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Druva Documentation

Manage backup policies

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This topic describes the following sections:

Overview of backup policy

Backup policies are rules that define the schedule, bandwidth for scheduled backups, and the retention period for snapshots. In terms of MS-SQL servers, you define the rules for a full backup, differential backup, and transaction log backup jobs for MS-SQL servers.

A backup policy for an MS-SQL server defines the following:

  • When a backup job is triggered.
  • The bandwidth available for the agent to execute a backup job.
  • The period for which a snapshot is retained. 

You can create a backup policy and attach it to one or more servers. After you assign servers to backup sets, data from these servers is backed up according to the backup policy.  It is possible to create backup policies for File server and MS-SQL server with the same name.

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

Best practices for creating a backup policy 

  • Phoenix allows you to attach the same backup policy to different backup sets. 
  • You can assign only one backup policy to a backup set.
  • The backup policy can be of the only type, such as File or MS-SQL, but not both. 
  • 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: The backup schedule that you define in a backup policy depends on your organization's policies. 

About retention

Retention defines the rules for retaining your backed-up snapshots within storage. Use retention period to define the duration for which you want to retain your historic snapshots.

The main objective of retention is to keep important data for future access, depending on how critical it is, and how often it will be required. Retention also ensures that snapshots that are no longer required are cleaned from your storage periodically, resulting in less storage utilization and costs.

Retention should consider the value of your data, as well as the legal requirements that you might need to adhere to. This means that different types of data will be retained for different durations. For example, a bank's retention period for customers' financial records and facilities inventory records will be different.

The main factors to consider while defining a retention policy are,

  • Legal requirements
  • Storage costs
  • Type of data

What should you know about retention?  

  • Retention periods are applicable for snapshots that reside in Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud.
  • Phoenix requires you to specify appropriate retention settings to retain snapshots.
  • If you are registering the server under Default Organization, Phoenix provides a default backup policy with the following retention settings:
    • All snapshots: 14 days
    • Weekly revisions: 4 weeks
    • Monthly revisions: 3  months
    • Yearly revisions: 3  years
  • Phoenix runs a retention expiration algorithm every night at 11:45 PM UTC to delete the snapshots that have crossed the expiration period. This algorithm does not delete thawed snapshots. For more information, see Snapshots.
  • Phoenix follows the Gregorian calendar for tracking days.
  • For daily snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight as the end of a day.
  • For weekly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of Sunday as the end of the week.
  • For monthly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of the last day of a month as the end of the month.
  • For yearly snapshots, Phoenix considers the midnight of the last day of the year as the end of the year.
  • Snapshot name displayed on the Phoenix Management Console is snapshot creation time as per the server time zone, on which the backup occurred. Phoenix considers the time zone of the server for retaining the snapshots as per retention setting.
  • If you modify retention settings for a server, Phoenix retains all the snapshots created with the old retention settings. Phoenix does not apply new retention parameters to the old snapshots. Phoenix retains the old snapshots for the duration defined in the old retention settings.

How Phoenix uses retention settings?  

Phoenix follows the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention model. You must define the duration to retain snapshots.

  • Daily snapshots - Phoenix retains all the snapshots that are created for the number of days specified in Daily snapshots.
  • Weekly snapshots (Son) - Number of weekly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the week as the weekly snapshot.
  • Monthly snapshots (Father) - Number of monthly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the month as the monthly snapshot.
  • Yearly snapshots (Grandfather) - Number of yearly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the year as the yearly snapshot.

Example

Below is the calendar for September 2016.

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

     

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

   

Let us assume, if you have specified below configuration in your retention settings of the backup policy:

  • Keep all snapshots for - 14 days
  • Keep weekly revisions for  - 4 weeks
  • Keep monthly revisions for - 12 months
  • Keep yearly revisions for - 5 years

Assume, Phoenix performs a daily backup at 22:00 hrs in your environment and today’s date is September 15th, 14:00 hrs.

Based on the retention period, Phoenix retains snapshots as follows,

  • 14 Daily snapshots - Server A has been successfully backed up for the last 14 days. As per configuration, all the snapshots that are generated as part of backups are retained for 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st September. On 14th September, 11:45 PM UTC, all the snapshots for 31st August are deleted.

Note: If you have configured Phoenix to back up your server multiple times within a day, Phoenix retains all the snapshots for 14 days.

  • 4 Weekly snapshots are retained for
    • 11th September
    • 4th September
    • 28th August
    • 21st August

Phoenix deletes the oldest weekly snapshot, that is, 21st August snapshot on completion of 4 weeks period on 18th September.

  • 12 Monthly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st August
    • 31st July
    • 30th June
    • 31st May
    • 30th April
    • 31st March
    • 29th February
    • 31st January
    • 31st December, 2015
    • 30th November, 2015
    • 31st October, 2015
    • 30th September, 2015

Phoenix deletes the oldest monthly snapshot, that is, 30th September, 2015 snapshot on completion of 12 months period on 30th September, 2016.

