backup space requirement will continue to grow

Hi,

Now that I've been running SP for about eight months, I've noticed that the way consolidation and retention work, the size of the backup folder will continue to grow and grow. Oh, I'm using continuous incremental backups. It looks like after a long time, the original full backup will remain forever and the list of monthly backups will grow and grow.

is there a way to consolidate older monthly backups with the full backup to create a new full backup that is not as old as the original and replace those consolidated files with the new full backup? Or perhaps, the oldest monthly backups could be consolidated together to make a single smaller file that is multiple months. Or the oldest monthly files could be consolidated into the full backup which would make it an image as of a newer date.

If none of these can work is there a recommended solution?

Thanks...

Comments

gcjnalley

response to each question

is there a way to consolidate older monthly backups with the full backup to create a new full backup that is not as old as the original and replace those consolidated files with the new full backup?

No. That is by design.

Or perhaps, the oldest monthly backups could be consolidated together to make a single smaller file that is multiple months.

Yes, with ImageManager 6 you can "cleanup consolidates monthly image files"

Or the oldest monthly files could be consolidated into the full backup which would make it an image as of a newer date.

No, that's essentially the same thing as your first question.

bazbsg

sorry for my first and third

sorry for my first and third questions being the same. I wrote the third after being away from my desk for a while and didn't proofread.

Can ImageManager 6 work with SP 4.2.7 or will I have to upgrade? If I upgrade, will my existing backup chains be okay? Does the consolidated monthly backup replace those consolidated and take their part in the backup chain? Is this all handled by IM or is there any manual work required?

Seems to me that if old monthlies can be consolidated that perhaps the option to consolidate into the original full backup would be a useful feature.

thanks...

kemtis

It is possible, but not recommended

You can do with 4.2.7 and IM6.  Though I do not recommended as you may encounter an unknown issue.  I did it on a few of our servers and it was fine.   Then I did the upgrade shortly after to be on the safe side.  So I highly recommend to upgrade as soon as you can.

STC-Derrick

The Issue Is Not Unknown

The reason why we tell users to use ShadowProtect 5+ is because earlier versions of ShadowProtect do not recognize the rolling collapses.  The consequence of this is that ShadowProtect will not create incrementals that continue a chain that utilizes the rolling collapse.  Instead it will create a diffgen file based on the spf file.

rrnworks

  I agree with bazbdq, the

 

I agree with bazbdq, the 'option' to consolidate into the original full backup would be very useful and its absence is the single biggest shortcoming of IM 6.  There are many ways this 'option' could be implemented to mitigate against any fears of backup corruption...it is essentially what HSR is already doing now except it would be for offsite replication purposes.

Even with monthly cleanups and rolling consolidations, there is no escaping the fact that the backup repository size will continue to grow and grow and grow...it just slows down the inevitable.

 

STC-Court

I would recommend adding this

I would recommend adding this as a feature request within the forums.  This way the users can vote on the topic to see if they would like that to be added to the process.  Currently this is not an option on purpose.  The base image is the core of the backup chain.  If something happens to the base then the entire chain becomes worthless.  This is why we don't change/modify the .spf at all.  

STC-Derrick

You will need ShadowProtect 5

I agree with what gcjnalley has posted and I too recomend utilizing the new Rolling Collapses that were introduced in ImageManager 6.  You should know however that this feature requieres you to use Shadow Protect 5 or greater (older versions of Shadow Protect do not recognize the Rolling Collapses).

I just wanted to make sure that this requirement did not take you by surprise.  Hopefully this solution suites your needs.

Ramjet99

Clarification

STC-Derrick - for my clarification, do you mean EXISTING sets of consolidated images will need to be created again from scratch using SP5 and IM6 or can I upgrade existing SP 4 installations to 5, upgrade existing IM installationsto 6 and expect the existing image chains to be still useable?

STC-Court

The new monthly consolidated

The new monthly consolidated rolling files don't have a requirement as to what version of ShadowProtect created the images.  If you are looking to use the new consolidated rolling (-cr) function of ImageManager 6 and this is the location where the backups are being created then you will have to upgrade to ShadowProtect 5.  The reason for this is because ShadowProtect 4 has no idea what this new file type is.  Therefore when the -cr file is created ShadowProtect 4 will think that the backup chain is broken and create a self healing incremental (differential) which will be quite large and tends to cause issues with the chain.

Let's say this is your data center to which you have clients replicating their backup images to.  Here it doesn't matter what version of ShadowProtect your clients are using because you're just receiving the backup images and the source side doesn't have any connections to the backup chain located at the offsite location.  So you could have a clients site have nothing but ShadowProtect 4.x and at the offsite location you can use the -cr functions without any issues.