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Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?

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Jim Curtis
Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Jan 15, 2020 at 12:45:21 am

I am trying. I can't write tapes, and I can't restore any files from existing tapes because the tapes aren't recognized by the archive database. That wouldn't be a show stopper except for the fact there's no Catalina-ready Tape Import Tool yet.

I'm wondering whether it's working for anybody else. If not, I'm going to yank my ATTO HBA and put it in my 2012 Mac Pro, and do all my archiving and restoring over GB ethernet. That's less than ideal.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.2


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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:13:19 am

This product is called ArGest Backup now. They released a 4.0.1 version ten days ago. It's still not working right.

I was able to write a tape, but I couldn't restore from it immediately afterwards. The app doesn't recognize any of the tapes in my library - keeps telling me to load the correct tape.

Tolis Support is MIA as well. They haven't responded to my support ticket at all since reporting the bugs that make their product useless in their latest release over a week ago. And, I've paid them in advance for support.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.2


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Jörgen Persson
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Feb 25, 2020 at 3:00:05 pm

I have the new Mac Pro as well: 16 core, 192 GB, AMD Radeon Pro Vega II with an Atto H680. I can't get ArGest 4.0 to work at all. The application produces segmentation faults when executing the bru binary.

My support ticket was started on the third of February and I have sent the logs from the terminal commands and debug/crash reports they have requested. It has now been two weeks since I heard anything from them.

I use BRU/ArGest for archiving old projects to tape and I am so happy that I don't have to depend on BRU for my daily backups since those are disk and cloud based on QNAP and Synology. I don't have access to my classic Mac Pro unfortunately, so I am just hoping they resolve all the Catalina issues before I need to restore anything business critical from my tape archives.



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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Feb 25, 2020 at 9:27:20 pm

Hi Jörgen,

I went about two weeks not hearing from Support also. It would be nice to hear from a person that they got our report and are working on a fix.

Last week, they sent me links to two beta builds to "please try" using. Neither works properly. The last build recognized the tape I inserted (which was a first), but the restore was bizarre. I selected one fairly small (300 MB) movie file from a tape to restore, and the app not only restored that movie, but also about 40 GB of I-don't-know-what into a private folder it created and named "Volume" until I aborted the restore process, as it was still writing files.

I can't write to tapes at all, because the app crashes after I click the OK button to begin the tape writing process.

I've had a back and forth with Kayleigh in Support, who told me that ArGest 4 is working for some customers. She said that one of my three issues looks like it had to do with how version 3 of BRU PE was writing catalogs, and that it's been found by their coders. That's well and good, but it doesn't help me since I can neither write a tape, or restore from one without this bizarre file bloat happening at the same time.

I wonder why they haven't sent you the betas to "try."

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Jörgen Persson
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Feb 25, 2020 at 10:13:17 pm

Hi, Jim.

The latest version I tried was 4.0.2.24. I don't know if that is a beta or not. It produces the same errors as the current version on the downloads page at the Tolis Group website, but it is supposed to generate better logs for the engineers to track down the issue with the binary.



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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Feb 26, 2020 at 7:43:41 pm

I tested 4.0.2.262 I believe it is beta, and says so on the splash screen. Supposedly, there's a fix for one of the bugs, but this version was released around the 17th, and that was around nine days ago. I haven't gotten anything more current.

Here's the link, if you want to try it. I hope they don't mind me sharing it.

http://www.tolisgroup.com/downloads/ArGestBackup/ArGest_Backup_4.0.2.262_ma...

I'd be interested in hearing how you did with it.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:27:41 pm

Jörgen, the team at Tolis are making headway. They invited me to do some testing on a beta, which I did over this weekend. It's not ready yet on my system, but shouldn't be too much longer before they get the bugs fixed.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Jörgen Persson
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:44:32 pm

That is great news. I am away from the workstation for a few weeks and will try the new version as soon as I am back. Let us hope the issues are fixed by then.



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Tim Gerhard
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 4, 2020 at 3:00:43 pm

Have you guys considered making the move to LTFS?

With LTFS you just won't run into issues since it's non-proprietary and cross platform.

Tim Gerhard
MagStor Inc.
LTO Solutions TB3 / SAS / USB / FC
614-505-6333
tgerhard@magstor.com


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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 4, 2020 at 3:25:25 pm

To be honest, for me, it's because of this:

https://www.tolisgroup.com/tapedataformats.html

Is anything in this article inaccurate? I'm open-minded about changing, although at this point, I have a fairly significant number of BRU tapes I'd have do restore and re-write in LTFS.

