Best practices for Backup Exec 2010 media management


Best practices for Backup Exec 2010 media management

Best practices include tips and recommendations to help you use Symantec Backup Exec 2010 to manage media effectively. You should also review the best practices for the agents, options, or features that you use for more information. If you use backup jobs for which Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) is enabled, there are additional best practices for media management.

See Best practices for Backup Exec 2010 Granular Recovery Technology.

For more information about media management, see the Backup Exec 2010 Administrator's Guide.

The following best practices are for effective media management:

  • Be aware of the following consequences of the default overwrite protection period of infinite for all media:

    • Backup data may consume tape and disk capacity quickly.

    • Media does not become recyclable automatically. You must specify when to overwrite each media.

  • Create new media sets with append and overwrite protection periods that accommodate your needs. When the overwrite protection periods expire, the media are recyclable and Backup Exec has access to overwritable media.

Overwrite media periodically to keep the media family at a manageable size so that Backup Exec can rebuild the catalog if necessary. You can use a media rotation strategy so that media is periodically overwritten, or select the option Overwrite media when you run a full backup.


A media family is a set of media that is related because one or more backup jobs span from one media to another. For example, you back up Resource A to Media 1. When Media 1 runs out of space, Backup Exec uses Media 2 to complete the backup. Media 1 and Media 2 are now in the same media family because the backup job started on Media 1 and finished on Media 2. If you append more backups to Media 2 until it runs out of space, then Backup Exec uses Media 3. Media 3 is now part of the same media family as Media 1 and Media 2. The media family continues to grow as Backup Exec appends backup jobs. A new media family starts when a backup job overwrites the first media it uses.

  • Set the maximum size for backup-to-disk files to an appropriate size. If you create small but numerous files, performance may slow since the computer must still process each file. However, if you create large files, file system limitations can cause memory allocation problems or network issues. These issues can be a problem if you store files across a network.

  • Specify fewer backup sets in a backup-to-disk file to allow Backup Exec to reclaim disk space faster. Fewer backup sets may allow the overwrite protection period to expire sooner.

  • Enable the option Allocate the maximum size for backup-to-disk files to reduce disk fragmentation. To ensure that backup data fills each backup-to-disk file to capacity, increase the append period of the media set that you associate with the backup-to-disk files. The backup data's overwrite protection period may also increase because the overwrite protection period starts at the end of the last append job.


    Backup performance may be affected when you enable the option Allocate the maximum size for backup-to-disk files. To find what works best for your environment, enable this option for a job. Then, compare the performance with a job that does not allocate the maximum size for backup-to-disk files.

  • Experiment with the options for buffered reads and buffered writes. Enabling these options may increase backup performance.

Terms of use for this information are found in Legal Notices.



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