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Quibbles – Directive Management

Posted by Preston on 2009-09-03

I’m a big fan of careful management of directives – for instance, I always go by the axiom that it’s better to backup a little bit too much and waste some tape than it is to not backup enough and not be able to recover.

That being said, I’m also a big fan of correct use of directives within NetWorker – skipping files that 100% are not required, adjusting preferences for the way files are backed up (e.g., logasm), etc., are quite important to getting well running backups.

So needless to say it bugs the hell out of me that after all this time, you still can’t include a directive within a directive.

Or rather, you can, but it’s through a method called “copy and paste”, which as we know, doesn’t lend itself too well to auto updating functionality.

So the current directive format is:

<< path >>
[+]asm: criteria

For example, you might want directives for a system such as:

<< / >>
+skip: *.mp3

<< /home/academics >>
forget

<< /home/students >>
+skip: *.mov *.m4v *.wma *.dv

Now, it could be that for every Unix system, you also want to include Unix Standard Directives. Currently the only way to do this is to create a new directive where you’ve copied and pasted in all the Unix Standard Directives then added in your above criteria.

This, to use the appropriate technical term, is a dogs breakfast.

The only logical way, the way which obviously hasn’t been developed yet for NetWorker but falls into the category of “why the hell not?” would be support for include statements. That way, it could be embedded into the directive itself.

For example, what I’m talking about is that we should be able to do the following:

<< / >>
include: Unix Standard Directives

<< / >>
+skip: *.mp3

<< /home/academics >>
forget

<< /home/students >>
+skip: *.mov *.m4v *.wma *.dv

Now wouldn’t that be nice? Honestly, how hard could it be?

NB: The correct answer to “how hard could it be?” is actually “I don’t care.” That is, there’s some things that should be done regardless of whether they’re easy to do.

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4 Responses to “Quibbles – Directive Management”

  1. Otmanix said

    include: Unix Standard Directives

    this would be the best feature since invention of the networker directives ;)

  2. Dave Gold said

    I’ve run into confusion in client-side directives, at least in the Windows NetWorker User world…seems that if you set directives in the NetWorker User GUI, it looks like a “select these items”, but is really an “exclude everything you unselected” option.

    One site was not backing up lots of critical directories, because a previous admin didn’t understand this fact, and didn’t understand that these faulty directives override the saveset.

  3. Preston said

    That I guess goes to my point that I think directives are best established only on the server, in the configuration. That way at least they’re centrally located, and can be turned off with no effort.

  4. […] 2009-10-20 by Preston A while ago, I made a posting about a long-running annoyance I have with directive management in NetWorker. […]

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