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Multiple retentions with incremental VM snapshot backups


Guys, I'm In need of some VMware V-Storage backup help.

One of our clients has requested that we perform daily, monthly and yearly snapshot backups of their new VMware servers with TSM, but I’m not sure if this is possible?

This is their requirements:
• Daily backups are to be incremental and are to be retained for 90 days
• Monthly backups are to be retained for 12 months
• Yearly backups are to be retained for 7 years.

This is what I was planning to deploy:

Daily Incremental backups to be performed through daily datamover with 90 days retention (nolimit on versions)
Monthly Full backups to be performed through monthly datamover with 365 days retention (nolimit on versions)
Yearly full backups performed through a yearly datamover, which has 7 year retention. (nolimit on versions)

All datamomvers will be associated to the same node, therefore the CBT information will be retained between the various type of backups. I know that the client will try to re-bind the backups but it cannot change the retention of existing backup objects!

I was hoping that the changed block tracking would be reset after each full backup, and the next time the incremental backup would run it would only backup changed blocks since the last full, and after three monthly full backups have run TSM would expire the incremental backups that were performed prior to the first full backup, as they are now over 90 days. But reading into the statement below I am now not sure if this will work.

The TSM for Virtual Environment 6.3 deployment guide states the following:
Data Protection for VMware manages backup retention based on the full-vm backups and independently of the number of intermediate incremental backups.
For example, suppose you set-up a management class to retain three versions (VERExists=3) and that a full backup is scheduled on the weekend and incremental backups are scheduled on each of the five weekdays. The TSM Server will retain the three full-vm backups and their dependent incremental backups. When the fourth full-vm backup has been stored on the server, the first full backup and it's five incremental backups will be marked for expiration.

According to this, to achieve the client requirements I would have to set VerE= 19, but this would result in the incremental backups being retained for 7 years.

Due to the Change Block Tracking on the VM’s I understand I cannot have incremental and full backups of a VM going to different nodes, and with V-Storage you cannot perform Archives, which is what I used to do with VCB backups.

Do you have any idea if the retention proposed by the client is possible with TSM?

ESX 5.5
TSM for Virtual Environment 7.1
TSM Server



ADSM.ORG Moderator
That will be a challenge. If you use the same node, then they all use the same retention. If you switch management class, they will rebind. So sounds like 7 years it is. Only thing I can think of to reduce storage is to send it to a dedup pool.

I'm not sure how CBT would handle this, but you could test if this would work:
node_inc do daily incremental backup and at the end of the month do a full
after the full, node_month does another full to a monthly management class
once a year, node_yearly does another full after the monthly to yearly management class.
Last edited:


I would try to talk them out of that approach. Try to find out why they would ever want a backup that was so far out from the active version.


Has anyone had any success with the method described by IBM in these two sites. There is some doubt around this statement and whether -MODE=IFFull really does avoid interfering with CBT.

Note that the schedule uses -MODE=IFFull to perform an "incremental forever full backup (IFFULL)" backup. This is necessary so not to interfere with the "Change Block Tracking (CBT)" mechanism used by the daily "incremental forever incremental backup (IFINCR)" backups.




https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/...al Environments?lang=en&section=Q26 Long Term

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The Spectrum Protect TLA (Three-Letter Acronym): ISP or something else?

  • Every product needs a TLA, Let's call it ISP (IBM Spectrum Protect).

    Votes: 9 22.5%
  • Keep using TSM for Spectrum Protect.

    Votes: 19 47.5%
  • Let's be formal and just say Spectrum Protect

    Votes: 8 20.0%
  • Other (please comement)

    Votes: 4 10.0%

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