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Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5
User Guide for VMware vSphere

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy

If the number of restore points in forever forward incremental backup chains exceeds retention policy settings, Veeam Backup & Replication transforms the backup chain to make room for the most recent restore point. The transformation process is performed in the following way:

  1. Veeam Backup & Replication adds a new incremental backup file to the backup chain and detects that the number of allowed restore points is exceeded.
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication re-builds the full backup file to include changes of the incremental backup file following the full backup. To do this, Veeam Backup & Replication injects data blocks from the first incremental backup file in the chain into the full backup file. As a result, the full backup file ‘moves’ one step forward in the backup chain.

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy  

  1. The first incremental backup file is removed from the backup chain as redundant. Its data has already been injected into the full backup file, and the full backup file contains the same data as this incremental backup file.

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy  

For example, you want to keep 7 restore points in the backup chain. The backup job starts on Sunday and runs daily. In this case, Veeam Backup & Replication will create the backup chain in the following way:

  1. During the first backup job session on Sunday, Veeam Backup & Replication creates the first restore point — a full backup file.
  2. Monday through Saturday Veeam Backup & Replication adds six incremental backup files to the backup chain.

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy  

  1. The next Sunday, Veeam Backup & Replication adds a new incremental backup file to the backup chain.
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication detects that the number of allowed restore points is exceeded, and starts the transform process:
  1. Veeam Backup & Replication merges data blocks from the incremental backup file created on Monday into the full backup file created on Sunday. This way, the full backup file ‘moves’ one step forward — from Sunday to Monday.

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy  

  1. The incremental backup created on Monday becomes redundant and is removed from the backup chain.

Forever Forward Incremental Backup Retention Policy  

As a result, you have a chain of a full backup file as of Monday and six incremental backup files Tuesday through Sunday.

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