Migration and Copy

The term Migration, as used in the context of Bareos, means moving data from one Volume to another. In particular it refers to a Job (similar to a backup job) that reads data that was previously backed up to a Volume and writes it to another Volume. As part of this process, the File catalog records associated with the first backup job are purged. In other words, Migration moves Bareos Job data from one Volume to another by reading the Job data from the Volume it is stored on, writing it to a different Volume in a different Pool, and then purging the database records for the first Job.

The Copy process is essentially identical to the Migration feature with the exception that the Job that is copied is left unchanged. This essentially creates two identical copies of the same backup. However, the copy is treated as a copy rather than a backup job, and hence is not directly available for restore. If Bareos finds a copy when a job record is purged (deleted) from the catalog, it will promote the copy as real backup and will make it available for automatic restore.

Copy and Migration jobs do not involve the File daemon.

Jobs can be selected for migration based on a number of criteria such as:

  • a single previous Job

  • a Volume

  • a Client

  • a regular expression matching a Job, Volume, or Client name

  • the time a Job has been on a Volume

  • high and low water marks (usage or occupation) of a Pool

  • Volume size

The details of these selection criteria will be defined below.

To run a Migration job, you must first define a Job resource very similar to a Backup Job but with Type (Dir->Job) = Migrate. One of the key points to remember is that the Pool that is specified for the migration job is the only pool from which jobs will be migrated. In addition, the Pool to which the selected Job or Jobs will be migrated is defined by the Next Pool (Dir->Pool) = … in the Pool resource specified for the Migration Job.

Bareos permits Pools to contain Volumes of different Media Types. However, when doing migration, this is a very undesirable condition. For migration to work properly, you should use Pools containing only Volumes of the same Media Type for all migration jobs.

A migration job can be started manually or from a Schedule, like a backup job. It searches for existing backup Jobs that match the parameters specified in the migration Job resource, primarily a Selection Type (Dir->Job). If no match was found, the Migration job terminates without further action. Otherwise, for each Job found this way, the Migration Job will run a new Job which copies the Job data to a new Volume in the Migration Pool.

Normally four jobs are involved during a migration/copy:

  • The migration/copy control job: This job checks for jobs that need to be copied/migrated and starts a copy/migrate worker job for each of these jobs.

  • The migration/copy worker jobs: They copy the data of one original job to the resulting destination job. The worker jobs are removed from the database when the destination job (the job that is the result of the copying) is pruned from the catalog database, or, in case of a copy, when the new copy is upgraded to become a backup.

  • The previous (original) Backup job (already run and being copied): The File records of this job are purged when the migration/copy job terminates successfully. The data remain on the volume until it is recycled.

  • The new (destination) Backup job (the new copy) that holds the data from the previous Backup job in the new Volume. If you subsequently do a restore, the data will be read from this job.

In case of a migration, the original job is purged from the catalog database immediately after the copy is completed. In a copy job, both original and new backup jobs remain in the catalog database and will be pruned with the standard Bareos mechanisms (i.e. after the expiration of the retention times).

If the migration/copy control job finds more than one existing job to migrate, it creates one migration/copy job for each of them. This may result in a large number of jobs. Please note that migration/copy doesn’t scale too well if you migrate data off of a large Volume because each job must read the same Volume, hence the jobs will have to run consecutively rather than simultaneously.

Important migration Considerations

  • Each Pool into which you migrate Jobs or Volumes must contain Volumes of only one Media Type (Dir->Storage).

  • Migration takes place on a JobId by JobId basis. That is each JobId is migrated in its entirety and independently of other JobIds. Once the Job is migrated, it will be on the new medium in the new Pool, but for the most part, aside from having a new JobId, it will appear with all the same characteristics of the original job (start, end time, …). The column RealEndTime in the catalog Job table will contain the time and date that the Migration terminated, and by comparing it with the EndTime column you can tell whether or not the job was migrated. Also, the Job table contains a PriorJobId column which is set to the original JobId for migration jobs. For non-migration jobs this column is zero.

  • After a Job has been migrated, the File records are purged from the original Job. Moreover, the Type of the original Job is changed from “B” (backup) to “M” (migrated), and another Type “B” job record is added which refers to the new location of the data. Since the original Job record stays in the bareos catalog, it is still possible to restore from the old media by specifying the original JobId for the restore. However, no file selection is possible in this case, so one can only restore all files this way.

  • A Job will be migrated only if all Volumes on which the job is stored are marked Full, Used, or Error. In particular, Volumes marked Append will not be considered for migration which rules out the possibility that new files are appended to a migrated Volume. This policy also prevents deadlock situations, like attempting to read and write the same Volume from two jobs at the same time.

  • Migration works only if the Job resource of the original Job is still defined in the current Director configuration. Otherwise you’ll get a fatal error.

  • Setting the Migration High Bytes (Dir->Pool) watermark is not sufficient for migration to take place. In addition, you must define and schedule a migration job which looks for jobs that can be migrated.

