Howto do backup generations (GFS-Grandfather,Father,Son) with Acronis TI. (chain2gen)
Acronis TI does a superior job in creating and maintaining a current backup.
However Acronis TI does not easily support creating and maintaining backup “generations”.
I opened a support request with Acronis to discuss the issues.
I had both email and phone dialogs with two Acronis tech support reps.
The end result of those dialogs was when it comes to backup generations
“Acronis Backup and Recovery 10 Workstation "
is a better solution than
“Acronis True Image”
The above does not mean that one can not use Acronis TI,
all it means is one needs to do something outside of Acronis TI GUI panels to achieve the desired (generation) result.
I have written an application called “Chain2Gen” which is responsible for maintaining
how many generations one retains as well as when a new generation is created.
This solution relies on Acronis TI inherit default ability to create and maintain a current backup - the very thing which Acronis TI excels.
The purpose of this forum post is to share application with you.
There is a lot of power and flexibility in using chain2gen and doing backup generations.
A zip file of chain2gen is attached to this post.
From Acronis TI’s perspective it neither knows nor cares about these generations.
All it knows is that prior to running a backup it calls our application.
After our application returns control Acronis does an “INCR” backup.
Acronis TI will now try to do an “INCR” backup.
If the target folder is empty/Devoid of “.tib” files
then Acronis TI default behavior is to start a new chain which means creating a new FULL in the target folder.
Starting a new chain also means resetting the incr file numbers for that chain back to 1 (the “full” backup
is file “1”. the first incr file will be numbered “2”).
Assume you had an existing Acronis TI backup INCR chain.
If you were to MANUALLY move all the “.tib” files from the target folder to a new folder.
You have effectively made that set of files (chain) a backup generation.
The next time Acronis TI runs it will start a new chain.
Chain2Gen via script Acronis_PreProcessing_task.bat automates the above process.
This application will perform the above tasks whenever it sees a file called “trigger.txt” in the target (storage) folder.
This file is created whenever any of trigger conditions which you define are met.
Trigger Conditions which can cause a new chain to start are:
1) Start a new chain when there are “xx” tib files in the target folder.
2) Start a new chain on specific calendar dates (such as the 1st and 15th)
3) Start a new chain on specific days of the week such as Wednesday and Sunday
4) Start a new chain on specific days of every other week such as every other Wednesday and Sunday
5) Start a chain on the “x” occurrence of a day within a month such as the 2nd Sunday of each month.
6) Start a new chain when the total megabyte (MB) usage of INCR files (not full) exceed a threshold you define.
7) Start a new chain manually by creating a file called “trigger.txt”.
If the above sounds useful to you, then your welcome to download the attached zip file.
If your worried about viruses you may review the code yourself prior to running
as 100% of the code is dos batch scripts which can be viewed with notepad.
Chain2Gen can be used for many things GFS backups, rotating backups for offsite storage and more.
I HIGHLY encourage you to read the documentation file "!readme_chain2gen.pdf".
I would like to thank GroverH for his many hours of testing my code and for providing Documentation.
2009-11-26 new zip file for version 2.1 of "chain2gen" http://forum.acronis.com/forum/5940#comment-11705
2009-12-14 new zip file for version 2.2 of "chain2gen" http://forum.acronis.com/forum/5940#comment-13500
2010-01-04 new zip file for version 2.3 of "chain2gen" http://forum.acronis.com/forum/5940#comment-15756
2010-01-19 new zip file for version 2.5 of "chain2gen" http://forum.acronis.com/forum/5940#comment-17360
2010-02-06 new zip file for version 2.6 of "chain2gen"
2010-02-23 new zip file for version 2.6.1 of "chain2gen" it so happens that v2.6 is missing a file called !_FORCE_NEW_CHAIN.bat v2.6.1 includes this missing file.
2010-05-11 new zip file for version 2.6.2 corrected typo near line 83 of script Populate_Date_Variables.bat (should read Tue not Tues)