  • 5 Yearly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st December 2015
    • 31st December 2014
    • 31st December, 2013
    • 31st December, 2012
    • 31st December, 2011

Phoenix deletes the oldest yearly snapshot, that is, 31st December, 2011 snapshot on completion of 5 years period on 31st December, 2016.

Create an MS-SQL server backup policy

Before creating a backup policy for MS-SQL servers, ensure that you read Overview of 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 Create New Backup Policy > MS-SQL
  4. On the Create New Backup PolicyMS-SQL page, provide the following details under the Summary tab:
    • Name: The name for this backup policy. 
    • Description: A short description of this backup policy.
  5. Click Next

Step 2 of 3: Specify backup schedule

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. Under the Backup Schedule tab, provide the following details to set the backup schedules. 

    Field

    Description

    Backup Type

    The type of MS-SQL server backup, for example, Full, Differential, or Transaction Logs.

    Start at

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

    Duration (Hrs)

    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. 

    Max Bandwidth (Mbps)

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

    If a backup set is mapped to a CloudCache, the bandwidth settings do not apply to the backed-up data sent over the local LAN to the CloudCache, however, the bandwidth applies only to the backed-up data sent directly to the 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 the simple recovery mode.

  2. Click Add More

    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 check box is enabled. When this option is enabled, it ignores the specified backup duration for the first backup job. The 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

Step 3 of 3: Specify retention period

  1. Under the Retention tab, provide the following details to define retention period.
    Default_retention_policySQL.PNG
    Field Description
    All snapshots for The duration for which you want to retain all snapshots.
    Weekly revisions for The duration for which you want to retain weekly snapshots.
    Monthly revisions for The duration for which you want to retain monthly snapshots.
    Yearly revisions for The duration for which you want to retain yearly snapshots.

Note: Ensure that you enter a value in at least one of the fields. Phoenix treats the values in the empty fields as zero. 

  1. Click Finish to create the backup policy.
    The created backup policy now appears on the Manage Backup Policies page. 

Copy an MS-SQL server backup policy

You can copy the existing backup policies to create multiple copies of backup policies. 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 settings of this policy according to your requirements.

Procedure

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. On the Manage Backup Policies page, click the backup policy that you want to copy.
  4. Click Copy
  5. On the Copy Backup Policy page, provide the following details:
    • Selected backup policy: The name of the backup policy that you selected to create the new backup policy. You cannot edit the value of this field.
    • New backup policy name: The name for the new backup policy. 
    • Description: The short description of the profile. 
  6. Click Copy

Update backup policy

If you are a cloud administrator or a group administrator, you can update the existing backup schedule and retention period. While updating a backup schedule, you can specify the backup type, backup duration, and the bandwidth details. While updating a retention period, you can specify the duration for which you want Phoenix to retain the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly snapshots. When you edit the retention period, any changes made in the retention period get applied to the snapshots that are created after updating the retention period.

Phoenix lets you modify the following components of the backup policy:

To edit backup schedule

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. Click the MS-SQL server backup policy that you want to update.
  4. On the Backup policy details page, under the Summary tab, click Edit in the Schedule section. The Edit Backup Policy Schedule page opens.
    SQL_Edit_Backup_Schedule.PNG
  5. To edit the backup schedule, update the following details as required:

Field

Description

Backup Type

The backup type, such as  Full, Differential, or Transaction Logs

Start at  

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

Duration (Hrs)

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. 

Max Bandwidth (Mbps)

The maximum bandwidth that each MS-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 the simple recovery mode.

  1. Click Add More.   

    Note: To create multiple schedules, repeat step 5 through 6 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.

  2. If the Ignore backup duration for first backup check box 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.
  3. If the Automatic Retry check box is enabled, you can update the following details on the Edit Backup Policy 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 attempt.

    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.
  4. Click Save.

To edit backup retention period

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. Click the MS-SQL server backup policy that you want to update.
  4. On the Backup policy details page, under the Summary tab, click Edit in the Retention section. The Edit Retention page opens.
  5. To edit the backup retention period, update the following details as required:

Field

Description

All snapshots for

The duration for which you want to retain all snapshots.

Weekly revisions for

The duration for which you want to retain weekly snapshots.

Monthly revisions for

The duration for which you want to retain monthly snapshots.

Yearly revisions for

The duration for which you want to retain yearly snapshots.

  1. Click Save.

View backup sets associated with backup policy

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. On the menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies.
  3. On the Manage Backup Policies page, click the MS-SQL server backup policy for which you want to view the associated backup sets.
  4. Click the Backup Sets tab to see a full list of backup sets associated with your backup policy. 
    SQL_View_Attached_Backup_Sets1.png

Delete MS-SQL server backup policy

If you are a cloud administrator, you can remove backup policies that are not assigned to servers. Before you remove a backup policy, ensure that you assign a new backup policy to the server.

Procedure

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