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Exclude/Include List Causing Backup Delays

Level 2

My backups were running just fine but then we made the decision to exclude .pst files from our daily differential-incrementals.  All of a sudden I have backups spilling over into the next business day and even worse, some jobs failing because they can't start in their alotted start window.  Before I start to reconfigure my policies is there any validity in the fact that exclude/include lists cause overhead?  The only thing that has changed is that one file exception which is then being included in another policy during the full backup job which runs later in the week.


Level 6

When doing excludes it has to examine the file list and look for anything you want to exclude.

If you also have an include list it then has to examine again to make sure that is included.

You might save some overhead if you can specify your exclude and include to apply only the a specific policy or schedule .

Level 5

Don't use general exclusions on the exclusion list. For example, using *.pst in exclude will examine EVERY file it comes across to determine if it falls under that exclusion. The best idea is to exclude down to the area where the pst is first. For example:


C:\documents and settings\administrator\local settings\microsoft\outlook\*.pst

or, if you can afford losing everything in that directory, just exclude the directory itself:

C:\documents and settings\administrator\local settings\microsoft\outlook\


Do not put * on the end of a directory path as a recommendation from Symantec.

Level 2

Thank you for your feedback!

I have specified the file exclusion and file inclusion to specific policies which in turn run on specific schedules.

Here is an example:


Exclude lists:

  For Policy A <<All Schedules>>


  For Policy B <<All Schedules>>


Exceptions to exclude list:

  For Policy B <<All Schedules>>



The plan was to exclude all .pst files from my daily differential-incrementals (to speed up backups and reduce image footprint) and backup all other file system data.  And then, to have a weekly job that just backs up .pst files and ignores all other file system data.

Believe it or not, when .pst files were included with all other daily data (because there were no exclusions), my backups were finishing the same night.  Now, I have missed backup windows and spillover.

Level 2

Thanks Outbacker.  I was typing my reply when you posted.  Obviously from my last post you can see I'm doing exactly what you're advising against.  My problem is these .pst files can be in any directory on this particular volume so can I use wildcards?

Level 5

So just so i can understand:


Policy A has client A, backing up everything daily differential-incremental except pst files

Policy B has client A, backing up only pst files once a week?


If this is the case, why not create a full backup weekly on policy A as a separate schedule and not exclude anything, but make an incremental schedule on Policy A and exclude pst files?

Again, its an issue of checking each file to see if it matches your exclusion when you use such broad wildcards. It's not an issue of the size of the backup, but that it has to pause before backing up each file to check if its equal to that exclusion. If you exclude only at a directory level, netbackup wont do a comparison check until the backup reaches that directory level.

My assumption is that you are currently not using exchange and everyone is actively maintaining pst files? If so, are you okay with recovering only from the last full backup and not day 6 of the week? If these are desktops, I would suggest you look into implementing a media server deduplication pool and doing client-side deduplication (it'll only backup the changes of the .pst file and not the entire thing). Unfortunately if you are a tape only shop, then you're stuck with including it or not.

Level 2

I removed all file exclusions pertaining to .pst files and I only have 10 backups still running which I would expect considering they are the 10 largest servers.  I think I'll play with the .pst exclusions at specific directory levels and see what kind of overhead that causes.

So in short, it's quicker to backup GB's of .pst files rather than have NetBackup exclude them because of the file checks.

Thanks for the feedback everyone!