The need for Active Full backups

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The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisDriver » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:46 pm

I have a small virtualized environment (2xESXi 5.0 servers and 5xWindows VMs) and my current Veeam backup strategy is the following:
Daily - Reverse Incremental backup, 31 restore points, backed up daily
Monthly - Reverse Incremental backup, 12 restore points, backed up once a month

I have read in numerous posts that it is recommended to periodically perform an Active Full backup. I have also seen it mentioned this is more important for Forward Incremental backups than Reverse Incremental backups. It appears the sweet spot is every 1-3 months, but surely the frequency of Active Fulls in dependent upon the number of incremental backups performed within that time frame? Please can anyone offer advice regarding the recommended frequency I should perform an Active Full Backup for my Daily and Monthly Reverse Incremental jobs.

In the future I am planning to change my backup strategy to Forward Incremental Forever so if possible could you also advise me on the recommended frequency of Active Fulls for this type of backup method.

Many thanks in advance :D
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:39 pm

Hello Chris,

Now, having Surebackup for recoverability testing you need to run Active Full manually:
- If SureBackup detects unrecoverable backup, or backup file data corruption
- If you want to reduce VBK size (after rearranging jobs or deleting lots of VMs)
- After major upgrade of our software to profit from new enhancements

However, if you don`t leverage Surebackup capabilities, you can also schedule the Active Full.
ChrisDriver wrote:It appears the sweet spot is every 1-3 months, but surely the frequency of Active Fulls in dependent upon the number of incremental backups performed within that time frame?

Yes, the frequency of Active Fulls depends on the number of runs. In your case I would do active fulls once in 3 months for the daily job and approximately once a year after the Software update and/or job configuration changes for monthly job.
ChrisDriver wrote:In the future I am planning to change my backup strategy to Forward Incremental Forever so if possible could you also advise me on the recommended frequency of Active Fulls for this type of backup method.

I would recommend to use Surebackup job and make active fulls only in above-mentioned scenarios.
Thanks!

P.S.This link can give you additional useful information. Please review.
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisDriver » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:56 pm

Many thanks for your reply and the link.

I should have mentioned that I have the Standard edition of Veeam which unfortunately does not include SureBackup (message to Veeam: Please include SureBackup in all editions!).

As SureBackup is not available to me, please could you revisit my final question and if possible recommend the frequency of Active Fulls for Forward Increment Forever jobs.

Thanks!
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:52 pm

I see your point, Chris,
Note that if you enable synthetic and/or active full backups, Veeam Backup & Replication will produce a forward incremental backup chain.
If you want to use Forward Increment Forever method without Surebackup, I would still recommend you not to schedule Active Full for the monthly backup job, since there is no reason to worry about recoverability of 12points-long chain. For daily backup you can schedule active full to run once a month.
Thanks!
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby foggy » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:07 pm

Chris, please review this thread for recommendations on full backup frequency for different backup methods: How often do I need a full backup?
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisDriver » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:31 pm

@shestakov
Note that if you enable synthetic and/or active full backups, Veeam Backup & Replication will produce a forward incremental backup chain.


I am surprised at your statement above. If my backup job is configured with a backup mode as Reverse Incremental and I also enable the Active full backup checkbox are you saying that Veeam will produce a forward incremental backup chain? I would have expected the Reverse Incremental backup chain to continue with the only differences being a) When the Active Full backup runs according to its schedule, an additional .vbk file would be produced b) Regular backups run after the Active Full would use the Active Full's .vbk file as the 'baseline' full backup to build its reverse incremental chain from.
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:53 pm

No, I mentioned that by definition of Forward Incremental Forever, the method does not contain Full backups(neither Active nor Synthetic) and if you schedule one, Forward Incremental Forever will become a simple Forward Incremental.
Your understanding about Active Fulls in Reverse Incremental method is correct.
Thanks.
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisDriver » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:50 pm

Thanks for your explanation, I realise now you were referring to Forward Incremental Forever backup methods!

One final question if I may. I am planning to change my backup method from Reverse Incremental to Forward Incremental Forever. The reasoning behind this is that I am planning to use Veeam Cloud Connect and I understand that forward incremental backup strategies are more efficient than Reverse Incremental when copying backups over the internet.

