Intelligent Retention

Intelligent Retention is a special kind of retention policy that is applied exclusively in combination with a Forever Forward Incremental backup.

The main purposes of Intelligent Retention are to reduce storage costs by avoiding so-called early data deletion fees (these early deletion fees are linked with minimum time periods of keeping data (minimum retention policy). If minimum periods are not reached or data was changed before that date, the storage provider may charge users for early deletion).

How It Works

Intelligent Retention works as follows: each time a backup plan is executed, backup storage parameters are checked and the retention period for a Forever Forward Incremental (FFI) backup (with FFI, only one full backup is kept on backup storage) is adjusted in such a way that this full backup is kept on backup storage for a minimum period based on storage provider data deletion conditions. Backup storage parameters are analyzed automatically, so no actions are required from the user: you do not need to do anything.

The logic of Intelligent Retention points to the following:

  • If a full backup was created within the minimum retention period, the next incremental backup is performed according to the schedule set in the backup plan
  • If a full backup is kept in storage for more than the minimum retention period, and the early deletion fee is expired for this full backup, a new Synthetic Full backup is executed. This Synthetic Full will include all incremental backups older than the retention period specified

After the successful creation of a new Synthetic Full backup, a previous full backup is deleted.

Attention! When Intelligent Retention is disabled, only the retention period for incremental backups is checked. Those incremental backups that are older than the specified retention period (the 'Keep Backup For' value) are merged into a new Synthetic Full backup. After successful creation of a new Synthetic Full backup, a previous full backup is deleted that can result in an early deletion fee charged by the storage provider

Refer to the Retention policy chapter for examples on how the retention policy works with enabled intelligent retention depending on early deletion fees in the storages.

Intelligent Retention Should Be Enabled

Intelligent Retention is enabled by default on the Retention Policy step of the backup wizard.

Note that Intelligent Retention is applied only if you enabled and set the Forever Forward Incremental schedule. With any other schedule or no schedule, the Intelligent Retention feature is not available

To configure retention policy for Forever Forward Incremental, perform the following:

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management.
  3. Find the required computer, click the gear icon.
  4. Select Show plans.
  5. Find the required plan or create a new one.
  6. Follow the wizard to the Retention Policy step.
  7. Specify the retention period in the Keep backup for field. Intelligent Retention is enabled by default.

  1. Follow the backup wizard steps to save the configuration or click Save if you edit the existing plan.

Wasabi Backup Storage Considerations

If you are an MSP360 customer and a Wasabi customer at the same time, you are eligible to reduce the minimum data retention period regardless of the pricing model you are using from standard 90 days to 30 days.

Refer to Change Minimum Retention Period for instrucrion on how to do this.

Disable Intelligent Retention Using CLI

To Disable the Intelligent Retention using CLI, use the -ir parameter. This parameter is used with the -ffi (Forever Forward Incremental) parameter. Consider, if you disable Intelligent Retention, you should set up the retention policy to avoid early deletion fees. Creation of restore point after the retention period expires always involves a deletion operation.

Possible values:

  • yes (default)
  • no (not recommended)

Command example to disable:

addbackupplan -n "mynewplan" -a "myaccount" -d "c:\backup\" -ffi yes -ir no

Command example to enable:

addbackupplan -n "mynewplan" -a "myaccount" -d "c:\backup\" -ffi yes -ir yes -every month -day 15 -at 12:30 -purge "1m"