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Backing up, replicating, and archiving databases using SnapManager

SnapManager provides two ways for you to start or schedule a full database backup: using the Backup wizard or using the Backup and Verify option.

Information you need to specify for a full database backup

A full database backup operation is specified using a combination of parameters.

Job-specific parameters

Each time you start or schedule a full database backup, you must specify the following information in either the Backup and Verification window or in the Backup wizard.

Note: Although it is possible to restore from an unverified backup, you should restore only from verified backups.
Note: If you want to schedule the backup to run later, you also need to know the job scheduling information.

Backup settings The following list summarizes the backup settings that pertain to full database backups:

Note: Verifying the integrity of the live database is a time-consuming operation. By default, neither of these options is selected.

The preceding options are configured using the Full Database Backup option of the SnapManager for SQL Server-Backup dialog box, described in "Configuring the profile of a full database backup" in SnapManager backup options.

The SnapManager for SQL Server-Backup dialog box can be accessed from the Backup and Verify option, as well as from the Backup wizard.

Verification settings: The following list summarizes the settings that pertain to database verification:

Note: Be careful not to schedule backups while verification is in progress. Doing so can create a "busy Snapshot" which might cause problems when you attempt to delete some Snapshot copies.

The Verification Settings dialog box can be accessed from the Backup and Verify option, as well as from the Backup wizard:

Note: This applies only to Snapshot copies that are used for SnapVault updates.
Note: The Verification Settings screen appears only if you are specifying a "Full database backup" or a "Verify most recent backup set backups" operation; the SnapManager Backup wizard does not present this screen if you are specifying a "Transaction log backup only" operation.

Full database backup using Backup and Verify

To start or schedule a full database backup using Backup and Verify, complete the following steps.

With a full database backup you can choose to also back up the associated transaction logs after the database backup is complete. If you want to back up only transaction logs, see Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

You can run only one full database backup at a time. However, you can start a full database backup when a deferred verification is already running.

Note: For a list of information you need to provide as you complete these steps, see the section "Information you need to specify for a full database backup" which appears earlier in this topic.
Step Action
1

In the SnapManager console root, double-click the server you want to use.

2

Select the Backup option in the Scope pane.

3

In the Results pane, select the databases for which you want to perform a full backup.

When you select a database, SnapManager automatically selects all other databases that reside on the same storage system and storage system volume. When you select a database that resides on a VMDK, SnapManager automatically selects all the databases that reside on the VMDKs. For information about clearing any automatically selected databases, see the bullet "Which databases you want to backup" under "Job-specific parameters".

Note: When SnapManager is running on VMDKs, you cannot select a physical SQL Server as the verification server.

When you select databases at the SQL Server instance level, SnapManager reports any offline databases as skipped in the backup report. For more information, see "Information you need to specify for a full database backup" in Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

4

In the Actions pane, select "Backup and Verify."

Result The "SnapManager for SQL Server-Backup" window appears.

5

Optional: To add databases from remote servers or from different SQL instances on the same server to this backup job, click the Federated Backup button, and complete the following substeps:

  1. Click Browse.

    A window opens, displaying all connected servers.

  2. Select the server that contains the database you want to add to the backup job.
  3. Enter the login details.
  4. Click Add.

    The window closes and the server and all databases therein are displayed as a tree in the top pane.

  5. Select the databases that you want to add to the backup job.
  6. Select a federated group.

    SnapManager does not support SAN and NAS databases from the same host in the same federated group.

  7. Click Add to Group.

    The databases are moved into the federated group.

