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Auto Backup Utility for Energy Modeling Files (filter by file extension)

asked 2019-02-10 12:45:38 -0500

I am looking for a good way to automatically backup my modeling files on an ongoing or daily basis. Since it is typically best practice to save modeling files to the C drive instead of a server (or server-like backup utility like we use), manual copy-to-server type backups tend not to work as consistently..

Ideally, what I'm looking for is a backup utility that will automatically copy over the folder structure along with the files inside with the .cab extension. The utility would copy these files/folder either to another folder on my C drive that I can have backed up by my current utility OR it could backup directly to the cloud.

We have a strong preference to IGNORE the results files which are huge and can be easily reproduced. Most backup utilities I've seen have the ability to EXCLUDE specific file extensions.. However, I'd like to only INCLUDE specific extensions (eg .cab as mentioned before for IES-VE projects, or .cibd16(x) for CBECC-Com files, etc.)

Thanks for sharing any backup methods that are working for you.

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answered 2019-02-12 06:41:48 -0500

There are lots of good solutions to the backing things up regularly. I keep Windows 10 File History going to an external USB drive (see Settings, Update&Security, Backup) but it only has file excludes. At the end of each day, I use SyncBack Pro with a specific list of folders. You can include and exclude files by extension with that. You can set it up to run regularly in the background and do versioning. I haven't used it as much but FreeFileSync can do many of the same things. Many of the cloud services have a way to create a virtual drive on your computer such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. I primarily use Google's Drive File Stream. You can work directly with those as the "local" drive or backup to them using file sync software. They don't usually have includes or excludes themselves but the sync software that I mentioned does. Another way to do it would be to use Windows Task Scheduler to just execute a batch file that copies specific files or file extensions. Use "Create Task" to have something run more than once per day. I haven't used that approach in years but it is higher flexible if you are familar with batch files.

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Hi Jason - It looks like SyncBack Pro might be what I was looking for.. It seems like they have filter settings that can exclude OR include files and folders.

We're currently using Drive File Stream for our "server" functionality which works quite well for most file types.. Model files are the exception. Google's Backup and Sync does okay for this C drive folder, but I'd love to ONLY backup the model archive folders and avoid all the other files..

Thanks to all for the feedback!

Greg Collins gravatar imageGreg Collins ( 2019-02-12 17:57:39 -0500 )edit
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answered 2019-02-11 11:31:19 -0500

Our Windows server does a backup every three hours so we're able to right click > Restore previous version. However, running sims on a server can be slower than running locally on a fast machine. I'd suggest looking into using Git version control for your models, although IES makes it difficult with all the (binary) files that make up a model, which is one reason I prefer OpenStudio/EnergyPlus.

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answered 2019-02-10 21:52:49 -0500

crduggin gravatar image

I have auto archive every two hours enabled in the VE as an insurance policy. I move my most recent backup of each model to a network drive at milestones or the end of the day. My IT Dept put together a script to automatically backup my VE-Projects folder to the network daily. The work drive is in the cloud and is backed up.

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Asked: 2019-02-10 12:45:38 -0500

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Last updated: Feb 12