[Dirvish] Excessively Long backups on a Postfix Mailder vault with Dovecot as the IMAP server

Kenneth Lerman Kenneth.Lerman at se-ltd.com
Wed Mar 19 16:37:09 UTC 2008

Do you have daily or weekly logs? Do they get renamed when you cycle to the 
next day or week? If so, then each time you cycle to the next day or week, 
you generate a new copy of the log to back up.

If you are using logrotate, use the option that names the log for the date 
and doesn't rename it.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Damian Cunniff" <dcunniff_lists at inforefinery.com>
To: <dirvish at dirvish.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 10:30 AM
Subject: [Dirvish] Excessively Long backups on a Postfix Mailder vault with 
Dovecot as the IMAP server

> Hey Guys,
> I've been working on a dirvish backup system now for several months and
> we are just at the tail end of everything.  The system is running really
> well and it is also gracefully managing the backup of both Windows and
> Linux servers.  Dirvish is a very impressive tool.
> I am, however, running into a relatively  serious problem with one of my
> vaults.  I have a mail server that is running postfix for SMTP and
> dovecot for IMAP.  The server has a (software) RAID array of 3, 10,000
> RPM SATA disks which house the /var/mail partition.  I have configured
> dirvish on separate backup server (still part of the same LAN) with a
> vault assigned only to backup this /var/mail partition.  We opted to set
> our mail up in a Maildir format to leverage dirivish's capabilities for
> backing up the mail store.
> When we first implemented the system everything seemed to be running
> correctly.  The vault took somewhere between 20 minutes to 1 hour to do
> its backups.  Gradually we added new users to the new mail system and
> this time window increased but then subsided as would be expected.
> Recently however it continues to increase in the amount of time that it
> is taking to backup.  It has reached the point of taking as much as 8-10
> hours to complete.
> Initially I thought we might be collecting enough mail on a daily basis
> to create this situation, however that doesn't really make sense when
> you look at how much mail actually comes into the server.  Additionally
> I took a look at the log.gz files that are generated and each day we are
> backing up around 100 - 300 MB of mail.  This number still seems high to
> me but I can live with it.  Where it gets very strange is the amount of
> mail does not in any way seem proportional to the time it takes for the
> backup of this vault to occur.  A couple of days ago it actually backed
> up 400MB in 8 hours.  The next day it was 120MB in 10 hours.  I have
> other servers in the same network producing the same amount of changed
> data and taking 10 - 15 minutes to back it up.
> I guessed the problem might be postfix and dovecot running while the
> backups were occurring, so last night I set the pre-client command to
> shutdown both services and the post-client to bring them back up.  When
> I got to the office this morning neither service was running.  Upon
> further examination I realized this was because the backup still hadn't
> completed.
> I'm stumped.  What could possibly be causing this problem?  Why would an
> otherwise seemingly healthy setup be malfunctioning here?  Should I fsck
> the RAID array in hopes that that may be the trouble?
> Thanks
> -Damian
> PS.  If this is a repost I apologize, I'm not sure that my first one
> went through.
> -- 
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