About synthetic backups

During a traditional full backup, all files are copied from the client to a master server or a media server. The files are copied even though those files may not have changed since the last incremental backup.

When NetBackup creates a synthetic full backup, NetBackup detects whether new or changed files have been copied to the media server during the last incremental backup. The client does not need to be running to combine the full backups and the incremental backups on the media server to form a new, full backup. The new, full synthetic backup is an accurate representation of the clients' file system at the time of the most recent full backup.

Because processing takes place on master and media servers instead of the client, synthetic backups help to reduce the network traffic. Files are transferred over the network only once. After the backup images are combined into a synthetic backup, the tapes or disk that contain the component images can be recycled or reclaimed. Synthetic backups can reduce the number of tapes or disk space in use.

Synthetic backups can be written to tape storage units or disk storage units, or a combination of both. If the backups use tape, the backups can be synthesized when drives are not generally in use. For example, if backups occur primarily at night, the drives can synthesize full backups during the day.

The Synthetic Backup option is available under the following conditions:

More Information

Collect true image restore information with move detection policy attribute

Synthetic backup schedule attribute

Recommendations for synthetic backups

Recommendations for synthetic backups

Synthetic full backups

Synthetic cumulative incremental backups

Schedules that must appear in a policy for synthetic backups

Adding clients to a policy for synthetic backups

Change journal and synthesized backups

True image restore and synthesized backups

Checkpoint restart and synthesized backups

Displaying synthetic backups in the Activity Monitor

Logs produced during synthetic backups

Synthetic backups and directory and file attributes

Using the multiple copy synthetic backups method

Optimized synthetic backups using OpenStorage