No, Synthetic Backup is included in the product. You can run consolidation regardless if your full and incremental backups reside on disk or tape. Of course, you need drive licenses to work with tape or Advanced backup to Disk licenses to work with Filelibraries or the new B2D device type included in DP A.06.21 and later.
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Synthetic Backups are also known as Advanced Incremental Backups. Several Advanced Incremental backups are done, backing up to a File Library, a Consolidation is done of several Advanced Incremental backups into a Synthetic Full Backup, then Object Copy is used to send that to tape, if so desired
From this, I can determine that these licenses are needed
- Single Drive
- Advanced Backup to disk
You probably already have one or more SIngle Drive licenses, but, may not have Advanced Backup to disk. These come in flavors of 1TB, 10TB, and 100TB
You may be able to make this work if you have a VTL that emulates a tape library, and a sufficient number of Single Drive licenses, but the documentation says:
Synthetic backup is an advanced backup solution that eliminates the need to run regular full backups. After an initial full backup, only incremental backups are run, and subsequently merged with the full backup into a new, synthetic full backup. This can be repeated indefinitely, with no need to run a full backup again. In terms of restore speed, such a backup is equivalent to a conventional full backup.
How to perform synthetic backup The synthetic backup procedure consists of the following steps:
In the backup specification that is used for the full backup and incremental backups, enable the Enhanced incremental backup option.
Perform a full backup.
Configure subsequent incremental backups to be written to one file library.
When at least one incremental backup exists, perform object consolidation. How frequently you perform object consolidation depends on your backup strategy.
Before purchasing additional Disk advanced licensed for the file library, you may want to look at where you want to be in 6 months/1 year time:
6.20 is end of support life soon.
Synthetic backups have been great in version 6 up to 6.21 but it is all broken since 8.0 (dont know about 7.x) up to the latest 8.12.
Now consolidations fail completly after 10 to 12 days, requiring to manually perform a full backup to get you going for another 10/12 days.
If you have a minor error during incremental, there is a huge chance that the whole server will be missing on the next consolidated backup. There is no error to let you know it happened. You just find the hard way if you need to restore, or if you look closely at the logs every days.