Local Backups Causing Big Problem

Hello,

I run an agency with multiple multi-site installations using snapshot pro. It is of the utmost importance that I understand fully what settings within each snapshot setup I need to configure in order to ensure that local backups are deleted or are not created at all.
My Bluehost server setup has exceeded its maximum data storage twice, each time resulting with me paying my host more to double my 30gigabyte capactiy. I am not creating sites at the rate at which this should be the case.

Can you please assist me? I am going to need to rely so very much on the managed cloud backup service within snapshot pro. I am willing to jump on the phone at any point today if a walk-through or screen-share is possible.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Kenneth,

    I hope you're well today and thank you for your question!

    I checked your site to see what the current configuration is to better explain this so I hope that will make some sense for you :slight_smile:

    The Snapshot plugin provides two kinds of backups: "snapshots" ("Snapshot -> Snapshots" page) and "managed backups" ("Snapshot -> Managed Backups" page). Both these tools are currently used on your setup but they work in a bit different way.

    "Snapshots" on multisite work on "per site" basis so you need to setup separate snapshot for each sub-site. When snapshot is create files are combined/compressed into a single .zip archive file. On "edit" page for each of the snapshots you can define how many archives should be kept locally:

    The "Maximum number of local archives" can take any number and the rule is:

    - any value higher than "0" means that exact number of .zip archives of that particular snapshot will be stored; if the limit is reached, the oldest file is removed to make room for the newest one

    - value of "0" means "no limit"

    That setting is "per snapshot" so if you set it to "0" most likely storage space will be used very quickly as there'd be no limit. If it's any other value than 0 then the total number of maximum allowed file to be kept is a sum of all these values for all snapshots.

    For example:

    - there's 7 snapshots configured on your site
    - if all of them would be set to keep 3 archives that would give total of 7x3 = 21 .zip archives kept locally

    - if all of them would be set to keep just 1 archive that would give total 7 x 1 = 7 .zip achives

    It's not however possible to set it to "no archives kept at all" so if "snapshots" are used there always must be at least 1 archive kept for each of the snapshots. Knowing average size of a zip archive for each of 7 snapshots would let you estimate necessary amount of storage space.

    The only way to stop keeping these archives at all would be to deactivate these snapshots though.

    Then, there's another tool: "Managed Backups". This is a bit different as there's no need to create separate snapshots for each site and each backup is for entire multisite. These are also created locally as that's a technical requirement to let us compress the files but then they are pushed to our cloud and should not occupy storage space on your server. Therefore you need to maintain a free space big enough to let Managed Backups create a single zip archive. That however would not be increasingly "eaten up" by Managed Backups.

    Both "Snapshots" and "Managed Backups" are independent so depending on your needs you may use both of them or just one of them.

    I hope that explains how this works a bit. If you have any additional questions, let me know please and I'll be happy to help.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Kenneth

    Hi Adam,

    Thank you so much for clarifying that-- it helps a great deal to continue the conversation now that I am speaking the same lingo.

    So it would seem that for my purposes I really just want to stick with everything in the managed backups tab and not so much anything else.

    So take a look at the attached image as I may have another piece of the puzzle here. Perhaps what is happening is more to do with the managed backups service not following through and telling my server to delete all these silly TMP files (each over a gig in size).

    Any ideas on how I can fix this so I do not have to keep running into this problem, or if necessary, what you tell your customers to relay to their hosts to get rid of the TMP files?

  • Kenneth

    I spoke with my host support and they say I should consult with you to figure out what you are needing me to do. The TMP files are definitely the issue to all my problems. In the log file, it seems that I get this frequently:

    [Cron][2017-02-13 03:30:58][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 01:15:54][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 01:30:56][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 01:45:51][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 01:55:55][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 02:15:54][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 02:22:36][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 02:37:03][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 02:45:56][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 03:05:19][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 03:11:26][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-20 03:27:21][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 01:10:58][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 01:20:59][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 02:25:58][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 03:20:53][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 04:20:54][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 05:20:54][Warning] Immediate hook misfired, kickstart backup processing
    [Cron][2017-02-27 06:20:54][Warning] Immediate hook [Cron][2017-02-27 07:21:00][Error] Error processing automatic backup: unknown:unknown

    What does this mean, and what do I need to do to ensure this process between Snapshot and Bluehost is occurring correctly and non-destructively?

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Kenneth!

    Those .tmp files should not be there and I think that's got something to do with "Immediate hook misfired" message in "Managed Backups" log. To make it even more complex, I think that might be interconnected, related in two ways - resulting in a kind of unexpected "issue feedback loop".

    The "Immediate hook misfired" usually occurs when for some reason managed backup tool is not able to proceed with backup. It's a sign that snapshot "keeps trying", hoping that at some point it'll be able to continue. Very likely, such "broken" attempt may result in these temporary files being "left alone" on the server. On the other hand, those files are big and they can cause... snapshot not being able to continue (hence aforementioned "issue loop"). I'm not entirely sure if that is what is going on here but I think it's highly probable.

    What I would do would be that:

    1. I would temporarily disable all "snapshots" ("Snapshot -> Snapshots"); just disable, not remove;
    2. Then I'd also temporarily disable sheduled backups on "Snapshot -> Managed Backups" page
    3. Then I'd remove those .temp files as we can't "combine" or process them anyway.

    After that, I would go to the "Managed Backups" page, change error logging level to "Info" for each option and run backup manually (button at the top of the page) to see what happens. I suppose it may break but it'd be good to know how far does it go and what it shows in logs and then if after it breaks the .temp file is left on the server.

    We would then decide what to do/check/change next in order to get this to work fine.

    Best regards,
    Adam

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