Use the StorSimple Device Manager service in Azure portal to manage backup policies

Overview

This tutorial explains how to use the StorSimple Device Manager service Backup policy blade to control backup processes and backup retention for your StorSimple volumes. It also describes how to complete a manual backup.

When you back up a volume, you can choose to create a local snapshot or a cloud snapshot. If you are backing up a locally pinned volume, we recommend that you specify a cloud snapshot. Taking a large number of local snapshots of a locally pinned volume coupled with a data set that has a lot of churn will result in a situation in which you could rapidly run out of local space. If you choose to take local snapshots, we recommend that you take fewer daily snapshots to back up the most recent state, retain them for a day, and then delete them.

When you take a cloud snapshot of a locally pinned volume, you copy only the changed data to the cloud, where it is deduplicated and compressed.

The Backup policy blade

The Backup policy blade for your StorSimple device allows you to manage backup policies and schedule local and cloud snapshots. Backup policies are used to configure backup schedules and backup retention for a collection of volumes. Backup policies enable you to take a snapshot of multiple volumes simultaneously. This means that the backups created by a backup policy will be crash-consistent copies.

The backup policies tabular listing also allows you to filter the existing backup policies by one or more of the following fields:

  • Policy name – The name associated with the policy. The different types of policies include:

    • Scheduled policies, which are explicitly created by the user.
    • Imported policies, which were originally created in the StorSimple Snapshot Manager. These have a tag that describes the StorSimple Snapshot Manager host that the policies were imported from.

    Note

    Automatic or default backup policies are no longer enabled at the time of volume creation.

  • Last successful backup – The date and time of the last successful backup that was taken with this policy.

  • Next backup – The date and time of the next scheduled backup that will be initiated by this policy.

  • Volumes – The volumes associated with the policy. All the volumes associated with a backup policy are grouped together when backups are created.

  • Schedules – The number of schedules associated with the backup policy.

The frequently used operations that you can perform for backup policies are:

  • Add a backup policy
  • Add or modify a schedule
  • Add or remove a volume
  • Delete a backup policy
  • Take a manual backup

Add a backup policy

Add a backup policy to automatically schedule your backups. When you first create a volume, there is no default backup policy associated with your volume. You need to add and assign a backup policy to protect volume data.

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to add a backup policy for your StorSimple device. After you add the policy, you can define a schedule (see Add or modify a schedule).

To add a StorSimple backup policy

  1. Go to your StorSimple device and click Backup policy.

  2. In the Backup policy blade, click + Add policy from the command bar.

    Add a backup policy

  3. In the Create backup policy blade, do the following steps:

    1. Select device is automatically populated based on the device you selected.

    2. Specify a backup Policy name that contains between 3 and 150 characters. Once the policy is created, you cannot rename the policy.

    3. To assign volumes to this backup policy, select Add volumes and then from the tabular listing of volumes, click the check box(es) to assign one or more volumes to this backup policy.

      Add a backup policy

    4. To define a schedule for this backup policy, click First schedule and then modify the following parameters:

      Add a backup policy

      1. For Snapshot type, select Cloud or Local.

      2. Indicate the frequency of backups (specify a number and then choose Days or Weeks from the drop-down list.

      3. Enter a retention schedule.

      4. Enter a time and date for the backup policy to begin.

      5. Click OK to define the schedule.

    5. Click Create to create a backup policy.

      Add a backup policy

    6. You are notified when the backup policy is created. The newly added policy is displayed in the tabular view on the Backup Policy blade.

      Add a backup policy

Add or modify a schedule

You can add or modify a schedule that is attached to an existing backup policy on your StorSimple device. Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to add or modify a schedule.

To add or modify a StorSimple backup schedule

  1. Go to your StorSimple device and click Backup policy.

  2. In the tabular listing of the policies, select and click the policy that you want to modify. Right-click to invoke the context menu and then select Add schedule.

    manage schedules

  3. In the Add schedule blade, modify the snapshot type, backup frequency, retention, and start date and time. Click Add.

    manage schedules

  4. You are notified when the backup policy creation is complete. The backup policy list is also updated.

    manage schedules

Add or remove a volume

You can add or remove a volume assigned to a backup policy on your StorSimple device. Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to add or remove a volume.

To add or remove a volume

  1. Go to your StorSimple device and click Backup policy.

  2. In the tabular listing of the policies, select and click the policy that you want to modify. Right-click to invoke the context menu and then select Add/remove volume.

    manage schedules

  3. In the Add/remove volume blade, select or deselect the checkbox(es) to add or remove the volume. Multiple volumes are selected/deselected by checking or unchecking the corresponding checkboxes.

    manage schedules

    If you assign volumes from different volume containers to a backup policy, then you will need to remember to fail over those volume containers together. You will see a warning to that effect.

    manage schedules

  4. You are notified when the backup policy is modified. The backup policy list is also updated.

    manage schedules

Delete a backup policy

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to delete a backup policy on your StorSimple device.

To delete a StorSimple backup policy

  1. Go to your StorSimple device and click Backup policy.

  2. In the tabular listing of backup policies, select the policy you want to delete. Right-click and from the context menu, select Delete.

    Select a backup policy to delete

  3. You will be prompted for confirmation. Keep in mind that deleting a backup policy will delete all the associated backups. Click Yes to delete.

    Confirm delete

The backup policies list will be updated to display the new list of policies.

Updated backup policy list

Take a manual backup

Perform the following steps in the Azure portal to create an on-demand (manual) backup for a single volume.

To create a manual backup

  1. Go to your StorSimple Device Manager service and then click Devices. From the tabular listing of devices, select your device. Go to Settings > Manage > Backup policies.

  2. The Backup policies blade lists all the backup policies in a tabular format, including the policy for the volume that you want to back up. Select the policy associated with the volume you want to back up and right-click to invoke the context menu. From the dropdown list, select Back up now.

    Create manual backup

  3. In the Back up now blade, do the following steps:

    1. Choose the appropriate Snapshot type from the dropdown list: Local snapshot or Cloud snapshot. Select local snapshot for fast backups or restores, and cloud snapshot for data resiliency.

      Create manual backup

    2. Click OK to start a job to create a snapshot. You will see a notification at the top of the page after the job is successfully created.

      Create manual backup

    3. To monitor the job, click the notification. This takes you to the Jobs blade where you can view the job progress.

  4. After the backup job is finished, go to the Backup catalog tab.

  5. Set the filter selections to the appropriate device, backup policy, and time range. The backup should appear in the list of backup sets that is displayed in the catalog.

Next steps

Learn more about using the StorSimple Device Manager service to administer your StorSimple device.