CrashPlan Memory Utilization

I’ve been using CrashPlan as an online backup solution for quite some time, and it works really well.

I like the fact that I can subscribe to the consumer plan, with almost 3.5TB of data backed up, and that the backup client installs on a server OS. Many of the other “unlimited” backup providers I tested have restrictions in place that makes such a setup impossible.

CrashPlan sends email notifications about backup status, and I noticed that something was wrong with the backup:
CrashPlan.Email

I logged onto the machine, opened the main UI, and after a few seconds the UI just closed. opened it again, same thing, after about 15s the UI closed.

My initial thoughts were that it is a crash, but on attaching a debugger, the exit call stack showed that the process was cleanly terminated after receiving a signal.

On looking at the NT eventlog I could see that the service was restarting about every 15s:

The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the stopped state.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service entered the running state.

The service wasn’t crashing, it was externally being stopped and restarted. I looked in the CrashPlan directory, and I found several log files with a naming like restart_1342296082496.log. The contents of these files looked like this:

Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : "C:\Program Files\CrashPlan\bin\restart.bat"
ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : APP_BASE_NAME=CrashPlan
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : APP_DIR=C:\Program Files\CrashPlan
ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:22.53 : Stopping CrashPlanService
The CrashPlan Backup Service service is stopping.
The CrashPlan Backup Service service was stopped successfully.

Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:25.05 : Sleeing 15 seconds...

Pinging 127.0.0.1 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128
Reply from 127.0.0.1: bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=128

Ping statistics for 127.0.0.1:
Packets: Sent = 15, Received = 15, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:39.08 : Starting CrashPlanService

The CrashPlan Backup Service service was started successfully.

ECHO is off.
Sat 07/14/2012 13:01:39.13 : Exiting...

I looked for a newer version, but 3.2.1 was the latest version. I logged a support ticket with CrashPlan, but I continued my investigation. I found a log file service.log.0, several MB in size, and inside it I found this:

[07.14.12 12:32:39.480 ERROR   QPub-BackupMgr       backup42.service.backup.BackupController] OutOfMemoryError occurred...RESTARTING! message=OutOfMemoryError in BackupQueue!

So it seems that the service is running out of memory. I now had a few good keywords to search on, and I found this post of a user with the same problem. At about the same time I received a reply from CrashPlan support, not bad for weekend service, with the same solution.

The CrashPlan backup service and desktop applications are Java apps, and as such the maximum amount of memory they use are capped by configuration. I have had similar problems with other memory hungry Java apps, like Jaikoz, that simply fail unless you increase the memory limit.

To fix the problem, shutdown the service, open the CrashPlanService.ini file in the program directory, and increase the maximum memory utilization parameter to 2GB, the default is 512MB, and restart the service:

Virtual Machine Parameters=-Xrs -Xms15M –Xmx2048M

After upping the memory all seemed well, and the service has been running for more than a day. But, I wanted to know just how much memory is CrashPlan using, and it turns out to be insane.

Here are the current stats for the amount of data I backup, as well as the resource utilization by the backup service and desktop app:

CrashPlan.Size
CrashPlan.Memory.Desktop
CrashPlan.Memory.Service

As you can see, the desktop app’s peak private bytes exceed 250MB, and the service exceeds 1.3GB, that’s right 1.3GB of memory!

Those numbers are simply outrageous.

DELL 2408WFP loosing settings on power cycle

In my last post I discussed the calibration of my DELL 2408WFP monitors.

After calibration, and changing the monitor settings, the monitors looked pretty good, but I later found that the monitor colors looked all weird again.
It turns out that the monitors reverted to their default settings, invalidating the calibration.
It seems to me that as soon as my PC goes to sleep, or the monitors go into power saving mode, or powers off, that on turning back on they revert to default settings.
I found a relatively simple solution using EnTech mControl, not completely automated but close.
mControl allows you to save the current monitor settings to a profile, and allows you to restore those settings.
Here are the steps:
  1. Install and run mControl.
  2. Set mControl to automatically load when you login. Right click on the mControl tray icon and enable auto-load. This will add an entry in the startup program group.
  3. Calibrate your monitor, adjusting the monitor settings using mControl.
  4. Save your monitor profile. Open a command prompt, change to the mControl directory (“C:\Program Files (x86)\mControl\”), and run “mControl.exe /saveprofile Calibrate”. This will save the current monitor settings to a profile called “Calibrate”. You can use any profile name, I just used “Calibrate” as an example.
  5. Edit the mControl startup item so that it automatically restores the monitor profile when mControl starts. Right click the mControl entry in your startup programs group, and edit the commandline to include the “/restoreprofile Calibrate” option. E.g. “”C:\Program Files (x86)\mControl\mControl.exe” /restoreprofile Calibrate”
Every time you login mControl will start and restore the monitor settings.
If you change the monitor settings, simply run “mControl /saveprofile Calibrate” again to save the updated settings.
Unfortunately this only works when you login, but if the monitors power down while you are logged in, e.g. sleep, you have to manually restore the settings.
I solved this by creating a text script file called “Monitor.Restore.Profile.cmd” on my desktop, and putting the restore command in the file, “”C:\Program Files (x86)\mControl\mControl.exe” /restoreprofile Calibrate”.
Now whenever the monitor settings need to be fixed, I just run this script and the settings are restored.
This seems to be a problem with the DELL 2408WFP monitors, and I would like to know if this is specific my to my setup, or if this happens to other people, leave me a comment and let me know.

