Can ABS CrashPlan be configured to run at a specific time?

There are two methods of scheduling when CrashPlan runs:


This is default setting. CrashPlan will always run, and will back up at the interval specified under Settings -> Backup tab -> Backup frequency and versioning.

The benefit to running CrashPlan “always” is that the backup will capture data throughout the day, therefore reducing the amount of data lost if a restore is necessary.

The downside to running CrashPlan “always” is that there is a potential for contention with the snapshot script, because both tools use different types of scheduling logic:

  • The snapshot script is kicked off from crontab at regular intervals based on a static timeline (ex 12:00 AM, 3:00 AM, 6:00 AM, etc.).
  • The CrashPlan backups are independently kicked off at regular intervals based on a dynamic timeline (ex 3 hours after the last backup to a particular destination completed).

Since the snapshots are kicked off at a regular interval via crontab, it’s possible that the snapshot could “refresh” itself (ie new snapshots are created) or “expire” (ie fill to capacity) during the CrashPlan backup process, thus invalidating the backup. The longer the CrashPlan backup(s) take, the higher the likelihood of the snapshot becoming invalid during the backup process. To prevent the snapshot script from running during an active CrashPlan backup, the snapshot script automatically stops the CrashPlan service during its operation. Upon completion of the snapshot creation process, the CrashPlan service is started, and the backup schedule is resumed.

An example configuration that has proven to work for many customers is the following:

  • Set CrashPlan to run every 12 hours. The 12-hour interval between backups has shown to allow sufficient time for both local and remote backups to complete in a variety of configurations.
  • Set the snapshot script to run at 12:00 AM and 12:00 PM. This ensures that a “point-in-time” representation of your data is available for restore at least twice daily.

“Between specified times”

There is an optional setting that can be configured under Settings -> General tab -> Crashplan will run: -> Between specified times.

The benefit to running CrashPlan “between specified times” is that it allows for the concrete definition of a window of time during which the backup should run. This is useful if there are bandwidth or performance constraints to running CrashPlan backups during business hours. The window should be made large enough to allow the completion of backups to each individual backup destination. The snapshot script should be scheduled to directly before the CrashPlan backup window, and the snapshot volume(s) must be large enough to remain active through the end of the backup window.

The downside to running CrashPlan “between specified times” is that the recovery points for data restoration are often reduced in conjunction with the available backup window. Despite this, the CashPlan agent still has many advantages over a traditional daily tape backup, including increased ease of administrator, archive reliability, security and the ability to backup to multiple destinations.

If you choose to modify the time during which CrashPlan operates, please ensure that the Eclipse snapshot backup script is scheduled via crontab to run prior to the CrashPlan backup window. For more information, see: How do filesystem snapshots work on Linux?

How do I perform a manual ABS CrashPlan backup?

View a step-by-step screencast of this process:
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

  • Stop the CrashPlan service:
service crashplan stop
  • Run the snapshot backup script to create new snapshots of the Eclipse filesystems
  • Start the CrashPlan service:
service crashplan start
  • To verify the back is running, log into the server’s GUI as root using VNC, DRAC or the local console
  • Use the CrashPlanDesktop shortcut, or press to open the run dialog box and run the command:
  • If the backup is not currently running, click “Play” button next to the backup job to manually start the backup job.
  • If the backup button is grayed out because the backup service is not currently scheduled to operate, you’ll need to temporary change the schedule to “Always” in the CrashPlan settings menu.



How do I verify the amount of data being backed up by CrashPlan?

Launch the CrashPlan desktop client and open the History tab. Scroll down and look for the most recent the “Completed backup” entries. Here’s an example:

I 09/29/10 03:17PM Completed backup to ABS Online Backup in 12.2 hours: 21,565 files (77.92 GB) backed up, 2.19 GB encrypted and sent @ 15.90 KB/s (Effective rate: 7025.81 KB/s)

In this example:

  • The backup completed at 3:17 PM on 9/29/10
  • The backup destination was “ABS Online Backup”
  • The backup process took 12.2 hours
  • There were 21,565 files backed up which had a total size of 77.92 GB
  • There was 2.19 GB of change data compressed, encrypted and sent to the backup destination
  • The average “real” transfer rate was 15.9 KB/s
  • The average “effective” transfer rate was 7025.81 KB/s

For more detailed information, see the CrashPlan PRO documentation.

How do I contact CrashPlan for support?

If you have an active subscription to Epicor’s ABS Online Backup or ABS Local Backup services, you may contact Epicor for support.

If you have purchased CrashPlan PRO licenses for your organization, and are running your own CrashPlan PRO server, you may contact CrashPlan directly for support. Here are some helpful tips that will speed up problem resolution:

Before contacting CrashPlan for support, please gather the CrashPlan PRO client backup logs: How do I gather CrashPlan logs?

Also, you may wish to consult CrashPlan’s list of Frequently Asked Questions and search their Support Forum.

Once you have the logs, use one of the following methods to contact CrashPlan support:

How do I backup to multiple destinations using ABS CrashPlan PRO?

Eclipse recommends backing up to multiple destinations wherever possible, echoing the recommendations of CrashPlan themselves:

CrashPlan works very hard to verify the integrity of your data and to repair corrupted archives before you need to restore. However, CrashPlan is not always able to recover from corruption before a restore is needed, hardware fails, system administrators fat-finger commands, and “lightning” can strike anywhere. So we always recommend that people use multiple backup destinations whenever possible.

Backing up to multiple destinations provides onsite backups for fast and convenient restores and offsite backups in case there is a problem at the local site. CrashPlan PRO supports multiple destinations to provide the highest level of availability and protection at no additional cost, because a client backup destination does not consume a seat license.

Your backup destinations can be a location with either PRO Server or a PRO Client installed, or even an external hard drive attached to a client. CrashPlan PRO is so flexible you can back to a combination of PRO Servers and PRO Clients, and locally attached drives.

Destinations can also be local or they can be remote. A local destination can be a computer on your local network (fast), a USB drive attached to your computer (faster), or another disk attached directly to your motherboard (fastest). A remote destination is one that requires an Internet connection and are generally slower than local destinations.

To maximize your protection and convenience, we recommend backing up to a combination of local and remote destinations.

To complement the off-site ABS Online Backup service, many Eclipse customer choose to add an on-site backup destination. The on-site backup destination is typically one of the following:

  • Local storage: internal or external (USB) disk attached locally to the server and used as a local folder backup destination.
  • Network storage: a UNIX (NFS) or Windows (CIFS/samba) share can be mapped on the local server to be used as a local folder backup destination.
  • Peer-to-peer: by installing the CrashPlan PRO agent on another computer on the customer’s network, the computer can be turned into a “backup server” and configured to accept incoming backups from any or all of the customer’s CrashPlan PRO agents.
  • Configuring inbound backup folder/directory: settings > backup > inbound backup > “default backup archive location”

If you require assistance configuring an additional backup destination on an existing CrashPlan PRO agent, please contact CrashplanPro Support or open a service request with the Eclipse Systems support team.

Your data is extremely important to us. So important, in fact, that we strongly believe you shouldn’t trust just ANY single provider or destination, even us. We give you the ability to back up to multiple destinations and always recommend that you back up to a local destination (USB drive, local computer, etc) as well as to a remote destination. This yields multiple benefits:

1) Fast backup to the local destination so you’re protected while the slower, remote backup is completing
2) Fast restore from a local destination in situations where a full restore is required (e.g. laptop theft, hard drive failure)
3) Remote backup security in the event of a local disaster (e.g. fire, flood, etc)