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22 Mar 2022

Site Manager - Definitions - What are they?

Backup Definitions control which computers are backed up and the data on each computer that is included in the backup. In the case of file and folder backups, this is specifying the folders and files that will be included; in the case of image backups, this is specifying the partitions that will be included. Schedules are paired with definition to run backups on a schedule.

The ‘Definitions’ page of the Site Manager is used to view and manage definitions. The ‘Add Backups Definition’ wizard can be opened by selecting ‘New Definition’. On the first page of the wizard, you can specify the type of definition that you are creating. The two types of definition are:

Disk Image - This definition type creates image backups of full disks or partitions. The partitions and disks are specified by selecting from a list of predefined rules. These rules allow you to rapidly specify the disks and partitions that you want to be included in the image for large numbers of computers.

The two types of rules that you can select are ‘Include’ rules and ‘Exclude’ rules. Include rules enable you to specify the disks/partitions that will be included in the definition, if a disk/partition is not specified in the include rules, then it will not be included in the definition. Exclude rules enable you to specify disks/partitions that will not be included in the image, if you only specify exclude rules, then all disks/partitions will be included in the definition except for the ones listed in the exclude rules. You can mix and match the available include and exclude rules to include the exact partitions that you want in the definition. You can select ‘Check Matching Partitions’ to view the disks/partitions that will be included in the backup definition file.

In this example, I want to image all the partitions on CLIENT1 except for the E: data volume. Below are the rules that I am using:

The screenshot below shows how this looks in ‘Check Matching Partitions’:

Alternatively, since all the partitions except drive E: are system partitions, I can use the ‘System Partitions’ rule to achieve the same included and excluded partitions:

File and Folder - This definition type will only backup specific files and folders. Macrium Site Manager will attempt to backup the specified files and folders on each computer that has been specified. For example, if the folder C:\Accounts is specified, Macrium Site Manager will attempt to include the folder for every computer in the definition.

Once you have specified the type of definition that you want to create, you can then select the method that you want to use to specify computers that will be included in the definition. The two options for specifying computers are:

Select Computers - This option will present you with a list of all the computers that have been added to the Site Manager. You can then select the computers that you want the backup definition to apply to.

Select Tags - This option allows you to specify computers by selecting one or more tags. There are a number of predefined tags (computers are automatically given these tags when they are added to the Site Manager): e.g. Computer Information\32-bit, Domain\Example.local, Operating System\Windows 10; user defined tags and groups can also be created on the computers page of the Site Manager. The computers that have the tag you selected will be included in the definition. If the tag membership changes in the future, e.g. a computer is removed from the Site Manager, the definition will be automatically updated.

The final page of the wizard allows you to specify advanced options for the backup definition:

Compression - This will alter the level of compression that is used when a backup file is created by this definition. The default level of compression is medium. Increasing the compression rate will reduce the size of the resultant backup (the rate at which compression is applied will depend on the data that is being backed up) but may also increase the amount of time it takes for the backup to be created.

Encryption - This will alter the level of encryption that is applied to a backup created by this definition. The default encryption level is none. If encryption is used, then a password must be specified. The encryption key is derived from the password that is provided, using the PBKDF2 algorithm.

Verification - When the backup is created, as data is being read from the source disk but before it is written to the destination, a hash will be created and stored in the index. If the verification option is enabled, when the backup has completed, the data will be rehashed and compared to the hash that is stored in the index. This will ensure the integrity of the backup.

CPU Priority - This option will determine the priority that the backup process runs as on the computers you have specified. Lower CPU priorities may result in the backup task taking longer. The default priority is high.

Bandwidth Rate Limit - If enabled, a rate limit can be set for writing to the repository. This will limit the write rate to a specified number of MBit (megabits) per second. This can be used to help manage bandwidth when performing large numbers of backups.

Comment - If a comment is specified on this page of the wizard, it will be saved as part of the backup file and be visible when restoring the backup.

Once you are happy with the specified settings, select ‘Finish’. The created definition will then be shown in the list of existing definitions. Selecting a definition will give you more information about it, including the computers/tags that are included in the definition, the options that you have chosen, and the disk selection rules/files and folders that you have specified.

The backup definition can be edited or deleted at any time. You can also manually run the definition without the need for a schedule:

In the ‘Run Now’ wizard, select the computers that you want to backup now, the repository that will be used as a destination, and the type of backup that you want to run. Once you are happy with the selection you have made, press ‘Run’. The backup will then start immediately. If the maximum number of simultaneous backups for the repository you selected is already in progress, or the computer that you have selected to run the backup for already has a backup in progress; the backup will then be added to the backup queue.

Blog posts in this series

Adding a computer and installing an Agent remotely
Installing the Agent manually then adding that computer to Site Manager
Definitions - What are they
Schedules - What are they
Repositories - What are they
Scheduling Backups with Macrium Site Manager
Browsing a repository and recovering a file
Restoring an image remotely using Macrium Site Manager

Next Post

Installing the Agent manually then adding that computer to Site Manager