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Infinite Backup

Created: 15 Jul 2013 • Updated: 15 Jul 2013 | 6 comments
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Hi all, have a question, how can I create infinite backup of my active directory server that would create a full back up job just once on the first run, then followed only by incremental backups? I have 1TB usb drive and a full back up job takes approx 300GB in Server 2008 R2 + 2010 BE R3 environment. Since the data amout stays always around the same level on our servers and flactuates only by +/- 10Gb to have infinite incremental backups would make sense I believe. Thank you!

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Jaydeep S's picture

The feature that you are refering to is called Synthetic backups and is limited to Files systems only. For backing up Active Directory, you need to backup the system state of that server.

Addtionally, there is a Active Directory Recovery Agent which can give you GRT capability (restore deleted objects and users, etc).

AndreyS's picture

Ok, so are you saying there is no way I could avoid weekly full backups of my server? My current selections are C: /(server installation) D: /(network shares) and the rest as you can see on the image below:

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Siddhant Saini's picture

Due to limitations within Microsoft Active Directory, only the full backup method can be used to back up Active Directory. Incremental and differential backup methods are not available. 

Please refer to

 Moreover, even if a System State backup is considered, you need to consider that it is not affected by backup methods like incremental, differential, or even full. The System State backup will always be a full backup, regardless of the options selected for backup method under the general tab. This is due to dependencies among the components.

Think of the System State as being one file instead of lots of files. This will illustrate that, even if the job type is Incremental, it will always backup the whole thing. It will always be a Full backup of the System State no matter what the job settings.

Thanks and Regards,
Siddhant Saini

teiva-boy's picture

Incremental forever is not a good strategy as you still need to do a full periodically (varies by vendor)

Incrementals do NOT track deletes or moves.  Fulls do.  

Think about it..  We're backing up files that changed, nothing more.  If a file is deleted or moved, the file attribute hasn't changed per say.  A Backup app wont pick it up.

So a full is done periodically (let's say once a month for arguments sake) to make sure that all files moved and/or deleted can get updated in your incremental forever strategy or Synthetic backup strategy.

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

AndreyS's picture

Thank you, that makes sense, so how would I setup a once a month full backup job followed by incrementals? Also I realize that since I have only 1TB available, I would overwrite each full back once a month with a new one. Thx

AndreyS's picture

Would creating backup policy be my only option for setting up once a month full backup followed by weekly incrementals? Thx