5 0 0:Standard Backup Procedure

From SEPsesam


This is documentation for SEP sesam version 5.0.0 Jaglion.
This is not the latest version of SEP sesam documentation and, as such, does not provide information on features introduced in the latest release. For more information on SEP sesam releases, see SEP sesam Release Versions. For the latest documentation, check SEP sesam documentation.


Overview


The SEP sesam backup is a process in which file system and/or application data from SEP sesam clients are copied and stored to backup media. The backup procedure described below applies to creating filesystem backups. For applications, databases and virtualisation-specific data, the backup procedure might involve additional tasks or include other options. As special methods are used to back up such data, make sure to use the backup procedure specific to the data you want to back up.

Prerequisites

  • Each client system that you want to back up requires SEP sesam Client software to be installed. Note that the SEP sesam Server is always also a SEP sesam Client. For details on installation, see SEP sesam Quick Install Guide.
  • A client must be added to your backup environment.
  • Storage hardware must be configured and media must be prepared.
  • You must have admin user rights for performing a backup.

Overview of the procedure

A standard backup procedure involves the following steps:

  1. Creating a backup task by selecting the data to be backed up
  2. Creating a backup schedule by specifying when you want to back up your data
  3. Creating a backup event by selecting where to back up your data to and how
Note
To prepare for a possible breakdown of the SEP sesam Server and disaster recovery, you have to perform a self-backup of the SEP sesam by configuring at least one backup task with the name SESAM_BACKUP. For more details, see Preparing for Disaster Recovery.
Tip
  • In v. ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion, you can automate the process of backing up multiple VMs by automatically generating tasks for VMs that are connected to the same host; you can also automatically create clients for VMs to which the created tasks and ACLs can be assigned. It is recommended to use these features when a new hypervisor is added and many new VMs need to be backed up. For details, see Automating Backup Process.
  • Take a look at some best practices to consider when planning a backup strategy: Backup Strategy Best Practices.

Step 1: Creating a backup task

A backup task defines which files are backed up and which data should be excluded from backup. Creating a task is the first step of the standard backup procedure. Once you created a task, create a schedule to specify when you want to back up your data. In the third step you will create a backup event by selecting where to back up your data to and how.

With v. 5.0.0 Jaglion, you can simplify the backup of multiple VMs by automatically creating tasks for VMs that are connected to the same host; you can also automatically create clients for VMs to which the created tasks and ACLs can be assigned. It is recommended to use these features when a new hypervisor is added and many new VMs need to be backed up. For details, see Automating Backup Process.

Steps

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select your client and click New Backup Task. The New Backup Task window opens.
  2. Use the browse button to specify the Source and select what you want to back up. If you want to back up individual files, you can either browse for directories and files that you want to include in the backup or enter their names followed by a comma (C:/Program Files/SEPsesam/var/db,C:\Users\AA\Documents\references).
  3. Typically, if you select the source by browsing, the task type and task name are set automatically. (You can still edit the assigned task name.) A few special task types are rare exceptions and thus require a manual selection of the relevant type and specifying the task name.

    Note
    If the number of files or directories to be included for backup exceeds the allowed length of 1024 characters for the task source, it is recommended to create a separate file that contains a list of selected files and directories to be backed up.

    For more details on the -f option, see SBC CLI: option -f (files).


  4. Optionally, specify the filenames or patterns which you want to exclude from backup in the Exclude list. For details on various exclude options, see Creating Exclude List.
    Tip
    If the number of files or directories you want to exclude from the backup exceeds the allowed length of 1024 characters, you can create a separate file that contains a list of selected sources as described in FAQ:How do I exclude or include a large number of files/folders for backup?

    If you want to add a comment, enter it in the Notes field.

