5 1 0:Creating a Backup Event

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Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 5.1.0 Apollon. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


SEP sesam backup events represent the execution of backup tasks. Backup tasks specify the details and approach for the backup process, while events are the individual occurrences of these tasks.

A backup task can be executed with the option Immediate start as a standalone, non-recurring instance, or it can be linked to a schedule with a backup event for regular or repeated execution. Multiple backup events across different schedules can be created for a specific task, each event with customized parameters and configurations. Event priorities help organize and manage tasks in execution queue and prevent possible tasks conflicts.

In addition to backup tasks, events can also be created and scheduled for backup task groups. Task groups provide the ability to combine multiple backup tasks into a single entity, which can be configured and scheduled using a single event.

Backup levels

SEP sesam provides four different backup levels: full, differential, incremental and copy. The backup level is specified when creating a backup event in the Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules -> New Backup Event.

The following backup levels are available:

A FULL backup always copies all data specified by the backup task, regardless of whether it has been changed or not. A saveset created as FULL is the basic saveset for subsequent DIFF or INCR savesets. While the backup time of a full backup can be significant, restore is fast and simple since only one backup saveset is required. Information about the backup status is stored in the SEP sesam database. Note that the archive bits are not deleted on Windows systems. If you want to force-reset of the archive bits, you can enter the command -o clear_archive in the backup options.

A DIFF (differential) backup saves only data which was created or changed after the last FULL saveset had been created (of the same task). A differential backup is faster than a full backup, however, to restore the whole data source, first the saveset of the full backup has to be restored followed by restore of the DIFF saveset. For this, SEP sesam provides generation restore that enables browsing for and selecting for restore all generations of backed up files since the last full backup.

An INCR (incremental) backup saves only data which was created or changed after the last backup (FULL, DIFF or INCR) of the same task. This is the fastest backup method and requires the least storage space. Restoring from incremental backups is the slowest, because it requires all related savesets to be copied back – the saveset of the last full backup as well as all INC backups. You should consider the advantages of time and resources when planning your backup strategy. A combination of FULL backups stored to tape drives, and DIFF or INC backups stored to virtual disk media is a common method.

A COPY backup is a full backup that has no influence on following differential (DIFF) or incremental (INCR) backups. For the treatment of archive bits, see FULL backup above. COPY backup is usually used for additional full backups, e.g., monthly backups, or backups for archiving, i.e. removal from storage.

In case no initial FULL backup exists, differential (DIFF) or incremental (INCR) backups are automatically performed as FULL backups.

Failover backup events

To minimize failed backups due to unavailable media pool, you can specify a failover backup event when configuring the backup event. In case the configured media pool is not available for writing for some reason (out of space, no free media, RDS cannot be reached) and the backup event cannot be successfully performed, the failover backup event is performed instead. If the failover backup event is activated the data storage settings of the original backup event are replaced with the settings from the failover backup event (media pool, drive, interface, follow up, migration task). The task, backup level and other options (for example, Enforce FULL) of the original backup event are preserved.

For more information see Failover Events.

Create a backup event

To create a new backup event, go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules, right-click on a schedule and then click on New Backup Event.

Define the settings and options as required. For detailed explanations of the available options in tab Parameter, refer to section Backup event options. For explanations of options in tab Schedule, see Schedule options.

A backup chain, consisting of a full backup and all subsequent incremental backups, is treated by retention management as a single entity. Long backup chains may become inefficient and vulnerable to data loss, or they may be impractical to restore due to storage or time constraints.

To prevent your backup chain from becoming too long, you can use the option Enforce FULL and set the number of days after which a FULL backup should be enforced.

For an example on how to implement a backup scheme, see GFS Backup Retention Strategy. For more information on backup chains, see Backup Chain Dependencies.

You can view the status of your backup jobs. In Web UI navigate to Monitoring -> Last Backup State or Backups and review the job results. The backup status overview provides information about the last run of backup jobs, including the task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc. You can also open and review details of the backup job or backup task.


Backup event options

When creating or modifying a backup event, the following options are available to customize its settings and behavior.

