Backup Strategy and Consolidation

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by StanByk, Dec 12, 2008.

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  1. StanByk

    StanByk Registered Member

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    Hi,
    I need help setting up a scheduled backup for my computer with TI2009 (build 9646). I created a task which runs daily. On the first day a full backup, followed by 6 incremental backups. After that a new full backup is created.

    1a) Can I set up TI2009 to keep 3 weeks worth of backups but not more? E.g. at the beginning of the fourth week, once the full backup has been generated I would like that TI2009 automatically deletes the full backup from the first week and all 6 linked incremental backups.

    1b) as a refinement of 1a - can I set up TI2009 to keep 3 full backups plus linked incremental backups but not more. I have set up TI2009 to do the backups at a specific time during the day or in case the computer has been switched off on the next boot. So, if I am away for a day and do not use my computer one backup cycle could last more than 7 days. Hence I am asking if this could be restricted to 3 complete backup sets rather than 3 weeks.

    2) How will TI2009 name the image files? Can I influence this in any way? When I created the schedule I had to choose name. Will TI2009 use this name as a basis and append whatever to it?

    I guess this is all for the time being. I would appreciate very much any help that I can get. By the way, I did search for this on the forum but couldn't find satisfactory answers - I hope I haven't missed a thread in case this has been discussed before.
    Best,
    Robert
     
  2. lesterf1020

    lesterf1020 Registered Member

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    quick answers to your questions.

    1a) no.
    1b) no.
    2) TI2009 will use the name you gave as a basis and append (x) to each backup set where x is a number. I.E. if you named your backup Fred.tib the next set would be Fred(1).tib
     
  3. StanByk

    StanByk Registered Member

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    Many thanks for your answer!
    What a shame that 1a and 1b are not possible. I will have to look for another backup/imaging solution in this case.
    Does anyone know if I can get my money back from Acronis?
    Robert
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  4. lesterf1020

    lesterf1020 Registered Member

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    Sorry to hear that. ATI2009 does many things well and is quite fast. However 1a and 1b can only be done manually. You can keep the bakup sets from occupying too much space by using consolidation though. Consolidation works well in ATI2009.
     
  5. Tuxy

    Tuxy Registered Member

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    I wouldn't say it "works well" but that it "works."

    Consolidation in TI2009 is as basic as can be. It doesn't do more than the bare minimum and does not make an effort to be more efficient (in terms of disk IOPS consumption). There are a number scenarios I found where it could have been programmed more intelligently.

    It also has an absolutely laughable algorithm to figuring out whether or not consolidation will be done in order to calculate the ETA (this is why most people complain that their task ends at 50% and the ETA is way off).

    Please know that I am not a flamer, or sour to TI. I like this program and think it makes for a terrific end-user backup solution. There are many positive to cheer about, but I wanted to make this point as Consolidation is one aspect of TI that could be significantly improved.

    Consolidation isn't what you want anyway... you'll be better off with a post-task script (which TI can trigger automatically) to delete the oldest backup after one completes successfully.
     
  6. StanByk

    StanByk Registered Member

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    Hi Tuxy,
    you just made me curious about the post-task scripts. Are you saying you think it is possible to achieve what I want? If I use a script I would need to find a way to check if the full backup has run and completed successfully before I go ahead and delete the first full backup and associated incremental backups. Also, how would I tell the script which is/are the right backup(s) to delete? Wouldn't I need to access the log files and analyse them first to do this properly? I am asking because I am not 100% sure how TI2009 would name the files, e.g if I have mybackup(1) to (3), then delete (1) would TI2009 call the next bacup mybackup(4) or mybackup(1)?

    Are there any such scripts available for TI2009 on the internet which I could look at to get an idea?

    On another note, I am currently trying out Macrium Reflect, which seems to be able to do exactly what I want. The only feature it seems to lack is Try and Decide.
    Thanks
    Robert
     
  7. Tuxy

    Tuxy Registered Member

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    Stan,

    1. The post-script will not run if the backup is not successful.

    2. If you write your script in a rich scripting language such as perl, python, ruby, bash, etc - you can easily add that type of intelligence into the mix.

    You can do it in various ways. One way is if you have a good naming convention, then you know what assumption you can make in the script in order to identify backup sets so you can delete appropriately.

    Another assumption you can go by is sorted list by date. So you look at the oldest Full backup you have and all incrementals created between that and the next Full. You can count the number of sets this way and delete the number of sets you'd like. If you do choose this route, I recommend you generate dates in your naming convention and use those instead of real timestamps because those can change.

    For example, here is my naming convention:

    BackupName_2008.12.02-Full.tis
    BackupName_2008.12.05-Inc.tis
    BackupName_2008.12.06-Inc.tis
    BackupName_2008.12.10-Inc.tis
    BackupName_2008.12.12-Full.tis
    BackupName_2008.12.14-Inc.tis
    etc...

    So clearly you can identify sets this way.

    You can also automate the naming of your backups in the post script (which I do) since TI isn't flexible enough to provide dynamic names.

    I do this as part of my perl-based post script; upon a successful backup, the script identifies the backup archive that was just created and based on the existing filename knows whether it's a Full or Inc, and if the latter, which Full it is linked to.

    As for your naming concern when using the scheme [Backup(1) to (n)] - I don't recall how 2009 works, I believe it will keep counting upwards once (1) is gone, but I recommend you always perform your own experiments. Simulate this scenario on a small scale with a 1-file backup, and test.

    Cheers.
     
  8. paracanary

    paracanary Registered Member

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    do a search for pre.bat on this forum. It was written by Acronis and does exactly what you want.
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello StanByk,

    Thank you for your interesting in Acronis True Image

    Use the following link to download pre.bat file with step-by-step description on how to use it for your purposes.

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
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