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Forever incremental backup in Vinchin Backup & Recovery

2020-11-24

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Forever incremental backup in Vinchin Backup & Recovery

In this article, we will introduce the mechanism of forever incremental backup in Vinchin Backup & Recovery. By choosing Forever Incremental Backup, Vinchin backup server will automatically perform a full backup at the very first time, and then the following backups will be incremental backups.

l  How it works?

When executing a Forever Incremental Backup, a backup chain will be created, and each backup in this chain is indispensable, as losing any of the restore points, you cannot restore the virtual machine to the latest state.

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When the restore points in the backup chain exceeded the retention policy, the full backup T1 showing in the diagram, will be merged with the first incremental backup T2 as a new full backup at the beginning of the backup chain.

l How to restore?

Let's see how to restore a VM from forever incremental backup.

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As showing in the above diagram, to restore the virtual machine to the latest state, you have to choose the last restore point Tn, then Vinchin backup server will merge all backup restore points from T1 to Tn to restore the virtual machine to the latest state.

If you want to restore the virtual machine to a previous state, for example, to the state of the time when T5 incremental backup is performed, so you select the restore point T5 to restore, and the Vinchin backup server will merge the restore points from T1 to T5 to restore the virtual machine.


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This screenshot shows how to implement forever incremental backup using the Vinchin backup server, for the backup schedule, choose incremental backup only, then you can achieve forever incremental backup.

By the way, forever incremental backup is temporarily not supported with Microsoft hyper-v, all other hypervisors supported by Vinchin backup and recovery can do forever incremental backup.

l Benefits of Forever Incremental Backup

Next, let's see what are the benefits of forever incremental backup compare to incremental backup.

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The left diagram shows an incremental backup example, full backups will be taken each week on Saturday, and from Sunday to Friday, incremental backups will be taken. The right diagram shows a forever incremental backup example, full backup is taken only for once at the very first time, no more full backup is required.

Based on these 2 diagrams, if we extend the timeline to 4 weeks and a few days more, but less than 5 weeks, there will be 4 full backups generated by incremental backup, but we still got one full backup by forever incremental backup. At this moment, if the retention policy is to reserve restore points within 30 days, there's no problem for forever incremental backup, as the full backup at the beginning of the backup chain will be merged with the following incremental backups as a new full backup. But for the incremental backup, there's no way to do this. For example, in the left diagram, we need to delete restore points from first Saturday to Thursday to comply with the retention policy, but the restore point on Friday will be useless, and there’s no mechanism for incremental backup to merge restore points, so an extra week of old backup data will be kept. If the full backup is to be taken each month, then an extra month of old backup data will be kept.

 

So in general, the benefits of forever incremental backup would be less backup storage and less bandwidth usage, and users can schedule backups more frequently to achieve shorter RPO.

 


  • Tag:
  • Backup

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