I first switched to BRU from Retrospect, which was an awful experience. The only other Mac option at the time (before LTFS) that I could find was from a German company whose name I can't recall. I found some good reviews of BRU PE, even though it was fairly new at the time, on version 2.x. It was a sub-product by Tolis for people who do video, like me.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Tom Goldberg
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 5, 2020 at 2:30:40 am

Jim,

Bru makes a very fine product, but I do not buy the arguments they make in the article you site

With respect to the argument that Bru has more data protection than LTFS, this is undoubtedly true but really unnecessary with the accuracy and data correction in LTO tape and drives, inherently an order or two of magnitude better than hard disk drives. It is possible that LFTS might screw up more than a stable Bru configuration, but if you verify your archive upon completion this is a non issue.

With respect to the argument that that Bru's ongoing support and escrowed software makes it as safe as a broadly used standard like LTFS, well your experience here might be evidence this could be wrong. I don't know if you can run LTFS packages on your new Mac Pro yet, but its a good bet that the market will cause open source solutions to get there quickly whereas it may take Bru more time.

Tom Goldberg
TGCS
30201 Rainbow Hill Rd.
Evergreen, CO 80439
mailto:tomgoldberg@gmail.com
http://tomgoldberg.net




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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 5, 2020 at 2:58:37 pm

Thank you, Tom, for your counsel.

There has been an LTFS option in the BRU PE app going back to version 3, I believe. I have not tried it because of their advice against it.

I don't suppose it would do any harm to make tapes in both formats and give LTFS a trial run. I have an HP LTO-5 drive, and tape costs have gotten considerably cheaper than they were when even LTO-4 was first introduced - from about $75 each (for LTO-4) to $25 (for LTO-5).

Is there an open source LTFS app for OSX 10.15.x that you recommend?

There's probably a way to do it in the Terminal, right? I'm not comfortable using the Terminal for anything without expert guidance.

BTW, I tested the latest beta of ArGest Backup (formerly BRU PE) yesterday. There's still one bug of it over-restoring files not selected for restore during a restore routine, but other functions appear to be working properly. That gives me reason to hope that an official solid update is around the corner.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Tim Jones
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 2:46:40 am

I don't know if you can run LTFS packages on your new Mac Pro yet, but its a good bet that the market will cause open source solutions to get there quickly whereas it may take Bru more time.

Tom - BRU's been on Catalina since long before launch (unlike LTFS). It was simply the GUI that was held up due to Apple throwing us all (meaning ALL Apple developers) some new curves in the form of the protected union filesystem mounting and refusal to allow any 32bit code on the new system.

As for the state of things now, BRU's new workflow wrapper is our new "ArGest® Backup" suite. It's available and a good number of existing users are already beating the heck out of it with use on macOS, Windows, and Linux.

You also state -

"It is possible that LFTS might screw up more than a stable Bru configuration, but if you verify your archive upon completion this is a non issue."

- but the question is exactly HOW do you do that? Compare all of the files? Create MD5 or SHA256 sidecar files and then recheck those? And what about in 2 years? With BRU this is all self contained and automatic.

Remember, as in science lab - be sure to check your facts and sources. ;)

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.tolisgroup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Tim Jones
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 2:56:53 am

[Jim Curtis] "Is anything in this article inaccurate? I'm open-minded about changing, although at this point, I have a fairly significant number of BRU tapes I'd have do restore and re-write in LTFS."

As I've stated publicly many times regarding that paper and my LTFS Caveats piece - if anyone can refute any of the points, I'll gladly update and/or remove them. My goal in sharing the information is not BRU world dominance, but rather that potential tape users have the full facts.

We've been at this tape game for more than 35 years, and we've seen a lot of "tape as disk" options come and go. This is why BRU is still the same BRU that it was in 1988 and why the BRU engine that you use today can restore data from tapes that were written to a 250MB QIC cartridge in 1990 on an SCO XENIX system. At this point, you can't even restore from an LTFS tape that was written just 6 years ago unless you have the old LTFS code and the knowledge to compile and install it.

BTW - Jim, Marcos and Eric send a great big thanks for your feedback and Eric said to tell you they've found the errant entry that caused that odd restore issue.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.tolisgroup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Jim Curtis
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 4:36:48 pm

[Tim Jones] "BTW - Jim, Marcos and Eric send a great big thanks for your feedback and Eric said to tell you they've found the errant entry that caused that odd restore issue."

Tim, you are all welcome. I'm happy to help where and when I can.

I had to restore some media yesterday. I used the latest release. It went overboard restoring more files than I asked for, but since I can monitor the restore progress, I can abort it after the files I needed are written.

Jim Curtis
jamesphilipcurtis.com

MacPro7,1 24-core - 256 GB RAM - AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB - 10.15.3


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Jörgen Persson
Re: Anybody with a new Mac Pro using BRU PE 4.0?
on Mar 4, 2020 at 4:06:42 pm

[Tim Gerhard] "Have you guys considered making the move to LTFS?

With LTFS you just won't run into issues since it's non-proprietary and cross platform."


I have an LTO4 drive, so LTFS is not an option for me.



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