Forever Forward Incremental

Forever Forward Incremental (FFI) is a specific backup method that brings the storage footprint to the bare minimum by keeping only one full copy of the data alongside incremental restore points.

The Forever Forward Incremental backup is not supported for plans in the legacy backup format

Forever Forward Incremental relies on the Synthetic Full mechanism to rebuild a full backup. A full backup can be rebuilt:

  • Every time a backup plan is executed if your storage has no minimum retention periods. The number of incremental restore points is determined by the number of backup plan executions and the retention period. For example, if your backup plan is scheduled daily and the retention period is 30 days, the number of incremental restore points will be 29
  • After a minimum retention period for the previous full backup expires. In case your storage has a minimum retention period, Intelligent Retention helps you to avoid early deletion fees. In this case, the period of keeping the full backup is adjusted according to the minimum retention period defined by the storage provider. This implies that the specified period of keeping incremental backups (the 'Keep backup for' setting in the retention policy) will be overridden and a new full backup will be rebuilt later, as the minimum retention period expires. This may increase the number of incremental backups since they are created according to the specified backup plan schedule

Supported Cloud Storage

Forever forward incremental backup is available for the following storage providers:

  • Amazon S3 (except for long-term storage classes)
  • Microsoft Azure (except long-term tiers)
  • Wasabi
  • Backblaze B2
  • MinIO
  • S3 compatible (except storage providers without in-cloud object copying support)

Applicability Notes

Forever Forward Incremental backup is not compatible with GFS retention policy and Immutability. Thus, if you change the schedule in the existing backup plan to the Forever Forward Incremental one and it contains any GFS retention policy settings enabled, a new separate full backup for Forever Forward Incremental purposes will be created. At the same time, all previous backups under the GFS retention policy/Immutabtility will be kept on backup storage until their keeping periods and regular retention policy expire.

Upgrading to Version 7.8

If you already configured the backup strategy created in previous versions and now upgrade to version 7.8, all existing backup plan settings remain intact. Configure the Forever Forward Incremental backup manually.

Apply Forever Forward Incremental Backup

To apply Forever Forward Incremental, set the Forever Forward Incremental schedule on the Schedule step of the backup plan. You can create a new plan for Forever Forward Incremental purposes or edit an existing plan depending on your backup requirements. To create a separate plan with the settings of an existing plan, clone it, then configure the schedule.

New Backup Plan

  1. Create a new plan. Follow the instructions for your backup plan type:
  1. Follow the backup wizard to the Schedule step.
  2. Select the Forever Forward Incremental option, then specify the required backup schedule.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Specify the retention settings.

Note that the retention policy settings with Forever Forward Incremental (FFI) schedule are different from the regular retention settings. With the FFI schedule, the 'Keep backup for' value defines the period incremental Restore Points are kept separately from a full backup. After the specified 'Keep backup for' period expires for these Restore Points, they are merged into a full backup copy

  1. Configure the Intelligent Retention. To avoid extra expenses in storage bills, it is recommended to keep the Intelligent retention enabled always.
  2. Click Next.
  3. Follow the backup wizard to the end to save the backup plan configuration.

Edit Existing Backup Plan

To apply the Forever Forward Incremental backup for existing plans, proceed as follows:

  1. In the Backup Plans tab, find the required plan and click Edit to open the backup wizard or edit the backup plan schedule without passing a backup wizard. To do this, click the pen icon in the Schedule (if the plan has the schedule already) or Enable (if the plan is not scheduled).

  1. Select the Forever Forward Incremental option, then specify the required schedule settings. Click Next or OK.

If you apply the Forever Forward Incremental schedule bypassing the backup wizard, you must configure the retention policy settings as well. You do not have to do it separately: once you set the Forever Forward Incremental schedule, the Retention Policy property box appears automatically

  1. Click *OK.
  2. Configure the retention settings.

The retention policy settings with Forever Forward Incremental (FFI) schedule are different from the regular retention settings. With the FFI schedule, the 'Keep backup for' value defines the period incremental Restore Points are kept along with a full backup. After the specified 'Keep backup for' period expires for Restore Points, they are merged into a full backup copy.

Instead of a regular retention policy, an extended retention policy with Intelligent Retention is offered. To avoid extra expenses in storage bills, it is highly recommended to keep the Intelligent Retention feature enabled always.

Note that Forever Forward Incremental backups are not compatible with GFS retention policy and Object Lock (Immutability). So, if you change the schedule in the existing backup plan to the Forever Forward Incremental one and it contains any GFS retention policy settings (including Object Lock) enabled, a new separate full backup for Forever Forward Incremental purposes will be created. At the same time, all previous backups under the GFS retention policy/Object Lock will be kept on backup storage until their keeping periods and regular retention policy expire

  1. Click OK.

Set Forever Forward Incremental Schedule in CLI

To set the Forever Forward Incremental schedule in CLI, use the -ffi parameter. This parameter configures a Forever Forward incremental schedule. This parameter is not compatible with the GFS retention policy. The parameter must be used with schedule settings and combined with the -purge parameter.

Possible values:

  • yes
  • no (default)

Command example:

addbackupplan -n "mynewplan" -a "myaccount" -d "c:\backup\" -ffi yes -every month -day 15 -at 12:30 -purge "1m"