Monday, December 22, 2008

Small release tonight

No major changes. This release contains a patch to address sync issues a few of our users are seeing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CrashPlan works great with 10.5.6 upgrade

We updated our machines while backup was in progress in both directions - no issues at all! Works great.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Release Today!

Today we are thrilled to announce direct to disk support. Just two months after our last release we continue to make onsite, offsite and online backup is easier than ever.

This feature is FREE upgrade for everyone!

Details are available online at the support site.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Release announcements have moved

We're posting new release info on our wiki. RSS feeds are available there.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

CrashPlan Speed Increase Imminent

Here at Code 42 Software, a few of us have been working on speeding up our backup engine. The engine was topping out at about 15MB/second for a 2 year old MacBook PRO. While that's good enough for backing up over the Internet or even a wireless LAN, it's not fast enough for Gigabit LANs or direct attached disk.

We need speed. We need it to go to 11. We need warp 10.

It's a tricky thing, how do you accomplish the best compression in the business without slowing down too much? A happy customer wrote recently:

“CrashPlan compressed 951GB of design files into 350GB!!!! You guys rock!” ~David A.

Compression is a big deal. If you take David's example, before compression it would take 288 days to backup over the Internet at cable modem speeds of 40KB/sec. With our data de-duplication, compression, and encryption we reduce that time to 106 days. (Which is still ridiculous, which is why CrashPlan kicks serious butt by allowing you to back up over LAN in 10 hours and bring that drive off-site to continue your backup.)

So now that we've covered all the work CrashPlan does to save bandwidth and disk space, you can imagine how hard it is to make it go faster! A few days ago, we managed to increase the backup engine speed by about 38%.

It's amazing how "Sleeping on it" can help you solve problems in creative ways.

Today we made some innovative changes and managed to crank up the backup engine up to 60MB/sec on that same modern laptop.

That's a 400% increase in speed! Oh, and we're using 30% less CPU to do it too. WOOT!!

Since most USB drives top out around 25MB / second, we should be able to easily "max out" our new local backup feature.

Some of you techies might go, "60MB/sec? *yawn* I can copy files to my NAS device faster than that!"

Remember, we're managing that speed while at the same time, compressing 951GB of design files into 350GB while at the same time encrypting them - on a laptop - without slowing you down. THAT is a bit more tricky.

All PRO users will get this speed increase as a free upgrade.

Monday, July 7, 2008

OS X 10.5.4 Compatibility

Just a quick note to say we're thrilled with 10.5.4.  Everything looks good insofar as CrashPlan is concerned.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

CrashPlan Release 6.10.08

No major new features in this release. Just a few minor bug fixes and tweaks before we release a new version of PRO Server, our continuous backup for business solution. Below is a list of bug fixes and minor changes for those who like to know everything. We've organized it by component and feature. No detail is too small for our release list!

CrashPlan Central Changes
• Account - Resetting password could fail to reset, fixed
• Computer:Rename - Fixed bug where renaming your computer online could make it "stick" in the desktop so you later could not change it easily

CrashPlan Backup Engine
• Archive Validation - This could be falsely triggered resulting in confusion and slower backup. Fixed
• Archive Validation - Added several new safety checks to be 100% sure a backup archive is in good working order
• Archive Migration - Old archives that have not yet been converted will be when you bring them back online
• Archive Migration - New series of checks to verify environment you're moving archive to. Correct permissions? Etc
• Data De-duplication - Found situation where small duplicate blocks could be stored more than once. Didn't lose any significant space due to this, but we like things to be perfect. Made perfect

CrashPlan Desktop
• Backup File Selection - Click folder in list now shows file in finder
• Backup Destination Status - If the destination's USB drive was detached, but you were 100% backed up, you wouldn't know the destination was in fact, not ready. This has been fixed. Error messages have priority over backup complete messages in display
• Backup Archive Location - Fixed bug that could prevent you from relocating a backup archive
• Settings:Security - When activating private data password, we remind you one more time about dangers of losing the password
• Restore - Settings no longer revert to default if you are switching panes
• Restore:Original Location - User Interface could look very broken when restoring to original location - fixed
• Account - Resetting password could fail to reset, fixed
• Backup File Scanner - It was possible to change file selection and avoid a rescan. Not critical, but annoying as heck. This has been fixed
• Friend's Destination - Nice shortcut link now visible for their name
• Friends:Alias - fixed rare situation where you couldn't call a friend's destination something of your own choosing
• Friends:Space Used - Selecting different friends could neglect updates to how much space they were using to screen - fixed
• Language - CrashPlan now speaks German!
• Settings:Advanced:Time - Small display issue where you can't change the time without touching the day - fixed! Thanks Mark A!

