Techie Tuesday: Creating and Editing a Backup Plan

#TechieTuesday

Macrium Reflect provides multiple  Backup Plan options to create backup cycles in days, weeks or months that allow you to pick when you want your backup definitions to run and whether they should be Full, Differential or Incremental backups. Scheduled backups can run independently of whether anyone is logged into the computer.

Macrium Reflect provides an easy 3 step approach to editing backup plans for a backup definition:

  1. First, optionally select a Template from a set that includes implementations of industry best practice like Grandfather, Father, Son (GFS) or Incremental Forever
  2. Add, remove or change the schedules as needed for full, differential and incremental backups
  3. Finally, define Retention Rules for each type of backup. Using the  Retention Rules, you can retain a specific number of each type of backup or keep them for a number of days or weeks before cleaning up.

Options define whether to apply the retention rules to all the backups in the folder, whether to run the purge before backing up, and let you define a minimum amount of disk space to retain in gigabytes (GB) before automatically deleting the oldest backup sets in the destination folder to make space available for new backups.

Note: A backup set consists of a full backup and any Incrementals or Differentials with the same image ID. The image ID is the part underlined in the following example backup file name:  69B5FC3F39E0F9F5-00-00.mrimg

The wizard splits the task of scheduling backups and setting retention rules into 3 steps as follows:


Select a Template for your Backup Plan

  1. Click the drop down box and chose an applicable template.A summary is given for each template to help you select the template you require.


Add/Edit Schedules

When you have selected the template you want to use you can view the planned schedule.

Resolving Scheduling Conflicts

If multiple backup types are scheduled run at the same time on the same day then only one backup will run.. For example, when scheduling a Full backup on the first Monday of each month and scheduling a Differential for every Monday, on the first Monday a Full and Differential are both scheduled to run at the same time. In this scenario only the Full backup will run.

  • Full backups take precedence over Differentials and Incrementals
  • Differential Backups take precedence over Incrementals.

To add to this schedule:

  1. Click Add Schedule and select either Full, Differential or Incremental.
  2. Set the frequency for the backup schedule.
  3. Click OK.

To Edit the schedule:

  1. Select the schedule you want to edit and click Edit Schedule.
  2. Change the schedule to meet your needs and click OK.

To delete a schedule:

  1. Select the schedule you want to delete and click Delete Schedule.
  2. A confirmation box appears, click Yes.


Define Retention Rules

Establish how long each type of backup in the schedule should be kept. It is advisable to keep backups for the recommended period, however you can de-select the backup type if you do not want to retain it.The new Macrium Reflect retention rules provide a powerful and flexible way to manage the lifetime and storage space used by your backups.Choose how backups are matched and retention rules are applied to the target folder

Retention rules are applied to the target folder of the backup by selecting one of two options:

Apply retention rules to matching backup sets in the target folder.Disk Images are purged if they contain exactly the same Partitions as the current Image. Partitions are identified using the unique Disk ID stored in sector 0 of the disk and the Partition sector offset.
Note: For GPT disks the unique GPT disk GUID is used instead of the Disk IDFor File and Folder backups retention rules are applied according to the ‘Backup Set Matching’ option select in the ‘Advanced Properties’ for this backup.

Apply retention rules to all backup sets in the target folder. All backup sets in the target folder of the same type (Disk Image or File and Folder) are purged according the retention rules.Note: This option uses the same logic as Macrium Reflect v5


Select the age or number of backup types that you wish to keep


Advanced options

If required, set Advanced Options as follows:

  • Compression to reduce the file size. Select level of compression and whether to make an intelligent sector copy, that copies only disk sectors used by the file system or make an exact copy of the partitions, that includes unused sectors.
    Note: reducing the file size may increase the total backup time.
  • File Size to enter a fixed file size for the image, this is useful for manually copying the image file to CD/DVD.
  • Password to select whether to password protect the image.
  • Auto Verify Image to select to verify image or backup file directly after creation.
    Note:  This can add a significant amount of time to the backup process.
  • Comments to set comments for the image or backup.
  • Shutdown  to set whether the computer should be shutdown after a backup task has completed.


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