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Knowledge Base Articles»KB000047 - Scheduling EtaPRO 1…
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Last modified on 2/4/2019 9:14 AM by User.


KB000047 - Scheduling EtaPRO 10.x Backup Tasks


It is important that the EtaPRO System is backed up on a nightly basis so that historical data or configuration information is not lost if the server fails or the databases become corrupted. When the EtaPRO System is initially installed, GP Strategies sets up these nightly backups using the EtaPRO Backup Utility on the EtaPRO server hardware.

Data can be grouped into two general categories:

  • EtaPRO Configuration and EPLog Databases - The EtaPRO configuration is stored in a collection of Microsoft® SQL Server™ databases. The EPLog entries are stored in a separate SQL Server database. Backups are made nightly using the EtaPRO Backup Utility to schedule the backups.
  • Process Data and Calculations - Time-stamped historical data stored by a historian system. This data is acquired from plant instrumentation or calculated by the EtaPRO system. The only types of historians covered in this backup procedure are systems installed by GP Strategies,  OSISoft® OEM PI/ECHO or GP Strategies’ EPArchive. For all other historians, backups are the responsibility of the customer and are handled separately from EtaPRO. This includes Enterprise PI servers, WonderWare, and OPC-based products.

GP Strategies’ standard practice is to install the EtaPRO databases in a single directory named EtaPROFiles on the data volume of the computer (often the D or E volume) since it generally has the most space. Backups are normally placed within a subdirectory called Backups. The Backups subdirectory contains one or more subdirectories:

  • Databases - Contains a backup of the EtaPRO SQL Server database files. This includes EPArchive database backups if EtaPRO is configured to use databases on the local SQL Server system.
  • PI - Only on systems with a PI/ECHO historian. Contains a backup of the PI historian.
  • ECHO - Only on systems with a PI/ECHO historian. Contains a backup of the ECHO historian.

The objective of the backup strategy is to automatically place updated backup files in these directories every night. As the customer, it is your responsibility to ensure that the entire contents of the Backups subdirectory is copied to stand-alone storage media on a daily basis. Examples of stand-alone storage include a tape drive, a portable hard drive, an optical drive, etc.

The contents of the Backups sub directory will allow you to recover your EtaPRO  system data in the event of a catastrophic failure.  Following a catastrophic failure, you will need to rebuild the system and reinstall all software prior to recovering the data.  For this reason, GP Strategies highly recommends that you also maintain a complete computer disaster recovery backup.   Complete backups of your EtaPRO server can be created using a variety of commercial products including imaging software such as Symantec Ghost™ or Acronis True Image™.  A complete system backup would typically only be needed after making significant changes to the computer where your EtaPRO system resides.  For assistance in creating a complete computer backup, contact your corporate IT department.

Adding Scheduled Tasks for SQL Server Database Backups

GP Strategies’ standard practice is to configure nightly backups as part of the initial EtaPRO system installation. The following directions are provided for customers who need to reinstall EtaPRO on a new server.

Step 1: Launch the backup utility on the EtaPRO server from the Start | Programs | EtaPRO 10 | EtaPRO Database Backup Utility menu option. Once the 'EtaPRO Backup Utility' form has been launched, check the EtaPRO databases check-box. If you are running EPArchive , it is recommended that you check the EPArchive Buffer check-box as well. 

Step 2: Specify SQL Server. Use DEFAULT for the instance name, or enter the server instance name if it is not using the default. Enter only the instance name and do not included the machine name.

Step 3: Verify Directory of SQLCMD.  The file SQLCMD.EXE is installed as part of SQL Server. The default listing assumes that SQL Server was installed to the standard folder. If necessary, a Windows file search can be done to find the location of SQLCMD.EXE.

Step 4: Add Backup Procedure to SQL Server.  Click the button to add stored procedures to the SQL Server instance.

Step 5: Set Location for Backups.  Specify the directory where backup files should be stored. GP Strategies’ standard folder is \EtaPRO Files\Backups\.

Set Backup Type. A Differential backup pattern is recommended. This pattern will make a full backup one day per week with an incremental (changes-only) backup on the other six days. Using this option will allow the user to easily recover at some point during the past week. Using the Full Backup option will create a new full backup every day, overwriting the prior day’s backup file.

Backup Time.  The time of day at which the backup task will run and begin creating the backup files. SQLCMD.EXE Timeout.  The length of time to allow the SQL command processor to complete the backup job. The default of 30 seconds is typically long enough, but if the databases are very large or the server machine is slow, this setting can be increased to give the job more time to finish.

Step 7:  Select User to Run Scheduled Task.  In some cases it may be necessary to run the backup task under a specific user  account.  In particular, if the backup directory is a network folder and not the EtaPROFiles folder on the server, the task will most likely need to run under an account with appropriate access.

Step 8:  Select Databases to Backup.  Check the box next to each database which should be backed up as part of this task. If databases have been added, removed, or renamed since the backup utility was started, click the Refresh Databases button to update the list of databases.

 Step 9: Schedule the Backups.  Click the Schedule Backup button to create the scheduled backup tasks.

Click Close to exit the utility when the scheduled backup tasks are scheduled.


Review, Run, and Modify the Scheduled Tasks

  1. Launch the Task Scheduler application within Windows using Start | Control Panel | System and Security | Administrative Tools | Schedule Tasks.  (This may be available as simply Start | Administrative Tools | Task Scheduler.)

     2.   In the navigation panel at the left, select Task Scheduler Library.

     3.   Either one or two tasks should be shown in the center panel.  Full backups will have one task, and differential backups (if              selected) will have another.

  1. The tasks can be tested by right-clicking and selecting Run from the popup menu.  If running manually for the first time, the Full backup (EtaPRO Database Backup) task should be run first, otherwise the Differential backup task will fail. The status of the last run can be reviewed in the Last Run Result column:

  1. Note that right-clicking on a task will also allow you to edit Properties, Disable, or Delete the task using selections in the popup menu.
For additional assistance with this procedure or to report an error, please contact EtaPRO Support at or 716-799-1077.