Advanced Backup – Windows File System iDataAgent

Table of Contents

Full Backup

Full backups provide the most comprehensive protection of data.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller or Event Viewer window.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Incremental Backup

An incremental backup contains only data that is new or has changed since the last backup, regardless of the type. On average, incremental backups consume less media and use less resources than full backups.

In a cluster environment, after a failover, the first incremental backup behaves like a full backup because the volume GUID of the active node is not recognized. For subsequent failovers, incremental backups behave as expected. However, data that is already backed up might be backed up again on the active node because the tracking information in the change journal might be old.

The illustration clarifies the nature of full and incremental backups.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Incremental as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Differential Backup

A differential backup contains only the data that is new or has changed since the last full backup. Like incremental backups, differential backups also consume less media and use less resources than full backups. Differential backups are cumulative. This means that each differential backup contains all changes accumulated since the last full backup. Each successive differential backup contains all the changes from the previous differential backup.

The illustration on the right demonstrates the nature of differential backups. For simplicity, assume there is a file system that contains six files as represented in the figure.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Differential as a backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the backup job from the Job Controller.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Synthetic Full Backup

A synthetic full backup is a synthesized backup, created from the most recent full backup and subsequent incremental and/or differential backups. The resulting synthetic full backup is identical to a full backup for the subclient.

Unlike full, incremental, and differential backups, a synthetic full backup does not actually transfer data from a client computer to the backup media. Therefore, they do not use any resources on the client computer.

Synthetic full backups are media-based; they read backup data from one media and simultaneously write (restore) the result to the new active media within the same media group. As a result, synthetic full backups require that at least two media drives for the same storage policy be available at the time the job is started. Synthetic full backups cannot be performed on subclients where the storage policy is associated with a stand-alone drive.

Running Synthetic Full Backups

Synthetic full backups can either be started manually or scheduled to occur at regular intervals.

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  1. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  2. From the Backup Options window, select Synthetic Full for Backup Type.
  3. Select Immediate for Job Initiation.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the backup job from the Job Controller. When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Running an Incremental Backup before or after a Synthetic Full Backup

An incremental backup can be run either before or after a synthetic full backup.

  • Running an incremental backup before the synthetic full ensures that any new or recently changed data is included in the synthetic full.
  • Running an incremental backup after the synthetic full ensures that any new or recently changed data since the backup that occurred prior to the synthetic full, but was not included in the synthetic full, is backed up by the incremental.

The sections below describe the steps to run an incremental backup before or after a synthetic full backup:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  1. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  2. From the Backup Options window, select Synthetic Full for Backup Type.
  3. Select Run Incremental Backup and then select Before Synthetic Full or After Synthetic Full options.
  4. Select Immediate for Job Initiation.
  5. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the backup job from the Job Controller. When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

 

Accelerated Synthetic Full Backups (DASH Full)

When a storage policy copy is deduplicated, synthetic full backups can be created in an accelerated mode to significantly reduce the copy duration. This is done by identifying and transferring the data signatures (instead of the data itself) to the target wherever possible.

To enable DASH full on a storage policy copy, see Modifying a Storage Policy Copy Deduplication Settings.

Backing Up Mount Points

Backups follow mount points by default, backing up both the configuration and the data on the mounted volume. You can use another subclient to backup the data on the mounted volume. In such case, you can exclude the data on the mounted volume from the default backup.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | File System |defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the default <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click Advanced and select  the Advanced Backup Options dialog box.
  5. In the Advanced Backup Options dialog box, click the Data tab.
  6. Select (or clear) Follow Mount Points to include (or exclude) mount point data from the subclient.
  7. Click OK.

    Depending upon your selection, the mount point data will be included or excluded from the default subclient backup.

When backups are run from multiple nodes on clustered file systems, the same content is backed up multiple times. Backups should be run on only one node to avoid such duplicate content backups. However, the other nodes can also be configured to run backups but make sure that the clustered file system mount point is added to the file system exclusion list of the physical machine's subclients.

For VERITAS Cluster File System, the clustered file system mount point is added automatically to the file system exclusion list when backup is run for the first time on the virtual node/s.

