Video Screencast Help

Problem with expiring images with bpexpdate, what is best practice

Created: 10 Sep 2013 • Updated: 18 Sep 2013 | 11 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

during expiring images from a master to clean up space a lot of good images got expired, is there a best practice document when it comes to using bpexpdate?  If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Operating Systems:

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

Pangal's picture

1)bpexpdate is used for changing the retention of images from zero to infinity

2) Can u clarify whether  you want to free disk unit space   or something else??

Mark_Solutions's picture

Please clarify exactly what you mean .. best practice really is not to use bpexpdate unless absolutely neccesary as your original backup retentions should deal with data expiration

Anything you expire is a loss of data protection

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

mtp0410's picture

What I have been asked for: Does a document exist that would include the best practice for bpexpdate?

I know it is a dangerous command...but it was used and now we are looking to see if there is a document that could help us prevent this from reoccurring.

mtp0410's picture

I have the procedures doc...thank you for looking that up!  Basically I think what is known right now is that a "best practice" doc for expiring images doesn't exist.  It is just one of those that the "best practice" is to not use and let the images expire on their own.

Does anyone have an idea about how to clean up images without using the bpexpdate command?

Stumpr2's picture

bpexpdate best practice is to only use when necessary. I have used it over the years and have been pretty LUCKY that I have not lost data. One time I had to import some tapes but no total loss of data. I have had to prematurely expire data in order to free up tapes or disk space or to re-assign an expiration to from infinity to a regularly used expiration time.
Think of it as an equivalent to the NIX "rm" command. and remeber that rm like diamonds is forever,
If you really want to be safe then instead of expiring with the value 0 you can first set the expiration for 1 day and then look at the results. if everything looks good then either wait a day or run the command again using the 0 to expire.
Backup your catalog before doing a volley of bpexpdate commands.

VERITAS ain't it the truth?

Nicolai's picture

The best way to gain a "best practice" is to use the bpexpdate command in a test environment until you fully understand how the command work and how to use it parameters.

There is no document from Symantec that dictate what to do and what not to do.

Best Regards


Assumption is the mother of all mess ups.

If this post answered your'e qustion -  Please mark as a soloution.

Marianne's picture

bpexpdate should NEVER be used to free up space on the master server.

bpexpdate should only be used to expire test backups or to extend/change retention levels of existing images according to business needs.

Catalog protection and management is explained in Admin Guide I. 

Use one of these methods to manage catalog space:

1. Verify image retention is according to business needs. Infinite retention levels is hardly ever necessary.

2. Provide additional disk space for catalogs. See Admin Guide I for instructions to move catalogs.

3. Use catalog compression (see Admin Guide I)

4. Do catalog archiving (see Admin Guide I)

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

Stumpr2's picture

hmmm...I didn't think about expiring images to belittle the catalog. I took the post for clearing space for new images on the storage units. There is strength in diversity :-)

VERITAS ain't it the truth?

mph999's picture

There is no best practice doc that I am aware of, really Nicolai and Marianne covered it quite nicely, don't use it unless you are absolutely confident you have the correct images.

A couple tip, in an effeort to give you somthing other than 'don't use it' ...

If you do use it, never run it in a script that loops through images - instead, use a script that only geerates the commands for each image into another file. These can then be manually checked to be certain they are correct.

You may have hear of the NOexpire touch file. This prevents NBU from expiring images, it should only be used when advised by Technical support and is an 'unsupported' command. It does however, NOT prevent bpexpdate from expiring images if run manually, and so offers no protection against manual expirations.


Regards,  Martin
Setting Logs in NetBackup:
Stumpr2's picture

Another option that is relatively safe may be to make duplicate image copies of the original image.

Use new expiration dates. This can be done using the bpduplicate command or use the GUI under the catalog section.

Once the copies are created then the original images may be expired.

VERITAS ain't it the truth?