Snapshot managed backup issues

On some recent web revamps we setup a few sites in WPMU DEV (cherryblack.com.au, scootacino.com.au, thebroodingitalian.com.au, francinebell.com ) to see if it's a viable framework to simplify WP web dev. So far , you could say I'm underwhelmed... if a web dev was running PHP 7.0 or 7.1 they would struggle with your platform given the issues I immediately discovered when using Marketpress. I suspect from some of the ongoing support issues in the other popular plugins there are similar issues with these plugins.

So far Marketpress & Snapshot are about the only plugins I've had much time to focus on, apart from a quick dabble with hummingbird and Defender. On a recent update, we had to effectively re-setup up Marketpress as all the settings had defaulted. Lucky we hadn't gone live with the site yet.

Snapshot is supposedly one of the most popular plugins and integrated with your own managed backup system. Now, I believe that I followed the appropriate process for Managed Backups. We've run an initial backup to ensure the backup setups work. And for all 4 accounts I retrieved the appropriate key (double-checked).

And yet I find:
a) On the above named 4 sites that we have setup at WPMU DEV, which are tiny, they take forever to backup. I am comparing this to BackWpup which we use on all of our other WP sites to a Dropbox or FTP.
b) I notice that once I leave the backup page, the backup doesn't complete. There is no warning of this, and since this is *supposedly* managed backup from your servers, surely the page doesn't require to be open? It certainly doesn't for MainWP and BackWPup.
c) Not one of the scheduled backups works - at all. And it shows an entirely different scheduled time on the WPMU DEV central management backup tab for each site than what is set in the plugin itself.
d) And though the text in the plugin says "View and manage your managed backups in your WPMU DEV Hub. " when you go to the hub, and click backup, guess where it takes you to run the backup... back to the WP Admin. Not much design thought there....
e) In Scootacino, it's been saying "Automatic backup currently running" at the top of the Managed Backup page for days.

So is it just me or is this a half-done plugin?

Support access has been provided for these sites.

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Garth,

    Sorry to hear you're not happy with our products so far, we try to test all our plugins on multiple PHP versions, starting from 4.2 all the way to 7.1 but with all the servers out there and plugin/theme combos some things can get missed.
    Since there are couple of Snapshot questions here already it would be best if you can start new thread with MP issue on PHP 7.x and we will investigate this further there.

    a) On the above named 4 sites that we have setup at WPMU DEV, which are tiny, they take forever to backup. I am comparing this to BackWpup which we use on all of our other WP sites to a Dropbox or FTP.

    Does this happen with Managed Backups only or default Snapshots are unable to finish backup as well?

    b) I notice that once I leave the backup page, the backup doesn't complete. There is no warning of this, and since this is *supposedly* managed backup from your servers, surely the page doesn't require to be open? It certainly doesn't for MainWP and BackWPup.

    Manual managed backups do require the page to be opened but once automatic backups are configured you can navigate through your site normally.
    Backups are not performed from our servers, they are done on your server side and once finished it sends the backup zip file to our backup servers.

    c) Not one of the scheduled backups works - at all. And it shows an entirely different scheduled time on the WPMU DEV central management backup tab for each site than what is set in the plugin itself.

    Can you tell me if they are not even starting or they show as running but don't finish?
    As for the time difference, can you check that you're using same time zone in your WP and in your WPMU DEV account https://premium.wpmudev.org/hub/account/

    d) And though the text in the plugin says "View and manage your managed backups in your WPMU DEV Hub. " when you go to the hub, and click backup, guess where it takes you to run the backup... back to the WP Admin. Not much design thought there....

    Thanks for the feedback on this one, I'll forward it to our projects writers, currently you can view and download backups from the HUB but the plugin still needs to be configured from WP admin directly.

    e) In Scootacino, it's been saying "Automatic backup currently running" at the top of the Managed Backup page for days.

    Could you try adding below code in your wp-config.php and let the automatic backup start again, with that code it should reduce chunk size and reduce the load on your server:
    if (!defined('SNAPSHOT_TABLESET_CHUNK_SIZE')) define('SNAPSHOT_TABLESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 100);

    I've also enabled capture of all messages during backup so if changing chunk size doesn't work we can check if there's any info there that could tell us what's going on.

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • #Garth

    I'll work from the bottom to the top with my answers...