[Update: 17 July 2009]

EnTech has enhanced mControl to support profiles right in the UI, including an “Autoexec” profile that will automatically restore the monitor settings on login and wake from sleep.
It works great.

How difficult can it be to transfer a .name domain?

How difficult can it be to transfer a .name domain?

I was reading an article where it was noted that .name names can now be used for OpenID registrations.

With a little more research I found that the sites only supported new registrations, unfortunately they did not support transfers.

Several years ago when the .name domains were new and the in thing to do, I registered my pieter.viljoen.name domain and pieter@viljoen.name with Register.com.

Over the years the support for .name domains has declined, to the point where the Register.com domain control panel no longer exposed any controls for my pieter.viljoen.name domain.

Any changes, e.g. domain or email forwarding required a tech support contact.

I started looking for a new .name registrar, and to my surprise found very few, and even fewer that were accepting transfers.

I already have several domains registered with eNom, and fortunately eNom did offer .name transfers, and did actively support .name domains, or at least this is what they advertised.

I initiated an electronic domain transfer with eNom, but the transfer is denied with a message stating that the authorization code does not match.

I call Register.com support, and am told that .name transfers do not require an authorization code.

I call eNom support, and am told to just enter 00000.

I submit the order again using 00000 as the authorization code, and the same problem as before.

I call eNom support, explain the story, are transferred, and this time I am told that I really do require an authorization code.

I call Register.com support, explain the story, are transferred, and after authenticating myself I receive an email with the authorization code.

I submit the order again, this time using the authorization code.

I receive the email, using the whois information from my current registrar Register.com, asking for transfer permission, I approve.

Several days go by and the order status remains in a processing state.

I call eNum support, and are told to wait a few more days.

After a few more days I call eNom support, and I am told to open a trouble ticket using their online support system.

I open the ticket, and a few days later I get a reply email stating that the issue needs to be escalated to the developers.

Every few days I ask for a status update, and am told they are working on the problem.

After about two weeks the transfer completes.

For some reason eNom uses the whois email address I registered with them to contact me for support status updates.

It was by chance that I opened my hotmail account and noticed the support emails.

All previous eNom communications were done using my primary email address I registered with eNom.

Since eNom was not in my good books, I decided to open a support case with eNom complaining that they use the wrong email address for support emails.

After several exchanges, including them not believing me, and me having to show them screenshots of my hotmail account, and screenshots of Outlook with regular eNom email communications, they offer an excuse that the system uses whois emails because everybody must fill out a whois email address.

When reality is that the eNom account system uses your primary email address and the whois email address is inconsequential when using eNom identity protection plans.

I just gave up and closed the case.

I configure the domain forwarding of pieter.viljoen.name to www.insanegenius.com, and it seems to work fine.

Now I want to configure email forwarding, but unlike Register.com where email forwarding was part of the .name package, eNom wants an additional $21.95 per year for email forwarding.

I don’t use that email address, but I order the email forwarding anyway.

A few minutes later I get a confirmation email, but the order was cancelled, with a message stating that I must cancel my existing email forwarding.

I open a support ticket with eNom, and are told that the domain transfer is independent of the email forwarding, and that I must cancel the email forwarding with Register.com.

I login to my Register.com account, and I still see my pieter.viljoen.name listed as an active domain.

I start a support chat conversation Register.com, and I am told that they will open a support case and get back to me.

A day later I receive an email from Register.com, and they confirm that they have deleted my domain from the fronted and backed systems, I confirm that the domain is no longer listed on my account.

I order email forwarding with eNom again, and the same problem.

I call Register.com support, are transferred, and after some time while the agent conversed with technical support, am told that my new registrar, eNom, must contact the .name ICANN authority, and arrange for the transfer.

I am also told by the agent that .name registrations are problematic in that very few individuals or registrars really understand how it works.

On a whim I decide to see if email forwarding still works, and sure it does.

So given that neither Register.com nor eNom is capable of taking care of the problem, and that eNom wants to charge me $21.95 per year for forwarding, and that email forwarding is working, I decided to just do nothing.

I really cannot offer any advice for anybody with an existing .name domain, but what I would say is that if you decide to register a .name domain, make sure your registrar is really committed to supporting .name.