  5. Depending on your operating system (Windows, Linux or Unix), you might need to set the following options:
  6. All systems:
    • If the task needs to be excluded from the backup for technical or other reasons, you can deactivate it by checking the Execution off option. If this option is set, the backup of this task will not start until it is unlocked again even if it is scheduled for the backup. For details, see Disabling and Enabling Backup Task.
    On Windows:
    • When creating a regular Path backup, the option Backup with VSS is enabled by default. It is possible to exclude a specific VSS writer from backup or disable VSS; for details, see SEP sesam Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).
    On Linux:
    • You can enable the Backup with LVM option, if you want to perform consistent backups of open files on Linux by using Logical Volume Manager (LVM). For details, see SEP sesam Logical Volume Manager (LVM) for Linux.
    • You can use the Save data mounted by NFS option to follow and save mount points, which reside on another host system by NFS.
    • As of SEP sesam v. 5.0.0 Jaglion, you can set that deleted or modified files are not reported as errors by selecting the last check box.
    On Unix:
    • You can enable the Descend directories on other file systems option to access onther partitions, which are mounted to the file system by symbolic links.
  7. Click the Options tab to define special backup or restore options and/or enable the pre/post backup or restore commands.
  8. Specify additional backup/restore options Under the Additional call arguments part, you can specify special backup options in the Backup options field:
    • If you have created a separate file to exceed the allowed length of 1024 characters for the task source, enter the <list_source> file with a -f switch in the Backup options field. For details, see Using - f (files) option.

    • If your backups on Linux encounter errors or warnings that are not relevant to the backup, use the following command to avoid such warnings:
    •  -o ignore_finderr=<regex>|ALL

      Before taking this action, make sure that you are aware of the consequences; for details, see: Linux Client backup.


    Enable pre or post scripts

    You can enable the pre/post backup or restore commands. To use a configurable pre/post interface, you have to activate it first and create your own commands. For details, see Using Pre and Post Scripts.

  9. Switch to the Encryption & Compression tab if you want to set encryption or compress data.
  10. In v. ≥ 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, click the OS Access tab and specify the credentials to access the resources on the target client. If you have already specified the credentials when configuring the client or its location, select an existing credential set from the drop-down list. Otherwise, click New and enter the credentials for the target client.
  11. Use other corresponding tabs to consolidate individual tasks under a specific task group or assign a task to the schedule.
    Note
    As of v. 5.0.0 Jaglion, additional tabs may be displayed depending on the task type of the selected client. For example, for Micro Focus OES or NetWare server backup, you have to specify the login data for the eDirectory and select the appropriate data mover. For more information on specific task types, see the relevant wiki articles under Extensions.
  12. Click OK to create the task.
Tip
  • To prepare for a possible breakdown of the SEP sesam Server and disaster recovery, you have to perform a self-backup of the SEP sesam by configuring at least one backup task with the name SESAM_BACKUP. For more details, see Preparing for Disaster Recovery.
  • Optionally, you can assign individual tasks to a task group and then trigger the start of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.


Step 2: Creating a schedule

Creating and modifying schedules in SEP sesam enables you to manage the chronology of data protection activities. A schedule establishes the timing, frequency, and recurrence pattern of events that can range from minutes to years. It can be configured for periodic execution or as a one-time occurrence.

Schedules can group related tasks based on their type or recurrence pattern. For example, you can configure schedules for daily incremental backups and weekly full backups, and a monthly schedule for various tasks involved in preparing the backup environment.

When schedules are configured, you can assign specific events to them, which define the tasks or jobs that need to be executed. Schedules can contain any number of events, allowing you to manage multiple tasks within a single schedule. You can configure events for a particular task across multiple schedules, giving a fine level of control over the execution of that task.

A schedule becomes active only when one or more events are assigned to it. Active schedules are marked with a green icon, and disabled or inactive schedules are marked with a grey icon.

Special schedules

SEP sesam scheduling offers the option User defined to create a special schedule, allowing you to customize a calendar and specify the dates on which you want to run additional jobs or prevent certain jobs from executing. With these special schedules, you can prevent the activation of individual events on specific days, such as holidays, or at specific hours. Additionally, you can block specific or all event types if needed.

Create a new schedule

To create a new schedule, go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules and click on New Schedule.

Define the settings and options as required. For detailed explanations of the available options, refer to section Schedule options.

Tip
You can decide the purpose and time interval of the schedule and name the schedule accordingly. For example, BCK_INCR_DAILY_0600, BCK_VM_DIFF_SAT_2100, or NEWDAY_MO-FR_0800. This approach can help you plan and manage your backup strategy.

After you have created a schedule, you can create and assign an event to it. Right-click on the schedule or click New in the Schedules toolbar, and then choose the type of event you want to create, for example, a new backup event.