    Note: You can add databases from multiple servers to the same federated group. Backing up a federated group backs up all databases in that group at the same time.
  8. Click OK.
6

Optional: To take an Availability Group backup on single or multiple replicas, in the Databases(s) to back up window, select the databases to be backed up, and complete the following substeps:

  1. Click Availability Group Backup.
  2. Check either Preferred backup replica only or click Advanced Options. Check Preferred backup replica only to take a backup of only the preferred backup replica. The preferred backup replica is set through the SQL Server 2012 Availability Group properties dialog. Click Advanced Option to take backups on multiple replicas. You can back up only a subset of all of the replicas by setting Replica Type and setting the desired backup priorities. Backup priorities range from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 100.
  3. Click OK.
7

In the "Backup management group" option, select the management group for the backup you want to create: Standard, Daily, or Weekly.

For more information, see "SnapManager backup set naming conventions" in How SnapManager backup data is organized and Using backup management groups in backup and verification.

8

Configure your system's up-to-the-minute restore ability.

For more information, see "Configuring the number of transaction log backups your system retains" in Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

9 If... Then...

You want the database backup operation to be immediately followed by a transaction log backup

Select the "Run transaction log backup after full database backup" option.

You want to schedule the transaction log backup yourself later

See Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

Note: When you schedule a transaction log backup, ensure that the full backup and transaction log backup do not coincide.
10 If... Then...

You want to delete backups older than a specific number of days

Enter the number of days in the "Older than" field

You want to delete backups more than a specified number of backups

Enter the number of backups in the "In excess of" field

11 If you want to verify databases after the backup operation, select "Verify databases after backup."
12

If you want to run a command or script prior to performing the backup or after the backup finishes, select the "Run Command" option.

You can run a command after performing a backup to automatically archive the backup.

Result If you select this option, SnapManager displays the Run Command dialog box. For more information, see Pre-command and post-command script settings.

13

Under SnapMirror options, select the corresponding check box if you want to update SnapMirror after operation or to verify available SnapMirror destination volumes.

Note: If the system is configured for SnapMirror replication, only the databases on mirrored volumes will be updated on the SnapMirror destination volumes.
14

Under Backup archiving options, select the options to archive the backups using SnapVault.

Back up now or schedule for later
15

You can either run the backup now or schedule it for later. Click one of the following tabs:

  • Backup Now
  • Schedule
To complete this procedure by scheduling the backup:
16

If you select "Schedule...", complete the procedure by scheduling the backup.

For details, see Scheduling a backup job or a database verification job.

To complete this procedure by starting the backup:
17

If you select "Backup Now..." do the following:

  1. Read the items displayed in the Backup Task List. This list shows the progress of the backup operation after you start it.
  2. When you are ready to start the backup operation, click Start Now.

Result The backup operation is performed, and each item in the Backup Task List is checked off as the task is complete.

  • You can toggle the Backup Status dialog box between two different views: Backup Task List view and Backup Report view.
  • The Backup Report view displays detailed progress information as the backup progresses. You can also print this information by using the Print Report button.
  • If the backup is successful, the Backup Task List view shows the check-off list with the tasks completed.
  • If Notification is enabled, an email is sent and the event is posted to the Windows Application event log.

Full database backup using the Backup wizard

To start or schedule a full database backup using the Backup wizard, complete the following steps.

Note: For a list of information you need to provide as you complete these steps, see the section "Information you need to specify for a full database backup" which appears earlier in this topic.
Step Action
1

In the SnapManager for SQL Server console root, click the SnapManager Backup wizard icon.

Result The SnapManager Backup wizard starts and displays the Welcome screen.

Welcome
2

Click Next.

Result The Databases to Backup or Verify screen appears. The Microsoft SQL Servers navigation tree in the left panel lists the SQL Server databases that are managed from the current SQL Server. Databases that reside on the same storage system and storage system volume are shown with disk icons of the same color.

Databases to Backup or Verify
3

In the left panel, click to select the databases you want to backup.

You can back up all databases on an SQL server by selecting the server instead of selecting individual databases. When you select the server, even databases created after configuring the backup are backed up. If you have more than one SQL instance, you must repeat this process for each instance; however, instead of the selecting the server, you should select the instance.

