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I am trying to configure BackupBuddy to transfer a 250MB backup set to Dropbox on a shared host (DreamHost).

DreamHost runs a process monitor that automatically kills any process that exceeds a certain threshold (seems to be somewhere between 128MB and 256MB, from my tests). BackupBuddy uses a PHP oAuth Dropbox API call that requires the entire backup set zip file to be held in memory and transferred in a single call.

Below are the configuration and results of one test case run for two blogs (both failed). A similar test case after increasing memory_limit to 256MB also fails - I believe in that case the host's monitor kills the process.

Any advice on how to get these three vendors (BackupBuddy, DreamHost, Dropbox) to "play nice" together would be much appreciated. Aside from a limited amount of leeway I seem to have in adjusting the memory_limit, I don't think I have anything else I can configure to resolve the failure. The simple answer would be to get a refund of the $100 BackupBuddy purchase, but at least so far that refund request is being denied. BackupBuddy techs are confident that there is a solution within the given constraints but I can't find it.

Configured in phprc (php.ini):

max_execution_time = 60
memory_limit = 128M

Size of backup file: about 35MB

From the BackupBuddy debug log:

[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Setting greedy script limits.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Launching remote send.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Starting Dropbox transfer.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] About to put object (the file) to Dropbox cron.

From the PHP error log:

[20-Feb-2012 15:34:53] PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 35834605 bytes) in /home/xxxx/wp-content/plugins/backupbuddy/lib/dropbuddy/pear_includes/HTTP/Request2/Response.php on line 210

Size of backup file: about 252MB

From the BackupBuddy debug log:

[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Setting greedy script limits.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Launching remote send.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] Starting Dropbox transfer.
[Feb 20, 2012 10:34:52 -5-all] About to put object (the file) to Dropbox cron.

From the PHP error log:

[20-Feb-2012 15:40:35] PHP Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 253171937 bytes) in /home/xxxx/wp-content/plugins/backupbuddy/lib/dropbuddy/dropbox_api/API.php on line 336

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I'm not familiar with BackupBuddy specifically, but I'd put the onus on them to find the solution. If they don't want to give you the refund, they should help you get it working! My first question to them would be: Is it possible to split the backup into multiple files? Best of luck! –  Matthew Boynes Feb 20 '12 at 22:02
    
Thanks for your response... No, it's not possible to split the backup into multiple files, unfortunately. The software relies on a Dropbox API (PHP oAuth, I believe?) which requires the entire data stream to be sent in one chunk, from what I have been told. Of course, they could implement a layer which intelligently breaks the backup set into more manageable file sets and then re-assembles them somehow once they live in Dropbox, but that's just not how the software was designed. Incremental backups are also not an option. –  Shannon Wagner Feb 21 '12 at 1:43
    
The vendor provided a refund of the purchase. I am no longer using this software. Thanks for the help in any event... –  Shannon Wagner Feb 22 '12 at 14:26
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1 Answer

just ran into your problem … all of a sudden, all my sites were super-slow and sure enough, i was running into the RAM limitation of the server.

I am going to try to upgrade my hosting plan to a VPS server at Dreamhost. They move all your sites automatically. Yes, it costs more, but it's still very reasonable and you get a free week to see what RAM limit you need.

I'll come back to this blog thread and let you know how it goes.

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