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Druva Documentation

Manage Backup Policies

Phoenix Editions: File:/tick.png Business File:/cross.png Enterprise File:/tick.png Elite

Overview

A backup policy is a set of rules that defines the schedule for automatic backups which occur on virtual machines configured for backup. You can create a backup policy and assign it to one or more virtual machines. After you assign backup policy to a virtual machine, the virtual machine is backed up according to the schedule defined in the associated backup policy.

Configuring a backup policy helps Phoenix administrators simplify management of data backups across multiple virtual machines.

Note: Backup operations follow the time zone of the host.

Backup policy defines parameters such as,

  • The start time of the automatic backup
  • Duration for which the automatic backup should continue
  • The period for which a snapshot is retained in the Phoenix cloud
  • The bandwidth at which the automatic backup should transfer data from virtual machines to Phoenix Cloud
  • Maximum number of retries for a failed backup and the duration between each retry

In this section

Best practices

Best practices provide you an idea on how you can design or create a backup policy that shall fulfill your requirement.

Follow these best practices when creating a new backup policy to backup virtual machines in your environment.

  • Phoenix supports backup for different data types, such as backup of SQL server databases, files and folders on a server, VMware virtual machines, and Hyper-V virtual machines. Phoenix administrators must create separate backup policy for each server type, that is, separate backup policy for SQL server databases, separate backup policy for files and folders, and separate backup policy for Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • It is recommended that Phoenix administrators should create separate backup policies depending on criteria like number of virtual machines and the frequency of data change on those virtual machines. You can create as many backup policies as required.
  • The schedule in a backup policy can depend on the following:
    • Volume of data on virtual machines.
    • Availability of bandwidth for data transmission to Phoenix Cloud.
      Examples
      • If the data change in virtual machines is infrequent, you can create a backup policy that includes bi-monthly backups and assign it to the virtual machines.
      • For the virtual machines that have high volumes of data activity, you can create a backup policy that includes weekly backups.
  • If you expect a large dataset during backups, you can schedule longer backups to run during off-peak hours, such as weekends, while allowing for small-sized backups during off-peak hours within the work day.
    Example
    You can create a backup policy that defines a schedule of an 8-hour long backup to run at night time, or on weekends. Or you can also configure a backup policy that defines short-burst backups to run in between, after every third day.
  • You can also consider changing a backup policy configuration at regular intervals.
    Example
    You might create a backup policy to include three automatic backups. You can update this policy later, to include more backups, depending on the virtual machine data needs.

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 are different from facilities inventory records.

Main factors to consider while defining a retention period are,

  • Legal requirements
  • Storage costs
  • Type of data

What should you know about retention?

  • Retention periods are applicable for snapshots that reside on Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud.
  • The default retention settings retain snapshots as follows:
    • All snapshots: 60 days
    • Weekly revisions: 24 weeks
    • Monthly revisions: 12  months
    • Yearly revisions: 3  years
  • Phoenix runs a retention expiration algorithm 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 - 7 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,

  • 7 Daily snapshots - Server A has been successfully backed up for last 7 days. As per configuration, all the snapshots that are generated as part of backups are retained for 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, and 8th September. On 15th September, all the snapshots for 8th September are deleted.

Note: If you have configured Phoenix to backup your server multiple times within a day, Phoenix retains all the snapshots for 7 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.

Note: The exact backup policy configuration depends on the data needs of your virtual machines and your organization's policies. If you must, you can update backup policies frequently. 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, contact Druva Support

Add a backup policy

Add or create new Hyper-V backup policy based on your organization needs to backup virtual machines based on different schedules.

Procedure

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies. Manage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click Create New Backup Policy > Hyper-V, located at the top-right corner of the page. The Create New Backup Policy wizard appears. The wizard contains the following sections:
    • Summary
    • Backup Schedule
    • Retention
  4. In the Summary tab, provide the following general information for the new VMware backup policy,
    Field Description
    Name Type a name for this backup policy.
    Description Type a description for this backup policy.
    Click Next.
  5. Under Backup Schedule, specify the following settings, keeping in mind to minimize the end-user impact of the backup.
    Field Description

    Start at

    Select the off-peak time, in 12 hour format, when you want backups to start.

    Note: Backup operations follow the time zone of the server.

    Duration

    Set the duration for how long the backup should run. Type the number of hours.

    Example

    If you set Start at to 01:00 AM and you set duration to 6 hours, backups from your server start at 01:00 AM and stop at 07:00 AM, even if they do not complete.

    Bandwidth

    The maximum bandwidth that each virtual machines can consume while backing up data to Phoenix.
    • 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 Select the days on which the automatic backups should occur at the specified time.
  6. Click Add More to add multiple schedules. Repeat Step 8 as many times as the number of schedules that you want to create.
  7. By default, the Ignore backup duration for first backup option is enabled. When this option is enabled, it ignores the specified backup duration until the first backup job is complete. 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.
  8. By default, Automatic Retry check box is enabled. Keep it selected, if you want Phoenix to automatically retry failed backup attempts. Automatic backup retries will occur only between the scheduled duration specified in Step 8.
    • Specify Max. number of retries, in number, that Phoenix should attempt for failed backups. By default, the maximum number of retries is set to 2 attempts.
    • Specify Wait interval before each retry, in Minutes, that Phoenix should wait for automatic retries for failed backup. By default, the wait interval before each retry is set to 10 minutes.
  9. After specifying all options under Backup Schedule, click Next
  10. In the Retention tab, provide the following details:
    Field Description

    Policy Name

    Name for this retention policy.

    Keep all snapshots for

    Duration in number of days, for which you want to retain all the daily snapshots.

    Keep weekly revisions for

    Specify the number of weeks for which you want to retain the latest weekly snapshot.

