We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Backing up on last modified date with Veritas 10D

qwert5905 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
We have a 1 TB server and about 75% of this data has not been modified in the past year. What is the best solution within Veritas 10D backup exec to backup only those files that have been modified within a certain range, but at the same time, giving us the ability for full restores. It doesn't make sense to do a full backup every weekend on the data that has NOT been modified for many years, but at the same time, we need to be flexible enough to restore all files. Thanks!
Watch Question

It is standard practice to do incremetals that are "married" to a full backup.  The tape catalog software knows the last time you did a full, so if you do a full backup once every 2 months month, and incrementals  each friday, if your recovery falls on a monday that is before the last full backup, and the software cant find the file on the incrementals, it will ask you to insert the last full backup you made.  You should be doing these incrementals all the time, it is not efficient to do full backups all the time.  It is foolproof, that is for certain, but the cataloging software has got smart enough now that it keeps track of which files are on which tapes, and if you number them or date them correctly, it doesnt matter if it is a FB tape or an INC tape, the catalogs tell the software where the last copied version of the file is, and asks you for that tape.

Summary -- full backup only 20% of time.  Incrementals the rest of the time.  Also with dual tape drives, as in other Q, you can be backing up a full to one drive and an incremental to the other, if you want to.


Scrathcyboy, thanks for the comments. The restores for the incrementals are longer than restoring from diffs. Would it be a wise decision to run a full backup on a production and criticial 1 TB server every 2 months? And, it would seem using 2 months of incrementals would be a tedious and lenghty process for a full restore. Thanks.
The diffs are fine, but remember, you need master tape to get diffs correct, both in backup and restore.  So diffs would be fine substitute for incrementals, as long as you always have the master.  Also with diffs, you have better restore capability if you roll back server to earlier dates and older files (.e.g if you have virus), incrementals in this case dont always do what you want.  So if you prefer diffs, fine.  My experience is incrementals are faster than diffs to backup, maybe longer to restore, not sure.

If it is very critical server, then full backup every week for sure.  You plan as follows -- if you backup overnight, then 5 diffs for Mon-Fri, then on weekend do new full backup (or 4 days diffs and Friday afternoon full, if you not come in weekend).  But if you only backing up server every 2-3 days, then only need 1 full per month.

Now if you only backup once a week for non-M-critical server, then the full backup make sense each 2 months, since only 8 incremental or diffs between fulls.  The 20/80 or 25-75 plan work very efficiently, assuming you not have many crashes.  If server prone to crash or screw up SQL database, then should do full every 1-2 days.  It all depend on reliability of server and database.  

Other key consideration is downtime.  Always recommend to big clients to build backup server + entire database, it can be server running at only 50% capacity of main production server, point is, if main system fail, you turn on the backup and you are still running, downtime is absolutely 0%.  This is only way to maintain total continuity.  So in this scenario, you only backup half time to tape, the other half (alternate days) you backup overnight to network "backup" server just the critical data, since the 2003 setup will be slightly different (computer name, hardware etc).  If you really get smart, you can put the second backup server on a different internal subnet, with fixed IP that no one finds but tape software.  Then when main server die, you change IP to match main, and you are instantly running.  So here is 50-50 tape / backup system strategy.  We saved several companies necks by suggesting this strategy.

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


Thanks! You know your stuff and I appreciate the details!!!
Thank you - so rereading this -
"It doesn't make sense to do a full backup every weekend on the data that has NOT been modified for many years,"

I agree.  Then make 1 full per month -- as long as you have 4-5 fulls you rotate, this is good enough.
then fill in other days with incrementals and diffs, for either one, the latest full is good enough backup.  Also consider network backup overnight.  If you have remote drive pair, two 500 GB drives, they fit all OS and data, so you can keep extra copy on these hard drives in case of RAID failure.  Good Luck !
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.