500 TB CIFS backups once a month for 7 years retention as incremental forever primary destination is tape

  • 4 March 2024
  • 2 replies



Our customer is currently backing up a large CIFS share using another backup solution once a month. The solution has been configured to do the incremental forever with 7 years retention. The backup lands on diskpool and migrate to tape as last resting location. After the backup completion tapes send to vault. How can we mimic same method with Commvault with a tape library.  There is no disk to tape migration neither incremental forever without doing any synthetics full with Commvault.

I thought best approach might be listed what do you think?

Define a NAS client  with CIFS credentials

Run a manual full backup to Tape library using maximum amount of drives with multiple streaming.

Define a monthly schedule as to directly tape library as target 

Set basic retention 2555 days 1 cycle.

Maybe once a year run a synthetic full just for precaution (!)

This still lack of disk to tape migration but at least similar to current solution.

2 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +11

Hi Ufi,

Synthetic Full backup can also be done in tape-only environments. But it is resource intensive in terms of tape drives and media needed, especially when doing multistreaming/multiplexing during Incrementals. However, this would at least be possible in regards to Incremental Forever as primary backups would just be Incrementals after the initial Full obviously.

With your approach, please consider the RPO this would bring as you may lose a month worst case when doing monthly fulls only. With the SynthFull on tape you could do daily incrementals directly to tape with weekly SynthFulls to tape. Accordingly, you could set basic retention to 7 days and extended retention for weekly Fulls to one month, for monthly Fulls to one year and for yearly Fulls to 7 years for example. This way you would be able to restore to daily PiT for the current and the last week, to a weekly PiT for one month back and so on. You may also AuxCopy to a separate Tape copy with different retention. But the primary backup would still be Incremental Forever.

Userlevel 5
Badge +14

Hello @Ufi 

Incremental Forever is not impossible with Commvault. You can simply run your CIFS Backups and never run a Full after the first one. This will come with some negatives. One for example would be that if anything happened to one of the tapes, all of the data after that point would be un-restorable. It would be best to run a Synthetic Full once in a while to get a fresh “checkpoint”.


Thank you,