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Druva Documentation

Manage backup policies

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What is a backup policy

Backup policies are rules that define the schedule, content, and bandwidth for automatic backups. In terms of SQL servers, you define the rules for Full backup, differential backup, and transaction log backup jobs for SQL servers:

  • Specifying databases you don’t want to backup,
  • Job schedule, and
  • Bandwidth available for the agent to run a backup job.

You can create a backup policy and attach it to one or more server groups. After you assign servers to server groups, data from these servers is backed up according to the backup policy. Because backup policies are assigned to servers groups and not individual servers, management of data backups across multiple servers is simplified. 

Best practices for creating backup policies for SQL servers

To account for the difference in the SQL server and file server architecture, Phoenix requires creation of separate backup policies for file servers and SQL servers. It is recommended that you assign both the policies that you create to the server group. 

You can create as many backup policies as you want, depending on the number of servers and the frequency of data change on these servers. For SQL servers having high volumes of data activity, you can create a backup policy that includes weekly full backups, daily differential backups, and frequent log backups to achieve a tighter point-in-time restore.

Note: Log backups are not applicable for databases in simple recovery mode

In a production environment, we recommend that you create separate backup policies for SQL servers with different data needs. You can configure the backup policies to best suit your environment. For example, you can create a backup policy for backing up only user databases, while explicitly excluding the system databases. 

You can also consider changing a backup policy configuration at regular intervals. For example, you might create a backup policy to create a full backup of your system databases, along with the user databases. Later, you can modify this policy to exclude system database backup. 

Note: The exact backup policy configuration depends on the data needs of your servers and your organization's policies. If you must, you can update backup policies frequently to back up different datasets. To create backup policies that are best-suited for your environment, ensure that you are aware of your data needs and organizational policies. If you require assistance, write to the Druva Support team (support@druva.com).

Example backup policy

As an example, consider two remote offices, A and B, both having 5 SQL servers and file servers each. The remote office location A has SQL servers that see large data changes, mostly as database additions or rename operations. The SQL servers in remote office location B also have frequent changes to their databases. However, the changes are minor and are generally updates. For servers of the remote location A, an example backup policy can include a full backup of all databases every week during weekends, along with differential backups every night, and automatic log backups triggered every 30 minutes after a full/differential backup job mentioned earlier is successful. If the system databases do not change significantly, the backup policy can be modified to exclude the system databases from a full backup after one full backup of the system databases is complete. Similarly, for SQL servers at remote location B, an example backup policy can include a full backup once in 2 weeks, along with differential backups every second day, and a transaction log backup every 120 minutes. The backup policy can also be modified to exclude the system databases after the first full backup of the system databases is complete. 

Note: This is just an example scenario. The backup policy configuration for your setup depend on your server data needs and your organization's policies. You can request for backup policy recommendations by writing to the Druva Support team (support@druva.com). 

Create a SQL server backup policy

Before you begin

Before creating a backup policy for SQL servers, ensure that you read What is a backup policy

Step 1 of 3: Provide general information

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies
  3. Click Add Backup Policy
  4. On the General Information page, provide the following details:
    • Name: The name for this backup policy. 
    • Description: A short description of this backup policy.
    • Policy Type: Select MS-SQL Database server. 
  5. Click Next

Step 2 of 3: Include or exclude databases from backup 

  1. Type the database names that you do not want to back up in the Exclude databases box. Use a comma to separate consecutive entries.
  2. Click Next

Note: By default, Phoenix backs up all instances and the databases within the instances except for tempDB. However, Phoenix excludes databases from backup whose names are a partial or an exact match with the strings that you provided in this box. If you have mirrored or encrypted databases, as well as databases with an apostrophe or a comma in their names, exclude these databases. Backup fails if all databases are excluded.

Step 3 of 3: Specify backup schedule and its behavior

Note: Backup operations follow the timezone of the servers. For example, if you set a schedule for backups to start at 6 A.M. backups from servers located in New York and London will start at 6 A.M. EST and 6 A.M. UTC, respectively. 

 

  1. Provide the following details to set the backup schedules. 

    Field

    Description

    Start at

    The time when you want backups to start. In the adjacent list, select AM or PM

    Duration

    The duration after which you want backup operations to stop. For example, if you set Start time to 9 A.M. and you set Duration to 2 hours, backups from your server start at 9 A.M. and stop at 11 A.M. even if they do not complete. 

    Bandwidth

    The maximum bandwidth that each SQL servers can consume while backing up data to Phoenix cloud.

    Note: For scheduled backup, the job will consume the assigned bandwidth. However, for manually triggered backup, the job will consume the available bandwidth on your network.

    Repeat on

    The days on which you want backups to occur.

    For transaction log backups, you can specify an interval of 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, or 120 minutes. 

    Note: Log backups are not applicable for databases in simple recovery mode.

  2. Click Add Schedule

    Note: To add multiple schedules, repeat steps 1 and 2 as many times as the number of schedules that you want to create.
    To delete a schedule, click the delete icon next to the schedule.

