How To | Prune, Recycle, and Drop Older Backups with Zmanda

How To | Prune, Recycle, and Drop Older Backups with Zmanda

Amanda Enterprise (AE), a product of Zmanda, can prune, drop, and recycle aging backup data to free up your storage media and make it available for new backups. Amanda uses labels to identify backup media. Labels ensure that the backup set is loaded in the correct storage media, and no backup is overwritten before the completion of the planned retention cycle. When the Zmanda Management Console (ZMC) finds a labeled piece of media (media that already contains backup data), it will not write a backup to that storage. When the ZMC finds unlabeled media:

  1. It writes a label for subsequent identification.
  2. It catalogs a record of the new media. This allows the ZMC to use new media before recycling the used media. The media is used depending on its label.

Let’s have a look at how Zmanda prunes, drops and recycles older backup images.

Watch The How-To Video Below:

What is Pruning?

Pruning is a method of removing old and unnecessary backup residing on media. This media is not useful until it clears the data in it. Zmanda has an inbuilt mechanism that prunes the expired media automatically after they have passed the Retention Period.

Manual Pruning

In case the expired media is not pruned automatically, you can do a manual pruning by following the below-mentioned steps.

  • Navigate to Backup > Media page and click on the “Prune” button under the Media list.

This will clear up all the expired media.


Recycling a media will remove any data that is present in the media. This process will then make the media available for future backup runs.

Note: Once the media is recycled, it is not possible to get the data back, so you need to be careful while using this option.


Recycle option will empty the tape but maintains the label so that it will be used in the consecutive runs. However, dropping a tape will delete the data in it as well as the label assigned to it.

  • In the case of Tape backup, there is an additional option to drop the tapes along with the recycle option.

Please follow the above steps to prune, drop, and recycle images from the media. In case you get stuck in the process, kindly contact our team.

You can reach us at [email protected] or give us a call at 888-496-2632 (U.S.) or 408-732-3208 (INTL).

Be sure to check out our other how-to videos: How To | Create a Windows Template on Zmanda Windows Client and Configure It