[Guide] Create a scheduled image backup with retention
Guide on how to create a scheduled image backup with retention
This guide will walk you through creating a scheduled image backup job. Additionally, we will show you how to create a retention policy that is tied to the scheduled image backup so that the oldest image backup are automatically deleted. The scheduled image backup job can be set up so that when it is executed the existing image backup file will be overwritten, or the job can be set up to create a new unique image backup each time it is run. If the "Overwrite previous image backup" option is enabled in the scheduled image backup job then you will not need require a retention policy since the existing image backup file is being overwritten each time it is run. You probably already have one or more scheduled file backup jobs in place, be it weekly or daily. You may even have one or more retention policies (retention jobs) in place for those file backups, so that the oldest file backups are automatically deleted. Now that you have created your weekly and your daily backups schedule, let's now create a scheduled image backup job and implement a retention policy just for that scheduled image backup.
1. Since this is an image backup and not a file based backup, you would need to click on the home tab then click on the “Image Backup” button.
From here you are going to select "Image Backup Schedule" and click next.
For image backups, you are going to select Full and click next.
Here is where you select your physical drive for image backup. For this example, we are just going to select the Disk 0 C: drive and click next. NOTE: You could include multiple physical drives, normally just the internal drives, for your scheduled image backup but for simplicity sake we are just choosing Disk 0 C: drive for this example.
In the first field labeled as "Backup Name" enter in the name that you wish to utilize for the image backup job / file name. Then choose the "Backup Destination" by clicking on the "Backup to..." button to browse to the destination storage location for where the large image backup file will be saved. You would ideally want to store these types of backups on a different, perhaps, external drive so that if your system does crash, you have your image backup on a complete different physical drive where you can now perform restores of that image. For this example, we are just going to save it in the C drive. Keep the image type “Used sectors” and un-check “Overwrite previous image backup”. Keep the "Compress the backup" option and leave the "Verify after backup" option unchecked. NOTE: Using the "Verify after backup" option will double the time that it takes to create an image backup. Then click next.
Here is where you are going to make your schedule for the image backup. You are going to change the type of schedule to monthly and change the first day to 13th. You are going to change the time to 3:00AM so that you have two hours for your daily backup before the full image kicks in. You are going to change the repeat options to once every month on the first of the month. As before you are going change the “run this job” option to “run as specific user” and enter your windows login credentials. After checking the credentials, you can click Finish and now your image backup schedule that you created is now in the schedule tab ready for its first image backup.
2. Creating a retention policy for your scheduled image backup
Now that you have the image backup job scheduled you are going to want to create a retention policy for this image backup, so that old versions of the image backup file will be deleted automatically as per your preferred parameters, such as by count or age. Remember, that a retention policy is a way to instruct NovaBACKUP to delete old image backup files (.NDF file extension) so you don’t lose space over time and or run out of disk space on your destination storage device. The policy looks at how many image backups you have and if there are more image backups than what the retention was set for, it will delete the oldest image backups. If you have other type of backup jobs, such as file backup jobs, this image backup retention policy that you are creating here will not ever touch those file backups.
So let’s first create a retention policy for our image backup. From the Schedule tab, click on “Backup Retention” at the bottom, and from there you will click "New". Here we are going place the name that we specified in the "Backup Name" field for the scheduled image backup job that we created prior. We are at this point going to add the words “_retention_policy” to the backup name so that you know that this is the image backup retention policy and not the image backup job.
Now it’s time to finish off with creating your monthly image retention policy.
Go back to the schedule tab and go to backup retention. Click on New and place the name of the monthly full image job name and then add retention_policy and press open.
Click ok and reset everything to default values. Next change the "Backup type to process:" option to "Image Backup" since this is for our full image backup, and then change the "Keep backups using this setting:" option to "Count". For "Minimum valid backup count" option use a value of "2" as the maximum valid backup count so that you will have 2 months’ worth of full image backups.
From here click on the "Advanced" tab and change the "Backup media type to process:" option to "Disk", since we are backing up to disk, and make sure to un-check the "Remove index logs even if backup file cannot be deleted" option so it is not enabled. (Now I just want to mention that technically you don’t need to place anything in the process media name because this is the only image backup job that you have. If I had more than 1 image backup job, then you would want to place the backup name that you are utilizing for the scheduled image backup job, in this field exactly, so that this image backup retention policy can know which image backup file that it needs to look for to place the retention rules on. With that being said, for this example you are still going to place the media name in this field just in case you decide to create other image backup job(s) in the future. After you have double checked everything, then go ahead and click the "Save..." button.
The last step we are going to do is add that image backup retention policy to the schedule. Click the "Add..." button at the bottom right of the Schedule tab screen, then the image backup retention job that you have just made; the retention policy file for image backups will be located by default in the "Utility" folder in the list of folders that come up when you go to Schedule it in this manner. Remember that by default all types of retention policies would be stored in the "Utility" folder in your NovaBACKUP Program Data folder but if you saved them somewhere else, now would be the time to search and locate them. Then change the schedule to monthly and let’s specify the time that the retention policy should run is 5 minutes prior to the scheduled image backup job. In this example, that would be on the 13th at 2:55am. NOTE: It may be advisable to set a start time value closer to 15 minutes prior instead of 5 minutes prior depending on how slow your backup device is, such as a slow cloud based network storage device. It is advised for scheduled image backups to set the "When running this job, login using this account" (Run As) option in the Schedule Options screen to "Run as specific user" and then once done entering the credentials properly, click on the "Check Credentials" button to verify that your windows login credentials are entered correctly. Then click the "OK" button.
And that is it. So now have a scheduled image backup and a retention policy to match it. This will ensure you have good redundancy and will ensure that your image backups won't clog up space on your drive.