I noticed yesterday I’ve not really put much up on the blog about a few small releases we’ve done recently. So I think it’s time to bring everybody up to speed on what we’ve done and where we’re going.
Resumable backup job
The SQL Azure job is now fully resumable, this means if the scheduler service goes down for any reason it can pick up a job that was in progress and continue it as if nothing had happened. We did this work to the Restore job a while ago and we let it settle before implementing the same logic in the Backup job. Although with other changes our scheduling stability is now excellent so we don’t see a restarting scheduling service anything like as frequently as a few months ago.
The ” - ” separator in files returned
It looks like as part of the work to make jobs resumable we started putting spaces in backup filenames again. I released a fix yesterday for this. The problem with spaces in the backup filenames is that the Microsoft Azure Portal can’t cope with them so to make it more likely that it can work we add no spaces beyond your control. The other parts of a backup are the filename and the timestamp both of which are under your control.
12 hour default timeout for SQL Azure backup/restore
There is now a timeout to cope with stalled jobs in Microsoft’s bacpac import/export service. If a backup or restore job takes longer than this time the job would fail (even if the export may eventually complete). We had been seeing jobs that would remain “pending” for several days stopping backups from happening, this feature prevents that from happening. You can configure this via the settings upping it to at most 24 hours.
I’m also thinking about limiting the duration of file sync jobs in a similar manner, currently we have jobs spanning several days.
You can remove a running jobs schedule
Does exactly what it says on the tin. You can delete a schedule from a job even if it’s running.
Deleted files during sync no longer fail sync job
If files are deleted during a sync job (after the file list has been created) this no longer causes a problem. Previously the job would file, now it just reported the file as having been deleted and carries on.
There are currently two things on the go at the moment.
Azure table backup
The requests are coming in thick and fast so I’m looking at doing some form of Azure table backup. This is likely going to be initially just a dump of the given table to a .zip file in blob storage (or possibly a copy to another Azure table). From there it’s up to what people want from it. So far we’ve got requests for differential backups, retention policy of rows ( removing rows older than X days ), backing up to e.g. Amazon SimpleDB. I’m keen on your thoughts so please drop me a line.
Windows 8 redesign
I’ve also started work a while back on a large scale revamp of the appearance of the site. This will not only make the site look a lot better but will also incorporate massive improvements in the history page, showing many more results that are filterable and searchable (another common request).