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rchew
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Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by rchew » Feb 18, 2010 1:53 am

This is a pretty minor request but I think the lack of this feature is really annoying. When creating replication (and backups...I think) jobs, you can set the job to start at a specific time when choosing "Daily..." but if you want to run the job "Periodically..." you can't select a time to start the jobs. It basically runs it every x-minutes or x-hours based on when you created the job. So...let's say I want to run a replication job every 2 hours and want the job to start on the odd hour. I'd have to time my job creation on the odd hour.

Thanks

Ray

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Vitaliy S. » Feb 18, 2010 10:10 am

Hello Raymond,

Thank you for your feedback! Yes, you're correct, you need to configure the job on the specific hour you need to run it periodically. But you can workaround that by using Windows Scheduler and PowerShell module to script your jobs. Also you can script your jobs using this method if you're not skilled enough with PowerShell. I'm not, so I'm using the second one. :)

Thank you!

Gostev
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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 18, 2010 12:47 pm

Ray, could you please clarify the use case why do you need to start the periodic jobs which run so often at specific times? Also, have you considered using the scheduling control to disallow hours where you do not want your just to run (even hours in your case). This way the job will never start during even hour, and instead will wait until the first allowed window (which will be odd hour). Thanks!

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by rchew » Feb 18, 2010 6:07 pm

I'm currently evaluating Veeam as a replication solution for a number of our retail branch locations running our Point of Sale (POS) and in-store applications. We have an HA pair of ESX4 hosts with an enterprise class NAS (IBM) and a consumer class NAS (Netgear) at each location. The production VM's are stored on our IBM NAS but the replica sets will be stored on our Netgear. Veeam is meant to protect us against a NAS failure on the IBM or a VM failure (BSOD...yada...yada...yada). We need to have our POS systems brought back up ASAP in the event of either of these failures. Our original intent was to have Veeam replicate (with changed block tracking) every 15 minutes so that we lose at most 15 minutes worth of transactions. However, this is probably unrealistic as I have recently discovered an issue that is currently being escalated to your tier-3 support. As far as scheduling control is concerned...yes...I do not replicate between 11pm and 8am since there will be no new transcations when the store is closed.

Regardless...I guess my point would be...if you have a feature to replicate every x hours or x minutes...why wouldn't you give the user an option to start at a specific time? Every user may have different requirements and may want to stagger their replicas or backups.

Thanks...

Ray

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 18, 2010 8:19 pm

Ray, because we have to prioritize things, we only add options and features we see strong use cases behind. May be I am missing something, but I fail to see why original start time matters for frequent periodic replication jobs (running evey 15 minutes for instance). I am not arguing use cases may exist, but this is probably more of exception. Even judging by the amount of requests for this feature - this is the first request since we have released the product...

By the way, I don't think you understood the solution I proposed to you in my previous post. I was not talking about just disallowing certain time periods. I was talking about setting up this scheduling control in a way to restrict replication in every even hours, and allowing it in every odd hour. Then for actual job period you should set 1 hour. With such setup, you replication job will run once every odd hour - which is what you were trying to achieve. Does it make sense?

I hope your issue can be resolved - I do not see any showstoppers in the scenario you have described.

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by rchew » Feb 18, 2010 9:35 pm

Ok...like I said...it's just annoying. I'm not saying it is a showstopper. However...I like to know when my backup jobs run. Thanks for pointing out that I could use the "Denied" in your scheduler to ensure when the jobs are allowed to run. I hadn't thought of using it that way. From a standardization and document standpoint, it is much easier to say that Job A runs at 1pm and Job B runs at 2pm instead of Job A runs sometime between 1pm and 2pm and Job B runs sometime between 2pm and 3pm. I didn't really think this would be a big change from a development perspective. Every backup program I have worked with in the past allowed the user to specify the start time.

Ray

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Ace T » Feb 19, 2010 11:12 am

Hi - Related to this request - will it be possible to add a Monthly option so some servers can be backed up monthly ?

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 19, 2010 12:16 pm

Amit, yes - this has been very common request so far, and monthly backups will be available in v5. Thanks!

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by donikatz » Feb 19, 2010 3:26 pm

I've requested this granularity in the past as well. Since you asked for use cases:

We have quite a few critical production systems and workflows that require very specific timings for intra-daily backups, based on various peak load & SLA timings, content refresh timings, and business process continuity requirements, not to mention the balancing of multiple Veeam jobs. Because of this, we're forced to use Windows Task Scheduler to manage some of our jobs, which means there is no scheduling insight within Veeam (including Enterprise Manager, which makes them particularly cumbersome to manage across Veeam sites).