CrashPlan Licensing
• Backup Scanner - This could fail to start if you activated your license after your free trial had expired - fixed

CrashPlan Networking
• TCP NAT Traversal - Enhancements made to better connect

• Installer - End user license agreement in english unless translation is available
• pagefile.sys is now explicitly prevented from being backed up

• Upgrades - upgrade script enhanced to better support user based installs
• /mnt is no longer excluded from selection list

Mac OS X
• CrashPlan Desktop - File Selection - Click folder in list now shows file in finder
• Installer:File Locations - logs now go in logs, cache files in caches, etc

Saturday, May 31, 2008

OS X 10.5.3 Compatibility

Just a quick note to say we work great with OS X 10.5.3.  We also support file vault on 10.5.3 too.  Simply install crashplan as the user who has file vault and CrashPlan will back up files as they change in real time.  (Of course, you have to be logged in)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CrashPlan Release 5.7.08

New data password!
You now have the option to secure your data with a separate password from your account password. Be careful! If you ever forget your data password, your entire backup is useless. There is nothing we can do to help.

Speaking of passwords, how do we handle them?
Explanation for regular folks- We never transmit your password to us or store your passwords in our database. If someone ever "hacked" us, they would not know what your password is. Nobody at Code 42 can figure out what your password is.

Explanation for security nuts- We secure hash (SHA-1) & salt passwords on the desktop. This is your "password" and that is what's encrypted and sent to our data center and stored with your account. We're immune to rainbow table attacks due to mutating password given, unique salt, and repeatedly hashing the sha-1 hash.

New file exclusion option
There are now three ways to keep files from being backed up:
1. Don't select them. Most people get this without reading a manual.
2. Exclude files ending with something. This is pretty easy too. .mp3 if you don't want to do music, and so on.
3. Regular expressions. This requires a bit of technical know how. Buy a [root] beer for your favorite nerd to turn this feature on. The entire path for any file in backup set is sent through regex to allow you to exclude it. We plan on giving a few examples online, for now, here is one that excludes any folder called "Podcasts" regardless of where it is: .*/Podcasts/.*

FileVault on OS X

We supported FileVault on 10.4, but it was a bit tricky to set up. New in this release is support for FileVault on OS X 10.5. You must log in as the FileVault user and install CrashPlan using the new advanced option to "run as user". Due to the way FileVault works, backups can only occur when you're logged in as that user.

And many other changes
Below is a list of bug fixes and minor changes for those who like to know everything. We've organized it by component and feature. No detail is too small for our release list!

CrashPlan Central Changes
• Account password security upgrades - passwords are hashed using SHA-1 and salted at PRO Client before being sent to PRO Server. There is never a time PRO Server knows a user's password
• Master license ID is now included in emails when evaluating our business product

CrashPlan Backup Engine
• Archive - Improved exclusion of CrashPlan archives from backup regardless of location
• Archive - Enhanced the way we store data blocks during backup and restore. This will allow us to more easily add features down the road. Also added some additional information to help in disaster recovery.
• Archive - Better recovery from archives that have been severely damaged
• Archive - Support new private data password option
• Restore - When restoring to another volume, that volume is used as the temporary holding point as data is received to avoid copying the file later. This speeds things up if you're restoring directly to a USB disk.
• Restore - Now avoids applying meta data to containing folder when restoring to locations other than original
• Compression - If for some reason compression fails to truly compress data, throw away results and store data in original state to avoid decompression on restore
• Encryption - When upgrading from basic to PRO version, encryption key is now upgraded automatically from 128bit to 448bit
• Disk - When a new destination is selected, it is now run through a battery of tests before allowing backup data to be stored there
• Synchronization - Better handling of timeouts in high latency environments
• Backup - Identified rare stalling point that was non-fatal but could affect performance, a few computers may notice increased speed while backing up

