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Druva Documentation

Manage retention policy

Phoenix Editions: File:/tick.png Business File:/cross.png Enterprise File:/tick.png Elite

Overview

A retention policy defines the rules for retaining your backed-up snapshots within storage. Use retention policies to define the duration for which you want to retain your historic snapshots.

The main objective of using a retention policy is to keep important data for future access, depending on how critical it is, and how often it will be required. A retention policy also ensures that snapshots that are no longer required are cleaned from your storage periodically, resulting in less storage utilization and costs.

A retention policy should consider the value of your data, as well as the legal requirements that you might need to adhere to. This means that different types of data will be retained for different durations. For example, a bank's retention period for customers' financial records and facilities inventory records will be different.

Main factors to consider while defining a retention policy are,

  • Legal requirements
  • Storage costs
  • Type of data

What should you know about retention policies?

  • Retention policies are applicable for snapshots that reside on Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud.
  • The default retention policy retains snapshots as follows:
    • All snapshots: 60 days
    • Weekly revisions: 24 weeks
    • Monthly revisions: 12  months
    • Yearly revisions: 3  years
  • Phoenix runs a retention policy expiration algorithm to delete the snapshots that have crossed the expiration period. This algorithm does not delete thawed snapshots. For more information, see Snapshots.
  • Phoenix follows the Gregorian calendar for tracking days.
  • For daily snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight as the end of a day.
  • For weekly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of Sunday as the end of the week.
  • For monthly snapshots, Phoenix considers midnight of the last day of a month as the end of the month.
  • For yearly snapshots, Phoenix considers the midnight of the last day of the year as the end of the year.
  • Snapshot name displayed on the Phoenix Management Console is snapshot creation time as per the server time zone, on which the backup occurred. Phoenix considers the time zone of the server for retaining the snapshots as per retention policy.
  • If you apply a new retention policy to a server group, Phoenix retains all the snapshots created with the old retention policy. Phoenix does not apply new retention policy parameters to the old snapshots. Phoenix retains the old snapshots for the duration defined in the old retention policy.

How Phoenix uses retention policies?

Phoenix follows the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention policy model. You must define the duration to retain snapshots,

  • Daily snapshots - Phoenix retains all the snapshots that are created for the number of days specified in Daily snapshots.
  • Weekly snapshots (Son) - Number of weekly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the week as the weekly snapshot.
  • Monthly snapshots (Father) - Number of monthly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the month as the monthly snapshot.
  • Yearly snapshots (Grandfather) - Number of yearly snapshots that Phoenix should retain. Phoenix treats the latest snapshot in the year as the yearly snapshot.

Example

Below is the calendar for September, 2016.

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

     

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

   

Let us assume, if you have specified below configuration in your retention policy:

  • Keep all snapshots for - 7 days
  • Keep weekly revisions for  - 4 weeks
  • Keep monthly revisions for - 12 months
  • Keep yearly revisions for - 5 years

Assume, Phoenix performs a daily backup at 22:00 hrs in your environment and today’s date is September 15th, 14:00 hrs.

Based on the retention policy, Phoenix retains snapshots as follows,

  • 7 Daily snapshots - Server A has been successfully backed up for last 7 days. As per configuration, all the snapshots that are generated as part of backups are retained for 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, 10th, 9th, and 8th September. On 15th September, all the snapshots for 8th September are deleted.

Note: If you have configured Phoenix to backup your server multiple times within a day, Phoenix retains all the snapshots for 7 days.

  • 4 Weekly snapshots are retained for
    • 11th September
    • 4th September
    • 28th August
    • 21st August

Phoenix deletes the oldest weekly snapshot, that is, 21st August snapshot on completion of 4 weeks period on 18th September.

  • 12 Monthly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st August
    • 31st July
    • 30th June
    • 31st May
    • 30th April
    • 31st March
    • 29th February
    • 31st January
    • 31st December, 2015
    • 30th November, 2015
    • 31st October, 2015
    • 30th September, 2015

Phoenix deletes the oldest monthly snapshot, that is, 30th September, 2015 snapshot on completion of 12 months period on 30th September, 2016.

