• Joe Starnes
    Sorry if this has been posted before. I have recently acquired a backup portal with around 50 installations that haven't been properly maintained. I am trying to create a uniformed (as possible) plan for the machines so I know they are all being backed up properly and can create a method to onboard/configure/verify new machines.. The challenge right now is that the file backup seems to be taking an extremely long time and just never finishing.. I think this may be be due to bandwidth issues but I'm not sure how to address them (example at bottom). Thanks in advance for any suggestions and help.

    I started testing a few machines with the current plans:

    • Hybrid image full backup friday @ midnight and letting it block-level incremental update every day at 8pm. This one has been pretty successful.
    • Hybrid file backup saturday @ midnight full backup, then incremental backup everyday at midnight.


    • Are these plans good or should I make different ones that are better?
    • I think I can run the image and file backups at the same time, can anyone confirm? That may help with the time issue
    • Should I be running block-level instead of incremental?
    • How often do full backups need to be run, if at all?
    • Is there a way to address bandwidth issues? (see below)

    Example client issue:

    Files to backup: ~2.5TB
    Backup Type: Incremental Hybrid (Local + Cloud)
    Internet Speed: 20/4Mbps

    So the issue here is, a full backup would take almost 2 months to upload at 4Mbps. I could overcome this by running it locally, bringing it to my office, uploading the files, then letting it just add/remove/change files .... but if I ever have to run a new backup I'll have to repeat this process. Don't I need to run a full backup every once in a while to make sure there are no errors or corruptions? Is there any solution to this problem other than telling my client if he wants cloud backups, he has to upgrade his internet speed?

    Again, thanks in advance.
  • David Gugick
    Yes, your upstream bandwidth is unfortunately very slow. You mention both image and file backup plans. Running both on the same machines is fine if that's your need (to be able to restore entire volumes and / or restore a set of files). But you should not run them at the same time. In fact, We also need to clear up some terminology as it relates to both those types of backups (and I'm going to assume you are current on versions since some of these terms have changed in the product for file backup in the last 6 months or so).

    1. Image backups need to perform a full backup (which backs up everything), followed by a number of incremental backups (which only back up changes since the previous backup), and then repeat the process.
    2. File backups only back up all the files the very first time. Then from that point on, they either run incremental backups where all files that are changed are backed up in their entirety, or they run a block-level backup which only backs up the parts of the files that changed instead of the entire file. You can run a mix of these two types as needed - but block-level really only is useful on larger files that get small changes within them.

    Your schedule for full image backups may be limited by bandwidth. You could consider only backing up the images to a local NAS and use hybrid backups for the file backups (assuming file backups cover the files on those machines that have image backups). That way you are not limited by bandwidth for image backups which can be large.

    Either way you need to run full backup occasionally or you'll never be able to remove old backups from storage. There's no way to delete an old image backup until a new backup set (full) is started. But you could space out the full so they are less frequent. Say, every 30 or 60 days.

    You also need to check your retention so you understand how long backups are being kept and make sure it fits your business needs.

    Are these plans good or should I make different ones that are better?
    Depends on what you need.There are no good or bad plans (within reason). There are plans that solve a business case and those that do meet the needs of the business. Without more information, it's hard to provide much guidance. And as I mentioned above, retention settings are important.

    Is there a way to address bandwidth issues?
    Avoiding image backup to the cloud if that meets the needs of the business. Ensure compression is enabled. Avoiding backing up any volumes or folders in the image backup that are not needed.
  • Joe Starnes
    Thanks for the feedback David. Sometimes just discussing it helps to think about the issue more clearly, it may not be such an issue at all.

    One thing to note about the backups I didn't mention, the image backup is the required system drives, recovery/os/boot/C:/etc and the files backup is the data files , say D:/ drive. That is why there are two plans.

    When I started w/ this company I changed them all to be image hybrid plans that did every drive, that way I could restore the entire thing or open the image to restore files. The owner didn't like that and insisted on changing it back to image+files like they had done it previously.

    The retention settings are to keep the last 3 versions of the file, no other options checked. I haven't changed these at all since what hey were using before.

    With the image backup only being the OS drive, it doesn't take too long to run the backups.

    I didn't really consider the files plan not needing a new full backup after the initial backup, I was lumping it together (mentally) with the image plan needing a fresh full backup every once in a while.

    With all that being said.. I suppose this current plan of hybrid files + hybrid image (once every 30 days) will be fine once this initial upload gets done..
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