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22 Mar 2022

Site Manager - Schedules - What are they?

Schedules are used to determine when backups happen, when retention rules are applied, and what strategies are used for dealing with backup failures. Definitions are paired with schedules to run backups on a schedule. Alternatively, the definition can be used on its own to run an immediate backup.

The ‘Schedules’ page of the Site Manager is used to view and manage schedules. If you have not already created a schedule, select ‘Create Default Schedules’ to create premade schedules based on commonly used industry standard backup templates.

These default schedules can be edited to better fit your environment. You can also select ‘New Schedule’ to open the ‘Add Schedule’ wizard. The first page of the wizard allows you to specify ‘Triggers’. These triggers control when the scheduled backups will take place.

It is important to note that Full backups will take priority over Incremental and Differential backups. This means that if a Full backup is scheduled to take place at the same time as an Incremental or Differential backup, then the Full backup will run and the Incremental or Differential backup won’t. Multiple triggers can be scheduled for the same schedule, this allows you flexibility when creating your custom schedules. For example, the ‘Grandfather, Father, Son’ (GFS) schedule is shown below triggers and preview are shown below:

The GFS schedule will perform a full backup on the first Monday of each month and a differential every Monday of the month. This means that on the first day of the month, both the full and differential backup are scheduled to take place at the same time. Since the full backup has priority it will run and the differential backup will not. The differential backup will then run as normal every other Monday of the month.

All of the triggers that you have specified will be shown on the first page of the wizard.

Once you are happy with the triggers that you have specified, select ‘Next’. The following page of the wizard allows you to specify the retention rules that will be applied to this schedule. The retention rules specify the number of backups, created by this schedule, that will be stored in the destination folder at any one time. The retention rules can be actioned on the number of backups that are stored in the destination, or the amount of time that they are retained for.

When a Full backup is purged, any appended backups will also be purged (e.g. any Incremental backups that are appended to the Full image).

Once you are happy with the retention rules that you have specified, select ‘Next’. The final page of the wizard is used to specify options for the schedule. This includes how offline computers are handled by the schedule:

Defer backups until computer is online - If this option is selected, then any backups for offline computers will be retried when the computer next connects to the Site Manager.

Send Wake-On-LAN message before backup - If this option is selected, then a Wake-On-LAN message will be sent to the offline computer, prior to the backup starting. If the Wake-On-LAN message fails, then the backup will be failed for the offline computer.

Fail backups for offline computers - This option will prevent any other steps being taken for offline computers. If the computer is offline when the scheduled backup is attempted, the backup will be failed. No backup will be attempted when the computer is next online.

You can also specify whether failed backups should be retried, and how much time should elapse between each attempt. This setting can be used to add resilience against transient issues, e.g. network disconnects.

When performing intra-daily incremental backups, you will have the option to enable ‘Intra-daily Stealth Mode’.

When this option is enabled, log files will only be generated for failed intra-daily backups. An overview of the intra-daily backups that have been performed will be condensed into one log file per day, per computer. Due to the quantity of backups being performed, this may make managing and viewing logs easier:

If intra-daily stealth mode is disabled, then logs will be created as normal for the intra-daily backups.

Once you are happy with the options that you have specified, select ‘Finish’. The schedule that you have created will then be shown in the list of existing schedules on the ‘Schedules’ tab. Selecting a schedule will allow you to see more information about it. The calendar on the right-hand side of the schedule tab will show when the schedule will run at a glance. The schedule can also be edited, deleted, or duplicated on this page.

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