Enabling Backup Archiving
You can archive restore points created according to the daily, weekly or monthly schedule for longer periods of time:
- Cloud-native snapshots can be archived for weeks and months.
- Image-level backups can be archived for weeks, months and years.
To archive restore points, you must create at least 2 different schedules: one schedule will control the regular creation of restore points, while another schedule will control the backup archiving process. In terms of backup archiving, Veeam Backup for GCP treats schedules of different types as tiers with the ascending priority: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. When you configure multiple schedules, Veeam Backup for GCP first creates restore points according to the lower-tire schedule, and then archives one of the created restore points according to higher-tier schedules.
In the backup archiving scenario, each restore point is marked with a flag of the related schedule type: the (D) flag is used to mark restore points created daily, (W) — weekly, (M) — monthly, and (Y) — yearly. Veeam Backup for GCP uses these flags to control the retention period for archived backups. Once a flag of a higher-tier schedule is assigned to a restore point, this restore point can no longer be removed — it remains archived for the period defined in the retention settings. When the specified retention period is over, the flag is unassigned from the restore point. If the restore point does not have any other flags assigned, it is removed according to the retention settings of a lower-tier schedule.
Consider the following example. You want a backup policy to create cloud-native snapshots of your critical workloads 3 times a day, to keep 3 daily snapshots in the snapshot chain, and to archive one of the created snapshots for 2 weeks. In this case, you must create 2 schedules when configuring the backup policy settings — daily and weekly:
- In the daily scheduling settings, you must select hours and days when snapshots must be created (for example, 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, and 11:00 AM; Work Days), and specify a number of daily restore points to retain (for example, 3).
Veeam Backup for GCP will propagate these settings to the schedule of a higher tier (which is the weekly schedule in our example).
- In the weekly scheduling settings, you must specify which one of the snapshots created by the daily schedule must be archived, and choose for how long you want to archive the selected snapshot.
For example, if you want to archive the daily restore point created at 7:00 AM on Monday for 2 weeks, you must select 7:00 AM, Monday and specify 2 restore points to retain in the weekly schedule settings.
According to the specified scheduling settings, Veeam Backup for GCP will create cloud-native snapshots in the following way:
- On the first work day (Monday), a backup session will start at 7:00 AM to create the first restore point. The restore point will be marked with the (D) flag as it was created according to the daily schedule.
Since 7:00 AM, Monday is specified in the weekly scheduling settings, Veeam Backup for GCP will treat this restore point as archived and will add the (W) flag to it.
- On the same day (Monday), after backup sessions run at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM, the created restore points will be marked with the (D) flag.
- On the next work day (Tuesday), after a backup session runs at 7:00 AM, the created restore point will be marked with the (D) flag.
By the moment the backup session completes, the number of restore points with the (D) flag will exceed the retention limit specified in the daily scheduling settings. However, Veeam Backup for GCP will not remove the earliest restore point (7:00 AM, Monday) with the (D) flag from the snapshot chain as this restore point is also marked with a flag of a higher-tier schedule. Instead, Veeam Backup for GCP will unassign the (D) flag from the restore point. This restore point will be archived for the retention period specified in the weekly scheduling settings (that is, for 2 weeks).
- On the same day (Tuesday), after a backup session runs at 9:00 AM, the number of restore points with the (D) flag will exceed the retention limit once again. Veeam Backup for GCP will remove from the snapshot chain the restore point created at 9:00 AM on Monday as no flags of a higher-tier schedule are assigned to this restore point.
- Veeam Backup for GCP will continue creating restore points for the next week in the same way as described in steps 1–4.
- On week 3, after a backup session runs at 7:00 AM on Monday, the number of archived restore points will exceed the retention limit. Veeam Backup for GCP will unassign the (W) flag from the earliest archived restore point. Since no other flags are assigned to this restore point, Veeam Backup for GCP will remove this restore point from the snapshot chain.