When you select a database, SnapManager automatically selects all other databases that reside on the same storage system volume. For information about deselecting any automatically selected databases, see the bullet "Which databases you want to backup" under "Job-specific parameters" in Managing transaction log backups using SnapManager.

When you select databases at the SQL Server instance level, SnapManager lists any offline databases as skipped in the backup report. For more information, see the section "Information you need to specify for a full database backup" which appears earlier in this topic.

4

Click Next.

Result The Backup or Verify Databases and Transaction Logs screen appears.

Backup or Verify Databases and Transaction Logs
5

Select the Backup Databases and Transaction Logs option, and then click Next.

Result: The Select to Apply Backup Option window appears.

Note: If you do not select the Backup Databases and Transaction Logs option and select to schedule the transaction log backup yourself, ensure that the full backup and transaction log backup operations do not coincide.
Backup Option
6 If you want to... Then...

Add databases from remote servers or from different SQL instances

Select "Federated Backup Options." For more information, see Step 5 in "Full database backup using Backup and Verify" which appears earlier in this topic.

Take backups of single or multiple replicas of an Availability Group

Select "Availability Group Database Backup, and then select from Preferred Backup Replica Only, Primary, Secondary, All and optionally, Backup Priority.

Only back up databases from the selected server

Select "Continue with selected databases."

Select SQL Server backup Type
7

Select the Full Database Backup option, and then click Next.

Result The "Select backup management group for this backup" screen appears.

Select backup management group for this backup
8

Follow the instructions in the remainder of the Backup wizard screens.

The following screens enable you to specify the details of a full database backup:

  • Backup Management Group
  • Backup Transaction Log After Full Database Backup
  • Delete the Oldest Full Backups
  • Retain Up-to-the-Minute Restore Ability for Older Backups
Note: This screen appears only if you selected the Delete the Oldest Backups option in the previous screen.
  • Verify the Databases in this Backup
  • View or Change Verification Settings
Note: This screen appears only if you chose to automatically verify the databases when the backup is created.
  • SnapMirror options and Backup archiving options (SnapVault)
    Note: This screen appears only if any SQL Server databases or SnapInfo directories reside on a SnapMirror source volume.
  • Advanced Backup Options
  • Run a command or script with the current operation

For a list of information you need to provide, see the section "Information you need to specify for a full database backup" which appears earlier in this topic.

Backup Finish
9

The "Backup Finish" screen prompts you to choose whether you want the operation to be performed immediately or scheduled for a later time.

If you want to... Then...

Run the backup now

Go to Step 10.

Schedule the backup for later

Go to Step 12.

To run the backup now:
10

If you want to run the backup, Click Finish.

Result The Backup Status screen appears and displays the backup settings you have selected.

11

In the Backup Status window, click Start Now.

Result The backup is performed and the backup set is written to the volume.

  • The Backup Status dialog box appears and displays a Backup Task List that is used to show the progress of the backup operation after you start it.
  • SnapManager Backup completes each task and checks it off on the list shown in the Backup Task List view.
  • You can switch back and forth between the task check-off list and the progress report using the Switch buttons on either view.
  • If the backup is successful, the Task window shows the check-off list with the tasks completed.
  • If Notification is enabled, an email is sent and the event is posted to the Windows Application event log.
To schedule the backup for later:
12

If you want to schedule the backup for later, do the following:

  1. Select the Schedule option.
  2. In the Job Name box, enter a name for this job.
  3. If you want this job name to overwrite a job of the same name (if it exists), select the Replace Job if Exists option.

For more information, see Scheduling a backup job or a database verification job.

13

Under "Select the Scheduling Service to Create Job," select either SQL Server Agent or Windows Scheduled Tasks.

For more information, see "Scheduling a backup job or a database verification job.

14

Click OK.

If your backup job is not scheduled, you are taken to the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio for scheduling. You cannot use the option Windows Scheduled Tasks if your backup job is not scheduled.

15

After the job is scheduled, SnapManager exits the Backup wizard.