v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Everything about backing up to tape

Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:54 pm

Sorry, another factor to consider is how many tapes you have available as well as whether you want/need to get tapes off-site (that can complicate things rather significantly and too many options start to affect decisions!)

OK, then on that basis I'd suggest considering one plan (there are many alternative methods!):

Tape Job 1:
Daily Backup to "Daily" Media Pool, including "Process Incrementals". Media pool should be configured to protect backups for 4 weeks. You could create one big media pool & just let it fully append to each tape until the tape is full and this will definitely be an "easier" way to manage tapes (alternative is to have a "Full" pool and an "Incremental" pool but this isn't particularly tape-efficient.
As this is a tape copy of a Forever Forward (FF) source job, you will HAVE to configure an occasional synthetic full to tape. This can be as often as daily, or as infrequent as monthly. Technically you can actually even select specific months, but the limiting factor is that the length of the backup chain, and the dependency of incrementals on it, dictates when the older tapes can be re-written.
Also remember that that retention of backups on Tape MUST AT LEAST EQUAL the retention of backups on disk, so in this case, you will have to have at least 4 weeks retention for this media pool.


Weekly full & monthly jobs are easily managed with a GFS Tape Pool and you can also configure them on "the last Friday of x" as well, but again, this will be a synthetic full (to tape) as you don't create any synthetic or active fulls on disk in your environment.

Whatever way you choose to do it, the fact that you want incrementals on tape (which is not unreasonable) means that you will need a "simple" job along with a GFS job to achieve what you desire with the least manual messing around.
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby kappa85 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 1:57 pm

Sorry, another factor to consider is how many tapes you have available as well as whether you want/need to get tapes off-site (that can complicate things rather significantly and too many options start to affect decisions!)


Yeah, I need to get tapes offline once a week. Usually with our BE deployment, we get tapes offsite on monday, after weekend full backup. These tapes should contain 6 incrementals and one full.
At the moment my tape backup sizes 5TB, I use 2,5TB tapes and I have at the moment 25 tapes, but I can buy extra tape if necessary, but I think it depends on the size of incrementals.
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:15 pm

Well in theory you should already know the size of your incrementals from your source job, all the tape job does is copy what's on disk, except for synthetic full where it generates its own fulls.

Do you want/need the tape job to run daily, or would you be happy for it to just dump to tape at the weekend? (For example I do off-site backup copies anyway so aren't too fussed if I miss the occasional daily incremental to tape).
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby kappa85 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:36 pm

pkelly_sts wrote:Well in theory you should already know the size of your incrementals from your source job, all the tape job does is copy what's on disk, except for synthetic full where it generates its own fulls.

Do you want/need the tape job to run daily, or would you be happy for it to just dump to tape at the weekend? (For example I do off-site backup copies anyway so aren't too fussed if I miss the occasional daily incremental to tape).


I'd like to run incremental daily on tape, but if the complexity is much higher it would be enough to write full+incrementals at the weekend.
I tried to setup this configuration, please give me your opinion:

Media pools:
1) Incremental MP
Always continue using the same media set
Retention 4 weeks

2) Full MP (GFS)
4 weeks, 12 months, 1 year

Tape jobs:
1) Incremental job
media pool for full backups --> Incremental MP***
archive incremental yes --> Incremental MP
scheduled daily

2) Full job
media pool for full backups --> Full MP
weekly scheduled on sunday
monthly scheduled last sunday of the month
yearly scheduled last sunday of the year

*** I don't understand this. I'd like not to write full backups in an incremental job. Only the Full job should write full backups, with the configured scheduling. By the way, except this doubt that I hope you can clarify, could it be a working strategy?
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:44 pm

Unfortunately, the way I understand it, although you can create an incremental media *pool* there's no such thing as an incremental media *set*.

In other words, forgetting about GFS for now, just creating a daily job that backs up a typical daily incremental, weekly full source job, you will ALWAYS have to at least write the first full to a media set associated with your "daily" job. So, you can't create a job that says "write the full backups on this schedule and the incrementals on that schedule" within different jobs. A single job will ultimately copy the whole chain to tape EXCEPT if you tell it not to write incrementals.

So, you can configure a (single) job to ONLY write fulls, but you can't configure one to ONLY write incrementals, so by definition you can't avoid writing at least some full backups twice, if you want to:

A) Have a tape copy of your incrementals
AND
B) Have a GFS tape job.
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby kappa85 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:51 pm

I see. I actually don't need a GFS tape job. But, without using it, I don't know how to handle tape rotation and retention... is there a smart way to achieve my goal without using a GFS job paired with a simple job?
What about doing the full backup (in the incremental job) only once a year?
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:57 pm

TBH I think GFS actually suits your needs, it really needs to be separate otherwise if it was in a single job then the on-tape chain would be huge, sort of. GFS is probably the easiest way to get a full backup to a specific tape on a specific schedule.

