How to Keep More Than 7 Standard Backups with Only 1 Portable

  • 7019447
  • 26-Jun-2013
  • 30-Aug-2017


Reload (all versions prior to v5)


Customer wants to keep 10 Standard backups but doesn't have enough disk space to have 2 Portables.  By design, Portable backup jobs run on a weekly basis. 

Having 10 backups available at any given time is impossible when Portable jobs are running each week and you are limiting the system to just 1 Portable.  When a Portable runs, it takes every Standard backup job out of the "/[profile]/backups/weeknow" directory and puts them inside a Portable directory structure.  That leaves the system with 7 backups. 

Now, as the week progresses, new backups build up in the weeknow directory, so that by mid-week, there can be 10 backups (7 in the Portable and 3 in the weeknow).  Once the system hits the limit of 10 backups, it starts deleting the oldest backup in the Portable directory while allowing the weeknow to accumulate the newest backups.  By time the next Portable runs, there would be 7 backups in the weeknow and only 3 in the Portable to equal the 10.

However, once the Portable runs, the old Portable directory with the 3 remaining backups is deleted, the weeknow is wiped out, and a new Portable is created containing the 7 backups that were in the weeknow.  This means that, at the beginning of every Portable cycle, there are only 7 backups.  For a few days, the customer has less than the 10 backups desired.

Why not just set the Portables to "0" and limit the number of backups kept to 10?  Well, this would definitely keep the number of backups at the desired limit all the time; however, the BLOBS would continue to grow with each passing day and would eventually consume all your disk space. 

Why?  Because the Portable backup job synchronizes the master BLOBS associated with the Standard backups after it has finished its job.  You need at least 1 Portable to run periodically in order to keep the BLOBS synchronized with the post office and to prevent them from "ballooning" on you.

How do you get around this design?


You keep your Portables set to 1 but you disable the default Portable job schedule (from the main profile administration menu: Portable | Schedule | 2 and 3); then, you create a cron job in the /etc/crontab that launches a Portable job every 10 or more days. 

Before the Portable can launch, the weeknow builds up with 10 backups.  When the Portable runs, it takes all 10 backups and puts them into the Portable directory.  As the weeknow accumulates new backups, the oldest backup in the Portable gets deleted, always maintaining 10 backups at any given time.

This requires, though, that the "Limit Number of Standard Backups Kept" is enabled (from the main profile administration menu: Standard | Limit).

If the administrator were to configure the Portable job to run at 1:00 AM every 10 days, the crontab entry would look like this:

0 1 */10 * *  root  /usr/sbin/reloadj -p [profilename] -f  

Once you edit the crontab file, restart the cron daemon:  /etc/init.d/cron restart

See "What is Reloadj Used For?" for more information on using cron jobs for Reload.

Additional Information

This article was originally published in the GWAVA knowledgebase as article ID 2164.