Easily Backup TFS and change the Retention Days

Larger implementations of TFS probably have a well tested and reliable backup process in place (you do right?), but I’m guessing that those running TFS in its basic form on say a desktop or laptop may never have even bothered looking at backups. Although it’s not too difficult to configure a backup you now have no excuse!

The best new feature in the Team Foundation Server Power Tools September 2010 release is Team Foundation Server Backups. It integrates directly into the Team Foundation Server Administration console and is so simple to use that it doesn’t warrant any screen shot demos (but if you really want one look here).

I have two minor gripes with the feature.

  • Firstly, the Retention Days needs to be a number between 30 and 999. Personally I only want around 15 days. The good news is that you can get around this by editing the following file:[SystemDrive]:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Team Foundation\Server Configuration\ConfigPT.xml. You need to change the RetentionDays to the desired number, e.g.  <RetentionDays>15</RetentionDays>.
  • Secondly, the fact that  I have to provide a Network Backup Path. Why can’t I just backup to C:\MyTFSBackups. You may say ‘well that would be local and on the same pc, so in the event of a drive failure, what’s the point?’. Well there is some validity in that argument, however that folder happens to backup to the cloud using the great Mozy backup service, so I’m covered in the event of drive failure. Again though, it’s fairly easy to get around this by creating a local share on the folder and then backing up to the share path.
    There are many other handy features in the Power Tools, but this one stands out for me. Remember, you have no excuse for not backing up now (not that you really had one before)!



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