General settings

Sequence control
Priority Select a priority that will determine the relative importance of this event and establish the execution order of events in a backup day. Event priorities in SEP sesam range from 1 (lowest) to 99 (highest). Events with priority 0 are always executed first, cannot be blocked or used for blocking events.
Blocking date Select this option to create a blocking event that prevents the execution of equal events scheduled on the same backup day as the blocking event, but with lower priority. By using this option, events associated with the same task and having lower priority will be blocked from starting.
Task Select the backup task this event is based on. Note that the Task and Task group options are mutually exclusive.
Task group Select the backup task group this event is based on. Note that the Task and Task group options are mutually exclusive.
Name The name of the backup event is generated automatically based on the selected task or task group, but you can modify it or enter a new name. This name is referenced when configuring a failover event or when a backup event is called from external backup solution (for example, on SAP HANA).
Note Add any comments or information related to the backup event.


Backup level Select the backup level you want to perform. For more details, see section Backup levels.
Hot/Cold backup Select one of the following backup methods:
  • Hot backup: an online backup method where VMs and databases remain operational and accessible during the backup process. This type of backup captures the data while the VM or database is actively running, allowing for continuous operations without any interruption.
  • Cold backup: an offline backup method where VMs and databases are taken offline or temporarily halted during the backup process. This ensures data consistency and integrity by capturing a snapshot of the VM or database in a static state.
Media pool Select the target media pool to which the data will be backed up.
Additional option based on media pool type Additional options that are based on storage type:
  • SEP Si3 Source Side Deduplication (available for media pools on Si3 NG datastore): With Si3 source-side deduplication, redundant data blocks are identified and eliminated before the data is sent across the network to the backup storage. This method reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored, resulting in significant savings in storage space and network bandwidth. For more information, see Deduplication.
  • HPE StoreOnce Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer (available for media pools on HPE StoreOnce datastore): With Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer, HPE StoreOnce redundant data blocks are identified and eliminated before transmission. The compressed and deduplicated data is then efficiently sent over the network, resulting in reduced network traffic and faster backup and restore times. For more information, see Option HPE StoreOnce Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer.
Enforce FULL (available for DIFF/INC backup levels)

Select this option to enforce the execution of a FULL backup at regular intervals. By specifying a number, for example 7, you ensure that a full backup is performed every seven days, instead of incremental or differential backups. Enforcing a full backup frequency within the specified interval ensures the INC or DIFF chains do not get too long. However, consider the advantages and disadvantages of enforced full backup frequency, as it is slower than other backup levels and has the highest storage space requirements. For more information, see Enforcing Full Backup.

Enforce FULL when last FULL has failed (available for DIFF/INC backup levels)

With this option, the system verifies the status of the previous FULL backup before initiating a backup operation. If the last FULL backup was terminated or completed with an error, the subsequent backup, whether it is an incremental or differential backup, will be automatically executed as a FULL backup. This ensures that a valid full backup is always available, maintaining the integrity of backup data.

Drive group This field displays the predefined group of drives on the datastore that is configured for the selected media pool.
Drive (opt.) Optionally, you can select the drive number of the drive that will be used for writing the backup data if you do not want to use the default drive. This option is useful when you have multiple drives configured and wish to allocate a specific drive exclusively for the backup process, optimizing performance and resource utilization.
Interface Optionally, you can select a configured TCP/IP-name of the client if you do not want to use the default client interface. This option allows you to direct the data flow over a specific network connection to enable smooth execution of backups without impeding other network activities.


Options Optionally, you can configure additional backup options to be performed with this event.
Migration task Optionally, you can select a migration or replication task to initiate migration or replication after a backup event is completed. Note that if you also configure a follow-up event, the migration task will be executed first, followed by the configured follow-up task.
Follow-up Optionally, you can configure a follow-up event that is triggered on the SEP sesam Server after the initial event has successfully completed. Note that if you also select a migration task, the migration task will be executed first, followed by the configured follow-up task. For more information, see Follow-up Events.
Failover backup event Optionally, you can specify a failover backup event that will be triggered if this backup event cannot be performed successfully due to unavailable data storage. Data storage settings (media pool, drive, interface, follow-up tasks, migration task) from this backup event will be replaced with the settings specified in the failover backup event. The task, backup level and other options (for example, Enforce FULL) are preserved. For more information, see Failover Events.

See also

Managing Events - Managing Schedules - Creating a Backup Task - Backup Chain Dependencies - Backup Strategy Best Practices - GFS Backup Retention Strategy

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