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Andrewl Largin

Vertitas backup fails when using Filemaker server

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I work for a small charity and I am the under trained, under informed IT manager.

I am looking for some advice about Filemaker 5.5 server using Filemaker Pro 6v1 database files running on Windows 2000 servers with Veritas backup software.

The problem is that if Filemaker Server is running the backup fails, reading the files as corrupted and not being able to verify.

I have tried it on 2 servers with slightly different software with the same result.

Server 1

MS Windows 2000 5.00.2195 service pack 4 server

Intel

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Andrew,

We have been running FM Pro, FM Server, and Veritas for about 8 years. It's been a long time since I set Server 5 up so my memory of the details is a bit fuzzy but Veritas has been backing up our server hosted files without problem for that many years now.

It works like this; you schedule your database (using functionility built into FM Server) to suspend (pause) DB activity at a certain time and then it makes copies of the suspended files and drops them in another folder. After that is complete the databases come off of pause and are ready for use again. You then have your Veritas system backup the copies like you would any other file. This scheduling and copying happens right within FileMaker Server if memory serves me.

The method of pausing a copying was a bit different in Server v3 but in the 5x version it functions like I said. It was quite simple to set up and we have had to restore a file or two on many occasions.

I have not tried to backup non-server based files. Incidentially, when we went from hosting the files on FMP to hosting on FM Server the stability of the entire system increased 25 fold I would estimate.

We run both Exchange & FM Server but not on the same box. Generally speaking, we run only one application per server. We feel that this increases tyhe stability of everything. Fortunately we have the financial resources and management backing to support this philosophy.

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Ted, i'll vouch for your memory (at least on this issue;)). That's the process. Andrew, you'd schedule the backup from FM Server to back up your files to a completely different location, and then exclude your "live" data from the Veritas backup. The files in that folder are open because FM Server has them open for hosting.

Are there any problems running Filemaker Server on servers that contains all our files and runs MS exchange server for a maximum of 10 users. I would describe our usage as light business.

FM Server, like all database servers, is fairly resource-intensive. As such, you would expect problems if you had another resource-intensive service running on your server. I know nothing about Exchange, but (and i'm completely guessing here) i would think it doesn't use a lot of resources. As such, you may be OK with having them both on the same box. Sharing files, in general, will use very little reources, so that shouldn't be an issue. But do make sure that the folders containing your FM files are NOT shared -- users should never be able to access these through file sharing, only through FM.

If FP6 is locally hosted I cannot always get it to share as a multi user. What happens is that it often reverts to single user.

Do you mean that some files will change from multi- to single-user (under File > Sharing) without your knowing? If so, check whether you have duplicate files.

Filemaker Pro has been mostly reliable but occasionally it has been recovered without problems. I have read that this is not always the case. Can anyone tell me of the procedures to follow to minimise any risk. Our backups are done daily.

Your last sentence is the answer to your question. Bear in mind that recovering files is meant only as a means of extracting data; if you do have to recover a file, DO NOT continue using it. Revert to the last non-recovered copy and, if necessary, import newly-entered data from the recovered copy.

Jerry

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I set backups using the scheduler but they all failed giving the following error messages:

Do you mean from the FileMaker Server task scheduler, or the Windows task scheduler? The behavior you describe makes me suspect you mean Windows task scheduler, which is no good. You want to select the Task Scheduler from within the Filemaker Server Console.

The files are still shared but they are definitely not accessed directly by users.

Even is you're sure of that, it would still make sure that folder is not shared at all. I can't say that anything bad will happen, but i've seen Filemaker do some really flaky stuff as far as where it finds files. Better to be safe. If you structure it right, there should be absolutely no need for users to be able to see those files through sharing.

Shortcuts to the files are kept in a folder in the filemaker server folder in programs.

You mean on the client machines, right?

My proposal is to use a schedule to stop the filemaker server before our main backup and similarly to restart it afterwards.

This is exactly how Filemaker Server does its backup procedure and the fact that you feel you need to do this makes me believe even more strongly that you have been using the Windows task scheduler instead of the Filemaker Server task scheduler.

And finally...

In addition I use the today function in some of the database files

Status ( CurrentDate ) in an unstored calculation will work much more quickly.

J

P.S. Did you turn off BBCode for this post? If you can turn it back on, the responses might be a little easier to read.

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"Schedule "H&S reporting DB" aborted; no open databases to operate on."

I'm pretty sure this error comes from the FMServer scheduler, not the Windows Task Scheduler. This may be caused by using shortcuts to the database files in the folder you're backing up. The FM scheduler won't back up a file referenced by shortcut, it needs to be given the actual folder where the files reside.

I have been using the FM Scheduler method to back up a large database with Backup Exec for several years, and it has been terrific. In fact, I use it to take a couple of "snapshots" of my database during the day, as well as for the nightly backup, because it's so fast and easy.

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Thanks for your help, all of you. I don't quite know how to use this forum, the icons, BB code or filemaker pro so with luck this message will get through.

In London we prefer carrier pigeons.

I was using fm scheduler for the backup and because I was using shortcuts and not the original file it didn't work, it does now. (the origanal files and shortcuts were all on the server)

I will take the advice given and not share the original files.

I could not get the scheduler in filemaker to stop the service so I used the windows scheduler which works well.

The strategy I used to get around all this is to use filemaker server to backup, unselect the original files from the veritas backup and stop and start filemaker using the windows scheduler for a minute at 3am when everybody is asleep or certainly should not be playing with databases.

This means I do not have to ammend the databases and replace the Today function as I can bearly remember how they were written in the first place.

I hope this is of use others.

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In London we prefer carrier pigeons.

LOL!

The strategy I used to get around all this is to use filemaker server to backup, unselect the original files from the veritas backup and stop and start filemaker using the windows scheduler for a minute at 3am when everybody is asleep or certainly should not be playing with databases.

Sounds good.

I'd still recommend you replace that Today function with Status ( CurrentDate ). You'll see much better performance.

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"I could not get the scheduler in filemaker to stop the service so I used the windows scheduler which works well."

The FileMaker Scheduler has an option to execute an arbitrary command. You can use this to stop the server by scheduling a batch file that stops the service. However it's really better to do things the right way.

I keep the active database in one folder, and use the backup service to back the files up to another folder on a separate physical drive. Then I have the Backup Exec agent expose just the second volume, so the live database files are invisible to everyone but the server itself. This also gives me one extra level of redundancy on the daily backup, since I always have a backup copy on the second volume in addition to the tape, in case of drive failure.

"This means I do not have to ammend the databases and replace the Today function as I can bearly remember how they were written in the first place."

You can easily find all occurrences of the Today() function in your current scripts by installing a generic/text only printer driver. For each file, print the script definitions using the generic/text only printer, checking the save-to-file option. Then you can load the resulting text file into Notepad or a similar text editor, and search for the today function, making a note of where it appears in each script.

Of course, if you really prefer doing things the old way, just tell me to shut up. :)

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