The Forward Incremental Forever strategy seems ideal, but as you mentioned, I cannot schedule an Active Full backup. From this can I assume that Veeam does not consider running an Active Full Backup necessary when using Forward Incremental Forever? To me this seems risky. I have read forum posts and Veeam articles discussing edge cases on how corruption can occur within Veeam backups. It appears that without SureBackup (not available in the Veeam edition) or a semi-regular Active Full Backup, this corruption could exist unnoticed and affect an entire backup chain. If this is the case how can I gain the benefits of Forward Incremental Forever backups but ensure my backup chains are OK?

Many thanks and I really appreciate your time assisting me with this.
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:18 pm

Correct, if you want to avoid long-chaining you can just schedule simple Forward Incremental method with monthly Active Full.
If you use Surebackup or have only short chains(like your monthly backup, you can choose Forward Incremental Forever method and do Active Fulls manually when it`s needed.

By the way, we`ve got a number of clients having 100+ long chains with no issue. However, it`s up to you to decide.
Seeing your situation, I would recommend you to choose Forward Incremental Forever method for the monthly backup job and simple Forward Incremental with monthly Active Full for daily backup job.
Thanks!
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby ChrisDriver » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:28 pm

Thanks for your advice regarding this matter... much appreciated!
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:52 pm

You are welcome Chris,
Your questions are totally sane, so don`t hesitate asking once you have a question. Thanks!
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[MERGED] Backup design with forward incremental

Veeam Logoby redhorse » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:52 pm

Hello,

I need some ideas for our backup design. As I understood from many posts the recommended backup method is forever forward incremental but in my case it is necessary to keep about 60-90 restore points of our file server on disk. Isn’t it a too large backup chain? We use Veeam Enterprise so I would be able to do a SureBackup job, but how often should I do that? I keep 15 restore points from the other VMs, how often is SureBackup verification necessary? These are about 30 VMs, so what is the recommended way to configure a SureBackup Job for all these machines?

Instead of using forever incremental I can use a regular forward incremental, is it sufficient to start an active full once a month and a synthetic full once a week with transforming previous restore points to reverse incremental?
In both cases I have to move at least one full backup to tape once a week and nice to have the increments during the week, is that possible in these scenarios?

Thanks and nice weekend
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Re: The need for Active Full backups

Veeam Logoby Shestakov » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:53 pm

redhorse wrote:in my case it is necessary to keep about 60-90 restore points of our file server on disk. Isn’t it a too large backup chain?

Even longer than 60-90 long chains will be 100% reliable if you use Surebackup, but the restore can take more time.
redhorse wrote:We use Veeam Enterprise so I would be able to do a SureBackup job, but how often should I do that? I keep 15 restore points from the other VMs, how often is SureBackup verification necessary?

Depends on your needs and capabilities. I would say, once a day is perfect, once a week is good.
redhorse wrote:These are about 30 VMs, so what is the recommended way to configure a SureBackup Job for all these machines?

I would suggest to group VMs for surebackup verification based on their SLA, application or installed OS.
redhorse wrote:Instead of using forever incremental I can use a regular forward incremental, is it sufficient to start an active full once a month and a synthetic full once a week with transforming previous restore points to reverse incremental?

It`s fully described in the thread above, please take a look.
redhorse wrote:In both cases I have to move at least one full backup to tape once a week and nice to have the increments during the week, is that possible in these scenarios?

It`s possible with both scenarios, but in my opinion, the least resource-consuming solution is to schedule a source backup job to run weekly full backups just before, backup-to-tape job run.

Thanks.
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Re: [MERGED] Backup design with forward incremental

Veeam Logoby foggy » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:29 pm

redhorse wrote:We use Veeam Enterprise so I would be able to do a SureBackup job, but how often should I do that? I keep 15 restore points from the other VMs, how often is SureBackup verification necessary?

You'd want to test every restore point to be sure you're able to recover from it.
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[MERGED] Periodically Active Full needed

Veeam Logoby Treeeman » Wed May 06, 2015 6:34 pm

Hello,

maybe a stupid question but i am a little bit confused.
Veeam Support told me one or two years ago to setup a periodically Active Full Backup in Case the Backup Chain get corrupted.

A few days ago i read some Informations the Active Full is not really needed any more because the Backup Health and Integrity Checks will determine if there is a Problem with the Backup Chain.

Please clarify this issue for me.

Many Thanks!
Kind Regards
Marco
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