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Backup Matrix


As of 8/22/21, I'm no longer using XCP-NG. This information is being left as reference material, but should be considered outdated and/or inaccurate.


Name Modes Schedule
Delta Backups Delta Backup Incremental Backups
Full Backups Backup Full Backups
Pool Metadata Pool Metadata Pool Metadata
XO Config Backup XO Config XO Config Backup

Backup Descriptions

Delta Backup

You can export only the delta (difference) between your current VM disks and a previous snapshot (called here the reference). They are called continuous because you'll never export a full backup after the first one.

Delta backups will only export the difference between the previous backup:


You can imagine making your first initial full backup during a weekend, and then only delta backups every night. It combines the flexibility of snapshots and the power of full backups, because:

  • delta are stored somewhere else than the current VM storage
  • they are small
  • quick to create
  • easy to restore

So, if you want to rollback your VM to a previous state, the cost is only one snapshot on your SR (far less than the rolling snapshot mechanism).

Even if you lost your whole SR or VM, XOA will restore your VM entirely and automatically, at any date of backup.

Full Backup

You can schedule full backups of your VMs, by exporting them to the local XOA file-system, or directly to an NFS or SMB share. The "rentention" parameter allows you to modify how many backups are retained (by removing the oldest one).

Full backups are space consuming! But they allow a very simple restoration without anything to think of (the file will contain all the VM disks and information).

Pool Metadata / XO Config

XCP-ng and Citrix Hypervisor (Xenserver) hosts use a database to store metadata about VMs and their associated resources such as storage and networking. Metadata forms this complete view of all VMs available on your pool. Backing up the metadata of your pool allows you to recover from a physical hardware failure scenario in which you lose your hosts without losing your storage (SAN, NAS...).

In Xen Orchestra, Metadata backup is divided into two different options:

  • Pool metadata backup
  • XO configuration backup

Backup Schedules

Name State Cron Pattern Timezone Backup Retention Backup Occurrence
Incremental Backups Enabled 0 4 */7 * * America/New_York 2 Weekly / Sunday at 4am
Full Backups Enabled 0 0 1 * * America/New_York 1 Monthly / Sunday at 1am
Pool Metadata Enabled 0 0 * * * America/New_York 1 Daily at 12am
XO Config Backup Enabled 0 1 * * * America/New_York 2 Daily at 1am