    No, there's zero point to changing the chunk size... I don't need to reduce the load on these accounts - at present they barely get *any* traffic and the *only* thing running would be the backup. It is slow enough as it is. Also, fyi, Scootacino is in the same account as Cherryblack (add-on domain so it's in a sub-directory of Cherryblack). What is fine for Cherryblack should be fine for Scootacino, *unless* Managed Backups have an issue with add-on domains (ie. they don't work properly if not in the root public_html folder of the Linux server).

    For comparison: I include a full site backup log (attached) from a newly added domain newhopechurch.com.au on which I have setup BackWPup in my usual full-site FTP config - it was completed in 20 seconds. (I have also enabled support access for that domain). That includes a 28.92Mb file transfer to a ftp repository. Snapshot isn't even in the same universe in terms of speed.

    My time zone from the start was set at Brisbane (AEDT), and still is. And our servers operate in AEST - so at the most the difference would be 1 hour.

    I will open another support ticket for the MP issue on a separate thread.

    adventures with Francinebell.com
    a) The time doesn't seem to change in the hub when I tried setting it from 12pm to 11am, refreshing and checking the hub, and then set it back to 12pm.

    b) I waited and at 12pm it started displaying "Automatic backup currently running" - 18 minutes later, it is still showing the same message. No backup though.
    I can't tell you whether the others started at all, or like this one, started but didn't finish, but I guess we can assume that like this one, they are displaying the same message at the time that is set in the plugin for the managed backup, but nothing is happening.

    c) I also discovered a snapshots folder in the uploads folder (png attached). It contains one backup that I did when first setting this site up, and the rest, given the timing seem to be automated managed backups. However I haven't activated any backups on this site today and yet there is one listed here at 10.27am - so either you guys ran one or maybe it's a "close to successful" managed backup cache file that started running at 10am because the hub has the backup time listed as Brisbane 11am while the server is set to AEDT (one hour earlier) - if so, it means that it took 27 minutes to run the backup though!!??

    The other backup cache file sizes seem to be a bit wonky, given that the actual BU should be around 50Mb - the 47Mb BU at 10.27 seems about right - but then what does that mean for the other backups in this folder - it seems they are failing at some point and that point. (note: the original backup on the Feb 16th was close to 100Mb which would have probably included the old site as well)

    So, these seem to be cached backup files - doesn't the system clean up after itself? I hope that's an error too... that's an extra bunch of data that we don't need to be including in our server backups.

  • Dimitris

    Hello #Garth,

    hope you're doing good today!

    Let's follow some basic debugging steps here please in one website so you're on the same page here. I'd prefer cherryblack.com.au as the initial domain linked with this thread. So, we'll try to increase the allocated to PHP memory, use smaller chunks of files and DB tables during snapshot backup process and enable WP_DEBUG to log any related error messages.

    Before doing so, please ensure that no manual backup is running and temporarily disable automated backups.

    Then please access your server through FTP edit the wp-config.php file, find a line like
    define('WP_DEBUG', false);
    and replace it with the followings (if the above line doesn’t exist, simply insert next snippet just above the /* That's all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ comment)

    // https://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php#Increasing_memory_allocated_to_PHP
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');
    // Snapshot definitions
    // *Important:* the chunk sizes have to be fixed for each backup. So, if you'll be making use of this define, please make sure there's no manual backup running and temporarily disable automated backups.
    define('SNAPSHOT_FILESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 50);
    define('SNAPSHOT_TABLESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 100);
    // Enable WP_DEBUG mode
    define('WP_DEBUG', true);
    // Enable Debug logging to the /wp-content/debug.log file
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
    // Disable display of errors and warnings
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false);
    @ini_set('display_errors', 0);

    Then go ahead and select the "Info" level of all debug levels in Snapshot -> Managed Backups and perform a manual backup (please keep in mind to don't close browser window) or enable the scheduled one.

    All errors should be logged in /wp-content/debug.log file now.
    Simply download it, rename it to debug.txt and attach it here in your next reply (if file is larger than 5MB, please use a service like Dropbox and post the shareable link instead).

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris

  • #Garth

    Most of these are already set, just turned on WP-Debug for you... I've enabled file edit via admin for you, just in case you want to edit one of your plugins.

    Cherryblack site is running PHP 7.0
    You can see the PHP info here: http://cherryblack.com.au/1nf0.php

    #define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');
    define('WP_DEBUG', true );
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
    define('SNAPSHOT_FILESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 50);
    define('SNAPSHOT_TABLESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 100);

    I already logs errors but there have been none.
    @ini_set( 'log_errors', 'On' );
    @ini_set( 'display_errors', 'Off' );
    @ini_set( 'error_log', '/home/cheryblk/logs/php_error.log' );

    PHP Settings: I also changed (among other things):
    memory from 128Mb to 256Mb
    Output Buffering to Off
    and set the Max Execution time to 300 secs

    During this backup I/O usage is maxing out at 2041 of 2048 KB/s
    This backup started at 9:37am, is still (supposedly) running, but is probably stuck in a loop and creating a very large backup file.

