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Auto Activation with Regular Expressions

As new emails containing the status of new backup jobs come in, it's not unusual for for the policy activation menu to become crowded with new policies. Policies can be activated in bulk to quickly roll out any new policies sitting in the queue, however that is still a process that requires manual administration to perform. Depending on the scale of your operations, this may suffice, however, what if new policies are being sent in, at irregular but frequent intervals? Backup Radar is all about simplifying the backup monitoring process. New policies that come into Backup Radar can be immediately and automatically activated, to allow for auditing right away.

Set-up of this can be as simple as shown in the guide below: 

Prerequisite

As a following step to the mail parser, Backup Radar can find patterns in the identified job name. These patterns can be matched up to rules defined in the auto activation process. Consequently, your job names need to have an identifiable pattern for them to be automatically activated. Every organization uses a their own job-naming scheme. However, Backup Radar recommends the following:

CCC - DDDD - SSS - BBB

CCC: 3 letter code of the tenant company the backup belongs to

DDDD: Device name (shorten this if possible to a code that is identifiable)

SSS: Code of the schedule. Examples include D for daily, w for weekly, and MON for every Monday.

BBB: Definition of the type of backup entry. This can be simply shown as Backup, Alert, Replication, or Cloud.

Example below:

BUR - DC01 - D - Replication

This would be a job name for a daily replication backup up of Backup Radar's data center #1.

The above is simply an example format. The takeaway is that the job naming schemes should follow a common format.

Regular Express

Regular expressions, shortened to regex, is used to define a group of characters that a pattern recognizing algorithm can be applied. These kind of expressions is what Backup Radar will use to apply on job names. 

Backup Radar will compare the job name to the defined regex and activate policies that match. An exact match is expected unless an operator character is used. The following operators will be used in this guide:

Function Operator Description
Wildcard (.*) Matches to any group of characters
Or (a|b) Matches to either a or b

We wont need to cover how to write a regex pattern in detail here, but we'll need to understand that we can put together piece of the expression in the follow section to one complete expression.

Set-up

To begin, navigate to the auto activate page. Each new policy will be shown here once they are defined. A separate auto-activation policy is needed for each group of backup policies.

Select "Configure New Auto Activation"

Setting up the new auto activation policy is similar to bulk activating a policies as described here. However, two fields differ. They are the "Email" and "Job name" fields.

The email field is simple. Define the the originating email address of one of the group of policies.

The job name is where you would need to insert a regex. With the job-naming scheme above, the customer code would never change, so we would use this as an anchor and append the wildcard operator to it:

CCC - (.*)

This would allow us to auto activate any policy that begins with "CCC - ". However, it is recommended we get a bit more specific here as to not pick up any unwanted policies for auto-activation. Lets define it further using the Backup Radar backup job as an example.

BUR - (.*) - (D|W|MON) - (Backup|Alert|Replication|Cloud)

Here we used

BUR - : This is the anchor to and identifies the customer

(.*) - : This is a wildcard used to identify the device name. Devices naming schemes can vary which is why we'll use a wildcard to capture all possibilities here.

(D|W|MON) - This operator matches to one of the defined schedules.

(Backup|Alert|Replication|Cloud): Similarly, this operator matches to one of the defined backup types.

Once the policy is saved, it can be managed in the Auto Activation screen.

Other Examples

Here are some other examples of regex expressions used in auto-activation.

ABC - .*

Matches to:

ABC - Device name - Job Type
ABC001-(.*)- (Backup|Replication|Log Backup|Log Replication)

Matches to:

ABC001-SYS1-30D-1D-0-DB-2300-2200 - Backup
ABC001-SYS1-30D-7Y-0-VM-2300-0800 – Replication
ABC001-SYS1-30D-7Y-0-DB-2300-2200 - Log Backup
ABC001-SYS1-30D-7Y-0-DB-2300-1000 - Log Replication

 

Last Updated by Raymond Tam - January 11, 2019

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