CrashPlan Desktop
• Login - More descriptive login failure messages to help users who forget their password
• Settings:Advanced- You may now use regular expressions to define excludes
• Settings:Advanced - You can now specify how often to verify incoming backups from other clients
• Settings:Network - You can now disable incoming backup listener on a client in settings/network
• Settings:Network - Public and Private IP addresses have more user friendly display
• Settings:General - No practical limits on retention policies. You can now retain from 1 day to 90 years or if you prefer, forever.
• Friends - Now friends can let friends restore their data "on-site"
• Friends - Fixed situation where friends settings could repaint after a few seconds
• Friends - Fixed situation where inviting a friend from friend screen could sometimes show a blank screen
• Friends:Backup Location - This is now used as a "default". When your friend's new computers back up to you, they'll store data in this location. You can change any computer's backup location later by clicking on the computer name in the "Backup Source" panel
• Backup:Selection - Fixed minor display issue with backup file selection
• Backup:Source - you may now manage various aspects of an incoming backup to a PRO Client by selecting the computer name in the incoming backup portlet
• Backup:Source - Performance enhancements to reduce CPU usage when displaying statistics
• Backup:Destination - Fixed display bug in the detailed destination screen where it could falsely say backup was incomplete when in fact, it was.
• Backup:Destination - shows detailed information about the status of the destination
• Restore - It is now easier to restore to original location
• Restore - Duplicate directories removed when browsing
• Restore - One the job is complete, you can now jump directory to where it was restored using our link
• Restore - Fixed an ambiguous date / time message in restore panel to clear up possible confusion

• Fixed situation where system tray status would not know name of computer during restore job
• Installer now configures windows firewall correctly for CrashPlan

• Folder shortcuts in restore panel now work
• Spacing adjusted on new account screen
• Many Installer improvements

Mac OS X
• We now use smarter locations for various supporting folders (i.e. the log folder is now where it should be, not buried in the Requires a new installation to take effect.
• New installer option to run as user logged in. This was required to support FileVault on OS X 10.5

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

CrashPlan Release 3.4.08

This small release addresses issues discovered in the 2.29.08 release.

All OS versions:
  • Fixed possible scenario where already backed up data could be retransmitted again.  This would only happen for really old large files.  This did not put your backup at risk, but it would have used extra bandwidth and disk space at destination.

Macintosh OS X Changes
  • Handy dandy shortcuts to finder fixed

Windows Changes
  • Installer now offers option to upgrade existing installation
  • Backup archives will be removed in all cases during uninstall if user requests it
  • Windows upgrade was failing to stop service in rare circumstances, this has been fixed.

Linux Beta Changes
  • No longer in beta
  • Installer fixes:
  • Permissions set correctly for logs on install
  • Desktop now launches in background
  • Startup stdout & stderr redirected to log files
  • Extraction now as current user, not original
  • Installations can now upgrade themselves

Friday, February 29, 2008

CrashPlan Release 2.29.08

It's a leap day! Time for a new version of CrashPlan! We've also added an RSS feed and blog so you can easily keep track of what's new with CrashPlan.

Upgrade Notes
After this release it may appear that CrashPlan is backing up everything all over again. Don't panic! CrashPlan is not starting over, it is validating your backup archives with each of your backup destinations to insure your backup archives are in good health.

If you're running CrashPlan PRO the previous snapshot of your backup files is still available. Select "Display deleted files" in the restore panel and expand the older backup set.

CrashPlan Desktop Changes
  • Better multi-user support on a single computer- each user gets their own display preferences
  • We now use our own file browser to better communicate what you can and cannot do with CrashPlan. This avoids situations where the user can see a folder, but CrashPlan cannot
  • Aliases, Shortcuts, Symlinks. These now have a special green arrow through them to help you know they're not the real deal, but a fancy pointer to something else.
  • Backup file selection panel behaves a bit more intuitively for those few users who have local disk systems that are quite extraordinary
  • Fixed restore UI problem when many computers were involved
  • Option to require login credentials when launching GUI now works as intended
  • A problem with specifying default backup location was fixed
  • Massive performance improvements in UI, especially on backup tab
  • Inviting a friend in foreign languages works better via e-mail. Some 16bit characters were getting lost in translation
  • We now speak Dutch! Huge thank you to Ceriel. Contact us if you would like to assist in translation to your language
  • Our Swedish has improved! Huge round of applause for Jörgen
  • Those lucky folks with two 30" monitors will better appreciate how CrashPlan behaves when switching back to smaller screens
  • Settings have been reorganized somewhat and small text changes throughout to better communicate what's going on
  • You can now specify 999 days for deleted file retention for those users that like to keep things a bit longer. Can you imagine what their closets look like?
  • Background on a few control settings didn't match the background of the window. In related news, OCD CEO seems content for the moment
  • When moving a friend's backup location, the desktop interface is more predictable when switching friends
  • It's more obvious what's going on when trying to force a backup during a time when CrashPlan is configured to not run
  • Backup destination names now display better if they have odd lengths
Backup Engine Changes
  • You can now control how much CPU & Disk I/O CrashPlan may use when backing up. To make things even more fun, we allow you to specify them in terms of when you're using your computer, and when you're away! The default is 80% when you're away, 20% when you're there. You could set them to say 100% when you're away. And 0% when you're there. (Thus turning off backup altogether when computer is in use.) Controls are located in the Settings/Advanced screen
  • Fixed a rare invalidManifestPath issue seen by an unfortunate few folks
  • Better cleanup when someone stops using you as a destination
  • Lots of new status messages for backup destinations to better communicate what's going on. (i.e. Who is on first.)
Networking Changes
  • You can now force it to try and reconnect to a particular destination instead of waiting for it to try automatically. Handy if you're testing firewalls, etc.
  • Buffers adjusted to further enhance throughput on hi-speed LANs.

