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A Schedule contains information on when backups are to be performed and how long each backup is to be kept. The data in a Schedule includes:

  • Triggers which define when backups should be taken and what type of backup (Full, Differential, Incremental)
  • Retention rules describing how long or how many backups should be kept before old backups are removed.
  • Options for advanced behaviors of how retention rules should be applied

To work with Schedules, visit the Schedules page of the Management Console by clicking the 'Schedules' link under the 'Setup' heading. On the initial visit to the Schedules page, or if all Schedules are deleted, the page will show some general help and information on Schedules:

Default Schedules

On the initial guidance page for Schedules, there is an option to create a set of default Schedules. These defaults can be edited and modified once created to provide the exact scheduling required. The defaults created are:

  • Grandfather, Father, Son - Daily Incremental ("Son"), weekly Differential ("Father"), and monthly Full ("Grandfather") backups.
  • Differential Backup Set - A Full backup is created periodically followed by daily Differential backups.
  • Incremental Backup Set - A Full backup is created periodically followed by daily Incremental backups.
  • Incrementals Forever - Incrementals forever optimizes backup space and time by only ever creating a single Full backup. 
    After this Incremental backups are created ad infinitum. The Full backup is consolidated with subsequent Incremental backups once the specified number of Incremental backups is reached. 
    This is also known as a Synthetic Full backup.

Creating a Schedule

To create a new Schedule, click the 'New Schedule' button in the upper left of the interface. This opens the Schedule creation wizard:

Each Schedule must have a name set in the box at the top. An additional description may be included.

Step 1 - Triggers

The first stage of the wizard is to define the triggers for when backups are to be run. To create a new trigger, press the 'New Trigger' button. This opens a dialog box as seen below:

The Add Trigger dialog has a number of options for creating the trigger. These are:


Which type of backup to perform when this trigger initiates a backup. May be Full, Differential or Incremental.

If a trigger fires for an Incremental or Differential backup, but no Full backup exists in the repository to base the Differential or Incremental backup on, the backup is automatically converted to a Full backup.

Start Time

The time of day the backup operation will occur. If a backup is delayed because another backup is running, the backup will run as soon as able.

Start DateThe date when the trigger starts. The trigger will not initiate a backup before this date. This is useful to ensure that complex rules start at the right time. For example, making sure a trigger for an Incremental backup on Tuesdays doesn't occur before a Full backup trigger on Fridays.
Trigger Type

The type of trigger - the options are listed below in the 'Trigger Details' section.

When triggers occur at the same time, only one backup is taken, with the more thorough backup taking precedence (Full over Differential, Differential over Incremental). For example: given a weekly Full backup trigger which occurs at 10:00 PM and a daily Incremental backup trigger at the same time, the Full backup will take precedence and run. This allows for simpler trigger creation - for example a weekly and daily trigger which overlap rather than two weekly triggers, one for one day and the other for all other days of the week.

Trigger DetailsThe panel changes depending on the trigger type.
      • Daily - Interval (every nth day)
      • Weekly - Interval (every nth week) and Active Days (Monday, Weekends etc)
      • Monthly (by Date) - Active Days (the day number(s) in the month - 1st to 31st) and Active Months (which months of the year the trigger is active during)
      • Monthly (by Day) - Week of the month (which week number, 1st to 4th or last the active days entry applies to), Active Days (the day(s) of the week the trigger will fire on) and Active Months (which months of the year the trigger is active during)

Once the trigger data is correct, press 'OK' to save the trigger. The trigger will then be displayed in the trigger list:

Each trigger listed has an 'Edit' button to re-open the trigger creation dialog to edit the trigger and a 'Delete' button to remove the trigger. 

Once triggers have been created, press the 'Next' button to continue to step 2. There must be at least one trigger to proceed.

Step 2 - Retention Rules

Retention rules govern how long backups are kept in the repository before being deleted to conserve space. The retention rules step appears as follows:

The 'Rules' section contains the retention rules for each backup type. If the checkbox next to each rule is checked, if there are any backups older than the time period or count of backups specified in the dropdown boxes.

If the Retention Rule for a given backup type is unchecked, those backups are kept forever unless manually deleted from the repository.

Retention rules are applied on a per-computer basis. If a retention rule is configured to keep 10 Full backups, the rule will keep 10 Full backups per computer in the backup plan.

The 'Options' section contains options for additional and fine control over the way retention rules are applied. Options available are:

Create a Synthetic Full Backup if possible

If this options is checked, Instead of deleting Incremental backup files once they have reached the limit of retention, they are merged into the Full backup they are based on, creating a new Full backup containing all the data up to the merge point

This option only applies to backup plans such as 'Incrementals Forever' where a single Full backup is followed by frequent Incremental backups. The retention rule for Incremental backups must be enabled and set to 'Backups' mode for this option to become available.
Run the purge before backup

This option applies retention rules and deletes any files according to retention rules before the backup starts.

This keeps repository space usage lower but may result in fewer retained backups when new backups fail

Step 3 - Options

Options control how backups are scheduled and what actions are taken on failure. The interface appears as below:

The available options are:

Defer backups until computer is online

If this option is selected, scheduled backups cannot be performed because a computer is offline will be performed when the computer comes back online. If the option is unchecked, scheduled backups will fail if the computer is offline

Send Wake On LAN message before backup

If this option is selected, Site Manager will attempt to use Wake On LAN to wake offline computers before starting a backup. If Wake On LAN attempts fail, it will behave as the "Fail backups for offline computers" option

Additionally, UDP port, number of wake attempts and time between attempts can be set.

Fail backups for offline computersIf this option is selected, backups will be failed if the computer is offline and the computer will not perform a backup until the next trigger time or next retry time as set below.
Retry backups which failIf a backup attempt fails, it can be retried up to the number of times specified here
Allow X minutes between attempts of failed backupsThe time between each attempt which Site Manager will wait. May be set to between 2 and 120 minutes. Backups of other computers may occur between the retries.

Finalizing the Schedule

Once the options have been set appropriately, press 'Finish' to save the Schedule.

Once the Schedule is saved, the Management Console will display the Schedule list with the newly created Schedule selected:

Editing and Deleting Schedules

Once a Schedule has been created, it can be edited by selecting the 'Edit' button in the top right. This will reopen the Schedule wizard and allow the Schedule to be edited. In addition, the retention rules panel has an edit button which can be pressed to open the Schedule for editing and jump to the retention rules section.

Deleting Schedules

Deleting a Schedule may fail if that Schedule is being used to schedule backups in a Repository. In this case, deleting the Schedule with require those scheduled backups to be removed or changed to use a different Schedule first.

The triggers may be edited directly by using the pencil icon on each trigger's display in the view. They can also be deleted with the delete icon and new triggers can be created with the 'New Trigger' button. Creating and editing triggers this way launches the dialog box for triggers and not the whole Schedule wizard:

Copying Schedules

An existing Schedule can be copied to a new Schedule to make creating Schedules which are almost the same simpler. Pressing the 'Copy' button on the top right of the interface will prompt for a name for the copy of the selected Schedule. 

Selecting OK will copy the Schedule.

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