Just found out some basic NetVault Backup functionality is missing...on purpose.

So I just got off the phone with a Dell NetVault tech who cleared up the "bug" I ran into.

I have a pretty basic setup - run a full backup on a file share once a week, and run incrementals every night. Both the full and incrementals are set to expire & be discarded after 1 full backup. Backup 101 I would think.

The problem I ran into is that the backups were not expiring as I expected so my tapes were filling up. The incrementals would show up as expiring "never" despite the configuration, and the fulls would now show "discard after 0 full backups." So the incrementals were not expiring, and therefore the dependent full backups were not expiring either.

It turns out that the "Discard after X full backups" has no effect on incremental backups. I'm told this is by design, and a change from previous versions. The only way to automatically discard incremental backups is by date (e.g., 1 day, 1 week etc).

The problem is, of course, I'd never want to expire my incrementals unless I know that my full backup completed successfully, superseding those incrementals. What happens if my weekly full backup failed? I'd lose the week of changes if I set my incrementals to expire after 1 week (after the next full backup should have occurred). I guess I could either leave the incrementals with no expiry and go in and manually expire them, or I could set them to expire after 1.5 or 2 weeks and just make sure I override that if the full backup failed for any reason that week. Either option requires manual intervention when really none should be required.  

Am I the crazy one, or should this just be a very basic feature of any backup software?

  • Hello

    What the Quest NetVault tech said is correct, but for your specific environment that you don't want to set days to your incrementals you can leave them as they are but choosing the option in the Advance Backup Options under Backup Life there is an option saying "Force Expiry" if you mark this checkbox, the backup will be retired according to schedule and may cause early retirement of dependent incremental or differential backups. If unchecked, the backup will be marked for retirement on schedule, but removal will be deferred until all dependent backups are ready for retirement. See the NetVault Administrator’s Guide “Backup retirement” section for information on retirement.

    So basically marking that option will allow your full backups to expire when they met their retention policy and will expire the dependents of that full.

    Hope this information was clear and helped you to resolve your issue.