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Troubleshooting scheduled and queued backups

Scheduled and queue-based backups are two of the three types of backups performed by Watchful. This article describes the process for scheduled and queued backups. Tips on resolving issues that may interrupt the backup process are also discussed.

How backups work

Backup tasks are added to perpetually growing list of backups that must be completed. Multiple backups are processed simultaneously and the status of each backup is recorded in the logs.

If we focus on a single backup, it is important to note that the process occur in small steps to maximize performance and reliability. Thus, a typical backup may be split into 20 steps. 

Watchful monitors each step in this process to ensure a backup completes as expected. 

The backup process issued a warning

A single backup process may be interrupted temporarily by a number of factors. Most often, the issue commonly arises from technical problems on the remote website such as a lack of disk space or a network problem. 

If this happens during one of the backup steps, Watchful will attempt to repeat the step. The following entry will also be added to the logs: The backup process issued a warning

No action is required as Watchful assumes the issue is temporary and continues the backup process.

The backup failed

If a backup step fails three times in a row for a single backup, the process itself will stop and a the following entry will be added to the logs: The backup failed.

The backup will be attempted at the next scheduled time, hopefully when any technical issues have been resolved.

No action is required, but performing a manual backup from the site backend may be prudent on bust sites with frequent changes.  

Your site is no longer being backed up due to repeated backup failures.

As noted above, Watchful has a built-in tolerance for temporary issues with individual backups. The same is true for multiple backup failures that occur one after another.

If three backups in a row fail, the scheduled backup will be removed from the queue entirely. The following entry will be added to the logs: Your site is no longer being backed up due to repeated backup failures.

Additionally, a red x icon will be added to the sites dashboard to indicate the problem as shown below.

backup queue status

Use the following steps to resume the backup schedule:

  1. Perform a manual backup from the site backend to ensure any technical issues are resolved. Contact your backup software vendor if needed.
  2. Perform a manual backup from Watchfuls site dashboard. If this fails, contact our support team to resolve the issue. 
  3. Once the steps above are producing successful backups:
    1. Navigate to the sites dashboard.
    2. Select the site from the list.
    3. Select Add to backup queue in the Bulk Actions menu at the top-right.
  4. Monitor the site for a successful backup. The icon in the site dashboard should also change to clock o.

Notification of backup issues

You may be receiving too many or too few notifications related to your backups. You can personalize the notifications you recieve in the settings area as described here.

Additionally, please review our stale backup warning feature. Stale backup warnings are often more useful than backup errors as they indicate when backup issues actually affect the overall backup process (and not just a backup step, for example).