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Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

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Nerevarine
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Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

Post by Nerevarine »

I have a quick question about compressing backups to a single file. It seems the best way to save space on my NAS, but how practical is it? On subsequent runs after the first one it would be fast to just add a few files as needed, but with a single archive it seems it has to extract the old archive and create a brand new archive in the temporary folder before transferring that back. A lot of unwanted stress on harddrives and network traffic etc. Plus very time consuming.

Is this really how it does it, and are there better options? Individual per file archives seem bad to backup system directories with thousands of files (this is in addition to a full system image, just for an easily accessible backup for specific files). And no archiving is bad since that wastes a lot of space on the NAS.

Please advice :)
cliffhanger
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Re: Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

Post by cliffhanger »

Are you by any chance using FTP to connect to the NAS?
Nerevarine
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Re: Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

Post by Nerevarine »

cliffhanger wrote:Are you by any chance using FTP to connect to the NAS?
Nope, connected directly to a network shared drive.
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Re: Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

Post by cliffhanger »

OK, that means you are not forced to go with Zip-wrangling (temp file creation/usage) being performed on the local (PC) side by virtue of the FTP protocol itself (Zips cannot be opened/manipulated across FTP connections) but the 'wrangling' still has to be done somewhere (7-Zip, for example, has several settings you can tweak in this respect on Tools menu > Options > Folders in its File Manager, but there is no setting to 'use temp files or not' - the program decides this for itself).

As I understand it, the usage (or not) of one or more temp files in SB is similarly governed (decided) by the 3rd-party compression engine (DLL), and you cannot specify whether or not this happens - the compression engine decides this for itself (presumably 'intelligently', on the basis of number of files and/or total size of archive), and normally uses - if anything - the user's TEMP location for this purpose. All you can do is specify an alternative location using the profile setting

Compression > Advanced > Temporary directory.

for it to use if it decides to. As specifying anywhere else on your PC would still mean the contents need to be transferred 'back and forth', and presumably the option (as alluded to in the contextual Help) of using a RAM-disk on the PC for added speed is out of the question because of the 'gross' size of the archive, the only option you could try is setting Temporary Directory to a location on the NAS 'adjacent to' (but not 'inside' *) the scope of the profile - something like

\\NAS\SHARENAME\BACKUP\ <<< where this represents your Destination path, and
\\NAS\SHARENAME\BUFFER\ <<< this is used as the Temp Directory setting (path) - note the effective segregation

You might thus avoid transferring the contents of the archive 'wholesale' across the LAN connection, but this means the actual 'wrangling' (manipulation of the old archive to produce a new archive) would be done over the LAN connection instead of just over an internal SATA bus, etc. My guess is that it will make little difference (or possibly be worse, especially if your NAS has sluggish firmware), but you can always try it and see.

As for whether to use individual Zips or a single-Zip (one-Zip-for-all). I tend to err on the side of individual Zips, on the basis that it may only take one byte of corruption to render an archive file useless, and I'd prefer that to be an archive representing one file, and not to be one Zip with all my data in it. I'm therefore prepared to put up with the probably less efficient storage (total space used for individual Zips exceeding size of a single-Zip containing same data). But I'm sure other people think differently, possibly on the grounds of 'portability'.


* unless you want it to 'tie itself in knots' / set up a positive-feedback situation...using a \BACKUP\ subfolder (or equivalent) for the Destination is vital, otherwise (whether you use \BUFFER\ or not) your temp area will be inside the scope of \SHARENAME\ anyway (and not segregated like it needs to be)
Nerevarine
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Re: Compressing to single file - subsequent runs?

Post by Nerevarine »

cliffhanger wrote:OK, that means you are not forced to go with Zip-wrangling (temp file creation/usage) being performed on...
Thank you very much for this thorough response! I understand how it works then and will consider using individual zip files to make it safer and easier to run new backups without having to rezip the entire archive at least. More space used might be worth that. Thanks again!
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