Limitations and Considerations for GFS Cycles
Before configuring the GFS retention policy for a backup copy job, mind the following limitations and considerations:
- General Settings
- Periodic Copy Mode
- Changes in GFS Retention After Upgrading from Veeam Backup & Replication 10 to version 11
Mind the following for general settings of a backup copy job:
- You cannot enable GFS retention settings if you use a backup repository with rotated drives as the target backup repository.
- [For yearly GFS cycle] If you enable only the yearly GFS cycle, you can encounter the case when there is one full backup and a large number of increments for the whole year. To avoid this case, it is recommended to enable an additional weekly GFS cycle. Weekly GFS cycle will update the backup chain every week which will allow to remove excessive increment files.
- If it is the day when the GFS full backup must be created and there were no new backup files since the last run of the backup copy, the GFS full backup will be created from the latest available backup chain.
- GFS full backups cannot be merged or deleted by short-term retention. However, regular (R) full backups can be merged and removed by short-term retention.
If you want to use the periodic copy mode, mind the following:
- If the backup copy interval is not enough to get the active full backup, the interval will be prolonged until the active full process is finished.
- Veeam Backup & Replication creates a GFS full backup even if the GFS full backup creation is scheduled when the backup copy interval is not finished. On the day when the GFS full backup must be created, Veeam Backup & Replication shows a warning that the current backup copy interval will be completed, completes the interval, and starts a new one. The way how Veeam Backup & Replication behaves further depends on the selected backup copy GFS method:
- In case of the synthetic full method, Veeam Backup & Replication first copies data for an incremental backup from the source backup repository and then, on the target backup repository, synthesizes the GFS full backup using this data and data of the already stored backup files.
- In case of the active full method, Veeam Backup & Replication copies data for the GFS full backup from the source backup repository and creates the GFS full backup on the target backup repository.
In Veeam Backup & Replication version 11, the backup copy GFS retention settings are different from the settings in version 10. If you upgrade to Veeam Backup & Replication 11, all GFS retention settings of existing backup copy jobs are automatically switched to the new format with minimal changes:
- Weekly GFS retention: If in version 10 the GFS setting was to keep 5 weekly backups, in version 11 the setting is changed to keep weekly backups for 5 weeks.
- Monthly GFS retention: If in version 10 the monthly GFS schedule was set to a period between the 1st Monday and 2nd Sunday, in version 11 the monthly GFS settings is changed to First week.
If the monthly GFS schedule was set to a period between the 3rd Monday and last Sunday, in version 11 the monthly GFS settings is changed to Last week.
- Yearly GFS retention: If the yearly GFS schedule was set to a certain day of the month, in version 11 the schedule is set to the first day of the specified month.
If in version 10 the yearly GFS schedule was set to the first-fourth Monday-Sunday of the year, in version 11 the schedule is changed to the first day of January.
If the yearly GFS schedule was set to the last Monday-Sunday of the year, in version 11 the schedule is set to the first day of December.
- Quarterly GFS retention: Since Veeam Backup & Replication version 11, quarterly GFS retention policy option is deprecated.
If in version 10 the quarterly GFS policy was enabled, in version 11 three additional months are added to the monthly GFS policy to compensate the quarterly full backups.
If in version 10, the GFS policy was set to X monthly backups and Y quarterly backups. Then, in version 11, the retention policy is switched to store monthly backups for (X + 3Y) months.
[For synthetic method] After you upgrade to Veeam Backup & Replication 11 or later, Veeam Backup & Replication starts creating new GFS points according to the new schedule and creates them on the scheduled days. Veeam Backup & Replication stops transforming the old GFS candidates (incremental restore points created on days when GFS was scheduled) into GFS restore points. This may lead to the loss of incremental restore points which were only GFS candidates before the upgrade.
To avoid losing of GFS candidates, before the upgrade, make sure that all GFS candidates are transformed into GFS restore points. For more information on how restore points are transformed, see Synthetic Weekly Full Backups.
It is better to schedule the upgrade right after the GFS restore points are created from all GFS candidates. You can also temporarily decrease the short-term retention to force the merge and transformation into GFS restore points.