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TechTip: Using Backup Exec Policies and Templates

Created: 20 Jul 2009
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Swathi Turlapaty's picture
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No two networks are alike. Because of this, every company should create its own backup strategy to provide the best possible data protection. The policy and template features in Symantec Backup Exec give you the ability to create specialized backup jobs that go beyond basic incremental and full backup defaults. Policies contain job templates with attributes that define how and when Backup Exec processes a job. These templates specify the devices, settings, and schedule for a job, but do not include the file selections to be backed up. To create backup jobs based on a template, you combine a policy with a selection list of files. The created backup job then executes all the defined attributes you set.

Here are the basic steps for using policies and templates:

  1. Under ‘Create Jobs’ the Backup Exec policy wizard will allow you to select one of three default template types to modify: monthly, weekly, and daily full backups.
  2. Apply new rules to the selected template, such as target device, incremental or full backup, and schedule. Name the template.
  3. Use the modified template to select files for the operation. The backup job will run according to the policy rules you’ve applied to the new template.

Policies are useful in a number of situations. For example, you can set up policies and their templates for the following:

  • Rotating media. You can modify the monthly full backup with weekly and daily backups options to create a Grandfather, Father, and Son backup rotation. This scheme gives you a greater depth of archived data than simple default backup jobs. Templates can be used to create any type of media rotation scheme needed.
  • Setting relationships between jobs. When a policy contains more than one template, you can use template rules to establish relationships between the templates. For example, you can set a template rule so that when one backup job completes, Backup Exec automatically starts the next defined backup job. In turn, when the second job finishes, it can chain to yet another job. The rules set for the template would look like this: After <First Template> completes, start <Second Template>.
  • Creating duplicate copies of backup sets. You may need to make duplicate copies of data sets. Set up a policy that uses a backup template with a rule to run a duplicate backup set template. After the original backup is performed, the next job template in the queue initiates a copy of the original backup data to another location or media, such as a tape used for off-site archiving or disk storage specifically used for archiving.
  • Staging data. You can set a series of jobs that contain policies for staging backup data to other media over a period of time. This staging allows you to gradually remove old data from primary storage yet keep it intact and accessible on other media, such as off-site tape or disks.
  • Exporting media. You may need to periodically take a full snapshot of data and export it to a selected location, such as a new replacement server or a data vault. Set up a policy that contains an export media template and at least one backup template. Then, set up a template rule that schedules a media export job after the full backup completes.
  • Creating a synthetic backup. If you have purchased and installed the Advanced Disk-based Backup Option (ADBO), then you can set up a policy that contains the necessary job templates for creating a synthetic backup. Synthetic backups will contain a full backup of a file and then any incremental changes made to that file. The backup combines the original and the incremental to create one up-to-date file. Using policies and duplicate backup templates, Backup Exec can then make a copy.
  • Enabling true image restore of backup sets. If you have purchased and installed the Advanced Disk-based Backup Option (ADBO), then you can set up a policy that contains the necessary job templates for enabling true image restore of backup sets, in effect re-assembling the backup sets for one complete restore. This is useful in disaster recovery when restoring a complete server or in cloning servers and desktops.

Polices are reusable, so you can create a single policy and combine it with several different file selection lists to provide identical policy-based coverage to many different data sets.
Policies and templates allow you to create and continually refine backup strategies to provide exactly the coverage your unique network operation requires.

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