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Symantec Backup Exec 2014 Blueprint - Data Lifecycle Management

Created: 27 Aug 2014
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The Technical Services team for Backup and Recovery have produced a number of documents we call "Blueprints".

These Blueprints are designed to show backup and recovery challenges around specific technologies or functions and how Backup Exec solves these challenges.

Each Blueprint consists of:

  • Pain Points: What challenges customers face
  • Whiteboard: Shows how Backup Exec solves the customer challenges
  • Recommended Configuration: Shows recommended installation
  • Do’s: Gives detailed configurations suggested by Symantec
  • Don'ts: What configurations & pitfalls customers should avoid
  • Advantages: Summarizes the Backup Exec advantages

This document:

  • Explores the functional behavior of data life cycle management in Backup Exec 2014
  • Discusses rules in data lifecycle management that ensures that the Backup sets are retained, thereby maintaining the reliability to restore the data
  • Discusses common issues with data lifecycle management and troubleshooting techniques

In  versions prior to Backup Exec 2012, a tape-centric model was used to identically manage the life cycle of backed up data for tapes and disk storage. The disk backup emulated the tape media as  .BKF files and each such file was considered as a single media for data retention. The data retention was applied to individual media and not to individual backup data set contained by the media. Each .bkf file is considered as an individual media.

Ignorance in knowing the dependency for the media (such as previous incremental or full backup sets or the spanned backup set) may lead to accidental deletion or reuse of the media, causing data loss. The user is expected to track media related information for a resource to be recovered point-in-time. The user must be accurate in configuring the right media retention settings on the media sets, to avoid data loss situations. Media will not be reused or overwritten until all the backup sets on the particular media are expired. This setting is controlled by the overwrite and append period of the media set (example: If the overwrite protection is 2 days and append period is 1 day, then the retention period is  3 days.)

Data lifecycle management or DLM is a policy-based approach to manage data through its life cycle and is triggered by the Backup Exec Server Service:     Creation > Initial Storage > Obsolescence > Deletion. There is a difference in the way DLM manages the data stored on fixed and removable disk storage versus tape media. The retention of backup data is now associated with the backup set and not with the media sets. A single .BKF file does not contain more than one backup set. However, a backup set can be spanned over more than one .BKF file.

To ensure data integrity and reliable recovery of the resource, DLM does the backup set dependency check while deleting the expired backup set and does not delete the last copy of the recovery point chain for a particular resource. (This rule can however be disabled from the Graphical User Interface settings in Backup Exec 2014) In case of fixed disk storage, the DLM grooming activity is automated and triggered every 4 hours or on a low disk space event; for removable disk cartridge, DLM grooming activity is triggered on a new backup/duplicate job to a particular disk cartridge.

Up to 100%* Faster Backups - Now with up to 100% faster** backup and deduplication speeds, Backup Exec 2014 helps you backup quicker, reducing your backup windows and saving you time.

You can use this Blueprint to better understand Backup Exec's DLM technologies - please download from the link below.