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How do I syncronize quarterly backups between PGs? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have several protection groups with identical long-term protection goals: weekly, monthly, and quarterly (every 3 months).  I have colocation enabled and "only run backup with longest retention period" enabled.  Weekly and monthly are working well.

    For the quarterly goal, most of my protection groups are backing up at the end of a calendar quarter as I desire (e.g., 9/30).  However, one of my protection groups is backing up at the end of the second month (e.g., 8/31) so it won't go onto the same tape as the other quarterly PG's.  Since the goal is "every 3 months" what it's doing makes sense, but it's a problem that one PG is on a different 3-month cycle.

    How do I reset the "rogue" PG so its quarterly cycle is on the same month boundary as all the other PGs?  I tried running the ps script that deletes the RP's and frees up the off-cycle quarterly tape hoping this would cause the rogue PG to realize it doesn't have a quarterly backup so it would try again the next month but that didn't work.

    I'm willing to go into the underlying SQL database and change dates or whatever.  I hope I don't have to delete the PG, delete all the RP's, and start that PG over.  Even if I had to, I'm not sure what date it would use for the initial cyle so I couldn't guarantee even that would get the rogue PG synchronized.

    What's the simplest way to get all my quarterly backups onto the same tape?

    Thanks

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011 1:27 PM

Answers

  • Hi Mikejng,

    You are correct, DPM builds backup schedules based on the time you first configured long term protection, and as noted there is no GUI option to enter your own start date.  The only way around this will be to stop all long term protection for all PG's so all schedules get deleted from SQL agent, then re-enable long term protection for all PG's and new schedules will be created based on current date.  Now, in the future if you add new PG's, you will be back in the same boat if they are added in the middle of a 3 month cycle, so you should try to time enabling quarterly backups in the same month that the next quarterly backup is scheduled to run so it assumes the same quarterly schedule.

    UPDATE:  Actually, quarterly backups are performed in January, April, July, and October on the specified day of the month.  I don't know how it is possible for a quarterly to run in August.  However, my recommended solution shoud fix it just the same.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb809001.aspx


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 4:38 PM
    Moderator
  • To answer my own post, I think my out-of-synch quarterly backups were carried over from DPM 2007 when I upgraded.  I agree with Mike J that there doesn't seem to be any way to get quarterly backups to start on the wrong month in DPM 2010 (thank you DPM developers!).

    But in case it happens, here's a query that you can use to see the quarterly schedules in the DPM database:

    SELECT     ScheduleId, JobDefinitionId, ScheduleXml, IsDeleted
    FROM         tbl_SCH_ScheduleDefinition
    WHERE     (ScheduleXml LIKE '%Monthly S%') AND (IsDeleted = 0)

    The quarterly start date is embedded in text in the ScheduleXml field.  If it's the first day of some quarter then you are OK; the backups will run every 3 months thereafter (but the embedded date will not change; it remains the date that was set when the PG was last edited).

    If you want to see what data each schedule is backing up, you can look up the JobDefinitionId in the tbl_JM_JobDefinition table.

    I was able to correct the start dates of my legacy quarterlies by just changing the date text in the ScheduleXml field.  DPM immediately scheduled a tape backup task for the proper date and the backups went off without a hitch.  Of course changing the database directly is unsupported so YMMV.

    • Marked as answer by mikejng Sunday, January 1, 2012 4:53 PM
    Sunday, January 1, 2012 4:52 PM

All replies

  • Hi mikejng,

    Please verify under specify long-term goals (when modifying your protection group) that your configuration for the backup schedule for all the protection groups are the same.


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM

     


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com


    Monday, October 10, 2011 8:40 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Robert,

    I checked very carefully that all the protection groups have identical long-term goals.

    The trouble is, you can say you want it to write a tape "every 3 months" but you don't really get to say "quarterly".  If you say "every 3 months" then DPM decides on its own what the starting month is, and if two PGs end up on different cycles then you don't get the benefits of tape-colocation.

    In the worst case you need 3x as many tapes because one set of PG's could be written in January, another set in February, and a third set in March before the first set starts over in April. :-(

    Each of my PG's is indeed writing a tape every 3 months so I know the settings are the same, but the months aren't synchronized!  How do I fix this?  Is there a way to muck with the schedule in a DPM script?  Can I change the "next backup date" in the database?  Arrgh!

     

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 5:20 PM
  • Hi Mikejng,

    You are correct, DPM builds backup schedules based on the time you first configured long term protection, and as noted there is no GUI option to enter your own start date.  The only way around this will be to stop all long term protection for all PG's so all schedules get deleted from SQL agent, then re-enable long term protection for all PG's and new schedules will be created based on current date.  Now, in the future if you add new PG's, you will be back in the same boat if they are added in the middle of a 3 month cycle, so you should try to time enabling quarterly backups in the same month that the next quarterly backup is scheduled to run so it assumes the same quarterly schedule.

    UPDATE:  Actually, quarterly backups are performed in January, April, July, and October on the specified day of the month.  I don't know how it is possible for a quarterly to run in August.  However, my recommended solution shoud fix it just the same.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb809001.aspx


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Saturday, October 29, 2011 4:38 PM
    Moderator
  • To answer my own post, I think my out-of-synch quarterly backups were carried over from DPM 2007 when I upgraded.  I agree with Mike J that there doesn't seem to be any way to get quarterly backups to start on the wrong month in DPM 2010 (thank you DPM developers!).

    But in case it happens, here's a query that you can use to see the quarterly schedules in the DPM database:

    SELECT     ScheduleId, JobDefinitionId, ScheduleXml, IsDeleted
    FROM         tbl_SCH_ScheduleDefinition
    WHERE     (ScheduleXml LIKE '%Monthly S%') AND (IsDeleted = 0)

    The quarterly start date is embedded in text in the ScheduleXml field.  If it's the first day of some quarter then you are OK; the backups will run every 3 months thereafter (but the embedded date will not change; it remains the date that was set when the PG was last edited).

    If you want to see what data each schedule is backing up, you can look up the JobDefinitionId in the tbl_JM_JobDefinition table.

    I was able to correct the start dates of my legacy quarterlies by just changing the date text in the ScheduleXml field.  DPM immediately scheduled a tape backup task for the proper date and the backups went off without a hitch.  Of course changing the database directly is unsupported so YMMV.

    • Marked as answer by mikejng Sunday, January 1, 2012 4:53 PM
    Sunday, January 1, 2012 4:52 PM