How can I reduce / remove old inc files via schedule


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spokey
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I have a machine where I do a full once a month, a diff every morning, and incrementals throughout the day.
Once I roll in to the next day and have my new differential, I'd like to remove the incs from the prior day.  Can this be done?.  Of course it can, but can it be done by some dope like me?

jphughan
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So you want to purge the previous Incrementals at the START of the new day, not after you've accumulated a new day's worth of Incrementals?  I'm not sure there's a way to achieve that.  The closest you could probably come would be to set your Incremental retention policy to 1 Day, but I think that would mean you'd end up with a full day's of Incrementals and still have the previous day's Incrementals, i.e. any Incremental created on the previous day, regardless of time of day, would still be retained under this setup.  The other option would be to set your Incremental retention policy to the number of Incrementals you generate in a typical day, in which case the previous day's Incrementals would be purged throughout the day as you created new ones.  But I don't think there's a way to have configure Reflect such that it will purge all existing Incrementals at the start of a new day, then allow a new batch to accumulate before purging all of those at the beginning of the following day -- because there's no way to set a retention policy of 0 days or 0 Incremental backups.

Edited 14 January 2022 8:02 PM by jphughan
jphughan
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Well no sooner had I wrote that than I thought of a way to do this, if you're really willing to accept the additional complexity.

It would involve two separate definition files -- not just separate schedules in a single definition file.  The first one that you're using now would carry on as-is (or nearly as-is).  The second definition file would be created by duplicating your existing definition file (right-click it and select Duplicate), then you would configure its retention policy to have the Full and Diff policies disabled and the Incremental retention policy set to 1 Incremental backup.  You would then configure a schedule for this definition file to create an Incremental backup each day, at a time that would make it the FIRST Incremental to be created each day.  And finally, you would enable the "Run purge before backup" option.

The end result will be that each day, this secondary definition file would create one Incremental, and the combination of the "1 Incremental backup" policy and the "Run purge before backup" option being enabled means that all previous Incrementals will be purged before the new one is even created.  And then for the rest of the day, your "regular" definition file will create all other Incrementals, as well as the Fulls and Differentials you want.  In terms of possibly required changes to that "regular" definition file, you'd of course want to make sure its first scheduled Incremental each day was later than the one created by the secondary definition file.  You should also disable the Incremental retention policy on that definition file, since Incremental purges will now be handled by your secondary definition file.

As long as the definition files are otherwise identical in terms of data being backed up and the destination of the backups -- which they will be if you duplicate the existing definition file -- then your backup sets will still operate normally.  It won't matter that different backups in your set were created by different definition files.  But if you do make changes later on, you'll want to make sure to update both definition files to keep them in sync apart from the areas where you have deliberately different configurations.

Edited 14 January 2022 8:11 PM by jphughan
JK
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The other option would be to set your Incremental retention policy to the number of Incrementals you generate in a typical day, in which case the previous day's Incrementals would be purged throughout the day as you created new ones.

With the above strategy, wouldn't all previous day's incrementals be deleted in one feel swoop as soon as the oldest incremental is purged?  I had thought the remaining incrementals (those that came before the new day's Differential) would have to be deleted because of dependence.

Edited to Add: ... or is there no way to disable consolidation of incrementals?  In which case my comment is moot.

                                
Edited 14 January 2022 8:13 PM by JK
jphughan
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JK - 14 January 2022 8:10 PM
The other option would be to set your Incremental retention policy to the number of Incrementals you generate in a typical day, in which case the previous day's Incrementals would be purged throughout the day as you created new ones.

With the above strategy, wouldn't all previous day's incrementals be deleted in one feel swoop as soon as the oldest incremental is purged?  I had thought the remaining incrementals (those that came before the new day's Differential) would have to be deleted because of dependence.

If you specify Incremental retention in number of backups, then older Incrementals would be consolidated.  Reflect will not simply purge the entire Incremental chain unless all Incrementals in the chain were older than the retention policy.

JK
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How about the following strategy?

Use JP's idea of a second definition file, but have it do just one thing: create a "dummy" differential that is scheduled to occur right after the regular morning differential, but before the day's first incremental.  Set the retention policy for this second definition file to purge all but 2 Differential Backups (and do not enable purging before backup).

Unless there is something else that I have misunderstood, consolidation would not be applicable in this case, and the purge of the previous day's dummy differential would also wipe out that day's incrementals.

@jphughan - would this work?

                                
jphughan
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Even if it would work, I'm not sure why the idea of creating a "dummy" Differential that would uselessly take up space would be considered preferable to a strategy whereby all backups created serve a meaningful purpose.  But the end result of your strategy would be that all previous Differentials would be purged except for that morning's “regular” Differential and the "dummy" Differential.  The OP only wanted to purge the intra-daily Incrementals created during the prior day.  That to me does not imply that it would be acceptable to purge all previous daily Differentials, as would occur under your proposal.

Edited 14 January 2022 8:40 PM by jphughan
JK
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You're right, I didn't think that idea through all the way.  

                                
spokey
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jphughan - 14 January 2022 8:00 PM
So you want to purge the previous Incrementals at the START of the new day, not after you've accumulated a new day's worth of Incrementals?  I'm not sure there's a way to achieve that.  The closest you could probably come would be to set your Incremental retention policy to 1 Day, but I think that would mean you'd end up with a full day's of Incrementals and still have the previous day's Incrementals, i.e. any Incremental created on the previous day, regardless of time of day, would still be retained under this setup.  The other option would be to set your Incremental retention policy to the number of Incrementals you generate in a typical day, in which case the previous day's Incrementals would be purged throughout the day as you created new ones.  But I don't think there's a way to have configure Reflect such that it will purge all existing Incrementals at the start of a new day, then allow a new batch to accumulate before purging all of those at the beginning of the following day -- because there's no way to set a retention policy of 0 days or 0 Incremental backups.

I'll give that a try and / or the two definition idea.  thx.  I don't really care that it is at the beginning of the day.  Just want to keep the space and number of files down.  If it is the end of the day or the following day doesn't matter.  I don't care about intra-day file changes and don't need the incs.   I mainly make them in case I"m screwing something up during the day.   It's mostly a matter of having 1 full + 30 diffs + a few incs vs a few hundred incs.  Basically just cleanup.

Seems like I need to get to know the retention rules better.

GO

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