Data retention for Files
Data Retention defines the rules for retaining your backups within the storage. Use the retention period to define the duration for which you want to retain your historical backups and define your recovery points.
The objective of retention is to retain the backups for a certain period depending on the compliance requirements while ensuring that backups that are no longer required are not available for restore after their retention period expires.
Retention should consider the value of your data. The different types of data will be retained for different durations. For example, a bank's retention period for customers' financial records is different from facilities inventory records.
Retention period settings
You can define the following retention periods to retain backups:
Retains the daily backups for the days specified. All the backups created on a day are retained. For example, if you specify 7, then all daily backups are retained for 7 days.
Default value: 7
Enter a value between 1 - 1000 days as applicable.
Retains the oldest recovery point for the weeks specified.
Depending on the number of weeks you specify, one backup per week is retained for the specified weeks.
For example, if you specify 7 daily backups, then the first i.e the oldest daily backup is retained. For example, if you have daily backups retained from 15th January (beginning of the week) to 21nd Jan, then the 15th January, backup is retained for weekly retention (for the specified number of weeks) while those from 16th to 21nd will expire after the weekly recovery point is available.
Default value: 4
Enter a value between 1 - 100 weeks as applicable.
Retains the oldest backup for the months specified.
For example, if you specify 4 weeks, then the oldest backup i.e week 1 backup of the cycle is retained for the number of months specified. Only one monthly recovery point is available for each month. The monthly recovery point is created only when there is no other weekly recovery point in the month.
Default value: 12
Enter a value between 1 - 360 months as applicable.
Note: To retain backups forever, enter zero ( 0,0,0) in all the fields.
The following diagram illustrates how the recovery points are created and the oldest backup is retained based on the three retention settings described below.
Let’s say today is 15 January and the following settings are applied:
- Backup frequency: Once a Day
- Retention settings: Daily: 7 | Weekly: 4 | Monthly: 2
Recovery point promotion
With the settings configured in the above example, the following image illustrates how recovery points are promoted:
The recovery points follow the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) model, wherein:
- All the daily backups are retained for the days you have specified.
- The oldest daily recovery point (backup) in the cycle is promoted to weekly.
- The oldest weekly recovery point is promoted to monthly. The monthly recovery point is created only when there is no other weekly recovery point in the month.
All the recovery points that are not promoted are expired.
Data Retention for Emails
Note: This configuration is applicable for Microsoft 365 Exchange Online and Gmail only.
You can either choose to:
- Apply Files Data Retention settings for emails
- Set a custom value to expire emails older than a certain date
With this setting, select the number of months up to which you want to retain all backed-up emails.
Emails are retained based on the email’s event date and timestamp.
The default value is 84 months.
The maximum retention period that you can specify is 360 months and the minimum is 1 month. Set zero (0) for unlimited retention of emails.
Data retention settings for files and emails do not apply for preserved users and if the users associated with the SaaS Apps profile are put on Legal Hold.