By Vidhya Natarajan, Senior Associate, Product Marketing at Vembu Technologies
November 09, 2012

Vembu Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Synthetic Full Backup, the Unique Feature of StoreGrid

Frequent incremental backups can become unwieldy and can slow down the backup process. Full backups that are often recommended for overcoming the problem can be time consuming and even impractical. Synthetic full backup which is unique to StoreGrid addresses this drawback. Synthetic full backup creates a full backup of only the single file  that has undergone a large amount of change over a period of time. All incremental backups that occur post a full synthetic backup reference the synthetically created file during the process. This saves both time and bandwidth for the organization.


By default, synthetic full backups are disabled. Users must specifically enable Full Synthetic backup while creating a new backup job or to edit an existing backup schedule.

Synthetic full backup can be enabled by navigating to the Advanced Options under Add/Edit Backup Schedule in the StoreGrid user interface.

How does this work?
The StoreGrid Client maintains a record of the amount of data that is uploaded during a backup process. This information is maintained for all the files in the backup individually. Since the files are compressed during backup, the values reflect the values of the compressed files. If the compressed size of the incremental backup exceeds that the compressed size of the seeded backup by a user defined percentage, a full synthetic backup is automatically recommended by the backup system (default is 80% of the original backup data). The file is marked as “Ready for Synthetic” and the next incremental backup will kick start a full synthetic backup of the specific file. The metadata relating to the file are updated and all future incremental backups are automatically compared against the Full Synthetic Backup version of the file.


File retention policies specified for incremental backups will continue to work even when the backup is full synthetic backup enabled. These can be time based or version file count based. Based on the retention policy selected, the clean-up will happen for the versions.

Backups containing a Synthetic Full Backup can be restored only if the Original seeded file, the latest incremental version of the file and the Full Synthetic backup version of the file are available. The files are never merged in the backup server and continue to remain as individual files and hence this requirement. However, the files get merged in the destination on restore.

Download a free trial of StoreGrid to experience Synthetic full backups.

About the Author: Vidhya Natarajan is a Senior Associate, Product Marketing at Vembu Technologies, a leader in providing cost effective, hybrid (on-premise and cloud) data protection and business focused online backup and disaster recovery solutions for ISPs, MSPs, VARs, Managed Hosting Providers and Educational Institutions. Vembu’s flagship product, StoreGrid, an award winning cloud solution has delivered tangible value to over 3,500 partners worldwide.

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