Confused about schedules and retention rules


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HGinDC
HGinDC
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My goal is to have a full image backup every two weeks, with each full image supplemented by daily incremental backups, So two weeks would look like this:
DAY    BACKUP
​M         Full-1
T          --incr 1
W         --incr 2
T          --incr 3
F          --incr 4
Sa        --incr 5
Su        --incr​ 6
------------------------​
M         Full-2
T          --incr 1
W         --incr 2
T          --incr 3
F          --incr 4
Sa        --incr 5
Su        --incr​ 6

In words: week one has one full and ​​six incremental backups, and week two has one full and six incremental backups. In the retention rules I have specified to keep four full backups, but I am also asked to specify how many incremental backups to keep. Why am I asked how many incremental backups to keep? It seems obvious (to me at least) that I want four full backups kept, each with their six associated incremental backups. How do I specify that? Keep four fulls and six incrementals? Four fulls and 12 incrementals? Four fulls and 24 incrementals?

​​As it turns out, somehow (undoubtedly through ignorance) I specified to keep four full backups and seven incremental backups. What have I specified here?  This seems like some kind of logic puzzle.

Thanks for the advice.

​--Howard​​​​

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jphughan
jphughan
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First, you don't have to specify an Incremental retention policy; you can uncheck that option, in which case Reflect will not directly cap Incremental growth, and will instead only delete them when it deletes their parent backup, in your case the Full.  So if you want to keep all of your Incrementals until their parent Full is purged, then simply uncheck the Incremental retention policy and you'll achieve that result.  The reason that an Incremental policy can be specified is that not everyone wants to wait that long to start losing Incrementals.  For example, suppose somebody only wants to perform monthly Fulls but also daily Incrementals, but only wants to keep the most recent week's worth of Incrementals.  That's actually possible, because Reflect will "consolidate" older Incrementals in order to allow purging the old ones (thereby remaining compliant with your retention policy settings) without breaking the Incremental chain, as would occur if the Incrementals were simply deleted.  Macrium has a nice animation of this concept here.

Finally, note that the Incremental retention policy counts all Incrementals across all matching backups in the destination, NOT just the Incrementals that were created off the most recent Full.  So for example a person might want to capture weekly Fulls and daily Incrementals, retaining 3 months of Fulls but only 1 month of Incrementals.  That too could be achieved with an appropriate schedule and retention policy.  The idea here is that sometimes people want to "thin out" their older backups in order to reduce storage requirements because although they might want to retain the ability to go back far in time, they don't necessarily need to be able to do that with the same granularity (i.e. having daily backups to choose from) that they'd want to have available if they needed to restore from more recent backups.  Hopefully this helps!

Edited 11 January 2019 2:13 PM by jphughan
HGinDC
HGinDC
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Yes--it helps a lot. I believe I will just uncheck the incremental retention policy. Thanks for your help.
GO

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