Macintosh Changes
  • Volumes are displayed in a more intuitive way in the restore panel (Not everyone knows an external disk drive is located in /Volumes on their Mac! Shocker! In other breaking news, developers think they're just like everyone else.)
  • Fixed upgrade scripts for OS X 10.4 permissions. If you're upgrading an older release of CrashPlan and you're running OS X 10.4, you may need to manually upgrade. To do this, download the latest version from our website and run "upgrade". Do not run the uninstaller!
Windows Changes
  • Fixed situation where a removable disk could prompt to insert a disk. Thanks to all who helped track this one down!
  • Installer enhanced to better support Vista and add firewall exclusions for CrashPlan automatically
  • Restoring files that were "hidden" when backed up, now appear unhidden if being restored to desktop in certain special cases.
CrashPlan Central / Website Changes
  • We now e-mail detailed invoices each month when you're billed. It includes total usage by computer (Unlike many other online backup providers, we pool your storage together and charge for total used.)
  • Our store has been remodeled - new hard drives, new bundles, and a few really neat package deals
  • We're now using blogger to announce new releases so you can subscribe to new
  • Forgot your password could fail to reset it for you, fixed
  • You can now upgrade licenses to PRO that you have not yet used
  • Invoices now include better instructions on how to activate your license purchases

Monday, January 14, 2008

CrashPlan Release 1.14.08

New Features!
  • You can now move backup archives for your computers (or friends) from one drive to another without starting backup over
  • You can now restore directly to disk for computers you own. Friends are still in progress and require restoration over LAN or Internet.
  • You can now move your own computers' backup data to a different location without starting over
  • CrashPlan PRO licenses now use 448 bit Blowfish encryption, CrashPlan continues to use 128bit Blowfish.
  • File scan speed has been improved
Backup Changes
  • CrashPlan PRO - more intuitively adheres to the "backup changed files after X minutes" setting. After X minutes, all files that have been changed will be backed up in background while you work
  • Improved memory management to reduce CPU load and improve performance
  • Improved performance for small files & directories
  • Better handling of external USB drives and network shares. We detect them faster, scan faster, and automatically pause/resume a backup or restore job
  • Fixed bug where new versions could be created when file really had not changed
  • USB drives are allowed to sleep quietly if they have nothing to do
  • Fixed bug where symlinks could be backed up more than once
  • Fixed bug with number of files remaining counts when pausing/resuming backup
  • File scan checks may now be scheduled less frequently than daily
  • File verification performance improvements
Restore Changes
  • Progress bar was not always showing completed even though restoration was complete
Networking Changes
  • If you're not receiving backup from another computer, you can disable listening for incoming backup in the settings/network area
CrashPlan Desktop Changes
  • Swedish translation (contact us if you'd like to provide a translation!)
  • Language files have been consolidated to one file
  • Now displays backup progress while scanning
  • Destination panel - shows GUID for all computers
  • History now supports international characters
  • Other internationalization fixes includes hours, minutes, seconds, invite a friend
  • Single click on our logo opens up our website home page
  • Misc UI tweaks for Linux and Windows
  • Fixed pause/resume button
  • Fixed backup destination links
  • Fixed the duration to complete backup
  • Fixed situation where a backup destinations controls became invisible
  • Fixed a problem where the backup file selection tree would get stuck loading lots of files
Linux Beta Changes
  • New installer - give us your feedback please
  • Fixed computer identity location
  • Fixed a problem where symlinks were being followed outside of backup set
  • UI display was incorrect when the real-time watcher is not able to run
Macintosh Changes
  • Exclude ".fseventsd"
  • Spotlight availability check was incorrectly returning false
  • Fixed situation where CrashPlan could write to /Volumes/ on start
Windows Changes
  • Tray was not pausing for the correct amount of time
  • Fixed repeated backup warning emails
  • Minor text tweaks throughout application