Backing Up System Protected Files

The system protected files are the critical files that are installed as a part of windows operating system installation. For example, files with a .dll, .exe, .ocx, and .sys extension and some True Type fonts.

The system protected files are backed up by default via System State. Follow the steps given below to exclude these files from a backup:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the default subclient and click Backup.
  3. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click Advanced and select  the Advanced Backup Options dialog box.
  5. In the Advanced Backup Options dialog box, click the Data tab.
  6. Select (or clear) Back up Files Protected by System File Protection to include (or exclude) system protected files from the subclient.
  7. Click OK.

    The system protected files will be excluded from the subclient when you run the backup.

    If you exclude the system protected files from the backup, you cannot use the backup for full system restore or system state restore.

Scheduling a Backup

Follow the steps given below to schedule a data protection operation:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the default <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Click Schedule.
  4. Click Configure.
  5. Select the appropriate scheduling options.  For example:
    • Click Weekly.
    • Check the days you want the run the restore job.
    • Change the Start Time to 9:00 PM
    • Click OK to close the Schedule Details dialog
    • Click OK to close the Backup Options dialog

    The backup job will execute as per the schedule.

See Scheduling for a comprehensive information on scheduling jobs.

Performing an On-Demand Backup

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System | <On Demand Backup Set>.
  2. Right click the subclient and click Backup.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Navigate to the Directive file or Content file that you want to use.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Select Immediate to run the job immediately.
  7. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller.

Additional Backup Options for Windows 2003

Backing Up Remote Storage Data

Remote Storage is used to extend disk space on your server without adding more hard disks. It automatically copies eligible files on your local volumes to a library of magnetic tapes disks and monitors the amount of space that is available on your local volumes.

By default, when you back up the data in Remote Storage, the pointers to the remotely stored data and the data gets backed up. If you want to conserve disk space, you can backup only the pointers and exclude the actual data from the backup.

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System |defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the subclient and click Backup.
  3. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click Advanced and select  the Advanced Backup Options dialog box.
  5. In the Advanced Backup Options dialog box, click the Data tab.
  6. Select (or clear) Backup data in Remote Storage to include (or exclude) the remote storage data from the subclient.
  7. Click OK.

Depending upon your selection, the remote storage data will be included or excluded from the subclient when you run the backup.

Backing Up WINS and DHCP Services

You can backup the WINS and DHCP services when you perform a system state backup. You must stop the WINS and DHCP services so that they are backed up during a system state backup.

Before You Begin

  • In the Subclient Properties dialog box, select the Use VSS options check box. For more information, see Using VSS for Backups.
  • In the Subclient Properties dialog box, select the Backup System State check box.

Procedure

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client > File System > defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the appropriate subclient and then click Backup.
  3. In the Backup Options dialog box, select Full as backup type, and click Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click Advanced.
  5. In the Advanced Backup Options dialog box, click the Data tab.
  6. Select (or clear) Stop DHCP Service when Backing up System State Data to include (or exclude) the DHCP services in the system state backup.
  7. Select (or clear) Stop WINS Service when Backing up System State Data to include (or exclude) the WINS services in the system state backup.
  8. Click OK.

    Depending upon your selection, the WINS and DHCP services will be included or excluded from the subclient when you run the backup.

Managing Jobs

Jobs can be managed in a number of ways. See Job Management for a comprehensive information on managing jobs.

The following sections provide information on the different job management options available:

Restarting Jobs

Jobs that fail to complete successfully are automatically restarted based on the job restartability configuration set in the Control Panel.

Changes made to this configuration will affect all jobs in the entire CommCell.

To configure the job restartability for a specific job, you can modify the retry settings for that job. This will override the setting in the Control Panel. It is also possible to override the default CommServe configuration for individual jobs by configuring retry settings when initiating the job. This configuration, however, will apply only to the specific job.

Backup jobs for this Agent are resumed from the point-of-failure.

Configure Job Restartability at the CommServe Level

  1. From the CommCell Console ribbon, click the Home tab, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under System, click Job Management.

    The Job Management dialog box appears.

