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Explicitly deleting backup sets using SnapManager

You can automatically delete older backup sets by specifying the "Delete full backups in excess of" option and the "Delete full backups older than" option in the SnapManager backup facility. This is the recommended method for managing the number of backup sets stored. For more information, see "Automatic deletion of the oldest backups in a management group" in Ways to manage the number of backup sets kept online.

You can also explicitly select the backup sets that you want to delete.

Understanding explicit deletion of backup sets

SnapManager provides three ways for you to explicitly delete backup sets.

If you want to delete... Then use this method...

A specific full database backup set

In the "Delete backups" dialog box, select the databases, the database component types, and the backup management group (Standard, Daily, Weekly, or All).

You can also use the Restore option to delete backup sets.

A specific transaction log backup

In the "Delete backups" dialog box, select the "Log Snapshots only" option.

Snapshot copies of LUNs, SMB shares, and VMDKs created during restore

In the "Delete backups" dialog box, select the "Delete snapshot of LUNs created during restore" option.

Each of the explicit deletion methods enables you to view detailed information about your selection before you proceed with the operation.

Deleting backups

You can delete backups for a specified group of databases by choosing which backup sets you want to delete and whether you want to also delete backup sets created during the restore (if applicable).

Information you need to specify to delete backups An explicit deletion of backups is specified using the following parameters.

Procedure To delete backups, complete the following steps.

To use the Up-to-the-minute Restore pane to delete backups, see "Configuring the number of transaction log backups your system retains" in Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

Step Action
1

In the SnapManager console root, select "Delete Backup" from the Actions pane.

Result The "Delete backups" dialog box appears and displays information about the selected backup set, including all backed-up databases contained in the backup set.

2

The "Backup component" option narrows the scope of the deletion by specifying the type of backup components to be deleted.

This option is set to Backup Data Sets by default, but you can narrow this selection to transaction log backups only or to SnapInfo Snapshot copies only.

3

The Management Group option further narrows the scope of the deletion by specifying the backup management group to be deleted.

This option is set to Standard by default, but you can change it to Daily, Weekly, or All.

4

By default, only backups containing all the selected databases are deleted. You can override this behavior for this particular backup deletion operation only by using the Advanced button.

If you want to... Then...

Delete only backups containing all the selected databases

Go to Step 7.

Delete backups containing any one or more of the selected databases

Go to Step 5.

5

Click Advanced.

Result The Advanced Options dialog box appears.

6

In the Delete Backups pane, select the given option and click OK to apply your change and close the dialog box.

Note: For this backup deletion operation only, multiple backup deletions delete backups containing any one or more of the selected databases.
7

Specify which backup sets you want to delete.

If you want to... Then...

Delete the oldest backups

  1. Select the "Delete oldest backup in excess of" option.
  2. Specify how many of the newest backups you want to preserve.

Delete backups older than a specified number of days

  1. Select the "Delete backups older than" option.
  2. Specify how many days of backup you want to preserve.

Delete all the restore Snapshot copies

Select the "Delete all backups in the specified management group" option.

8

You can delete the selected restore Snapshot copies immediately, or you can first view the list of restore Snapshot copies that are targeted for deletion.

If you want to... Then...

View the list of restore Snapshot copies that would be deleted

Go to Step 9.

Delete the restore Snapshot copies

Click Delete.

Result The restore Snapshot copies identified by your selections are deleted. When the deletion is complete, a status message is displayed. You have completed this procedure.

9

Click Delete Preview.

Result The Delete backups dialog box appears. After a moment, the dialog box displays a count and list of the backups identified for deletion.

If you want to view a report, click Show Report.

10

Based on the list displayed in the Delete backups dialog box, you can cancel the delete operation or proceed with the delete operation.

If you want to... Then...

Cancel the operation

Click Close to close the Delete backups dialog box.

Delete the backups listed in the preview

Click Delete on the Delete backups dialog box.

Busy Snapshot error prevents deletion of backup set

If the FlexClone license is not enabled and you have a backup of a LUN that is backed by another backup set, you get an error stating that the backup set is busy and cannot be deleted.

Definition of a busy backup set A backup set is busy if there are any LUNs backed by data in that backup set. The backup set contains data that is used by the LUN. These LUNs can exist either in the active file system or in some other backup set. For more information about how a backup set becomes busy, see the Data ONTAP SAN Administration Guide for 7-Mode for your version of Data ONTAP.

If you attempt to delete a busy backup set If you begin a backup when a LUN backed by a backup set exists, the result is a backup set that cannot be deleted; if you do attempt to delete the backup set, the following events occur:

To check whether you have a busy backup set There are two ways to determine whether you have a busy backup set:

To delete a busy backup set Delete the more recently taken backup; then delete the older backup. For more information about deleting a busy backup set, see the Data ONTAP SAN Administration Guide for 7-Mode for your version of Data ONTAP.

To avoid this situation in the future Avoid performing SnapManager backups while you have any LUNs backed by Snapshot copies.

Automatically delete backup sets

SnapManager can be used to automatically delete backup sets as part of a backup. It can also be used to delete backup sets outside the backup process. SnapManager works with SnapDrive to prevent any accidental deletion of Snapshot copies that are required to keep up to date.

Note: If Snapshot copies are directly deleted from the storage system without using SnapManager or SnapDrive, do not delete Snapshot copies needed during SnapVault update. When using SnapVault to archive backup sets in SnapManager for SQL Server, at least two of the most recent snapshots that were used for the SnapVault updates should be kept online in SnapManager.

Example Assume that four Snapshot copies are created every day where the first and last Snapshot copies are used for SnapVault updates and the two Snapshot copies in the middle are not used for the updates. When using SnapManager to automatically delete Snapshot copies based on quantity, at least four Snapshot copies would need to be left online. The two Snapshot copies taken in the middle of the day can be deleted individually and manually under the SnapManager restore option by right-clicking the backup set name and selecting Delete.