Bottom line: If Veeam is to be the backup & replication tool for the virtual enterprise, esp to be centralized with Enterprise Manager, it can't require using local WTS (or PowerShell) to do simple granular scheduling. A comparison I've made in earlier posts is to Symantec Backup Exec -- the prototypical direct competitor, esp with the 2010 release -- which has had very good advanced scheduling for many years. Incidentally, not having to manually manage WTS jobs was one of the big reasons we switched from Vizioncore, so it's disappointing we're back to using it again now that our scheduling needs are more advanced.

Obviously this isn't a Tier 1 priority -- things like better restore management (history, notifications, etc) are certainly more critical path -- but built-in, unified granular scheduling should have its place on the priority list of a mature product, IMHO. Nothing more advanced than what WTS or cron offers.

Not a complaint, just an enhancement request. Thanks :)

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 19, 2010 4:33 pm

donikatz wrote:We have quite a few critical production systems and workflows that require very specific timings for intra-daily backups, based on various peak load & SLA timings, content refresh timings, and business process continuity requirements, not to mention the balancing of multiple Veeam jobs.
To achieve this level flexibility it sounds like we will need to provide ability to simply enter long list of times when job needs to be started, something like this:

8:05
8:30
8:45
9:05
9:27
etc.

Would this work?

Also, what should the product do if the previous cycle is still running when new cycle time comes? Skip run and wait for next scheduled time? Or run immediately after previous run completes?

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by rchew » Feb 19, 2010 6:59 pm

Gostev wrote:To achieve this level flexibility it sounds like we will need to provide ability to simply enter long list of times when job needs to be started, something like this:

8:05
8:30
8:45
9:05
9:27
etc.

Would this work?

Also, what should the product do if the previous cycle is still running when new cycle time comes? Skip run and wait for next scheduled time? Or run immediately after previous run completes?
I can't speak for "donikatz" but this method seems like it would be a lot of work for the user to manage. That level of granularity is great but I think that you can achieve similar results by allowing the user to specify the start time.

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by donikatz » Feb 19, 2010 7:49 pm

A system with the granularity of WTS or cron would be ideal. We should be able to specify multiple times per day as you describe, but also to select specific times weekly, monthly, annually, day of the month, which months, etc. For example, for one of our key production servers using WTS, we have multiple specific backups as above, but schedules differ on certain days of the week or month. Similarly we have jobs that run only a few times a week/month/year, but each interval at a specific time/day, etc. This is the kind of standard granularity WTS & cron offer and is expected in the enterprise. In fact, Symantec offers even MORE advanced scheduling than that, such as granular exclusions, but I don't believe that would be necessary in my environment at this time.

As for your question about jobs bumping up against themselves, I imagine that could be a user customizable choice, perhaps also how long after start time a job is permitted to still run. WTS has that option as well as custom stop times/dates -- nobody's looking to reinvent the wheel. If that's too complicated, though, IMO it probably makes more sense for a job to wait until the next run, rather than starting immediately after. If a job is bumping into itself, the admin should then adjust so that it doesn't happen, the same way we have to manage too many individual jobs running concurrently.

Thanks for listening! doni

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by withanh » Feb 19, 2010 9:05 pm

For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert - Arthur C Clarke's Fourth Law

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 19, 2010 10:32 pm

donikatz wrote:A system with the granularity of WTS or cron would be ideal.
Yes, but such system will take as long as Windows to develop, so management will just turn me around with this with valid argument - why do we need to spend so efforts on this when 8000+ customers are fine with the current scheduler - it does the job, and there is WTS for more complex schedules. And as a Product Manager I will agree because I too prefer to add features which increases product value 2 times instead of 0.1 times like advanced scheduler copying WTS functionality.

However, I would be bad PM if I did not feel passionate about your requests and was not your advocate and representative inside Veeam. As result, I have to balance really hard.

So basically what I do is I am trying to balance development cost vs. feature depth and flexibility here, and instead of promising ideal solution which will take years for delivery because of its relative priority, I try to propose something realistic: very simple and easy to develop which I can potentially squeeze into minor/update release much sooner. Basically, it is win-win situation for everyone.

Your help in coming out with simplest solution that would work for you is highly appreciated. No one knows this better than you ;)

Thank you :D

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Re: Feature Request - Start time on Jobs

Post by Gostev » Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

Darhl, you request about monthly backups is actually already implemented in v5. :mrgreen:

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