Enabling Backup Archiving

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    When you combine multiple types of schedules, you can enable the archiving mechanism to instruct Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure to store backed-up data in the low-cost, long-term Azure archival storage tier. The mechanism is the most useful in the following cases:

    • Your data retention policy requires that you keep rarely accessed data in an archive.
    • You want to reduce data-at-rest costs and to save space in the high-cost, short-term Azure hot and cool storage tiers.

    However, restoring from an archived backup is longer and more expensive than restoring from a standard backup as it is required to retrieve data from the archive repository. For more information, see Retrieving Data From Archive.

    With backup archiving, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure can retain backup files created according to a daily, weekly or monthly schedule for longer periods of time:

    • To enable monthly archiving, you must configure a daily or a weekly schedule (or both).
    • To enable yearly archiving, you must configure a daily, a weekly or a monthly schedule (or all three).

    For Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure to use the archiving mechanism, there must be specified at least 2 different schedules: one schedule will control the regular creation of backup files, while another schedule will control the process of copying backup files to an archive repository. Backup chains created according to these two schedules will be completely different — for more information, see Backup Chain and Archive Backup Chain.

    Consider the following example. You want a backup policy to create image-level backups of your critical workloads once a week, to keep the backed-up data in a standard repository for 3 weeks, and also to keep backups created once in 2 months in an archive repository for a year. In this case, you create 2 schedules when configuring the backup policy settings — weekly and monthly:

    1. In the weekly scheduling settings, do the following:
    1. Specify hours and days when backups must be created (for example, 7:00 AM, Monday), and specify a number of days for which Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will retain backups (for example, 21 days).
    2. Select a repository with hot or cool tier that will store regular backup files.

    Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will propagate these settings to the archive schedule (which is the monthly schedule in our example).

    Enabling Backup Archiving 

    1. In the monthly scheduling settings, do the following:
    1. Specify when Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure must create archive backup files, and choose for how long you want to keep the created backups in the archive repository (for example, January, March, May, July, September, November, 12 months and First Monday).
    2. Select an archive repository that will store archived data.

     

    Important

    If you enable backup archiving:

    • You become no longer able to create a schedule of the same frequency for standard backups. By design, these two functionalities are mutually exclusive.
    • Data encryption must be either enabled or disabled for both backup and archive repositories. This means that you cannot select an encrypted repository and an unencrypted repository in one backup policy. However, the selected repositories can have different encryption schemes (password and Azure Key Vault encryption).
    • It is recommended that you set the Snapshots to keep value to 0, to reduce unexpected snapshot charges.
    • It is recommended that you set the Keep backups for value to at least 6 months (or 180 days), since the minimum storage duration of the Azure archival storage is 180 days.

     

    Enabling Backup Archiving

    According to the specified scheduling settings, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will create image-level backups in the following way:

    1. On the first Monday of February, a backup session will start at 7:00 AM to create the first restore point in the standard backup chain. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will store this restore point as a full backup file in the standard repository.
    2. On the second and third Mondays of February, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will create restore points at 7:00 AM and add them to the standard backup chain as incremental backup files in the standard repository.

    Enabling Backup Archiving 

    1. On the forth Monday of February, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will create a new restore point at 7:00 AM. By the moment the backup session completes, the earliest restore point in the standard backup chain will get older than the specified retention limit. That is why Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will rebuild the full backup file and remove from the chain the restore point created on the first Monday.

    For more information on how Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure transforms standard backup chains, see Retention Policy for Backups.

    Enabling Backup Archiving 

    1. On the first Monday of March, a backup session will start at 7:00 AM to create another restore point in the standard backup chain. At the same time, the earliest restore point in the standard backup chain will get older than the specified retention limit again. That is why Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will rebuild the full backup file again and remove from the chain the restore point created on the second Monday.

    After the backup session completes, an archive session will create a restore point with all data from the standard backup chain. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will copy this restore point as a full archive backup file to the archive repository.

    Enabling Backup Archiving 

    1. Up to May, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will continue adding new restore points to the standard backup chain and deleting outdated backup files from the standard repository, according to the specified weekly scheduling settings.

    On the first Monday of May, an archive session will create a restore point with only that data that has changed since the previous archive session in March. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will copy this restore point as an incremental archive backup file to the archive repository.

    Backup Archiving Example

    1. Up to the first Monday of February of the next year, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will continue adding new restore points to the standard backup chain and deleting outdated backup files from the standard repository, according to the specified weekly scheduling settings. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will also continue adding new restore points to the archive backup chain, according to the specified monthly settings.

    By the moment the archive session completes, the earliest restore point in the archive backup chain will get older than the specified retention limit. That is why Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure will rebuild the full archive backup file and remove from the chain the restore point created on the first Monday of March of the previous year.

    For more information on how Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure transforms archive backup chains, see Retention Policy for Archived Backups.

    Enabling Backup Archiving