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Daily backups on external usb disks - no clean up

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Beginner
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Hey Guys,

I am trying desperately to create a daily full backup of a hyper-v host (server 2016) and its virtual machines onto external usb drives that are being changed on a daily basis (a total of 7 usb disks).

Unfortunately the backup cleanup does not work as expected.

I've tried several different settings ranging from "keep 5 backups" to "use 900GB max" - no cleanup will ever happen.

Am I missing something here? Is the cleanup disk-specific?

How is it possible to create a daily complete backup onto seven disks that never run full? :)

I came across this KB article: https://kb.acronis.com/content/58372

It basically tells me to write a batch script to do the cleanup when using changing usb drives. Is this some kind of joke?

Any help you can give me is highly appreciated!

Thanks

-DR

 

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Support specialist
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Comments: 751

#1

Hello Daniel,

welcome to Acronis forums!

Yes, you have found the right KB article with a solution. In Acronis Backup 12.5 an individual retention rule can be applied to a backup set . In your case, this backup set is divided each time when the USB drive is changed. Thus, Acronis Backup 12.5 does not see an .XML file with metadata created previously for this backup set and could not apply the retention rule.

Beginner
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Comments: 7

#2

Hello Maria,

thanks for confirming this. I find that to be quite absurd... most of my clients have 7 external USB disks and swap them out on a daily basis (more or less). We only do full backups with most servers since SSD storage is available.

Previous versions of acronis had no issues with a single backup task that created a full image of a machine and simply delete the oldest backup on the connected disk.

Can you provide a batch script that replicates that behaviour?

I do have issues with the "delete after backup" command since there's no check if the backup was successful or not.

Thanks :)

Forum Moderator
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#3
Daniel Räbiger wrote:

most of my clients have 7 external USB disks and swap them out on a daily basis (more or less). We only do full backups with most servers since SSD storage is available.

Hello Daniel,

as a workaround you may want to consider creating separate backup plans for each USB drive

 Can you provide a batch script that replicates that behaviour?

Please open a support ticket, so that our engineers can assist with preparing a script for you.  

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

#4

Dear Ekaterina,

separate backup plans for each USB drive are only good if the employees actually switch out the drives... which they often do not.

Previews Acronis Server Versions (11.5 for example) had an option to clean up the destination drive if space was needed. You only had one backup plan that ran every day and cleaned up the attached USB drive if space ran low.

Is it possible to rebuild a backup plan like in the 11.5 version?

Thanks!

Support specialist
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Comments: 751

#5

Hello Daniel,

in case you use the Advanced version, you can set a Clean up plan 

Currently, rotating USB disks are not supported in Acronis Backup 12.5.

There is an implementation task to add this capability ABR-60036 - Support rotating (swapping) USB disks. To prioritize this task, please answer several questions I sent you in a Private Message.

By the way, in Acronis Backup 11.5/11.7 versions, this feature has also been implemented with the help of a workaround https://kb.acronis.com/content/47954

Thus, the only way to make it work in Acronis Backup 12.5 is also a workaround described in the article above https://kb.acronis.com/content/58372

Beginner
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Comments: 7

#6

Dear Maria,

interesting - I never ever had to use this workaround. Currently customers are at Acronis Backup 11.5 for Windows Server Essentials for most of my 200+ customers.

We've been only working full backups, no incremetal or differential backups at all.

The clean-up is setup like in the attached image.

Regards

Attachment Size
487969-163671.JPG 58.92 KB
Support specialist
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Comments: 751

#7

Hello Daniel,

thanks for clarifying your scheme. However, deleting the last backup in the archive scheme is not implemented in Acronis Backup 12.5 in order to keep the previous backup if the creation of a new one fails. Thus, the only available solution is described in the KB article:

You need to create a simple .bat file with the following text:
del /q /s <drive letter>:\*.tibx

This command deletes all .tib-files (backup files) on the specified drive. You can place this file on the specified drive.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

#8

Hello Maria,

did you get my response to your survey? I find it beyond astonishing that the most smiple backup scheme has been removed. I expect new version of Acronis to actually improve, not to downgrade.

Deleting the whole disk raises several problems:

  • Deletion of the disk can only be done BEFORE the backup starts
  • ALL Backups on the external disk will be deleted, not just the oldest.
  • Usually you want to store as many backups as possible onto each disk to maximize retention
  • I do not see any option to tell Acronis 12.5 that a command should only be executed AFTER a sucessfull backup at all. Even if that option would be available, deleting the whole disk after the backup is kind of pointless ;-)

The whole point for having rotating external disks (7 disks, mo-fr, month, quarter/year) is to store as much backups onto each drive as possible to get maximum retention.

Typical smaller customers have a full backup size of around 100-300 GB - so a set of five 4TB external disks for monday through friday is being used, each storing up to 12 mondays (weeks) of backups. The monthly disk stores backups 12 months back etc.

Needless to say this is a HUGE downgrade from the previous versions of Acronis.

Regards

Support specialist
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Comments: 751

#9

Hello Daniel,

Yes, I updated the implementation task with your information. 

What concerns your use case: you indicated that you swap drives every day + need to apply retention rules because of their limited size.

Using the above batch file was a workaround in your case: yes, the previous backup from the specified drive is deleted but you know that you have other previous versions on other 6 drives.

