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Folder Duplication Progress Indicator? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I don't believe this has been raised before, apologies if it's a duplicate (no pun intended!) or if I've overlooked what I regard to be a very basic GUI feature...

     

    WHS Console needs to display whether or not a Shared Folder which is to be Duplicated has actually been duplicated...

     

    I.e. I understand that if I copy a chunk of data onto WHS it goes onto the C drive, then it gets farmed out to the various HDDs making up the D drive...  I don't know if duplication happens after that or simultaneously but I do know that despite hearing lots of disk drive activity and CPU utilisation I don't actually know that this has occured?  A simple, standard, green, progress bar next to the Folder in the Shared Folder view would give me the confidence to know I was safe...  In fact, it could replace the Duplication Enabled, Yes / No field?

     

    This would also help highlight the situations where not enough disks of the right capacity are available to enable the requested duplication...

    Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:47 PM

Answers

  • Actually, that's not quite right. It goes on the D: drive, which is the data partition on the system drive. From there it gets farmed out to the other drives in the storage pool. Thus the suggestion that your system drive be the largest drive in your WHS; the size of your system drive currently determines how much data you can copy to WHS in one shot, and if DE hasn't moved a file yet, it's still occupying space on the D: partition and so reducing space available for other copies.

    With the CTP you should be able to tell if duplication has finished. In the console, there's an indicator that shows DE activity in the status area.

    If duplication is failing because of insufficient space, you should be getting network health warnings. If you're not, you should report a bug on Connect.
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:59 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Actually, that's not quite right. It goes on the D: drive, which is the data partition on the system drive. From there it gets farmed out to the other drives in the storage pool. Thus the suggestion that your system drive be the largest drive in your WHS; the size of your system drive currently determines how much data you can copy to WHS in one shot, and if DE hasn't moved a file yet, it's still occupying space on the D: partition and so reducing space available for other copies.

    With the CTP you should be able to tell if duplication has finished. In the console, there's an indicator that shows DE activity in the status area.

    If duplication is failing because of insufficient space, you should be getting network health warnings. If you're not, you should report a bug on Connect.
    Thursday, April 19, 2007 2:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the clarification, I was of course confusing the D drive partition on the system drive with being the C drive!

     

    Glad to see that CTP addresses DE activity, I still believe that an explicit "It's in progress / it has finished" indicator provides major comfort...  And (deep down) comfort is what WHS addresses?

     

    Consider the machine backup process: imagine if that had no progress bar to view?  You just have to believe that at some point it finished...  Comfortable?  :-)

    Thursday, April 19, 2007 3:22 PM
  • The new CTP build displays the status in the Status Bar.

     

    Rob

    Thursday, April 19, 2007 4:29 PM
  • I'm sorry to see this feature fell out of the RC1 build. I really hope there's a more robust (or any!) duplication progress indicator in the RTM or future updates. Backups of critical data are the kinds of things you really want a message saying 100% for.
    Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:16 PM
  • You will know that duplication is complete when the console does not say Balancing. Also for peace of mind, you can look at q_de.log on the server and it will tell you everything.

    Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:44 PM
    Moderator
  • I know that, and that's fine with me (not entirely, but for now), but since balancing and duplication aren't neccessarily the same thing, it would be nice to know about duplication specifically. It will often be balancing completely unrelated to duplication, so I'd like to know at any given time that my duplication is intact.

    Also, since this is a product intended for the non-technical consumer, having a big shiny thing that says "Duplication status 100%" would be a lot more helpful then explaining to someone how duplication is part of the balancing process, and to go check the logs. (I'm not criticizing your answer - it was helpful. Logs are fine with me, though I'd like a more convenient method - but this is a feature request thread).
    Monday, October 1, 2007 12:35 AM
  • Dude, nothing "fell out" of the product. CTP reported exactly the same things that RC1 reports, and that I expect RTM to report when I finally have it in hand.

    As for messages saying "50% complete" or "80% complete" or whatever, remember that the primary target audience of WHS is not technically sophisticated enthusiasts. I think Microsoft expects to sell many more units of WHS preinstalled by vendors like HP, LaCie, and Tranquil PC, and installed by "real" system builders (people building a "one off" for a client) than will ever sell to enthusiasts. And they expect that most buyers (enthusiasts excluded, of course) will not have the level of technical knowledge to really understand and benefit from that level of status message.

    If you doubt any of the above, look at the WHS Console, and read the product documentation. It's very clear to me from those sources that the primary target audience isn't us. Smile
    Monday, October 1, 2007 2:45 AM
    Moderator
  •  Ken Warren wrote:
    Dude, nothing "fell out" of the product. CTP reported exactly the same things that RC1 reports, and that I expect RTM to report when I finally have it in hand.

