Backup Exec Best Practices
- Backup Exec Best Practices
Best practices for Backup Exec backing up critical system components
Best practices include tips and recommendations to help you use Veritas Backup Exec to protect critical system components effectively.
For more information about backing up critical system components, see the Backup Exec Administrator's Guide.
To create backup sets that are capable of disaster recovery, you must select to back up each of your critical system components in full. In Backup Exec, all of your critical system components are selected by default when you create a backup.
A full backup of your critical system components is necessary for any of the following restore scenarios:
Simplified Disaster Recovery
Conversion to virtual machines
Complete online restore of a Microsoft Windows computer
You can select critical system components explicitly, by manually selecting them in the backup selections pane. Or you can select them implicitly, by selecting the parent server node and letting Backup Exec dynamically include the critical component as a child. When you add new backup sources to an existing backup source, Backup Exec automatically selects the new sources and includes them in the backup.
You can only create backup sets that are capable of disaster recovery on computers that run Windows. Creating disaster-recovery capable backup sets is not supported for clustered virtual nodes or Oracle RAC.
The following system components are considered critical:
System volume (including BIOS, EFI, UEFI, and utility partitions)
Boot volume (executing operating system)
Services application volumes (boot, system, and automatic startup)
System State devices and volumes (including Active Directory, system files, etc.)
Windows Recovery Partition (WinRE) on Windows 8/Server 2012/8.1/Server 2012 R2
You must make a full selection of the critical system components. Backing up only the System State does not ensure the complete recovery of a server. If any directory or file on the critical system component is excluded from the backup selections, the resulting backup creates backup sets that are not capable of disaster recovery.
When all of the critical system components are included in your backup job selections, the Simplified Disaster Recovery indicator on the selections pane reads ON. If you deselect one or more critical system components, the indicator changes to OFF.
The following best practices will help you to back up critical system components more effectively:
You can deselect any non-critical volumes or applications to create a backup job that protects only the operating system and any critical system components. Run the job periodically and before and after any system upgrades. Then you can create and run separate backup jobs to back up data volumes and applications on a more frequent basis.
You should isolate user data on disk storage devices that are designated as data volumes. User data can include application data or user share data, for example. Placing user data on separate volumes lets you include application data or user share data, for example. Placing user data on separate volumes lets you include or exclude backup selections from those volumes without affecting the critical system components. Then you can perform full backups on your critical system components to create disaster recovery compatible backup sets. This configuration lets you perform less frequent critical system component backups and more frequent application data and user data backup jobs.
Create only one critical system component backup for each server or backup source.
Upgrade previous Backup Exec server and Agent for Windows installations before performing backups with a new version of Backup Exec.
If your Backup Exec disk storage is located on a critical system volume, you will automatically back up the .bkf files that contain any backed up data whenever you run a critical system component backup job. Backing up the .bkf files can result in large, redundant backups that require a great deal of storage space. As an additonal best practice, you may want to enable a registry key to let Backup Exec automatically exclude any .bkf files when you back up a volume.
To automatically exclude .bkf files from backups, locate the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Symantec\Backup Exec For Windows\Backup Exec\Engine\Backup
Set the value Disable Backup of Disk Storage Devices to to automatically skip .bkf files. Set the value to to re-enable the default behavior in which .bkf files are backed up.