Time Machine Backup and Snapshots

Discussion in 'Installation and Configuration' started by MR007, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. MR007

    MR007

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    I recently purchased a backup drive and began using Time Machine. My initial backup was quite lengthy as expected. However, now each time I back up, if I have used my virtual machine through parallels my backup is around 75GB which is way too big for subsequent backups. I am running Parallels 6.

    I set the back up configuration to "optimize for time machine" and took a snapshot of the machine and tried to back up again and once again the back-up was around 75GB.

    When do the snapshots reduce the size of the backup? Is it on the initial back-up (once i change the settings to "optimized for time machine") or is it on subsequent back - ups?

    Should I back up once more at 75GB then expect quicker - smaller - backups?
     
  2. MR007

    MR007

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    Does anyone know if I have set things up correctly?
     
  3. MR007

    MR007

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    So I tried to back up again after changing the settings and the backup is still around 75GB which is the size of my virtual machine. It seems the settings are not working. Time Machine still wants to back up the entire virtual machine folder.... not sure what to do other than uninclude the VM from my backups.
     
  4. ronmarcusps

    ronmarcusps

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    You need to exclude VM from Backups

    You will probably continue to have very large backups unless you exclude your VM from Time Machine backups. You can do this by checking the box in the configuration screen (under options and then the "backup" tab) that says "Time Machine: Do not back up virtual machine" or you can enter the Time Machine settings and exclude your VM that way. Either way, you will have much smaller (and faster) backups. I do this, and then I use the Apple program "Backup" to automatically back up my VM's to my external hard drive separately from Time Machine, and this takes up much less space. Also, you can use Superduper (free download at shirt-pocket.com but you have to pay $27 to get the ability to make partial backups instead of full backups each time, which is much faster) which makes a "clone" of your entire hard drive and is bootable, so if you have a total system crash you can get your entire hard drive back up and running right away. and of course, you always have your "snapshots" from Parallels which is useful unless your entire hard drive crashes, which is why I use both superduper and time machine, but I guess I'm a bit OCD about not wanting to lose my precious data!
     
  5. nikeitan

    nikeitan Bit Poster

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    MR007, do you have some disk defragmenter tools active in the VM?
     
  6. NateL

    NateL

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    Per the KB article at http://kb.parallels.com/en/8827, it seems that "Optimize for Time Machine" should somehow exclude the HDD image from Time Machine and backup only the incremental snapshots. This does not seem to be working as described in the KB, as I'm having the same problem as the original poster -- my Time Machine backup file is increasing by 20GB every time I use Parallels. Left unchecked this would rapidly exhaust my shared drive I'm backing up to.
     
  7. nikeitan

    nikeitan Bit Poster

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    Natel can you check how large are those HD Snapshot?
    open the .hdd image in finder, it's a package, and check the *.hds files (hd snapshot).

    i told before to check if there is some hdd tools in the vm (i.e. defragment tools, or system optimizations tools like "Tunes Up") because these utilities could substantially modify the HD layout resulting in bigger snapshot every time it runs.

    ciao.
     
  8. Gary Kellogg

    Gary Kellogg Bit Poster

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    36
    When you "Optimize for time machine," you need to make sure that the option to "Automatically compress hard disks" is unchecked. This setting is found in the Optimization section of the Virtual Machine Configure settings.
     
  9. rlucient

    rlucient

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    1
    Hi everyone, ...

    I'm in the same situation than "MR007", ... I've followed the steps to enable "SmartGuard" (with "Automatically compress hard disks" unchecked) and every time Time Machine starts a new backup the data size to save is the total size of the VM (in my case 25GB) not the incremental of the snapshot.

    Please, any help will be welcomed.
    Regards,
    Raul.
     
  10. MR007

    MR007

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    Basically my post said the same thing as rlucient said. The settings are there, compress HD is not checked and I do not have a windows disk de fragmenter.

    Is anyone using time machine back-ups successfully (where they do not back-up the entire parallels drive each time)?
     
  11. nikeitan

    nikeitan Bit Poster

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    i'm testing it and seems to work. I have small backup of the virtual disk image after initial backup.
    Again, check the size of files inside the disk image as i already described before.
    Are you using and expanding virtual disk or preallocated (plain) image?
    What size the disk is supposed to be? the file system is full?
    The snapshot backup and the size of entire disk are the same? (if yes the virtual disk file system is full or you are not using an expanding virtual disk image)
     
  12. Chrispratt24

    Chrispratt24

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    I realise this is quite an old thread but I'm just wondering what is the validity of smart guard for much the same reasons as above. I thought the idea would be to exclude the VM from time machine, and it puts the smart guard snapshots elsewhere, so they get backed up rather than the vm itself. Some clarification on the recommended backup procedures from Parallels would be useful.
    Thinking aloud, maybe the only answer is an incremental backup system running on the virtual machine - but this means one for each OS and I run several - some of which so minimal I don't really want backup mechanisms on there.
     
  13. jlbrach

    jlbrach

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    i upgraded my mac book pro today and used the time machine to copy the contents of my hard drive and then to transfer it to the new computer....the transfer included my parallels with windows 7 and virtual machine and to my delight everything transferred properly and it is as if my new computer is my old computer...i was concerned about this but so far i am delighted for all those wondering about this process!
     
  14. Chrispratt24

    Chrispratt24

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    9
    Maybe you mis-understood, it's not that I mistrust the ability of time machine backup to backup the virtual machine. I work on my virtual machines every day. Hence time machine backs up the whole hard disk image every day. I was under the impression that smart guard generated small snapshots of virtual disk changes so that time machine didn't have a full virtual machine backup every hour of the day. Virtual hard disks being flat files, one small change in it's contents cause the whole hard disk image to be backed up and my Linux virtual disk is 40Gb, so every hour it needs to back up 40Gb. Like I said, I thought smart guard generated a snapshot of the changes on the hard disk image and stored a smaller snapshot which caused less demand on the backup medium free space.
    I guess I must be wrong.
    This is why most people recommend backing up the virtual machine less periodically, but manually.
     
  15. Shirkan

    Shirkan

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    Hello everybody,
    same problem here.
    I have a windows 7 VM on my Macbook running in Parallels Desktop 6. Everytime Time Machine creates a Backup, the whole virtual machine is backed up. So every time 25 GB are backed up.
    I have done the setting described earlier, but it does not work.

    Does anybody has a solution for this?
    Thanks in advance.
    Regards, Shirkan
     
  16. nikeitan

    nikeitan Bit Poster

    Messages:
    28
    I think the message Time Machine report on the menu bar is not reliable while backup parallels virtual machine. It seems attempt a full backup (reporting the full size of Virtual Disk sparse file) but actually it backup only the changed stripes.

    I'm using BackupLoupe to check effective backup size.
     
  17. Shirkan

    Shirkan

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    2
    Hello nikeitan,
    you're right!
    I have tested your mentioned tool "BackupLoupe" to check, what files are backed up, and their size.
    Time Machine backs up only the snapshot, witch is created by parallels.
    Time Machine reports the full size when backing up, but stops at round about 1.8GB.

    Thank you for your post!
    Regards, Shirkan
     

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