    As for messages saying "50% complete" or "80% complete" or whatever, remember that the primary target audience of WHS is not technically sophisticated enthusiasts. I think Microsoft expects to sell many more units of WHS preinstalled by vendors like HP, LaCie, and Tranquil PC, and installed by "real" system builders (people building a "one off" for a client) than will ever sell to enthusiasts. And they expect that most buyers (enthusiasts excluded, of course) will not have the level of technical knowledge to really understand and benefit from that level of status message.

    If you doubt any of the above, look at the WHS Console, and read the product documentation. It's very clear to me from those sources that the primary target audience isn't us.


    Oops. You're right. I misinterpreted something that was said here eariler, I thought CTP had a duplication-specific report.

    First, let me say I really appriciate your help and advice here and in other threads.

    However, I think you're really underestimating a) the average user, and b) WHS's market, regardless of what microsoft is planning (and likely to their benefit).

    a) I think that the average user is capable of understanding and desiring the concept of percentage completion. Certainly if they're capable of understanding the need/usefulness of backup and media serving in the first place. They are also used to things not working properly and want to be confident in their backups, which is what this software is supposed to do. If you're going to have something as shockingly sophisticated as an "Enable Duplication" checkbox, than a "Duplication successful" note is of a reasonable level of complexity. I don't think it's too much of a compromise to the enthusiast crowd to have a status message reporting on arguably the most important function of the software. You could even hide it in a "duplication status" advanced tab somewhere if you really think it's going to scare people.

    b) Every single person in this forum (and there are many), as well as other forums I have discussed WHS in are "enthusiasts". There are any number of blogs, websites, and forums, all dedicated to WHS, all populated by enthusiasts. I know of many enthusiasts that are clamoring to get their hands on a copy of WHS, while so many "regular users" don't even know it exists or why they should spend a few hundred dollars on a computer they wont "use". This kind of thing is going to get overwhelmingly "sold" to "regular users" through the opinions and recommendations of enthusiasts. So a few concessions to that crowd might not be so horrible. Maybe they could add an "advanced view" toggle somewhere, to keep all the extra useful stuff hidden away.

    And now, I've gotten almost completely off topic. Sorry.
    Monday, October 1, 2007 4:19 AM
  • I've showed WHS to a good number of people over the past several months, ranging from my brother in law who's a shift supervisor in a factory to folks with more technical knowledge than I have. The one question they always ask is "Is it complicated to manage? Or does it just work?" Then I show them the console, and explain that you only need that if you have to change something (add a user or share, change permissions, add a disk, etc.), not every day or even every week. They love the thought of all the cool stuff you can get WHS to do for you, but when it comes right down to it they aren't going to use that capability.

    Microsoft did extensive market research, and determined that most potential purchasers of WHS want a simple appliance that solves certain problems end-to-end, and that just works. For those that want to get under the hood, there's Remote Desktop and the whole Windows Server 2003 base to start from. But the core audience is technically unsophisticated users who don't care about any of that, so Microsoft made sure thet their user experience would be a good one. Anything that breaks that will go by the wayside.

    To your specific point, that the duplication messages don't tell you enough, you want to know how far along it is and when it finishes successfully: You get a couple of messages, Balancing storage and Storage balanced on vv/ww/xxxx yy:zz AM. If I had to guess, I'd say that's the level of detail that most potential purchasers of WHS want per Microsoft's market research. Not breaking their user experience is more important than satisfying us; if Microsoft can't sell WHS to them, I expect it won't be profitable to sell it to us. Advanced information will break their user experience (they'll get to it, see it, and panic when they see a normal message like "can't create a shadow copy of file xxxx.yyy") so it's probably never going to be accessible through the console. If you want to see it, you can look at the server logs directly, but nobody here except a member of the WHS team can tell you what most of it really means.

    And then there's the whole "shipping is a feature" argument. If you fail to make your shipping dates, eventually the market moves on and leaves you behind. (Microsoft only gets away with it because they're effectively the only game in town, there's nobody to move on to for most people.) I would bet that it's important to Microsoft to see WHS in the stores this holiday season (not so much for the bottom line, but to get the concept out there). Adding the ability to get at more advanced information would require a set of interfaces that don't exist, so you're talking man-months (or -years) of additional development and testing to get that in the product. There was obviously no room in the schedule for it.

    If you still feel strongly that you want to see advanced information in the console, make a suggestion on Connect. That's where product suggestions are supposed to be submitted now. Microsoft has said that they will be mining Connect for ideas for the next version of WHS.
    Monday, October 1, 2007 12:43 PM
    Moderator