By Ivy / Last update September 14, 2020

Grandfather Father Son Backup Definition

Grandfather-Father-Son (short for GFS) is a common and most widely used backup rotation strategy for storage media. Typically, It consists of daily incremental backup (son, once a day), weekly full backup (father, once a week), and monthly full backup (Grandfather, once a month), and even more (like hourly, quarterly, or annual backups). Nevertheless, Veeam has different GFS retention policy: Weekly backups (sons), Monthly backups (fathers), yearly backups (grandfathers).

According to Acronis Grandfather-Father-Son Backup scheme, you could set the days of the week when the daily/weekly/monthly backup will be performed; besides, you could set the retention time for these backups. For example, you could set the grandfather backup that is performed on the last Friday of each month, father backup is performed on every Monday and son backup performed on every other day of the week.

GFS will delete the oldest backups according to the FIFO (first in, first out) rotation scheme to store the new backups.

GFS Advantages & Disadvantages

Grandfather father son backup is easy to operate, and save storage space. Get the most recovery points while using the least storage space is the aim. However, it has some disadvantages:

  • It only applied to schedule backup, and could not contiguously back up.

  • The restore process will be complex and will be inefficiently.

  • You have to operate it manually.

Try Best Grandfather-Father-Son Backup Software

With the help of GFS backup software - AOMEI Backupper Professional, you could do the grandfather father son backup automatically and the restore process will be simpler and sooner enough. Meanwhile, you are allowed to set the day of the week when the grandfather father son backup will be performed, and similar to Acronis, AOMEI Backupper Professional also permits you to set up the retention time for these backups to keep.

I can’t wait to show you the simple steps to create Grandfather, father, son backups, the detailed steps are listed below (take Disk Backup for example):

1. You could download GFS backup software - AOMEI Backupper Professional first, and then create grandfather, father, son backups. Run this program after installing.

2. Choose Backup tab on main console, and then press Disk Backup option.

Disk Backup

3. Input proper Task Name to differ from other backups, select the hard disks you need to backup in the Step1. Then, choose a location to save all of the data from source disks in the Step2.

Tip: Generally speaking, you’d better to store the backup images to other storage devices in the event of system failure or hardware damaged, storages like CD/DVD, USB flash drive, external SSD drive, network share, NAS and clouds, etc. AOMEI Backupper supports all of the storage media.

Choose Source Disk and Destination Disk

4. Tick the Schedule options to set grandfather, father, son backups as follows:

Tip: The program allows you to create backups via event triggers, USB plug in, etc.

Daily Incremental Backup (Son) Settings

①Choose Daily in General tab, then you could choose three daily backup settings, showing like below:

  • Run once only at 2019/4/10 19:24

  • Run once every day at 19:24

  • Intervals

Daily Son Backup

②In the Advanced tab, choose Incremental Backup (Default) to perform the scheduled backup:

Schedule Settings Advanced

Weekly Full Backup (Father ) Settings

①Choose Weekly in General tab, and then you could choose the days to perform the backup (orange means selected).

Schedule Weekly

②In the Advanced tab, choose Full Backup to perform the scheduled backup.

Monthly Full Backup (Grandfather) Settings

①Choose Monthly in General tab, then you could specify the specific time to perform the backup.

Schedule Monthly

②In the Advanced tab, choose Full Backup to perform the scheduled backup.

5. Check the Scheme option to enable disk space management. Then you could set up the retention time for full backup, incremental backup, differential backup, and other backups.


6. Hit Start Backup button, two options you could choose: Add the schedule and start backupnow or Only add the schedule.

Then the Grandfather father son backup has been created. Once created, the backup task will automatically run at the certain time you set; you don’t have to run it manually.

Besides, you are allowed to real time sync for your files or folders, and then the destination location will save the latest version of your files and folders as your second copy in the event of system failure or hardware damaged; restore backup image to identify location or even restore to dissimilar hardware computer; use command line to backup your files; and migrate Windows 10 to SSD drive without reinstalling system; and many more.