  3. Click Job Restarts tab.
  4. From the Job Type list, select the appropriate item.
  5. Select the Restartable check box to make the job restartable.
  6. In the Max Restarts box, change the maximum number of times the Job Manager will try to restart a job.
  7. In the Restart Interval (Mins) box, change the time interval between attempts for the Job Manager to restart the job.
  8. Click OK.

Configure Job Restartability for an Individual Job

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to <Client> | File System | <Backup Set>.
  2. Right-click the Subclient and select Backup
  1. Click Advanced.
  2. In the Advanced Backup Options dialog box, click the Job Retry tab.
  3. Select Enable Total Running Time and specify the maximum elapsed time before a job can be restarted or killed.

    Select Kill Running Jobs When Total Running Time Expires to kill the job after reaching the maximum elapsed time.

  4. Select Enable Number Of Retries and specify the number of retries.
  5. Click OK.

Controlling Jobs

The following controls are available for running jobs in the Job Controller window:

Suspend

Temporarily stops a job. A suspended job is not terminated; it can be restarted at a later time.

Resume

Resumes a job and returns the status to Waiting, Pending, Queued, or Running. The status depends on the availability of resources, the state of the Operation Windows, or the Activity Control setting.

Kill

Terminates a job.

Suspending a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Suspend.
  2. The job status may change to Suspend Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. The job status then changes to Suspended.

Resuming a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Resume.
  2. As the Job Manager attempts to restart the job, the job status changes to Waiting, Pending, or Running.

Killing a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Kill.
  2. Click Yes when the confirmation prompt appears if you are sure you want to kill the job. The job status may change to Kill Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. Once completed, the job status will change to Killed and it will be removed from the Job Controller window after five minutes.

Viewing List of Backed Up Files in a Job

Use the following steps to generate a list of files which are backed up during a specific job.

  1. Open the Command Prompt and navigate to <Software_Installation_Directory>/Base and run the following command:

    qlogin -cs <commserve_host_name> -u <user name>

  2. Execute the following command from the <Software_Installation_Directory>/Base folder after substituting the parameters:

    ListFilesForJob.exe -job <JOBID> -ma <MAName> [-vm <Instance>] [-tmpdir <TMPDIRPATH>] [-o <OUTFILENAME>]

  3. Navigate to the directory specified in TMPDIRPATH and open the file specified in OUTFILENAME to view the list of files.

The following table displays the parameters that need to be provided before running the command:

Parameter Description of Parameter Values
JobID The job id of the job for which you are generating the list.
MAName Name of the MediaAgent which is used to perform the backup job.
Instance Name of the instance which you have used to install the Windows File System iDataAgent.

This is an optional argument. If you do not specify any value, the job in Instance001 will be used by default to generate the list of files.

TMPDIRPATH The directory in which you want to create the file.

This argument is optional. If you do not specify any directory, the file will be created in the default temporary directory.

The default temporary directory for the software is set using the dGALAXYTEMPDIR registry key. When you install Windows File System iDataAgent, the dGALAXYTEMPDIR registry key gets created at the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\CommVault Systems\Galaxy\Instance<xxx>\Base

OUTFILENAME The name of the file in which you want to store the list.

Throttling Jobs

Modify backup job performance by modifying job throttling. See Throttling Backup Jobs for information on throttling options.

Additional Options

The following table describes the available additional options to further refine your backup operations:

Option Description Related Topics
Startup Options The Startup Options are used by the Job Manager to set priority for resource allocation. This is useful to give higher priority to certain jobs. You can set the priority as follows:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and click Startup tab.
  4. Select the Change Priority checkbox.
  5. Enter a priority number - 0 is the highest priority and 999 is the lowest priority.
  6. Select the Start up in suspended State check box to start the job in a suspended state.
  7. Click OK.
Refer to Job Priority and Priority Precedence. 
Alerts This option enables users or user groups to get automatic notification on the status of the data protection job. Follow the steps given below to set up the criteria to raise notifications/alerts:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Alert tab.
  4. Click Add Alert.
  5. From the Add Alert Wizard dialog box, select the required threshold and notification criteria and click Next.
  6. Select the required notification types and click Next.
  7. Select the recipients and click Next.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Click OK.
Refer to Backup (Data Protection) for a list of Available Alerts.