You can also assign an existing task to a schedule. In the task list find and double-click a task you want to schedule, then in the Schedules tab select the schedule and the target media pool. This creates a backup event that is assigned to the selected schedule.

Screenshots

Schedule options

When creating or modifying a schedule, the following options are available to customize its settings and behavior.

General settings

Name A name for the schedule.
Execution off This option allows you to deactivate the schedule, disabling all events linked to it. When the schedule is deactivated, the related jobs will not run. By default, execution is enabled.
Start Set the start date and time for the schedule. The schedule will be activated at the specified date and time. By default, the current date and time are pre-filled.
Expiration date Set a validity period for the schedule. If the schedule should only be active for a limited time, such as until the end of the year, select the checkbox and enter the expiration date. Once the expiration date is reached, the schedule will be automatically deleted. By default, this option is disabled and the schedule remains active indefinitely.
Notes Add any comments or information related to the schedule.

Time interval

Once This option indicates a single run without any repetition. After the execution of the event, the schedule is automatically deleted.
Daily This option allows you to set the repetition period in terms of days, hours, or minutes. You can specify how frequently the event should repeat within each day.
Weekly This option enables you to set the repetition period in weeks and select the specific day(s) of the week for the event to occur. You can choose multiple days if needed.
Monthly This option allows you to set the repetition period in months and select specific days of the month for the event to occur using absolute or relative dates. For example, you can set a specific day such as the 1st or 15th of the month, or you can use relative terms such as "Second" or "Last" "workday" or "Sunday".

Optional setting "Offset (in days)" enables you to specify a specific offset in days from the starting point of the repetition. For example, if you set the offset to 3, the event will occur up to three days after the specified start date.

Yearly This option allows you to set the repetition pattern in years and select specific days of the month for the event to occur using absolute or relative dates.

Optional setting "Offset (in days)" enables you to specify a specific offset in days from the starting point of the repetition. For example, if you set the offset to 3, the event will occur up to three days after the specified start date.

User Defined This option allows you to set up a custom calendar for defining the repetition pattern. For detailed instructions on creating a custom calendar, refer to Creating a custom calendar. See also Managing Schedules.

Advanced settings

Start time frame Select this option to specify the maximum allowed actual startup time for your event. This refers to the amount of time an event can remain in the queue before it starts executing. You can define the startup time in days and/or hours. The actual start time of the event depends on the processor load of the system. When the event's start time arrives, it is placed in the queue, where it may need to wait for higher-priority jobs to complete. If this option is enabled and the event cannot be executed within the specified time frame, it will not be executed at all.

If the global setting suppress_with_timerange is used, this option defines the timeframe period during which other events can be suppressed. If an event is configured as a blocking event (with the Blocking date option enabled), the Start time frame specifies the amount of time during which other events with lower priority are not scheduled for execution. This time period is set in days and/or hours and begins when the blocking event starts. Note that if Start time frame is not set for a blocking event, it will block other events with lower priority for the entire backup day.

Repeat task Enable this option if you want the event to be repeated. Select the interval (in hours or minutes) at which the task should be repeated.
For a duration of This option is available when the Repeat task checkbox is selected. Specify the time frame in days and/or hours during which the event will occur repeatedly. However, ensure that the duration does not exceed the original time interval. For example, if the time interval is set to weekly with Monday and Wednesday selected, the duration should not exceed 23 hours and 59 minutes. You could configure this task to repeat every 20 minutes for a duration of 4 hours.
Stop task if it runs longer than Select this option to define a time limit (in days and/or hours) for the maximum duration of the event after the scheduled start time. If the event exceeds this time limit, it will be automatically cancelled.

Permissions

The Permissions tab enables you to set the required permissions (ACLs) for the schedule. For details, see Using Access Control Lists.


Step 3: Creating a backup event

SEP sesam backup events represent the execution of backup tasks. Backup tasks specify the details and approach for the backup process, while events are the individual occurrences of these tasks.

A backup task can be executed with the option Immediate start as a standalone, non-recurring instance, or it can be linked to a schedule with a backup event for regular or repeated execution. Multiple backup events across different schedules can be created for a specific task, each event with customized parameters and configurations. Event priorities help organize and manage tasks in execution queue and prevent possible tasks conflicts.

