Retention Policy

What Is Retention Policy?

A retention policy is a configuration of backup data keeping rules. This configuration defines the following principles of data management:

  • What data is kept
  • How long backup data is kept depending on types of data

Enterprise retention policy is intended to meet compliance or regulatory requirements and is a part of overall data management.

This chapter covers the following topics:

Retention Policy in New Backup Format

In the new backup format, the retention policy is applied to generations except the current one. Each generation is a sequence of full and incremental backups. As a new full backup is executed, a new generation is started.

The retention policy for the backup plan is configured on the Retention Policy step of the backup plan wizard.

In the new backup format, the following options are available for regular retention policy:

  • Do not purge (Keep backup forever). If you need to keep all your backups, select this option
  • Keep backup for: .... This option defines a retention period for previous generations

A current generation is always kept on backup storage regardless of retention policy configuration, so the retention policy applies only to previous generations.

Any previous generation is subject to purge if both conditions stated below are met:

  • The successful restore point exists within the retention period
  • The retention period is expired for the last restore point of the generation

Example

For example, your backup plan schedule is as follows: Incremental backup is executed daily, and a full backup is executed once a week.

As a result, each generation will contain one full backup and six incremental backups for this backup plan.

In case all backups are completed successfully, each generation would have 7 successful restore points.

The retention period is 8 days.

On May 22, 2021, as the incremental backup is completed, backup storage contains the following datasets:

  • Generation 1 is a subject to purge. The retention period expired for the last restore point in this generation. A successful restore point exists within the retention period
  • Generation 2 is not a subject to purge. The retention period is not expired for the last restore point in this generation
  • Generation 3 is not a subject to purge. This is the current generation. Current generations are not subject to a retention policy

Edit Retention Policy

To modify the retention policy for the backup plan, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management.
  3. Find the required computer, then click the gear icon.
  4. Select Show Plans.
  5. Find the required plan, expand it, then click Edit.

  1. In the backup wizard, switch to the Retention Policy step.

  1. Make the required changes.
  2. Click Save.

Data Purge On Backup Storage

An automatic purge procedure is started at the end of the backup plan execution as the backup data is uploaded. Purging consists of two stages:

  • Generations are marked for purging according to the retention policy of the backup plan
  • Delete operations are executed for all marked to purge generations

Regular Retention Policy and GFS

A regular retention policy can be combined with a Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention policy. The GFS retention policy features the following:

  • Minimum storage space
  • Maximum of restore points

According to the GFS policy settings, full backups selected according to configured GFS settings can override regular retention policy settings. Read more about the GFS policy in the GFS section.

Regular Retention Policy In Legacy Backup Format

The retention policy for backup plans in legacy backup format is based on object versions kept on backup storage.

You can use a default retention policy (3 versions are kept for each file and purge delay is set for 3 days) or create a custom one for each backup plan in the legacy backup format.

To modify a retention policy for plans in the legacy backup format, proceed as follows:

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management.
  3. Find the required computer, then click the gear icon.
  4. Select Show Plans.
  5. Find the required plan (it must be in legacy backup format), expand it, then click Edit.
  6. In the backup wizard, switch to the Retention Policy step.
  7. Make the required changes.

The following retention policy settings are available:

  • Delete versions older than. You can make a backup service delete file versions that were modified or uploaded to your backup storage more than a certain number of days ago. When enabling this option, you can also make the backup service always keep the last version of each file regardless of when they were backed up
  • Keep number of versions. You can specify the maximum number of versions kept on backup storage for each file
  • Always keep the last version. Select this check box to have the last file version always on backup storage
  • Purge delay. You can specify a period of time for which locally deleted files should be maintained in the backup storage before being purged. After these files become removed from the backup storage, you will no longer be able to restore them

  1. Click Save.