  3. By default, the Ignore backup duration for first backup option is enabled. When this option is enabled, it ignores the specified backup duration for the first backup job. First backup job is complete when the first restore point is created. You can disable this option to enforce backup duration for the first backup job. 
  4. By default, the Automatic Retry check box is enabled, and the option requires the following details:

    Field

    Description

    Max number of retries

    In an active schedule window, the maximum number of retry attempts for a job.

    Note: By default, the field is set to 2 attempts.

    Wait interval before each retry

    The wait interval between each retry.

    Note: By default, the field is set to 10 minutes.

  5. If you do not want to define the automatic retrial options, clear the Automatic Retry check box. Automatic retry is not applicable for log backups. 
    For more information, see Backup Retry.
  6. Click Next
  7. On the Configuration Summary page, click Finish

Copy a SQL server backup policy

Why copy a backup policy

To create multiple copies of a backup policy without having to create a backup policy each time, you can create a backup policy using an existing backup policy. When you copy a backup policy, the newly-created backup policy is identical to the policy that it was copied from. You can modify the properties of this profile according to your requirements.

Procedure

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. Select the backup policy that you want to copy.
  4. Click Copy
  5. Provide the following details:
    • New backup policy name: The name for the new backup policy. 
    • Description: A short description for the profile. 

    Note: The Selected backup policy field displays the name of the backup policy that you selected to create the new backup policy. 

  6. Click Copy

Update backup policy

Phoenix lets you modify the following components of backup policy:

  • Databases excluded from backup
  • Backup job schedule
  • Bandwidth allocated for the agent

To include or exclude databases

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console.
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. Click the backup policy that you want to update.
  4. Under Content, click Edit
  5. Type the database names that you do not want to back up in the Exclude databases box. Use a comma to separate consecutive entries. If you want include a database, remove it from the Exclude databases field.

    Note: By default, Phoenix backs up all instances and the databases within the instances except for tempDB. Phoenix excludes databases having names that are a partial or an exact match with the strings that you provided. If you have mirrored or encrypted databases, as well as databases with an apostrophe or a comma in their names, exclude these databases.  

  6. Click Save.

To update backup schedule or bandwidth

Note: Backup operations follow the time zone of the servers. For example, if you set a schedule for backups to start at 6 AM backups from servers located in New York and London will start at 6 AM EST and 6 AM UTC, respectively. 

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click All Organizations, and select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  3. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies
  4. Click the SQL server backup policy for which you want to update the schedule.
  5. Under the Schedule tab, click Edit.  
  6. To create a new schedule, provide the following details

    Field

    Description

    Backup Type

    Select Full backup or Differential backup. 

    Start at  

    The time when you want backups to start. In the adjacent list, select AM or PM.

    Duration

    The duration after which you want backup operations to stop. For example, if you set Start time to 9 AM and you set Duration to 2 hours, backups from your server start at 9 AM and stop at 11 AM, even if they do not complete. 

    Bandwidth

    The maximum bandwidth that each SQL servers can consume while backing up data to Phoenix cloud. 

    Note: For scheduled backup, the job will consume the assigned bandwidth. However, for manually triggered backup, the job will consume the available bandwidth on your network.

    Repeat on

    The days on which you want backup operations to occur.

    For transaction log backups, you can specify an interval of 5, 10, 15, 30, 45, 60, or 120 minutes.

    Note: Log backups are not applicable for databases in simple recovery mode.

  7. Click Add More.   

    Note: To create multiple schedules, repeat step 5 through 7 as many times as you want. 

    Note: To delete a schedule, click the delete icon  next to the schedule. If you have only one schedule defined, you cannot delete it.

  8. If the Ignore backup duration for first backup option is enabled, it ignores the specified backup duration for the first backup job.  You can disable this option to enforce backup duration for the first backup job.
  9. If the Automatic Retry check box is enabled, you can provide the following details on the Update Server Backup Schedule page.

    Field

    Description

    Max number of retries

    In an active schedule window, the maximum number of retry attempts for a job.

    Note: By default, the field is set to 2 attempts.

    Wait interval before each retry

    The wait interval between each retry.

    Note: By default, the field is set to 10 minutes.

    Automatic retry is not applicable for log backups. 

    Note: If you do not want to define the automatic retrial options, clear the Automatic Retry check box.

    For more information, see Backup Retry.
  10. Click Save.

View server groups associated with backup policy

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. Click the SQL server backup policy for which you want to view the associated server groups.
  4. Click the Groups tab to see a full list of associated server groups. 

Remove a SQL server backup policy

Overview

If you are a cloud administrator, you can remove backup policies that are not assigned to server groups. Before you remove a backup policy, ensure that the server group to which it was assigned, is assigned a new backup policy. 

Note: You cannot delete backup policies that you have assigned to server groups. 

Procedure

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies
  3. Click the backup policy that you want to delete.
  4. Click Remove Backup Policy

 

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