In addition to backup tasks, events can also be created and scheduled for backup task groups. Task groups provide the ability to combine multiple backup tasks into a single entity, which can be configured and scheduled using a single event.

Backup levels

SEP sesam provides four different backup levels: full, differential, incremental and copy. The backup level is specified when creating a backup event in the Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules -> New Backup Event.

The following backup levels are available:

A FULL backup always copies all data specified by the backup task, regardless of whether it has been changed or not. A saveset created as FULL is the basic saveset for subsequent DIFF or INCR savesets. While the backup time of a full backup can be significant, restore is fast and simple since only one backup saveset is required. Information about the backup status is stored in the SEP sesam database. Note that the archive bits are not deleted on Windows systems. If you want to force-reset of the archive bits, you can enter the command -o clear_archive in the backup options.

A DIFF (differential) backup saves only data which was created or changed after the last FULL saveset had been created (of the same task). A differential backup is faster than a full backup, however, to restore the whole data source, first the saveset of the full backup has to be restored followed by restore of the DIFF saveset. For this, SEP sesam provides generation restore that enables browsing for and selecting for restore all generations of backed up files since the last full backup.

An INCR (incremental) backup saves only data which was created or changed after the last backup (FULL, DIFF or INCR) of the same task. This is the fastest backup method and requires the least storage space. Restoring from incremental backups is the slowest, because it requires all related savesets to be copied back – the saveset of the last full backup as well as all INC backups. You should consider the advantages of time and resources when planning your backup strategy. A combination of FULL backups stored to tape drives, and DIFF or INC backups stored to virtual disk media is a common method.

A COPY backup is a full backup that has no influence on following differential (DIFF) or incremental (INCR) backups. For the treatment of archive bits, see FULL backup above. COPY backup is usually used for additional full backups, e.g., monthly backups, or backups for archiving, i.e. removal from storage.

Note
In case no initial FULL backup exists, differential (DIFF) or incremental (INCR) backups are automatically performed as FULL backups.


Failover backup events

To minimize failed backups due to unavailable media pool, you can specify a failover backup event when configuring the backup event. In case the configured media pool is not available for writing for some reason (out of space, no free media, RDS cannot be reached) and the backup event cannot be successfully performed, the failover backup event is performed instead. If the failover backup event is activated the data storage settings of the original backup event are replaced with the settings from the failover backup event (media pool, drive, interface, follow up, migration task). The task, backup level and other options (for example, Enforce FULL) of the original backup event are preserved.

For more information see Failover Events.

Create a backup event

To create a new backup event, go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules, right-click on a schedule and then click on New Backup Event.

Define the settings and options as required. For detailed explanations of the available options in tab Parameter, refer to section Backup event options. For explanations of options in tab Schedule, see Schedule options.

Tip
A backup chain, consisting of a full backup and all subsequent incremental backups, is treated by retention management as a single entity. Long backup chains may become inefficient and vulnerable to data loss, or they may be impractical to restore due to storage or time constraints.

To prevent your backup chain from becoming too long, you can use the option Enforce FULL and set the number of days after which a FULL backup should be enforced.

For an example on how to implement a backup scheme, see GFS Backup Retention Strategy. For more information on backup chains, see Backup Chain Dependencies.

You can view the status of your backup jobs. In Web UI navigate to Monitoring -> Last Backup State or Backups and review the job results. The backup status overview provides information about the last run of backup jobs, including the task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc. You can also open and review details of the backup job or backup task.

Screenshots

Backup event options

When creating or modifying a backup event, the following options are available to customize its settings and behavior.

General settings

Sequence control
Priority Select a priority that will determine the relative importance of this event and establish the execution order of events in a backup day. Event priorities in SEP sesam range from 1 (lowest) to 99 (highest). Events with priority 0 are always executed first, cannot be blocked or used for blocking events.
Blocking date Select this option to create a blocking event that prevents the execution of equal events scheduled on the same backup day as the blocking event, but with lower priority. By using this option, events associated with the same task and having lower priority will be blocked from starting.
Object
Task Select the backup task this event is based on. Note that the Task and Task group options are mutually exclusive.
Task group Select the backup task group this event is based on. Note that the Task and Task group options are mutually exclusive.
Name The name of the backup event is generated automatically based on the selected task or task group, but you can modify it or enter a new name. This name is referenced when configuring a failover event or when a backup event is called from external backup solution (for example, on SAP HANA).
Note Add any comments or information related to the backup event.