In case if you need to keep several backup versions on each of the swapped drives, you can apply retention rules that suit your needs. However, you need to be sure that there will be kept several previous backups (at least two full backup sets) so that retention rules could be applied. You need to select the retention scheme where the previous backup is kept on the disk.  

To avoid any misunderstandings here, I strongly recommend that you contact Acronis Support Team and schedule a remote session or a phone call with a support engineer who will help you to select an appropriate scheme for you. 

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

#10

Hello Maria,

I'd like to keep more than just one backup per external USB disk since it gives us better retention.

I thought that retention rules are not supported with multiple external drives and a single backup plan?

Regards

-Daniel

Support specialist
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#11

Hello Daniel,

Retention rules should be applied if there are previous backup sets kept on this disk. If this does not work then we should investigate this.

In my first reply to you, I had an impression that you plan to keep only 1 backup slice at each of the swapping drives.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

#12

Hello Maria,

let me clarify:

ONE Backup Plan (Full backups each night no matter what)

SEVEN USB Disks, more or less swapped daily by employees

AS MUCH backups as Possible on each disk

:)

Support specialist
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#13

Hi Daniel,

Acronis Backup 12.5 does not have an option to clean up backup location if there is not enough space on disk. This could be a problem in your case if a USB drive has not been changed (you wrote that "more or less swapped daily by employee") and is full - backup on this disk will fail.

Acronis Backup 12.5 has three cleanup schemes: "by backup age", "by number of backups" and "keep backup indefinitely". You can't select "use 900GB max". If you select to use "by number of backups" you should calculate the approximate number of backups that could be stored on this drive and set this number if you select "start cleanup before backup" or number-1 if you prefer "start cleanup after backup" scheme.

If the cleanup scheme that you selected still does not work, I strongly recommend that you contact Acronis Support Team so that a support engineer could check your settings and help you to select the most appropriate scheme:

Beginner
Posts: 2
Comments: 7

#14

Me and my colleagues also agree on Daniel Räbiger´s opinion, Acronis 12.5 is a huge  downgrade when it comes to backing up daily to several daily swapping harddrives... 

 

And the Workaround with a batchfiles that deletes tibx before a new backup is absolutely nuts, since after ~ 1 week of failing backups you deleted all your external tibx files if noone checks on it... thats not the way it should be, but often the sad truth.

 

Other Backup Software which costs less has way better features when it comes to such basic things,...but i guess Acronis concentrates on Cloud Backups ;)

Support specialist
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#15

Hello Lu1z,

Our developers are currently working on implementing swapping USB disks feature. I have prioritized the Support rotating (swapping) USB disks task with your request.

We strongly recommend that you contact Acronis Support Team with an exported backup plan, details about your USB devices and swapping scheme, system information from Agent in order to speed up this feature implementation (we need to reproduce the issue internally to develop rotating drives’ support).

Beginner
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Comments: 1

#16

I have the same backup strategy as the other guys - and exactly the same problem.

2x 4TB USB Disks, Full Backup Mo-Fri until 3TB reached on the USB drives.

Acronis writes the disk full and deletes nothing. Wipe everything before a new backup cant be a solution!

And to specify the number of Backups isn't a solution too - what if the size of the backup increase?

Support specialist
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#17

Hello IT IT,

I have the same backup strategy as the other guys - and exactly the same problem.

I have also prioritized the Support rotating (swapping) USB disks task with your vote.

You are also welcome to provide Acronis Support Team with your exported backup plan, details about your USB devices and swapping scheme, system information from Agent in order to speed up this feature implementation

Acronis writes the disk full and deletes nothing. Wipe everything before a new backup cant be a solution!

That is why Acronis Backup 12.5 never deletes the latest backup and always keeps at least 1 backup by design (apart from a workaround with a batch file).

However, 'clean before backup' option with zero value for number of backup could do the trick with backup cleanup. 

Please note that if something goes wrong during backup you may end up without working backup.

Beginner
Posts: 1
Comments: 7

#18

Glad I am not alone with this issue.

It's been nearly half a year now and no solution seems to be in sight.

I am also having trouble with NON-Swapped disks in a setup like this:

SEVEN USB Disks, permanently connected to the server, each with its OWN Drive letter, OWN Backup Task.

Still: NO CLEANUP.

I've tried to use the "total backup size" option - it's being ignored.

I've now switched to "Keep 2 Backups" - and still the files are not getting deleted. What's going on here? Basic Backups have worked for ages.

What do i need to do if i have the same disks connected to the server? Is automatic cleanup never working with removeable medias even if they are never removed?

Thanks
-DR

 

 

Support specialist
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Comments: 751

#19

Hello Daniel.

Could you please a screenshot of your backup plan? Please also collect Acronis System Information from the machine with Acronis Agent which backups are not deleted from removable drives. I have sent you an FTP link in a Private Message, please upload your system information there.

Beginner
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Comments: 7

#20

@Daniel, always create a new plan, i noticed that changes to already existing plans wont work

Support specialist
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#21

Hello Daniel.

If I understood you correctly, you noticed that changes are not saved when you edit existing backup plans, did not you?

Could you please specify whether all Acronis Backup components are updated to the latest build (#14330)?