Windows agent skipped file behavior change

SUMMARY

Changes released in 9.2 may cause prior successful backups to be marked as failed due to skipped files. Additionally, backups that are not successful may be promoted to a full resulting in a cycle of daily warnings and never ending full backup attempts.

ISSUE

The 9.2.0-2 agent was changed to fail any backup job that skips a file or cannot backup a file.  This was done to ensure WinIR backups would always be complete and contain the entire file set.  This is critical for DRaaS operations.  
However, this change had undesired consequences for some environments where a backup with zero skipped files is impossible due to environmental or 3rd party application concerns.  

See also:  Windows backups failing after upgrading agent to 9.2

Additionally, once otherwise promoted to a full, under 9.2 a new backup must be green in order to stop promoting the next full.  It can be difficult in some cases to ensure this happens causing daily full promotion of some servers. 

RESOLUTION

changes in 9.2.0-3+ client

We change the behavior in 9.2.0-3 to allow 1 in 1000 files to be skipped and make the backup yellow (completed with warnings).  Here is what will be changing.

  1. A new key/value pair will be added to the master.ini on the client.  The key will control if skipped files are allowed or not.
    1. Key name will be FailOnFilesSkipped and it should be set in section [BProfessional]
      1. Values are 1 or 0
        1. 1 = true = fail if any file is skipped
        2. 0 = false = allow skipped files and warn
    2. This key will default to off.
      1. This allows 1 in 1000 files to skip and the job to complete with warnings.
        1. The job will fail if the number of skipped files exceeds 1 in 1000.  Note that due to the current logic between the DPU and client. The following job will also fail and trigger the promotion to full for the following job.
    3. If the key is on.
      1. The job will fail if any files are skipped.  This will result in a promotion to full.
    4. If the user wants to use WIR/DRaaS, this value should be set to 1.  Failure to set this to 1, may result in a failed WIR/DRaaS. 
      1. It is recommended that installs always set this value to 1 if the user is planning to use WIR/DRaaS.
    5. The value this key is set to will be sent in the client messages and viewable when clicking on backup details in the UI.
  2. On the DPU side the user can adjust the ratio (X : 1000) of files that are allowed to be skipped.  The default is 1 in 1000.
    1. In the [Configuration Options] section you will find the key/value pair AllowedIncompletePercent=1 ; 1 file per 1000 
    2. This value can be changed to allow a higher ratio if desired.  (I have no idea why you would want to)
Note: synthesis will promote the resulting synthetic full to green even though it had one or more backups in the chain marked yellow (completed with warnings).  Replication will also change a yellow backup to green on the target.

Changes in 10.0 agent:

Under older agents, if a backup was promoted to a full, a new full must be GREEN in order to clear the backup promotion flag.  Under 10,0, a backup with warnings will allow the promotion flag to be cleared allowing incrementals to proceed forward thereafter.  When the 10.0 agent becomes available (this agent is not being released the same day as appliance release 10.0 but will shortly follow), this behavior will be on automatically. 

Again, it is CRITICAL that if a client is to be used with WinIR or DRaaS via agent based protection that the master.ini settings noted above for 9.2.0-3+ agents be used, and any skipped file must result in a failed backup.  If a file cannot be properly protected, it should either be a) excluded and possibly protected through some other means like a scripted copy or other 3rd party tool, or b) be discussed with the vendor of the application locking the file inappropriately, or c) move the file to an NTFS volume or alternate server with functional VSS writers or open file management software.  
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