Parameters

Backup level Select the backup level you want to perform. For more details, see section Backup levels.
Hot/Cold backup Select one of the following backup methods:
  • Hot backup: an online backup method where VMs and databases remain operational and accessible during the backup process. This type of backup captures the data while the VM or database is actively running, allowing for continuous operations without any interruption.
  • Cold backup: an offline backup method where VMs and databases are taken offline or temporarily halted during the backup process. This ensures data consistency and integrity by capturing a snapshot of the VM or database in a static state.
Media pool Select the target media pool to which the data will be backed up.
Additional option based on media pool type Additional options that are based on storage type:
  • SEP Si3 Source Side Deduplication (available for media pools on Si3 NG datastore): With Si3 source-side deduplication, redundant data blocks are identified and eliminated before the data is sent across the network to the backup storage. This method reduces the amount of data that needs to be transmitted and stored, resulting in significant savings in storage space and network bandwidth. For more information, see Deduplication.
  • HPE StoreOnce Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer (available for media pools on HPE StoreOnce datastore): With Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer, HPE StoreOnce redundant data blocks are identified and eliminated before transmission. The compressed and deduplicated data is then efficiently sent over the network, resulting in reduced network traffic and faster backup and restore times. For more information, see Option HPE StoreOnce Bandwidth Optimized Data Transfer.
Enforce FULL (available for DIFF/INC backup levels)

Select this option to enforce the execution of a FULL backup at regular intervals. By specifying a number, for example 7, you ensure that a full backup is performed every seven days, instead of incremental or differential backups. Enforcing a full backup frequency within the specified interval ensures the INC or DIFF chains do not get too long. However, consider the advantages and disadvantages of enforced full backup frequency, as it is slower than other backup levels and has the highest storage space requirements. For more information, see Enforcing Full Backup.

Enforce FULL when last FULL has failed (available for DIFF/INC backup levels)

With this option, the system verifies the status of the previous FULL backup before initiating a backup operation. If the last FULL backup was terminated or completed with an error, the subsequent backup, whether it is an incremental or differential backup, will be automatically executed as a FULL backup. This ensures that a valid full backup is always available, maintaining the integrity of backup data.

Drive group This field displays the predefined group of drives on the datastore that is configured for the selected media pool.
Drive (opt.) Optionally, you can select the drive number of the drive that will be used for writing the backup data if you do not want to use the default drive. This option is useful when you have multiple drives configured and wish to allocate a specific drive exclusively for the backup process, optimizing performance and resource utilization.
Interface Optionally, you can select a configured TCP/IP-name of the client if you do not want to use the default client interface. This option allows you to direct the data flow over a specific network connection to enable smooth execution of backups without impeding other network activities.

Options

Options Optionally, you can configure additional backup options to be performed with this event.
Migration task Optionally, you can select a migration or replication task to initiate migration or replication after a backup event is completed. Note that if you also configure a follow-up event, the migration task will be executed first, followed by the configured follow-up task.
Follow-up Optionally, you can configure a follow-up event that is triggered on the SEP sesam Server after the initial event has successfully completed. Note that if you also select a migration task, the migration task will be executed first, followed by the configured follow-up task. For more information, see Follow-up Events.
Failover backup event Optionally, you can specify a failover backup event that will be triggered if this backup event cannot be performed successfully due to unavailable data storage. Data storage settings (media pool, drive, interface, follow-up tasks, migration task) from this backup event will be replaced with the settings specified in the failover backup event. The task, backup level and other options (for example, Enforce FULL) are preserved. For more information, see Failover Events.


Known issues

If you have problems with backup, check the Troubleshooting Guide.


See also

Adding a Task to the Task GroupCreating Exclude ListFollow-up eventsAutomating Backup ProcessSEP sesam Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) for WindowsHSM-aware Backup for WindowsSEP sesam Logical Volume Manager (LVM) for LinuxBackup Strategy Best PracticesWeb Restore Assistant

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