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Hey Zoidberg! Here's hoping you get two meals in one week!
As for the LEM backups, first take a look at this:
In LEM 5.6+, the archiveconfig backups are actually incremental. If you go look at what the LEM produces, it's copying DB partitions to the backup location. The first backup will usually be the biggest/slowest, but then the LEM just copied new partitions to the backup store.
I have seen customers do snapshots of the LEM from Hyper-V and VMWare, and it seems to work okay though it can quickly consume a lot of disk-space.
It should be noted that backups can only be restored to the same version, so if you backup the archive and config from your LEM 5.5 and upgrade to 5.7, that backup is no longer useful to the active LEM. However, we do have people spin up an eval LEM on a previous version and ask support to import their database so they can search it if circumstances require it.
Thanks. I'd looked at that earlier but it didn't mention incremental backups. If they are then that's ideal for us, and I'll try and remember the warning as and when we upgrade to a newer version (but will almost certainly forget).
<scuttles off, looking for food>