  • 5 Yearly snapshots are retained for
    • 31st December 2015
    • 31st December 2014
    • 31st December, 2013
    • 31st December, 2012
    • 31st December, 2011

Phoenix deletes the oldest yearly snapshot, that is, 31st December, 2011 snapshot on completion of 5 years period on 31st December, 2016.

Add a retention policy

By default, Phoenix has a default retention policy defined, which can be used to associate with the server groups. However, based on your organization’s requirements, you can add a new retention policy and associate it with the server groups.

Prerequisites

You must be a Phoenix cloud administrator.

Procedure

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Retention PoliciesManage Retention Policies page with existing list of retention policies appears.
  3. Click Add Retention Policy, located at the top-right corner of the page. Add Retention Policy window appears.
  4. Under Policy Details, specify the following details
    Field Description

    Policy Name

    Name for this retention policy.

    Keep all snapshots for

    Duration in number of days, for which you want to retain all the daily snapshots.

    Keep weekly revisions for

    Specify the number of weeks for which you want to retain the latest weekly snapshot.

    Keep monthly revisions for

    Specify the number of months  for which you want to retain the latest monthly snapshot.

    Keep yearly revisions for

    Specify the number of years, for which you want to retain the latest yearly snapshot.

  5. Click Save.

New retention policy is added to Phoenix. You can now assign this newly created retention policy to server groups. Retention policy is applied to all the servers that are part of the server group. Phoenix retains snapshots of the backed up data for the servers as per defined retention policy.

Update a retention policy

As a Phoenix cloud or group administrator, you can update existing retention policy details as per your organization’s policies. When you update a retention policy, Phoenix revisits all the snapshots created/retained for the server groups as per the original retention policy, and retains only the snapshots as specified in the updated retention policy.

Procedure

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Retention PoliciesManage Retention Policies page with existing list of retention policies appears.
  3. Click the retention policy for which you want to update the details. Retention policy details appear.
  4. Click Edit. Edit Retention Policy page appears.
  5. Modify the policy details as per your requirement,
    Field Description

    Keep all snapshots for

    Duration in number of days, for which you want to retain all the daily snapshots.

    Keep weekly revisions for

    Specify the number of weeks for which you want to retain the latest weekly snapshot.

    Keep monthly revisions for

    Specify the number of months  for which you want to retain the latest monthly snapshot.

    Keep yearly revisions for

    Specify the number of years, for which you want to retain the latest yearly snapshot.

  6. Click Update.

Retention policy is updated. Phoenix updates the associated server groups and retains snapshots as per the updated retention policy starting next backup.

View server groups associated to a retention policy

To view list of server groups associated to a retention policy,

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Retention PoliciesManage Retention Policies page with existing list of retention policies appears.
  3. Click the VMware retention policy for which you want to view the list of associated server groups. Retention policy details appear.
  4. In the Server Groups area, you can see the list of associated server groups.
  5. Click on the server group name to view its details.

Delete a retention policy

As a Phoenix cloud administrator, you can delete a retention policy that is not required as per policies of your organization. When you delete a retention policy, the retention rules no longer apply to the server groups that it was assigned to. Phoenix stops retaining snapshots following the rules defined by the retention policy that you delete.

A retention policy should not be associated to any server group at the time of deletion. If the retention policy being deleted is associated to server groups, you must update the server groups to change the retention policy. For more information, see Update a server group.

Prerequisites

The retention policy being deleted, must not be associated to any server groups.

Procedure

  1. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click All Organizations, and then select the required organization from the drop-down list.
  2. On the Phoenix Management Console menu bar, click Manage > Retention PoliciesManage Retention Policies page with existing list of retention policies appears.
  3. Click the retention policy for which you want to delete. Retention policy details appear.
  4. Click Remove Retention Policy. A dialog box appears asking for your confirmation.
  5. Click Yes.

If the prerequisites mentioned earlier are satisfied, retention policy is removed from Phoenix. Else, you must take appropriate steps to satisfy the criteria and then try again.

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