Knowledge Base

SpaceObServer



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Why are scans with SpaceObServer slower than TreeSize scans?

TreeSize Professional scans file system structures as needed and holds a snapshot of the scan in your system memory.
SpaceObServer archives all needed file system information in a backend database. This is needed to calculate size development information for the scanned directories and enables you to filter the file system tree without the need of a rescan.
Building up the SQL database is quite costly. This is why the initial scan of SpaceObServer runs very slow compared to the scans of TreeSize Professional.
Note: The update scans of SpaceObServer do only need to update the changes on your file system in the database. So generally the update scans run faster than the initial scans.

Can I use SpaceObServer in a Cluster environment?

You can use SpaceObServer in a clustered server environment by installing it on one of the nodes. That means that a node fail over is not handled, but scheduled scans will be started automatically after the node is running again. You can also install SpaceObServer on both nodes and in case of a fail over you simply have to change the observing server for all scanned roots. You can do this by selecting "Set Observing Server" in the context menu of the "Configure Scans" dialog ("Scan > Configure Scans > Expert Settings"). Leave the observing service blank to allow any service to perform the scheduled scans. Then you should deactivate the scan services ("Tools > Options > Service") on all but one of the nodes in the cluster and activate it again on a node fail over.

I've noticed that the "Last Access" date is not updated, it is much older than the "Last change" date. What is the reason for this?

The last access date of a file is maintained by Windows. Since Windows Vista/Server 2008, Microsoft disabled the automatic update for the "Last access" date by default to improve system performance on NTFS formatted drives. Because of this, the date won't be updated anymore if a file content is changed for example. That is also the reason why the last access date isn't a good indicator anymore for recent usage of a file.

For more information on these topics, please refer to the following MSDN articles:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc959914.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781134(WS.10).aspx

Why does TreeSize show charts on the "History" tab going back a long time in the past for some volumes, and empty charts for others?

For each scan that is executed on a specific folder or drive, TreeSize automatically saves the size from that scan for the use in the "History" view. If another scan on that same folder is done, TreeSize will add the new size data and create a graphical trend for this folder. This is the reason why you might see different periods of time for different drives and/or folders.

We have another product named SpaceObServer, which is much more powerful in regards to creating reliable statistics for the increase/decrease of disk usage of your systems. SpaceObServer scans local and network drives as well as Exchange mailboxes using a background service and stores their structure, sizes and properties in an SQL database.
In an Explorer-like user interface the collected data can be viewed and browsed in hierarchical or tabular views, 3D bar, pie, line charts and tree maps. Using the archived data you are able to track the development of the space usage from past to present, and forecast future size usage.

I tried to uninstall SpaceObServer to install the latest version, but the file "SpaceObServerAgent.exe" was not removed and the installer cannot replace it. How can I remove the file to install the latest version?

The file "SpaceObServerAgent.exe" is the SpaceObServer scan service, called "SpaceObServer Agent". Normally this service automatically shot down before un-/reinstallation. To avoid this problem please do the following: 1. Ensure that the service "SpaceObServer Agent" is stopped. 2. Use your Windows task manager to ensure that there is no process"SpaceObServerAgent.exe" running (tab "Processes"). If so, use the "Terminate process" button to kill this process. 3. Ensure that your windows event log is closed (The Windows event log could hold a handle to this file).

SpaceObServer doesn't start to scan a specified directory. What's the problem?

There could be reasons for this issue:


1. Is the system service "SpaceObServer Agent" started? The "SpaceObServer Agent" processes all scans of directories. If thisservice is stopped or paused, no scan can be processed.


2. Is theselected directory on a network drive? You cancustomize the login of SpaceObServer Agent within the installation ofSpaceObServer (username, domain and password). If you do not enter a valid useraccount the login is set to the local system account. That may cause problemswhile scanning network drives. To fix this problem please switch the servicelog on to a user account with sufficient access rights (See: "How can Iswitch the login...").


3. Do you use"Windows Authentication" for the database login? If you usethis option ("Tools > Options > Database > Login info") andyou switched the login of the system service SpaceObServer Agent to a specifieduser account, this user must have read and write access on the selecteddatabase.If it isnot possible to give the user access rights to this database, please do not usethe Windows Authentication for the database access. Use a valid database useraccount instead.


4. Does the"Observing Server" exists and is an SpaceObServer Agent running onthis machine? If the"Observing Server" is set (not blank) for a root directory, only thisserver will execute scans for this directory, no matter from which client thescan was triggered or scheduled. If for any reason (e.g. a rename of theserver) this machine is not found or no SpaceObServer Agent is running on thismachine, the scan will not be executed. You can configure the Observing Serverform within the context menu of the Configure Scans dialog (sub menu "ExpertSettings"). If none ofthe above applies, please check the column "Last Error" in the"Configure Scans" dialog and the Windows Event Log for furtherinformation and error messages. Please include this information if you contactus, together with the type and version of database software you are using.

Will SpaceObserver take advantage of multiple CPUs if available (both the client and the agent)?I 've installed it on a multi-core Windows 2008 64-bit server, and I am seeing the client is only utilizing 100% of one of the CPUs, and not any of the others that are available.

Both, the user interfaceand the scan service of SpaceObServer, are designed multithreaded. That meansthat they "could" take advantage of a multi core environment.I say "could"because for the scans of the service and the reports of the user interface the bottleneckis always/mostly the database. Means that most the time the SpaceObServerprocesses/threads are waiting for results of the database. That 's why you will mostlikely not see that any of the SpaceObServer processes holds over 50% on a dualcore machine. Anyway, using a multi coremachine with SpaceObServer makes sense, because you are running both, theservice and the user interface at the same time. In case you are using a localdatabase, the multi core system is very useful.

I 'm about to upgrade SpaceObServer from 3.2 to the latest version. Can you tell me if the upgrade needs an OS restart? If so I need to make plans accordingly...Also, is there a database upgrade performed in the upgrade? If so, is there a particular order I need to do this in?

The upgrade ofSpaceObServer to a higher version does not require an restart of your operationsystem.In some upgrades there aredatabase updates done (normally only in major updates), but they do all runautomatically within the installation and the first start of the software.Note: Do not use multipleinstances of SpaceObServer (SpaceObServer Clients) of different major versionswith the same database. This could cause errors in the user interface and thescan service!

What is the difference between last change date and last access date?

The last change date is the date on which the file has been written the last time, for example if a file is saved or if the content of a folder is altered. The last access date is updated even if the actual written content is identical to the previous one.

The last access date shows when the file was last opened for reading.

Does SpaceObserver support SQL Server 2008 as Database Platform? I only found a reference to SQL Server 2000 on your website.

SpaceObServer supports MS SQL Server 2000-2012.

When I shutdown a server with space observer installed..The information scanned of the server is erased from the DB?

Of course not. The data is persistent in the database. SpaceObServer will not delete data, it will only update data.

I would suggest putting the following information in the manual for the next release of SpaceObServer.Calculating MD5 checksums for duplication checking will modify the access date on all files.This seems obvious in retrospect but I didn 't think of it until after I turned it on.

We will take care in V4.2 that the last access date is no longer changed when SpaceObServer calculates the MD5 checksum. Thanks for pointing our attention to this matter.