh HD" will be deleted from "Mac CCC". CCC will run its deletion pass before copying files.

    Previously backed up files on "Mac CCC" will be updated only if the size or modification date differs.

    Older versions of updated files will not be archived.



    The one setting "CCC will run its deletion pass before copying files." you can find clicking on "Customize these settings" then click on "ADVANCED SETTINGS" on CCC.



  12. #12

    Default

    Reviving an old topic......

    I am a bit concerned that Parallels has not thought through the whole Time Machine/Parallels interaction. My own experience with a support ticket and the explanations above do not convince me they know what is happening.

    One of my questions to Support was whether it was possible to restore a full working copy of a VM from Time Machine. Specifically:

    1. With SmartGuard enabled, does it backup the full VM at the start?

    2. If SmartGuard has been running for some weeks, and lots of intervening snapshots have been deleted, will the remaining undeleted snapshots allow me to restore a working VM? (A comment above suggests it will, but I got no such assurances in my support ticket.)

    And my current issue is that my Time Machine disk is full. The reason is all those snapshots that have been backed up then deleted still exist on the Time Machine disk.

    Ok, that is probably what you would expect. But try to delete them in Time Machine! It will not open the VM package to allow them to be deleted. Something about the package prevents Time Machine from seeing inside it. (Time Machine can open the iPhoto Library package fine.)

    So I am stuck with half a terabyte of snapshots that I do not need, and that I cannot get rid of short of going through the Time Machine Disk manually and deleting them.

    Any ideas?



  13. #13

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    I religiously back up using Time Machine. I erased my Mac HD, and restored completely from the time machine backup. Now my Parallels 9.0 will not run. Once i double click on the .PVM file I get the error

    The specified bundle is invalid.
    the bundle does not contain a valid parallels virtual machine.

    It seems to me that there is some permissions issue, i have made the file READ/WRITE permission but it does not help.

    Any Suggestions?



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