    Keep monthly revisions for

    Specify the number of months  for which you want to retain the latest monthly snapshot.

    Keep yearly revisions for

    Specify the number of years, for which you want to retain the latest yearly snapshot.

    Click Next
  11. Click Create.

Backup policy is created and listed on Manage Backup Policies page.  Click the name of Hyper-V backup policy to view its details. The backup policy can now be assigned to virtual machines.

Update a backup policy

You can update an existing Hyper-V backup policy anytime as per your requirements. You can update details such as the backup schedule and retention settings.

Update backup policy summary

To update summary,

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies. Manage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click the Hyper-V backup policy for which you want to update the schedule. Backup policy details appear.
  4. In the Summary area, click Edit.
  5. Provide a new name and description for the backup policy and click Save

Update backup schedule in a Hyper-V backup policy

To update backup schedule,

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies. Manage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click the Hyper-V backup policy for which you want to update the schedule. Backup policy details appear.
  4. In the Schedule area, click Edit. The Edit Backup Policy Schedule page appears.
  5. On the Edit Backup Policy Schedule page, update the following details as per your requirement,
    Field Description

    Start at

    Select the off-peak time, in 12 hour format, when you want backups to start.

    Note: Backup operations follow the time zone of the server.

    Duration

    The duration after which the automatic backup should stop. Type the number of hours.

    Example

    If you set Start at to 01:00 AM and you set duration to 6 hours, backups from your server start at 01:00 AM and stop at 07:00 AM, even if they do not complete.

    Bandwidth The maximum bandwidth that each virtual machines can consume while backing up data to Phoenix.
    • 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 Select the days on which the automatic backups should occur at the specified time.
  6. Click Add More to add multiple schedules. Repeat Step 5 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. If you have only one schedule defined, you cannot delete it.
  7. By default, the Ignore backup duration for first backup option is enabled. When this option is enabled, it ignores the specified backup duration until the first backup job is complete. 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.
  8. By default, Automatic Retry check box is enabled. Keep it selected, if you want Phoenix to automatically retry failed backup attempts. Automatic backup retries will occur only between the scheduled duration specified in Step 5.
    • Specify Max. number of retries, in number, that Phoenix should attempt for failed backups. By default, the maximum number of retries is set to 2 attempts.
    • Specify Wait interval before each retry, in Minutes, that Phoenix should wait for automatic retries for failed backup. By default, the wait interval before each retry is set to 10 minutes.
  9. Click Save to preserve the modifications made to this backup policy.

Backup policy is saved with the modified settings.  The virtual machines to which this policy is associated will get backed up based on the updated schedule.

Update Retention settings 

You can modify the period for which Phoenix retains snapshots. The retention settings under backup policy specify the period for which snapshots are retained. 

To update retention settings

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup Policies. Manage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click the VMware backup policy for which you want to update the schedule. Backup policy details appear.
  4. In the Retention area, click Edit. The Edit Retention page appears. 
  5. In the Edit Retention page, update the following details:
    Field Description

    Keep all snapshots for

    Duration in number of days, for which you want to retain all the daily snapshots.

    Keep weekly revisions for

    Specify the number of weeks for which you want to retain the latest weekly snapshot.

    Keep monthly revisions for

    Specify the number of months  for which you want to retain the latest monthly snapshot.

    Keep yearly revisions for

    Specify the number of years, for which you want to retain the latest yearly snapshot.

  6. Click Save to preserve the modifications made to this backup policy. Backup policy is saved with the modified settings.  

Copy a Hyper-V backup policy

Instead of creating a new backup policy and defining each and every setting again, you can copy an existing backup policy, and update only the required parameters according to your requirements. When you copy a backup policy, the newly-created backup policy details are identical to the policy that it was copied from.

Prerequisites

There must be at least one existing Hyper-V backup policy defined in your Phoenix environment.

To copy a VMware backup policy

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup PoliciesManage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  2. Select an existing Hyper-V backup policy, which you want to make a copy of, from the listed backup policies.
  3. Click Copy, located at the bottom of the Manage Backup Policies page. The Copy Backup Policy window appears.
  4. Under New Backup Policy Details,
    1. Selected backup policy displays the name of the backup policy selected for copy.
    2. In the New backup policy name, type a name for this new backup policy.
    3. In the Description area, type a description for this backup policy.
  5. Click Copy.

Backup policy is created with settings similar to the original backup policy and listed on Manage Backup Policies page. Click the name of the backup policy to view its details. You can edit the settings as per your requirement and save it. You can then assign the backup policy to a virtual machine, which defines the backup schedule.

View list of virtual machines associated to a backup policy

To view list of virtual machines associated to a backup policy,

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup PoliciesManage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click the Hyper-V backup policy for which you want to view the list of associated virtual machines. Backup policy details appear.
  4. In the VMs area, you can see the list of associated virtual machines.
  5. Click on the virtual machine name to view its details.

Remove a backup policy

Only a cloud administrator can remove or delete a backup policy from the Phoenix environment based on the following criteria,

  • The backup policy you intend to remove must not be associated with any virtual machine.
  • If the backup policy you intend to remove is associated with virtual machines, then you must update the virtual machines and apply a new backup policy to the virtual machines. 

Prerequisites 

  • You must be a cloud administrator.
  • The backup policy you intend to remove must not be associated with any virtual machine. 

Procedure

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Backup PoliciesManage Backup Policies page with existing list of backup policies appears.
  3. Click the backup policy that you want to remove. Backup policy details appear.
  4. Click Remove Backup Policy. A dialog box appears asking for your confirmation.
  5. Click Yes.

If the prerequisites mentioned earlier are satisfied, backup policy is removed from Phoenix. Else, you must take appropriate steps to satisfy the criteria and then try again.