Standalone backup agent for Microsoft Windows servers and workstations (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE)
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GChuck
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Veeam Free Windows backups setting questions

Post by GChuck »

I've been using the Veeam Free backup for about 2 years now for my small home network. My network consists of 2-4 Windows computers and 2 servers running TrueNAS. What I've tried to do is to duplicate the functions my previous Windows Home Server with Veeam as a backup, TrueNAS for file sharing and Plex for multimedia. All my Veeam backups are stored on the TrueNAS server.

The TrueNAS server is a true server (Xeon E-2236 with 64GB memory, 4 x 4TB Ironwolf RaidZ-2) while the second TrueNAS server is an old (2008) consumer grade Intel Core2-duo box with 8GB memory and the same 4 x 4TB Ironwolf RaidZ-2 drives.

The second TrueNAS server is just used as a cold backup for the primary server. Once a week it gets powered up and an rsync job runs to synchronize all files that have changed during the previous week. Then it is shutdown again till the next week!

My settings for the backup jobs was to first do a full backup for each client and then permanent incremental backups with 28 day retention period. While this has worked just great, I keep worrying that the .vbk file continues to grow. I do a health check monthly and a defragment weekly.

What I would like to do is a weekly full backup and then keep up to 4 full backups for 4 weeks with incremental backups nightly.

So I set up my Veeam backup job to create an active full backup weekly with a retention of 7 days. This seems to give me two full backup files and 14 incremental files. But once the oldest full backup file reaches it's retention date, then it, along with all related incremental files gets deleted. That leaves me with two full backup files and only 6 incremental files.

Is there a way of getting weekly full backups with nightly incremental backups and a retention period of 4 weeks? And if so, what are the parameters that I need to set?

I apologize if the solution is a simple one, but for the life of me, I cannot figure it out!

Thank you.

Greg

Dima P.
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Re: Veeam Free Windows backups setting questions

Post by Dima P. »

Hello Greg,

To achieve your goal you can:

1. Set retention to 28 days and active full backup weekly: that would keep four full backups and incrementals in-between for 28 days (incrementals according to retention together with full backup).
2. Set retention to 7 days and active full backup weekly and add GFS retention to keep 4 weekly full backups. That will keep 4 full backups aside from the regular backup chain with it's dedicated retention.

Hope that helps!

GChuck
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Re: Veeam Free Windows backups setting questions

Post by GChuck »

Dima, thanks for the response. I didn't think it would be that easy!

The way I read the documentation, it seemed to indicate that if I used a 28 day retention, then the full backup plus all integral incremental backups would not be deleted until the 28 day expiry period had occurred. I've been testing with 7 day expiry and on the 8th day, the full, plus all the incrementals for that full were deleted. That left me with 1 new full plus 1 old full plus it's 6 incrementals for a total of 8 days of retention.

So, if I want a total of a minimum of 28 days of backups, then I think I will need a 35 day retention period. I create an active full backup on Sunday, then incrementals Monday through Saturday. On each subsequent Sunday I do another active full followed by a week of incrementals. Because of the 28 day retention, when the job runs 29th day and creates the next active full this then makes the first active full expire and when it expires, then so does all it's linked incrementals. That will leave me with 4 full backups and only 3 weeks of incremental backups. Does that make sense? Or am I just befuddled?

Hope this made sense.

Thanks

Greg

Dima P.
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Re: Veeam Free Windows backups setting questions

Post by Dima P. »

The way I read the documentation, it seemed to indicate that if I used a 28 day retention, then the full backup plus all integral incremental backups would not be deleted until the 28 day expiry period had occurred. I've been testing with 7 day expiry and on the 8th day, the full, plus all the incrementals for that full were deleted. That left me with 1 new full plus 1 old full plus it's 6 incrementals for a total of 8 days of retention.
It's correct and not correct at the same time :) Whenever you use periodic full backups increments are not merged into full, so it's impossible to perform retention for the backup chain unless the latest restore point is retired, so backup chain will be stored longer time than set in the retention properties. However you plan to have full backups every week that means the backup chain for the first week can be removed by retention at the end of the fifth week:

28 days: 1 week [F + i+...+i] + 2 week [F + i+...+i] + 3 week [F + i+...+i] + 4 week [F + i+...+i]
35 days: 1 week [F + i+...+i] + 2 week [F + i+...+i] + 3 week [F + i+...+i] + 4 week [F + i+...+i] + 5 week [F + i+...+i]

Entire backup chain for the1 week will be removed at the end of the 5 week because you have 28 days of backups in total.
So, if I want a total of a minimum of 28 days of backups, then I think I will need a 35 day retention period.
You need exactly 28 days, but you will have 35 days due to the retention logic of backup chain with periodic fulls.

GChuck
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Re: Veeam Free Windows backups setting questions

Post by GChuck »

Dima, thanks again for your time!

Ok, so I set my backups for 28 day retention and do a periodic full weekly. I like that but ...

One thing you said scared me! "Whenever you use periodic full backups, increments are not merged into the full". How does this affect bare metal restores? Do I have to restore the full, then each subsequent incremental to restore a system back to a point in time?

I love the bare metal restore functionality of Veeam and use it a lot (I'm forever trying out new software) and BMR's guarantee that my system(s) will be reverted back to a known state.

Up to now, I've been doing a full backup, 28 day retention, nightly incremental, defragment weekly and health check monthly. The only problem with this, is that the .vbk file keeps growing. Should I just keep using my original schedule and put up with the growing .vbk file?

Thanks again for your insight.

Greg

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