GFS Backup Rotation Scheme

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Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3. For previous documentation version(s), check Documentation archive.

Overview

A backup rotation scheme is a system of backing up data to storage media (such as tapes). This procedure minimises the number of the used media (by re-use). It determines how and when every piece of the removable storage is used for a backup and how long retention time has backup data stored on it.

Grandfather-father-son (GFS) backup rotation scheme is a common and most widely used scheme for the backup media. The scheme consists of three or more backup cycles, such as daily (son), weekly (father) and monthly (grandfather), in which the backup sets are rotated through at least two levels of backup: daily incremental backup and full weekly & monthly backup.

Implementing GFS with SEP sesam

Backup tape rotation is an essential part of any data backup plan. You need to decide about the effective data backup strategy. GFS backup rotation scheme provides good protection with a reasonable number of tape sets.

Steps

The GFS implementation in SEP sesam requires the following steps:

  1. Create a backup task for every client which needs to be backed up and group them into task groups, such as database bck, VM bck group.
  2. Set up schedules (for the daily, weekly and monthly backups).
  3. Create media pools (for the daily, weekly and monthly backups).
  4. Create backup events (for the daily, weekly and monthly backups).

Creating a backup task

First you have to create a backup task for every client which needs to be backed up.

From the Main Selection -> Tasks -> By clients, select your client and click New backup task. In the New backup task window, specify the Source and select what you want to back up. If you want to back up individual files, you can either browse for directories and files that you want to include in the backup or enter their names followed by a comma (C:/Program Files/SEPsesam/var/db,C:\Users\AA\Documents\references). For details on how to create a backup task, see Standard Backup Procedure.

Adding tasks to the task group

After creating backup tasks, you can group them into task groups to be able to schedule the whole group to start at the same time with one backup event. You can also specify that the whole group is backed up to the same media pool with one backup event. Note that you can add different task types to a group, for example, file backup, MS-SQL backup, VMware backup, etc.

From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By groups, click New task group. In the New task group window, enter the Group name and under Tasks for this group, select the tasks (from the list of all available tasks on the left) and add them to your newly created task group list. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.

Setting up schedules for the backups

After creating a backup task and adding it to the task group (optionally), you have to set up 3 schedules (for the daily, weekly and monthly backups).

From the Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules, click on the New Schedule and define relevant options for your daily, weekly or monthly backups as described below. For details on how to set up a schedule, see Creating a Schedule.

  • Set up a daily schedule DLY_Mo_Thu_2000 with matching start time and daily run from Monday to Thursday.
  • Set up a weekly schedule WLY_Fri_2000 with matching start time and run every Friday.
  • Set up a monthly schedule MLY_last_Sat_2000 with matching start time and run every last Saturday of the month.
Information sign.png Note
From v. 4.4.3 onwards, scheduling is enhanced with User defined option that allows you to create a calendar which is customized according to your needs. You can also create special events to prevent scheduled jobs from running on specified dates or events for running additional jobs on specified dates. For details, see Creating Custom Calendar.

Creating the media pools

After setting up the schedules, you have to create 3 media pools (MP_<pool_type>_<frequence>) for the daily, weekly and monthly backups, to store the data to tape.

From the Main Selection -> Components -> Media Pools -> New Media Pool, specify the backup target, retention time, etc. The retention time of tapes depends on the longest save set's EOL identified on the tape. For details, see Managing EOL.

  • MP_tape_day with a retention time of 5 days
  • MP_tape_week with a retention time 27 days
  • MP_tape_month with a retention time 360 days

Note that you can configure a special set of options to allow sharing the media across media pools. You can use SPARE media, where SEP sesam allocates media from the spare pool, use EOL-free media, etc. For details, see Media pools.

Creating the backup events

In the last step, you have to create the new backup events.

From the Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules, right-click the previously created schedule (daily, weekly or monthly) for which you want to create a new event, then click New backup event. Define relevant options for your daily, weekly or monthly backup event as described below. For details on how to create a new backup event, see Creating a Backup Event.

  • New backup event for a daily schedule DLY_Mo_Thu_2000:
    1. As a Backup level, select DIFF or INC.
    2. Select the MP_tape_day for the target media pool.
    3. Specify other optional parameters (interface, drive, etc.)
    4. Select the relevant task or task group.
  • New backup event for a weekly schedule WLY_Fri_2000:
    1. As a Backup level, select FULL.
    2. Select the MP_tape_week for the target media pool.
    3. Specify other optional parameters (interface, drive, etc.)
    4. Select the relevant task or task group.
  • New backup event for a monthly schedule MLY_last_Sat_2000:
    1. As a Backup level, select FULL.
    2. Select the MP_tape_month for the target media pool.
    3. Specify other optional parameters (interface, drive, etc.)
    4. Select the relevant task or task group.