Retention limit deletes the wrong backups RRS feed

  • Question

  • In our EPM 2010 environment we have scheduled an administration backup to backup all projects every night. Today we found that for one project the last backup was created three weeks ago. We have a retention limit of 10 and it looks like it keeps 10 backups and just deletes all new backups.

    I tried creating a manual backup. The job completed successfully, but the backup was nowhere to be found. I then increased the retention limit and did the manual backup again. This time, the backup could be restored.

    The order of the backups in the Administration Restore is very strange, it's not ordered by date.

    Does anybody know how the retention limit works? I would expect the oldest backups to be deleted, but instead it deletes the newest ones.


    Quint Mouthaan

    Friday, April 29, 2011 9:17 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    The administrative backup retention setting is for versions of the schedule. Meaning, when the back up is run if the version has changed since the last backup, a new backup will be taken. It does not take a backup each night regardless of whether the schedule has been updated.

    You should also be aware that if a schedule is updated multiple times during one day then the administrative backup runs, only the latest version will be backed up.

    In the case of the manual backup, again, it will only backup those items that have changed since you you last did a backup. This may explain why you cannot see anything being backed up.

    As far as I am aware, the retention limit once reached will delete the the oldest backup version as a newer backup is taken.

    Does this help?

    Alex Burton | Twitter
    Project Server TechCenter | Project Developer Center | Project Server Help | Project Product Page
    Saturday, April 30, 2011 3:52 AM
  • Hi Alexander,

    Thanks for your reply. The plan I use as an example is updated almost daily. Still, no backup is created.

    When I tried the backup with the lower retention limit no version was backed up. Then I increased the retention limit and ran the manual backup again. There were no changes in the plan in the meantime. That time, the backup was created.

    To illustrate the strange ordering in the backup, this is the list of backups for one of the projects. I create the manual backup at 2011-04-29. The latest one before that was created at 2011-03-31.

    IPL - Phase 2 - live
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-19 00:45:58
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-23 00:45:58
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-01 00:45:48
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-04-29 14:35:49
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-02-22 00:45:33
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-16 00:46:04
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-31 00:46:14
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-02-16 00:46:11
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-03-04 00:46:49
            IPL - Phase 2 - live         2011-02-20 00:46:04


    Since the scheduled backup is not working I am about to propose to the client to set the retention limit to a high number and have a manual process where archived project are deleted regularly.



    Monday, May 2, 2011 6:49 AM
  • Hi Quint,

    As Alexander already mentioned, the administrative backup feature (either run on a schedule or manually) will only write a version to the archive database if the project has changed since the last version.

    You mention that the project is modified almost every day. Has the project also been published since the last version? Because the administrative backup feature will only copy Published data to the archive as a new version. So even if you mofidy the plan every day, as long as the project is not published, a new version will not be created.

    You might also want to check the Queue for errors in Project Server to make sure all save and publish actions are completed succesfully.

    One last thing to verify: on the Daily Backup Schedule page, are your settings for Option (must be schedule) and Time set correctly for Projects? Make sure the schedule does not interfere with other jobs like SQL Server backup schedule, build of the OLAP cube, ...

    I hope this helps,

    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Monday, May 2, 2011 10:20 AM
  • Hi Hans,

    Some of the projects being backed up have never been published. Still, backups are created as long as the number of backups is smaller than the retention limit.

    There are no errors in the queue when the project was saved.


    Monday, May 2, 2011 10:27 AM
  • Quint,

    My mistake, saved projects are indeed backup up, not only Published.

    And this problem is only for one project? Other projects are backup up correctly on the daily schedule?
    Any errors in the Queue or ULS logs for the scheduled Administrative Backup run?
    Any other problems you are having with this one project?


    My EPM blog: Projectopolis
    Monday, May 2, 2011 10:46 AM
  • Hi Quint,

    I just tried out this in my demo image, setting the retention to 5 versions and then making a change and performing an administrative backup manually five times. Each time a version of the schedule was moved to the archive database.

    On making the sixth change, saving and performing an archive, the oldest backup was replaced. This is on the April 2011 CU.

    You are correct, there does not appear to be any ordering in the Administrative restore screen, and clicking on the version description column header does not appear to perform any form of sorting, which seems to be a bug.

    I would second Hans' suggestion of checking the ULS logs, specifically I would look at cranking up the logging to Verbose for Project Server > Archive and Restoring and then kicking off a manual backup and have a look at what the logs show.


    Alex Burton | Twitter
    Project Server TechCenter | Project Developer Center | Project Server Help | Project Product Page
    Monday, May 2, 2011 11:38 AM
  • OK, I will set the ULS logs to verbose and do a close inspection. It may take me a couple of days to make time for it, but I will get back with the results.

    Thanks for you efforts,


    Monday, May 2, 2011 12:09 PM
  • Hi Alexander,


    I'm a bit pressed for time, but I have to setup a backup policy for one of the projects I'm working on. I'll check if the same issue exists on that environment. Will let you know soon.




    Monday, May 23, 2011 1:31 PM