    AEST
    9:37 start
    9:41 step 46
    9:46 step 47
    9:48 step 48
    9:51 step 49
    9:53 step 50
    9:55 step 51
    9:58 step 52
    10:00 step 53
    10:02 step 54
    10:05 step 55
    10:07 step 57
    10:12 step 58
    10:15 step 59
    10:17 step 60
    10:20 step 61
    10:22 step 62
    10:25 step 63
    10:28 step 64
    10:30 step 65
    10:33 step 66
    10:36 step 67
    10:38 step 68
    10:41 step 69
    10:43 step 70
    10:46 step 71
    10:48 step 72
    10:51 step 73
    10:54 step 73
    10:56 step 74
    10:57 step 75
    10:59 step 76
    11:02 step 77
    11:04 step 78
    11:07 step 79
    11:09 step 80
    11:12 step 81
    11:14 step 82
    11:17 step 83
    11:19 step 84
    11:22 step 85
    11:24 step 86
    11:27 step 87
    11:30 step 88
    11:33 step 89
    11:36 step 90
    11:38 step 91
    11:41 step 92
    11:44 step 93
    ...
    3:23pm step 175

    Backup is still running. I have added the debug.log

    Because Scootacino is in a sub-folder (add-on domain) of Cherryblack I am pretty sure Snapshot Pro managed backups is also backing up the Scootacino folder as well. So it runs through step 1-46 in 4 minutes then hits a memory wall, and inches it's way through the rest of the backup (now up to step 175).

    But it's not just this site. Most BackWPup runs finish in 1-3 minutes max (that includes upload to Dropbox) and they are between 30M & 100Mb. And they only require 128Mb to do this. I have BackWPup sites that backup between 500Mb and 1Gb and they take less than 10 minutes to finish. They are running on 512Mb admittedly, however that's not for backup, that's because they are higher traffic sites, generally with more complexity.

    & Did I miss the part during installation where you warn about needing 256Mb for Snapshot Pro?

    FRANCINEBELL.COM
    Today I have also set Francine to these settings as well:
    define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');
    define('WP_DEBUG', true );
    define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true );
    define('WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', false );
    define('SNAPSHOT_FILESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 50);
    define('SNAPSHOT_TABLESET_CHUNK_SIZE', 100);

    @ini_set( 'log_errors', 'On' );
    @ini_set( 'display_errors', 'Off' );
    @ini_set( 'error_log', '/home/francine/wp-content/php_error.log' );

    You can see the PHP info here: http://francinebell.com.au/1nf0.php
    Pls note that this site is using PHP 5.6.

    I checked back with Francine and it's still stuck on "Automatic backup currently running"
    So I am unable to use Francinebell.com to run a similar backup to test on a site which *doesn't* have another website install in a sub-folder (newhopechurch.com.au also has a add-on domain dunning on a Joomla install in a sub-folder, so I can't use that).

    When are you going to address the other issues brought up? I don't want to have a plugin running on our sites which stores a large temp files and doesn't clean them up.

  • Dimitris

    Hey there #Garth,

    I trust you're doing good today!

    I can truly see that WP_DEBUG didn't catch much. Could you please send us over some more server credentials so we could further dig this up and maybe include some Second Level Support or dev guy here? As this is public forum, you should send us your details through our safe contact form https://premium.wpmudev.org/contact/#i-have-a-different-question using this template:

    Subject: "Attn: Dimitris"
    - WordPress admin (login url/username/password)
    - FTP credentials (host/username/password)
    - cPanel/Plesk credentials (host/username/password)
    - link back to this thread for reference
    - any other relevant urls

    Keep in mind the subject line as ensures that it gets assigned to me.

    Take care,
    Dimitris

  • Dimitris

    Hey there #Garth,

    hope you're doing good today and I'm really sorry for the frustration here!

    I had some contact with lead dev on this and it seems that managed backups are still running daily, but also still failing before we are even able to figure out what we're doing (like backing up files or backing database tables or finalizing backup process).

    More likely this should be a matter of resources so I further increased the limits of your server in order to check next managed backup process.

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris