Making nightly backups to unique backup sets

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by agbates, Feb 6, 2006.

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  1. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Guys,

    I was wondering if this is doable or if it sounds crazy. I would like to backup my master drive (160 gig, 4 partitions) nightly to my slave drive. I'd like to backup to each day of the week. For example, I want a Monday backup, Tuesday backup, Wednesday backup, etc. would I best accomplish this by scheduling 7 separate tasks, one for each day of the week, then simply label the backups accordingly?

    For extra protection I'm going to backup the slave drive to a USB drive once a week.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Art
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    You could do that.
    I do a Full Weekly on Sundays, then I have 3 other Fulls scheduled. One on Mon&Thur, one Tue&Fri and one Wed&Sat. And (this should tell you I've been in operations a LONG time) I have Fulls scheduled on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th. o_O
     
  3. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I apologize, I know there is a method behind the scheduling of your backups, I'm confused. Is this to maintain a minimal amount of backup sets, while keeping the writing to the backups as far apart calendar wise? For example you probably have 3 sets of full backups that you write to twice a week. You have M&T, T&F, and W&S. Am I correct?

    One question, why are you doing full backups so often? I always thought you do a full backup once, then go incremental from then on. Any benefit to doing a full backup so often?

    Last question, why do you have fulls scheduled on those particular days of the month?

    My idea was to create 7 different folders on my slave drive, each for a different day of the week. Create 7 full backups for each folder, then go to a daily incremental backup every nite. Then of course do the once a week dump of the entire slave drive to the USB. Do you think I perhaps I'm overkilling on the separate days of the week thing?

    Thanks

    Art
     
  4. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I’ll answer what I can.

    My PC runs 24/7 and the B/Us are scheduled for the wee hours of the morning, so time is not an issue. I have dedicated backup drives, so space is no problem. Therefore, it’s much easier to just create Fulls instead of having to deal with scheduling both Fulls and Incs. Also, depending on the changes that take place between a Full and an Inc, the Inc can be almost has large and time consuming (although neither is a problem for me) as the Fulls. Why bother creating a Full and then append Incs to it for say a week, when you can just create 7 Fulls. Plus the more files you need for a restore, the more likely it is to have something go wrong with one of them; less links in the chain, the better, IMHO.

    In your scheme, since you can name each B/U image uniquely, there’s really no need to put them in their own folders. It’s just one more step you need to take. Monday’s can be named MONDAY, Tuesday’s named TUESDAY etc. You can leave them all in the same folder and they will still be easily recognizable.

    “then go to a daily incremental backup every nite” – I assume you mean to do a Monday Inc on Monday, A Tuesday Inc on Tuesday etc., each updating its corresponding Full. If so, then a Monday Inc will in fact contain a whole weeks worth of changes since it would be updating a backup from last Monday. This would be true for all the rest of your backups as well. These could get large.

    “You have M&T, T&F, and W&S. Am I correct?” – For example, the Mo&Th B/U will be created on Monday and then over written on Thursday then over written again the next Monday … on and on. Same with the others.

    Your backup schemes need to match your needs; disaster recovery, archiving or both. I feel I’m pretty covered for both. I have a Fulls for the last 3 days, the last Sunday, and I can go back to any given week for a month.

    I hope this makes sense – it’s late and I’m tired. :isay: :isay:
     
  5. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    OK, LOL, one last thing!
    The reason I don’t do a B/U every night is because I need to leave enough disk space on my backup drive for “on demand” backups. For example, I will create a Full backup just prior to installing Windows Updates or making any major system changes. Since it may take a day or two (or a week) to find any problems, I’ll keep these backups around for awhile before deleting them. I don’t have unlimited space! :D :D :D
     
  6. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Hello, Thanks for answering this regarding your setup. It's helpful to see what others have implemented..

    I’ll answer what I can.
    “then go to a daily incremental backup every nite” – I assume you mean to do a Monday Inc on Monday, A Tuesday Inc on Tuesday etc., each updating its corresponding Full. If so, then a Monday Inc will in fact contain a whole weeks worth of changes since it would be updating a backup from last Monday. This would be true for all the rest of your backups as well. These could get large.


    What I was thinking of doing is creating one full backup for each day, then doing an incremental backup at the end of each day. The PC I'm backing up is a home PC, so the backup will be done at nite, just as I turn the PC off to go to bed. So, I'd like it to "do its thing" then go to sleep as soon as possible. The changes should be minimal if it is one day. But I agree with what you said, this could get large. I like your idea of the rotating day of the week backup so I'm definitely going to do that.

    “You have M&T, T&F, and W&S. Am I correct?” – For example, the Mo&Th B/U will be created on Monday and then over written on Thursday then over written again the next Monday … on and on. Same with the others.

    You always overwrite the files though correct? do you keep older three day backup sets or do you always overwrite the same three?

    I hope this makes sense – it’s late and I’m tired. :isay: :isay:

    It sure does, thanks. I gotta hit the hay myself.
     
  7. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Ha, funny you should mention that, I was thinking the exact same thing. My "backup program" consisted of "on demand" backups for awhile. Well, lesson learned by me, I hadn't made an on-demand backup in some time and my drive crashed. I only have myself to blame. Definitely nice to be able to do those on-demand backups. I like using them as the ultimate uninstaller. I like trying new software but if it's not what I want, I want it completely off my system. The on-demand backup works great for that.

    O.K...now to bed I go!



     
  8. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “You always overwrite the files though correct? do you keep older three day backup sets or do you always overwrite the same three?”

    Always overwrites the same 3 image files. I’m thinking of playing with a higher compression setting to see how much space I can free up. I might then create a Full for every night. While compression is certainly good for saving space, I’ve never been too comfortable manipulating the data any more than necessary. If I had the space, I wouldn’t use compression at all.

    “What I was thinking of doing is creating one full backup for each day, then doing an incremental backup at the end of each day”

    I’m still confused on this issue. When will the Fulls be created? Each day? I thought you were going to have 7 Full images, one created on each day of the week. When are the Incs run? If you run one each night, which Full will they be appended to? If, on week 1, you create a Full for each day, then in week 2 update these with Incs, each Inc will contain a full weeks worth of changes. What am I missing?
     
  9. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I’m still confused on this issue. When will the Fulls be created? Each day? I thought you were going to have 7 Full images, one created on each day of the week. When are the Incs run? If you run one each night, which Full will they be appended to? If, on week 1, you create a Full for each day, then in week 2 update these with Incs, each Inc will contain a full weeks worth of changes. What am I missing?[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I'll try to explain better. My system consists of two 160 gb hard drives, and a 160 gb usb drive. The two hard drives are master and slave. I wanted to use the slave purely for backing up the master. My backups will be done nitely when I shut the computer off (via Acronis). I was thinking of backing up once for each day of the week. So, I was thinking of creating a full backup for each day of the week as a base backup (only once, then future backups would be incremental), then when my nitely backup occurs, I could do a increment backup of the appropriate full backup. I hope that makes sense...does it? o_O It 's as if you were normally backing up a hard drive, you would do a full backup first, then you would typically do increments. Except with me, it would be done each day of the week. I'm wondering if I can have just one full "base" backup and have the other incremental backups key off that single file..

    I was then going to do a weekly backup of the entire slave drive to the USB drive.
     
  10. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    “I was thinking of backing up once for each day of the week. So, I was thinking of creating a full backup for each day of the week as a base backup”
    Got it, that’s what I thought. So you would have 7 Full image files named MON, TUE, WED … or something to that effect.

    “I could do a increment backup of the appropriate full backup”
    Again, that’s what I thought. BUT … since the Inc backups will refer to one and only one of the Full backups (MON Inc appends to the MON Full etc.), each Inc will contain everything that has changed since the time the Full was created. So that’s why the Incs will contain a week’s worth of changes. The MON Inc does not know what the SUN Inc backed up; only how the source drive looks like at that point in time and how that compares to the MON Full (or the last MON Inc if you’ve done one).

    “I'm wondering if I can have just one full "base" backup and have the other incremental backups key off that single file..”
    Yes, you can do that. Create a one-time “MyMasterDrive” Full backup and then schedule an Inc to run every night, appending to that image. The problem with that is that eventually you’ll run out of space and need to start over. Once you overwrite the original “MyMasterDrive” Full backup, all the Incs you created become orphaned; they are now useless.

    You might want to run a Full backup and see just how long it takes and how much space it uses. Then calculate how many B/Us you can store. You may find that you can simply schedule Full backups every night; one for Mon, one for Tue etc.. You might even be able to schedule an extra one for the first Sunday of every month, or something like that.
     
  11. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    The more I think about this the more I think my every day unique backup idea might be to hungry for disk space. I think I'm going to try your method, I'll do a full backup to Mon&Thu, Tues&Fri, and Wed&Sat. I'll also do a full backup on Sunday and on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th I'll backup my slave drive to my USB drive

    now, how do I set this up in Acronis 9.0? could you walk me through it? I'm looking at the schedule task wizard. Suppose I want to setup the Tues&Fri backup. I select the backup type (entire disk contents), then select the backup location (H: is my slave drive) and select a file name (I'm assuming something like Tues&Fri) then for archive creation mode (create full new backup archive), use default options for backup options, now the start parameters is where I get confused. If I select weekly, will it use Tuesday (today) as the day of the week? then I would simply add the same task on Friday and point to the Tues&Fri backup file right?
     
  12. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Remember, TI only backs up “in use” sectors; you may have more space than you think. Besides, if your H drive is only for backups, any un-used space is wasted.
    On the Start Parameters screen, select Weekly. Pick a time, every 1 week, and then select whatever days you want; you are not limited to one. If you select Tue and Fri, it will run on those days.
     
  13. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    That's good to know. I think I will try the everyday backup in that case. Do you use your Acronis Secure Zone for anything? it takes up a sizable piece of real estate and if I don't use it, I'll kill it off to make space.




     
  14. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    I don't use the ASZ. It has it's use, but I'm happy with my dedicated backup drive and TI boot CD.
     
  15. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Thanks for all your help. You've really been helpful. I've finished setting up all the scheduled tasks. These should overwrite each other without asking me correct?

    I'll let you know in a week how everything worked out :)
     
  16. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Yes, if everything is set up right, TI will do its thing without any intervention from you.
    Good Luck.
     
  17. Oban

    Oban Registered Member

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    Weaz and Agbates
    I'm backing up nightly also (wee hours too). But I've created ONE full backup and only do a differential from then on. I was assuming that the latest differential was the only one that mattered when you have both the ORIGINAL and that differential. Am I right? Is it not possible to do this and delete each differential EXCEPT the latest and still have complete restore capability? :doubt:
     
  18. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    I was under the impression that redundancy was desirable in any backup plan. With one backup and one incremental (assuming you are overwriting the same incremental every night) you will need both files to survive any problems you have to get back to your latest backup. I guess in some weird situation you got lucky and just your incremental got blasted, and your full backup survived, you could still roll back to the full backup, but you'd essentially be going back in time to the point when the full backup was created.

    With the plan discussed above, I have made a full separate backup each day of the week. That means if my computer crashes on Thursday, and the backup from Thursday is munged, I can load Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, etc..
     
  19. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Oban,
    You are correct. The only thing you need to be aware of is that by deleting all the previous Diffs you have limited restore abilities.
    You can only restore to the date of the last Diff or the date of the Full. If you create the Full on the 1st, do nightly Diffs deleting the previous Diff, come the morning of the 15th you could only go back to the 14th or the 1st.
     
  20. agbates

    agbates Registered Member

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    Yeah, what he said :)
     
  21. beckygb

    beckygb Registered Member

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    I think this is getting more complex then it needs to be. What I do is Sunday nights I do a full backup, then incrementals until the next Sunday. Then I create a new full backup. I name the backups week1, week2, and so on. I keep the current week’s inc. files and the previous week’s incrementals.

    I delete earlier incrementals, and keep a months worth of full weekly backups. Also I save a copy of the end of month backup to DVDs.

    You can use incremental or diff. during the week. This system gives you a max of 14 daily points and weekly full backups for 5 weeks.

    I am using a USB external 160G HDD for backups.

    i may be missing the point of what you are trying to do.
     
  22. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    No problem with that approach.
    Some may consider the need for manual intervention on your part, the renaming of the image files, as a drawback. Those who want a truly automated scheduling system don’t want to be bothered with remembering and renaming the backups.
     
  23. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    I realize every situation can require a unique method. Let me give you an example of a real life critical failure with the incorporation of Ti to recover.

    A small size manufacturing company (10 employees) uses a small network primarily for their total accounting solution which includes billing, tax records, payroll, design and marketing drawings and photos etc. Also on this terminal are Autocad, Photoshop and other critical files sent and received in email. In short, if this is lost they are screwed.

    The os and progs are on C partition and all the data from the major progs are on D partition of the same phyical drive 0. It should be noted that no major progs were installed since, other than xp updates and virus updates.

    A complete drive 0 image was made to a 2nd physical drive 1 in the same computer. These same Tib files were also burnt to dvd for secondary storage and also copied to a network shared folder for a third copy.
    The data on the D partition was burn't to cdrw every day, alternating disks every other day, and also to a shared network folder. (5 years of accounting is really very small >20MB)

    After receiving the inevitable hysterical call;
    The original drive 0 was replaced, and booting from the Ti cd, the tib files stored on drive 1 were used to image the new drive 0. The drive 0 booted just fine, then Trend Micro was updated, Windows xp was updated, the Accounting prog was updated (all via dsl). The daily data on the cdrw was copied to the D partition and the system was ready to go.
    This took about 2 1/2 hours total. Had drive 0 images been taken monthly, probably 1/2 hour would have been shaved off this time. It should also be noted that Ti is not installed on the system, only the cd is used.

    The Ti image of drive 0 was 1 1/2 years old.

    So prevention doesn't have to be an intensive method.
    Unless you are installing applications on a daily basis such as agbates says he is, then you may be wasting a lot of time, effort and disk space by worrying about the os partition so much.

    Just food for thought.
     
  24. Oban

    Oban Registered Member

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    Thank-you Weaz. :cool: You make valid points about both the need for redundancy and the desire to avoid manual intervention. It takes careful, thoughtful deliberation to make it happen. I'm evaluating my options now. Fortunately, I have and exernal drive and a network to provide lots of those.
     
  25. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Oban,
    It can take 5 minutes to install the program and then 5 weeks to figure out the best way to schedule the backups! LOL, I’m still trying to figure out what I really should be or need to be doing. o_O
     
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