Skip to main content

How can we help you?

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 administrators simplify management of data backups across multiple virtual machines.

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

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 Druva Cloud
  • The bandwidth at which the automatic backup should transfer data from virtual machines to Druva Cloud
  • Maximum number of retries for a failed backup and the duration between each retry
  • Backup set is enabled or disabled for long term retention. To know more, see About long term retention.

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.

  • Druva 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. 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 the 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 Druva 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 backups (snapshot or recovery point)  within the storage. Use the retention period to define the duration for which you want to retain your historical backups.

The objective of retention is to keep important data for future access, depending on how critical it is. Retention also ensures that backups 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 and the compliance requirements. The different types of data will be retained for different durations. For example, a bank's retention period for customers' financial records is different from facilities inventory records.

The main factors to consider while defining a retention period are:

  • Compliance requirements
  • Storage costs
  • Type of data

Retention period settings

Druva Phoenix follows the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention model wherein, in case of an overlap, the retention setting of the longer period (Son-Father-Grandfather relation) is considered. The snapshot is expired as per the settings of the higher period.  For example, in case there is an overlap between the daily and weekly retention period, the weekly retention period is considered. So daily is the smallest unit and weekly overrides daily > monthly overrides weekly  > yearly overrides monthly. 

Also, Druva Phoenix follows the Gregorian calendar for tracking days.

While backup schedules are configured on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis the last snapshot created by the backups on that particular day will be retained as per the retention setting.   

You can define the following durations to retain snapshots.

Retention Period Description
Daily snapshots

Druva Phoenix retains all the snapshots that are created for the number of days specified in Daily snapshots.  

Druva Phoenix considers midnight as the end of a day.

If you have configured Druva Phoenix to back up your server multiple times within a day, Druva Phoenix retains all the snapshots for the days specified.
Weekly snapshots (Son)

The number of weekly snapshots that Druva Phoenix should retain. Druva Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the week as the weekly snapshot.

Druva Phoenix considers midnight on Sunday as the end of the week.

Monthly snapshots (Father)

The number of monthly snapshots that Druva Phoenix should retain. Druva Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the month as the monthly snapshot.

Druva Phoenix considers midnight of the last day of a month as the end of the month.

Yearly snapshots (Grandfather)

The number of yearly snapshots that Druva Phoenix should retain. Druva Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the year as the yearly snapshot.

Druva Phoenix considers the midnight of the last day of the year as the end of the year.

The snapshot name displayed on the Phoenix Management Console is snapshot creation time as per the server time zone, on which the backup occurred. Druva Phoenix considers the time zone of the server for retaining the snapshots as per the retention setting.

Default retention period settings 

If you are registering the server under default organization, Druva Phoenix provides a default backup policy with the following retention settings:

  • Daily snapshots: 14 days
  • Weekly revisions: 4 weeks
  • Monthly revisions: 3  months
  • Yearly revisions: 3  years

The following diagram illustrates the snapshots that will be available on a given day ( Feb 9 in this example) based on the retention settings you have configured. In this example the policy is created and backups start on Dec 30 of the previous year.

Retention example.png

On 9 Feb you will have 17 recovery points or snapshots to restore as described in the table. 

Note: Daily is the smallest unit and weekly overrides daily and monthly overrides weekly and yearly overrides monthly.

Recovery points resulting from

Description

Daily retention setting You will have 11 ( 14 daily less 2 weekly less 1 monthly)  recovery points (starting from 27 Jan) created due to the daily retention settings.
Weekly retention setting You will have 4 recovery points for 14 Jan, 21 Jan, 28 Jan and 4 Feb created due to the weekly settings.

The weekly recovery points that coincide with the daily recovery points (28 Jan and 4 Feb) will be considered and retained as per the weekly setting. So, even though the daily retention period expires for these dates the recovery points will be retained as per the weekly settings (4 weeks).
Monthly retention setting You will have 1 monthly recovery point of 31 Jan. This recovery point will be available for the next 3 months as it is a monthly retention point. So even though the 14 days daily retention period expires after 9 Feb, the recovery point will be available for the next 3  months.
Yearly retention setting You will have one recovery point for 31 Dec due to the yearly retention setting. This recovery point will be available for 3 years.

Impact of retention period settings on recovery point objective (RPO)

In continuation with the example above, so let us say malware was detected on 9 Feb evening.  After investigation, it was discovered that the data till 7 Feb is corrupted.  In that case, the recovery point available to you will be of 6 Feb which is available due to the daily snapshot.  However, there could be a data loss of data backed between 7 Feb and 9 Feb.

Retention Setting and RPO.png

Considerations

  • Any changes that you make to the existing retention policies will be applied to all the new as well as the existing snapshots.
  • Retention periods are applicable for snapshots that reside on Phoenix CloudCache and Druva Cloud.
  • Druva 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.

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 Druva 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 Druva 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 Druva 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 Druva 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:
    HyperV_BackupPolicyLTR.png
    Field Description

    Daily snapshots for

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

    Weekly revisions for

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

    Monthly revisions for

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

    Yearly revisions for

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

    Enable Long Term Retention

    Toggle to enable or disable LTR for the backup policy. You can enable LTR only if the retention period is greater than or equal to one year. To know more about LTR, refer to About Long Term Retention.

    In the Keep snapshots in warm tier drop-down list,  specify the duration in days to retain the snapshots in the warm tier. For example, 15, 30, 45, and 60 days. To know more about the impact of changing the threshold on the existing snapshots, see Impact of changing threshold on existing snapshots.

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

    Daily snapshots for

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

    Weekly revisions for

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

    Monthly revisions for

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

    Yearly revisions for

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

    Enable Long Term Retention Toggle Enable Long Term Retention to enable or disable LTR for the backup policy. 
    Note: Ensure that you enter a value in at least one of the fields. Druva Phoenix treats the values in the empty fields as zero.
  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 Druva 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 and a cloud-derived administrator can remove or delete a backup policy from the Druva 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 and a cloud-derived administrator.
  • The backup policy you intend to remove must not be associated with any virtual machine. 

Note: You can delete a backup policy only after 7 days of the deletion of the last configured virtual machine mapped to the policy.

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 an 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 Druva Phoenix. Else, you must take appropriate steps to satisfy the criteria and then try again.