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Scheduling and Chaining Syncs
 

Important! Before you schedule a sync, you should to run it manually to make sure the sync commences fine, free of login or other network problems. Before setting a schedule, run the sync manually for a couple of times to see how long it takes. Try not to schedule such that the schedule would start the sync before the previous run finishes.

AASync3 has what many computer users wanted for a long time: unattended operation in the background without the need of any user intervention. Set the parameters once and .. well, forget it! AASync's Schedule Panel has all the options to achieve this.

In order to use the scheduling feature on a sync, turn on the "Use Scheduled Sync" button. Set the schedule type (eg. Daily) the time to perform it and click OK on the bottom. That is how easy it is. Here is what you need to know about the scheduled sync: Once the sync has been scheduled, AASync will not have to be running! The sync will still execute in the background, even if somebody else is logged in during your sync. The logs will be left according to the log setting in the Options Panel. Next time you start AASync the time of the last sync will be shown. and clicking the "Last Log" button will open the log of the last sync.

Minute-Hour Interval settings and connected issues

By popular demand we have added the capability to schedule sync repetition in small time intervals. Now you can set up intervals as small as a minute. Here are issues and considerations:

  • Wake/sleep events are disabled in this setting. If you set up a sync to repeat let's say every 30 minutes you have to make sure your computer does not go into idle sleep which would prevent the sync operations. This would be an issue especially if you set your sync up to trigger every 4 hours for instance.
  • If you repeat sync too often like every 2 minutes, it might use up a lot of system resources. In some special cases where the sync runs very quick and you need a very up-to-date destination folder, this still might be useful. Recommendations: turn logging (on the Sync Options Panel) off completely, otherwise you might end up with a huge amount of logs. Also, do not run the AASync App, only if you want to change the settings. Let the syncs execute in the background, they use a lot less resources that way.
  • The offset (Start Time): The start time lets you specify a Hour:minute:AM/PM setting. If your Minute-Hour Interval is an hour or less, then only the minute setting is used as an offset from the zero minute. Example: if the interval is set to "every 15 minutes" and the minute setting is 7, then the sync will be triggered on minutes 7, 22, 37, 52. If you set 17 instead of seven, obviously that does not make much sense, so it is modded down by 15 to give 2 (17 mod 15 = 2) and we use to as on offset so the trigger times will be 2, 17, 32, 47.
  • If your Minute-Hour Interval is more than an hour then the Start Time hour and minutes will both be used as on offset. Example: if the interval is "every 4 hours" and the Start Time setting is 1:35 then the sync will be triggered at 1:35, 5:35, 9:35, 13:35, 17:35 and 21:35.
  • Minute-Interval sync schedules are not available on Windows yet.

Mailing the sync log

If you are a system admin, overseeing scheduled/automated backups on many systems, it makes sense the have the sync logs mailed to you. This provides an easy way detect if any problems ocurred on any of your backups. In the Global Preferences/Email Setup tab, you can set the email addresses the logs should be mailed to, along with the SMTP setup for outgoing mail from your site. Then, for each sync, you can turn emailing on/off on the Sync Preferences/Scheduling tab.

Before the Sync

What is great is that your computer does not have to be awake, or even ON (this feature is Mac only) before a scheduled sync. If you set this, AASync will automatically wake your computer couple of minutes before the sync would start. This lets you set up your syncs in the middle of the night, which is what a lot of users like doing.

After the Sync

After a scheduled sync there are some options that can be executed:

  • Attempt to put the machine to sleep - It is called an attempt for a good reason. In normal circumstances it should succeed, unless some running software prevents it from happening. It should be tested in your particular environment. If it works, it allows the user to have a truly unattended sync in the middle of the night.. the machine will wake up, execute the sync, then back to sleep.
  • Do the Chain Thing..execute another sync right after this one? See below..

Some Important Caveats about power events

  • The wake event AAsync will schedule will be a repeating power event. There are limitations imposed by the system on such events, most important of which is that you can have only one of these at a time, meaning that if you set this on one sync it will wipe it out on an another sync you may have set it on previously. USE THIS OPTION CAREFULLY! YOU MUST BE AN ADMIN USER TO USE THIS FEATURE. Once it is set, you may view it in the Preferences App's Power Tab.
  • Wake is only available on daily, once a week, weekdays or weekends schedules.
  • Sleep events can be scheduled as many times as you want, but still one has to be careful. This scheduled sleep will effect all user on your system! USE THIS OPTION CAREFULLY! YOU MUST BE AN ADMIN USER TO USE THIS FEATURE.
  • Power events triggered only if the sync is started on a schedule! If the sync is run manually, wake/sleep settings are ignored!

The Chain Sync

So, since you can only wake your machine on one set schedule, it would be great execute more than one syncs in a sequence. This way, all periodic (like daily or weekly) backups can be executed in the middle of the night, one after another. The first sync will wake the machine, then call the next sync by using the "After the Sync" popup button (be sure to turn on the "Use Scheduled Sync" button). The sync sync should sleep the machine after it completes, and voila, you have a chain of backups executing completely unattended whenever you want, and you do not have to worry about your box running needlessly.
Each sync that is triggered can have its own chain. Chains have to be set up from the top. The first sync will be triggered by time (this will have an alarm clock icon next it's name). As you set up the schedule, use the "After the Sync" button to pick another sync to be executed after this one. If you want the second sync to sleep the machine afterwards, select that option on its "After the Sync" button, without turning on "Use Schedule" (on the first one on the chain gets triggered by the schedule). Chained syncs cannot set their start times, since they will be triggered after the previous sync completes. Chain sequences are triggered only if the sync is started on a schedule! If the sync is run manually, chain (also wake/sleep) settings are ignored! NOTE: a sync can be triggered by any number of other syncs, but each sync can only do one action to be executed next, so pick "After the Sync" wisely...

   
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