All it means is that you also need enough tapes to hold your 4 weeks worth of retention (including the weekly fulls) on your daily job.
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby kappa85 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:14 am

Well, since I have FF incremental and some backup jobs has 30 RP, my tap chain is still huge. At the end, I will have "incremental" tapes with full+incrementals and "gfs" tapes with only full. So, considering that I want to get offsite also the "incremental" tapes, I really can't understand the advantage of GFS, because I have all my data on "incremental" tapes. Also, I noticed the option "Process latest full backup chain only" but without having synthetic or active fulls on disk, it is useless since my chain is FF, am I wrong?
So, what about thinking to write synthetic fulls the day of the tape job? Paired with the setting "Process latest full backup chain only" I could reduce the amount of incrementals written on tape...
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby pkelly_sts » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:34 am 1 person likes this post

My understanding of GFS is to provide the ability to retain self-contained point-in-time restore points based on a regular schedule, e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly etc.

I'm in a similar dilemma to you in that I'm trying to work out a solution for myself that includes the daily incrementals, but which doesn't force me to retain a bunch of active fulls on disk as well as I want to take advantage of the speed/efficiency of a FF job.

My current plans/testing is to try to create a monthly full, then all subsequent incrementals to the same media set (i.e. initially to the same tape, then overflowing to a second tape) but my needs are slightly different to yours in so much as, because I have offsite copies anyway then I have no need to get tapes off-site daily (my "daily" tapes are purely to protect myself against local backup storage failure).

In case it helps, I've discussed my plans here
[New Sig: PLEASE get GFS tape support for incrementals!!!]
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby kappa85 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:02 am

pkelly_sts wrote:My understanding of GFS is to provide the ability to retain self-contained point-in-time restore points based on a regular schedule, e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly etc.
but my needs are slightly different to yours in so much as, because I have offsite copies anyway then I have no need to get tapes off-site daily (my "daily" tapes are purely to protect myself against local backup storage failure).

Well, this is exactly my scenario instead, incrementals on tape are only a second copy in case of local repository fail :)
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Thu Jun 09, 2016 4:47 pm

That was the exact reason why we introduced the full backup option only in v1 of the GFS feature. GFS is used for long term archiving, so in most cases you would like to keep an ‘independent’ full copy of your data. Don’t get me wrong, we see and understand the need of ‘daily incremental’ option here.
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby Mapleuser » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:10 am

Dima P. wrote:That was the exact reason why we introduced the full backup option only in v1 of the GFS feature. GFS is used for long term archiving, so in most cases you would like to keep an ‘independent’ full copy of your data. Don’t get me wrong, we see and understand the need of ‘daily incremental’ option here.


Just happen to find this threat due to my frustration using Veeam.
Do you mean to say there is no way to use an incremental backup chain with a GFS full backup?
So if my site were to fail after the Monthly backup + 2 day, I cannot restore using a GFS monthly backup tape together with an incremental backup tapes?
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:58 pm

Do you mean to say there is no way to use an incremental backup chain with a GFS full backup?

GFS jobs support full backups to tape only. If you want to set a ‘daily’ tape backup cycle including incrementals, it’s recommended to use a ‘simple’ backup to tape jobs/media pools. For instance, you can create a simple daily media pool and set it as a target for both fulls/incrementals with a one-week retention.
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby Mapleuser » Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:54 am

Dima P. wrote: For instance, you can create a simple daily media pool and set it as a target for both fulls/incrementals with a one-week retention.


Yes I used to do that but I hit another problem which is retention and schedule clash.

I will need to create 3 types of simple backup
-full backup points to a weekly retention media pool
-full backup points to a monthly retention media pool
-full backup points to a yearly retention media pool

And on last weekend of the month, two backup jobs will run - weekly+monthly.
Likewise for the last month of the year, three backup jobs will run - weekly+monthly+yearly

I only want one of them to run on any weekend as they are all the same full backup jobs, only difference is the retention.
Veeam is making it very hard to achieve this.
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Re: v9 GFS Media Pool & Tape Job

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:55 pm

How about keeping weekly fulls + incrementals in a simple media pool and monthly + yearly as a GFS media pool? You can disable weekly media set in GFS by setting retention to 0 and let it operate with monthly and yearly tape backups only.
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