Macrium Support Forum

New option "Merge incremental on/off" [SOLVED]

By Danylo - 6 September 2015 10:20 AM

I use Macrium from the year 2010.
The new v6 is very good, and I apreciated the "Backup templates" and the "Retention rules".
But the "Merge incremental" (or "incremental consolidation") isn't good for me.
I suggest to add a new option of Retention Rules:  Merge incremental = ON/OFF
Merge incremental = ON          //it works as currently
Merge incremental = OFF         //delete ALL incrementals of backup set, only if ALL incrementals are expired
Example:  retain n.3 incrementals

Day Backup
Merge=ON Merge=OFF


3 INCR2 INCR1 is expired? NO --- ---
4 INCR3 INCR1 is expired? NO --- ---
5 INCR4 INCR1 is expired? YES
all INCR of FULL1 are expired? NO
merge INCR1+INCR2 delete INCR1 ---

7 INCR6 INCR1 is expired? YES
all INCR of FULL1 are expired? NO
merge INCR2+INCR3
delete INCR2
8 INCR7 INCR1 is expired? YES
all INCR of FULL1 are expired? NO
merge INCR3+INCR4 delete INCR3 ---
9 INCR8 INCR1 is expired? YES
all INCR of FULL1 are expired? YES
delete INCR4 delete INCR1, INCR2, 

Best regards

By Stephen - 8 September 2015 11:10 AM

Hi Danilo,

Thanks for posting.

I have raised a feature request for the development team to evaluate.
By jphughan - 28 October 2017 1:39 PM

Hey Danilo,

Interesting idea, although this would definitely require some care in terms of how it's built into the interface and explained to users, because I see a lot of possible confusion on this -- even the current retention policy functionality generates a fair number of questions!  For example, in your scenario above, you said you were using a retention policy of 3, and yet Reflect built 4 Incs in your original set, and 7 total, before it actually purged anything.  I understand why that's the case because I personally understand what you're trying to achieve, but an average user likely would not.

The option that your design is looking for would basically say, "Purge previous Incremental sets when X Incs exist in the most recent set."  But here's another case to consider:  I know this isn't true for you, but what if someone wants to retain the child Incs of multiple previous parent Full/Diff backups?  For example, they capture monthly Fulls and daily Incs, they want to retain 6 Fulls, but want to keep the Incs from the last 3 Fulls (without ever merging), rather than only keeping the Incs from the most recent Full?  Now this "alternative Inc retention strategy" would have to allow the user to specify the number of Incs that have to exist in the latest set before purging any previous Inc sets and how many Inc sets to retain when the purge occurs.  So maybe a new "Incremental Sets" retention setting would appears underneath the existing "Incrementals​​" setting when this proposed "Merge Incrementals" option is unchecked.

Or maybe a better way to convey this option would be using a dropdown -- for example:
Name: Incremental Retention Strategy
Option 1: Consolidation (purge one Inc at a time)
Option 2: Set Purge (purge all Incs with common parent together)
By Danylo - 28 October 2017 3:27 PM

I am aware that my proposal can be improved.

I better describe my problem.
I use the Amazon Glacier service to keep a second copy of my backups on the cloud (disaster recovery).
But I can't use Macrium's automatic deletion, because the CONSOLIDATION modifies my old files and they would be sent back to Glacier.

So I have to delete old files, manually!

What I am asking for is that we can turn off the CONSOLIDATION.
By jphughan - 28 October 2017 8:42 PM

Do you have Delta Incremental Indexes enabled or disabled?  It's off by default in V6 and on by default in V7.  If it's disabled, then yes every Incremental that's newer than the consolidated file and shares the same parent backup gets modified with every consolidation operation -- but if it's enabled, then only the oldest Incremental gets modified when consolidation occurs;.  Off-site replication scenarios like yours are one of the main use cases for Delta Incremental Indexes, fyi, so you should consider using it if you're not already, because in that configuration, every new Incremental backup would only require you to upload the newly created Incremental and an updated copy of the oldest remaining Incremental to Amazon Glacier.  Would that meet your needs, at least for now?  If so, then you can just enable that option and then allow consolidation to continue normally as it does today, no need for manual deletions

However, note that if you enable Delta Incrementals while you already Incrementals, then any existing Incrementals that contain full indexes will continue to be modified with every backup -- but once all of those "full index Incrementals" get merged out and all you have left are your new Delta Incrementals, your backups going forward will behave as I've just described.​​

More info:​​
By Danylo - 17 September 2022 5:10 PM

In the 8.0.6979 version:
We've added a new option to disable consolidation for Incremental retention.

This is what I asked for.
Thank you