Refer to Alerts and Notifications for comprehensive information on setting up Alerts.

 

Command Line Backups Command Line Interface enables you to perform backups or restore from the command line. The commands can be executed from the command line or can be integrated into scripts.

You can also generate command line scripts for specific operations from the CommCell Browser using the Save As Script option.

Refer to Command Line Interface.
CommCell Readiness Report The CommCell Readiness Report provides you with vital information such as connectivity and readiness of the Client, MediaAgent, and CommServe. It is useful to run this report before performing a backup or a recovery operation. Follow the steps given below to generate the report:
  1. On the CommCell Console menu bar, select the Reports tab.
  2. Click Readiness.

    The Report Selection dialog box appears.

  3. If necessary, select Reports | CommServe | CommCell Readiness in the left pane.
  4. Select the Computers tab, and then click Modify below the Computers list.
  5. In the dialog box that appears, clear Include All Client Computers and All Client Groups.
  6. Select the appropriate client from the Exclude list, and then click Include >.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Select the MediaAgent tab, and then clear Include All MediaAgents.
  9. Select the appropriate MediaAgent from the Exclude list, and then click Include >.
  10. Click Run.

    The report appears in your default Web browser.

Refer to CommCell Readiness Report.
Backup Job Summary Report The Backup Job Summary Report provides you with information about all of the backup jobs that are run in last 24 hours for a specific subclient. You can get information such as status, time, data size, and so on for each backup job. It is useful to run this report after performing the backup. Follow the steps given below to generate the report:
  1. On the CommCell Console menu bar, select the Reports tab.
  2. Click Summary.

    The Report Selection dialog box appears.

  3. If necessary, select Reports | Jobs | Job Summary in the left pane.
  4. On the General tab, select Data Management.
  5. Select the Computers tab.
  6. Select Subclient, and then select the Edit sub tab.
  7. Navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set | <Subclient>.
  8. Click Run.

    The report appears in your default Web browser.

Refer to Backup Job Summary Report.
Data Path Options Data Protection operations use a default Library, MediaAgent, Drive Pool, and Drive as the Data Path. You can use this option to change the data path if the default data path is not available. Follow the steps given below to change the default data path:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Data Path tab.
  4. Select the MediaAgent and Library.
  5. Select the Drive Pool and Drive for tape library.
  6. Click OK.
Refer Change Data Path.
Start New Media The Start New Media option enables you to start the data protection operation on a new media. This feature provides control over where the data physically resides.Use the following steps to start the data protection operation on a new media:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Start New Media check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Start New Media
Mark Media Full This option marks the media as full, two minutes after the successful completion of the data protection job. This option prevents another job from writing to this media. Follow the steps given below:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select Media tab.
  4. Select the Mark Media Full on Success check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Export Media.
Allow Other Schedules To Use Media Set The Allow Other Schedules to use Media Set option allows jobs that are part of the schedule or schedule policy and using the specific storage policy to start a new media. It also prevents other jobs from writing to the same set of media.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Allow Other Schedules To Use Media Set check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Creating an Exportable Media Set.
Reserve Resources Before Scan Media is reserved for a job when the job is ready to write data. You can use this option to reserve the media during the initial phase of the job. Follow the steps given below to reserve media:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Reserve Resources Before Scan check box.
  5. Click OK.
 
Extended Data Retention This option allows you to extend the expiration date of a specific job. This will override the default retention set at the corresponding storage policy copy. Follow the steps given below to extend the expiration date:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the Subclient in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select one of the following options:
    • Infinite - Select this option to extend the expiration date by infinite number of days
    • Number of day - Select this option to specify the number of days to extend the expiration date and then enter the number of days.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Extended Retention Rules.
Vault Tracker The Vault Tracker Feature allows you to manage media that is removed from a library and stored in offsite locations. To access and select the Vault Tracker options.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, expand to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set.
  2. Right-click the subclient in the right pane, and then click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced, and select the Vault Tracking tab.
  4. Select the required options.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Vault Tracker or Vault Tracker Enterprise.