There have been a number of posts with regards to AOFO being used when backing up Exchange, or SQL, or Lotus Notes etc. Symantec's standpoint is that they do not support using AOFO when backing up any databases due to possible problems. It has to do with the manner in which snapshots are carried out on databases that starts the issues.
I have on a number of occasions been advised to separate the jobs (files, databases, System States etc), but when I once asked how to get it done, I never got a response from support. Not a good place to be in, and so I left things as is.
I carried on using this, until I needed to redirect a restore of SQL to a development server, and found out I couldn't. Cutting a long story short, I did a Symantec-assisted restore to the same server, and immediately took off AOFO. However, that led to the job now showing as failing due to open personal folders, and other files.
I eventually got down to working it out myself, and have put the steps and thought processes behind them in below.
If you’re doing this from scratch, you’d most likely be creating new media sets, but if not, it’s a simple task to modify existing jobs.
1. New Backup jobs
· Create 2 new selection lists...1 will contain your databases (SQL, Exchange etc), and the other will contain files, System States, installation directories etc. Make sure that they’re given explanatory names to distinguish them.
· Create a new job for your databases, and make sure you have the following settings:
o Under Device and Media of each sub-job (if using GFS), choose the option to Overwrite media. Doing this means that it will automatically overwrite any scratch media/media available to be used.
o Deselect the option of using AOFO.
o Choose a start time before the second job that will be created.
o Create new media sets for your jobs.
o Assign it the selection list containing your database selections.
· Create another job for the rest (System State, files etc), and select the following:
o Under Device and Media of each sub-job (if using GFS), choose the option to: Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available. This will autmatically append data to the same tape, or use a new tape if need be.
o Choose to use AOFO, and make sure it’s: Automatically select open file technology (BEWS will choose which version is best suited).
o Choose a start time after the job above, and with enough overhead should the DBs grow in size and add to that job’s backup window.
o Choose the same media sets as above. With the option set to append, it will use the same tape as the job above, meaning both jobs fit onto 1 tape. Having 1 media set also ensures there aren’t any issues with different tapes being used.
o Assign it the selection list containing the files, System State etc.
· The DB job will run first, select a tape and overwrite it. Once the data is written, the job completes. At a predetermined time, the second job will start, and because of its setting to append, it will select the same tape to write too. Both jobs have the same media sets selected meaning the data expires at the same time on both jobs, and makes administering tapes and media sets easier.
2. Existing job:
· The main task here is to create a separate selection list for the databases, and then deselect them on the existing selection list which will now contain only files etc. Give both of them names that will adequately describe what they’re used for.
· Once done, rename the existing backup job if necessary to distinguish it from the job that will be created. Make sure AOFO is used.
· Create a new job for the databases. You can use the settings as in 1 above. Set it to start before your files job etc.
· Point it to the same media sets that already exist. There is no need to create new ones, as this job would then use a new tape, and not append to existing tapes. This would also mean 2 different sets expiring data at different times. AOFO must not be used.
· The last task here would be to start the job containing non-DB selections after the backup job to backup your DBs.
If you’re using partitions in a tape library/autoloader, make sure to select the same partition for both jobs. This will force BEWS to run both jobs in the same location, and select the same tape for each day. Once the second job runs, the tape is marked as being protected, until overwrite protection expires.