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How SnapManager backup data is organized

SnapManager backup sets

SnapManager backup data is stored in backup sets. A SnapManager backup set consists of all the data you need to be able to perform a restore, regardless of whether this data exists on the same LUNs, SMB shares, VMDKs, or volumes. A backup set contains the following items:

Note: SnapManager allows you to create backups for read-only databases also.

SnapInfo directory

The SnapInfo directory stores information about the streaming-based backups of system databases, copies of transaction log files, and the backup set's metadata. You can specify the location of this directory when you run the Configuration wizard. By default, the directory name is SMSQL_SnapInfo. However, you can specify a different directory name.

If the database has a very long name, you should use a shorter SnapInfo directory name; otherwise, the backup might fail due to path length limitations when running Microsoft backup APIs. Using a mount point for the SnapInfo directory typically has a longer SnapInfo path.

Every time a SnapManager backup set is created, SnapManager creates a new backup set subdirectory under the SnapInfo directory. SnapManager populates this subdirectory with the transaction logs backed up as part of that backup set, in addition to the recovery information for that specific Snapshot copy. A complete backup set consists of this SnapInfo subdirectory and the corresponding Snapshot copies of the LUNs, SMB shares, or VMDKs that store the SQL Server databases.

Note: The SnapInfo directory cannot reside on the same LUN or VMDK that stores the database files. This restriction does not apply to SMB shares.

SnapInfo subdirectory names

SnapManager backup set names identify the configuration of the backed-up databases.

Configuration Format of the SnapInfo subdirectory name

Databases belonging to the SQL Server default instance

The SnapInfo directory name is SQL__ followed by the SQL Server computer host name:

SQL__SqlServerName

For example, the subdirectory for databases belonging to the default instance of the SQL Server on the Windows host system CLPUBS-WINSRVR3 would be named as follows:

SQL__ CLPUBS-WINSRVR3

Databases belonging to an SQL Server named instance

The SnapInfo directory name is SQL__ followed by the name of the SQL Server instance:

SQL__InstanceName

For example, the subdirectory for databases that belong to the SQL Server instance INST2 on the on the Windows host system ENGR-WINSRVR7 would be named as follows:

SQL__ INST2

SnapManager backup set names

SnapManager backup set names identify the configuration of the backed-up databases. These names are displayed in the SnapManager Results pane and in the SnapManager Restore wizard.

Configuration Format of the backup set name

Databases belonging to the SQL Server default instance

The backup set name is the same as the SQL Server computer host name:

SqlServerName

For example, a backup set for databases that belong to the default instance of the SQL Server on the Windows host system CLPUBS-WINSRVR3 would be named as follows:

CLPUBS-WINSRVR3

Databases belonging to an SQL Server named instance

The backup set name is the name of the SQL Server instance:

InstanceName

For example, a backup set for databases that belong to the SQL Server instance INST2 on the on the Windows host system ENGR-WINSRVR7 would be named as follows:

INST2

SnapManager backup set naming conventions

The Snapshot copies created by SnapManager backup operations are automatically named by SnapManager. The name of each backup set created during a SnapManager backup operation includes information that identifies the Snapshot copy contents.

SQL Server name Database backup set names and SnapInfo directory Snapshot copy names include the name of the SQL Server for which the backup was made (indicated in this document by the variable SqlServerName).

Backup management group Database backup set names and SnapInfo directory Snapshot copy names include the backup management group to which you assigned the full database backup. SnapManager provides backup management groups for designating various levels of backup retention: Standard, Daily, and Weekly.

For more information about using backup management groups, see Using backup management groups in backup and verification.

Most recent backup Earlier versions of SnapManager appended the string recent to the name of the most recently created Snapshot copy. This was to allow external scripts, for example, archive scripts, to identify and operate on the most recent backup set.

With the addition of the Run Command Settings feature in SnapManager, appending recent is no longer necessary because the scripts can be integrated into the backup process.

SnapManager offers two conventions for naming backup Snapshot copies:

Note: Using the generic backup naming convention in VMDK configuration is not supported.

When you have a dataset configured in your system, you can either choose to apply the unique backup naming convention with the archival process enabled, or to keep the generic backup naming convention. If you choose to keep the naming convention as generic, no archives of the database to be backed up at the remote location are created.

If you archive the backups using PowerShell, the generic backup naming convention is automatically changed to the unique backup naming convention.

The backup naming convention is selected in the Backup Settings dialog box. For information about using this dialog box, see "Configuring the profile of a full database backup" on page 472.

Note: You should select the unique naming convention option unless you have legacy scripts that require the presence of a backup with "recent" in its name. You need to select the unique naming convention explicitly (using the Options > Backup Setting menu or the Backup Naming Convention screen of the Backup wizard) because for backward compatibility purposes, the generic naming convention is selected by default.

SQL Server database backup set names

For SQL Server, backup set names begin with the string sqlsnap__.

Backup management group Format of the SQL Server database backup set name

Standard

Depending on the naming convention selected:

  • sqlsnap__SqlServerName_date_time
  • sqlsnap__SqlServerName__ recent

Daily or Weekly

Depending on the naming convention selected:

  • sqlsnap__SqlServerName_date_time__BackupMgmtGrp
  • sqlsnap__SqlServerName__ recent

SnapInfo directory Snapshot names

For SnapInfo directory backups, Snapshot copy names begin with the string sqlinfo__.

Backup management group Format of the SnapInfo directory Snapshot copy name

Standard

Depending on the naming convention selected:

  • sqlinfo__SqlServerName_date_time
  • sqlinfo__SqlServerName__ recent

Daily or Weekly

Depending on the naming convention selected:

  • sqlinfo__SqlServerName_date_time__BackupMgmtGrp
  • sqlinfo__SqlServerName__ recent