  • Bareos currently does only minimal Storage conflict resolution, so you must take care to ensure that you don’t try to read and write to the same device or Bareos may block waiting to reserve a drive that it will never find. A way to prevent problems is that all your migration pools contain only one Media Type (Dir->Storage), and that you always migrate to a pool with a different Media Type.

  • The Next Pool (Dir->Pool) = … directive must be defined in the Pool referenced in the Migration Job to define the Pool into which the data will be migrated.

  • Migration has only be tested carefully for the “Job” and “Volume” selection types. All other selection types (time, occupancy, smallest, oldest, …) are experimental features.

  • To figure out which jobs are going to be migrated by a given configuration, choose a debug level of 100 or more. This activates information about the migration selection process.

Configure Copy or Migration Jobs

The following directives can be used to define a Copy or Migration job:

Job Resource

Pool Resource

Example Migration Jobs

Assume a simple configuration with a single backup job as described below.

Backup Job
# Define the backup Job
Job {
  Name = "NightlySave"
  Type = Backup
  Level = Incremental                 # default
  FileSet="Full Set"
  Schedule = "WeeklyCycle"
  Messages = Standard
  Pool = Default

# Default pool definition
Pool {
  Name = Default
  Pool Type = Backup
  AutoPrune = yes
  Recycle = yes
  Next Pool = Tape
  Storage = File
  LabelFormat = "File"

# Tape pool definition
Pool {
  Name = Tape
  Pool Type = Backup
  AutoPrune = yes
  Recycle = yes
  Storage = DLTDrive

# Definition of File storage device
Storage {
  Name = File
  Address = rufus
  Password = "secret"
  Device = "File"          # same as Device in Storage daemon
  Media Type = File        # same as MediaType in Storage daemon

# Definition of DLT tape storage device
Storage {
  Name = DLTDrive
  Address = rufus
  Password = "secret"
  Device = "HP DLT 80"      # same as Device in Storage daemon
  Media Type = DLT8000      # same as MediaType in Storage daemon

Note that the backup job writes to the Default (Dir->Pool) pool, which corresponds to File (Dir->Storage) storage. There is no Storage (Dir->Pool) directive in the Job resource while the two Pool (Dir) resources contain different Storage (Dir->Pool) directives. Moreover, the Default (Dir->Pool) pool contains a Next Pool (Dir->Pool) directive that refers to the Tape (Dir->Pool) pool.

In order to migrate jobs from the Default (Dir->Pool) pool to the Tape (Dir->Pool) pool we add the following Job resource:

migrate all volumes of a pool
Job {
  Name = "migrate-volume"
  Type = Migrate
  Messages = Standard
  Pool = Default
  Selection Type = Volume
  Selection Pattern = "."

The Selection Type (Dir->Job) and Selection Pattern (Dir->Job) directives instruct Bareos to select all volumes of the given pool (Default (Dir->Pool)) whose volume names match the given regular expression (“.”), i.e., all volumes. Hence those jobs which were backed up to any volume in the Default (Dir->Pool) pool will be migrated. Because of the Next Pool (Dir->Pool) directive of the Default (Dir->Pool) pool resource, the jobs will be migrated to tape storage.

Another way to accomplish the same is the following Job resource:

migrate all jobs named *Save
Job {
  Name = "migrate"
  Type = Migrate
  Messages = Standard
  Pool = Default
  Selection Type = Job
  Selection Pattern = ".*Save"

This migrates all jobs ending with Save from the Default (Dir->Pool) pool to the Tape (Dir->Pool) pool, i.e., from File storage to Tape storage.

Multiple Storage Daemons

Beginning from Bareos Version >= 13.2.0, Migration and Copy jobs are also possible from one Storage daemon to another Storage Daemon.

Please note:

  • the director must have two different storage resources configured (e.g. storage1 and storage2)

  • each storage needs an own device and an individual pool (e.g. pool1, pool2)

  • each pool is linked to its own storage via the storage directive in the pool resource

  • to configure the migration from pool1 to pool2, the Next Pool (Dir->Pool) directive of pool1 has to point to pool2

  • the copy job itself has to be of type copy/migrate (exactly as already known in copy- and migration jobs)


bareos-dir.conf: Copy Job between different Storage Daemons

# Fake fileset for copy jobs
Fileset {
  Name = None
  Include {
    Options {
      Signature = XXH128

# Fake client for copy jobs
Client {
  Name = None
  Address = localhost
  Password = "NoNe"
  Catalog = MyCatalog

# Source storage for migration
Storage {
   Name = storage1
   Address = sd1.example.com
   Password = "secret1"
   Device = File1
   Media Type = File

# Target storage for migration
Storage {
   Name = storage2
   Address = sd2.example.com
   Password = "secret2"
   Device = File2
   Media Type = File2   # Has to be different than in storage1

Pool {
   Name = pool1
   Storage = storage1
   Next Pool = pool2    # This points to the target storage

Pool {
   Name = pool2
   Storage = storage2

Job {
   Name = CopyToRemote
   Type = Copy
   Messages = Standard
   Selection Type = PoolUncopiedJobs
   Spool Data = Yes
   Pool = pool1