A data retention policy is determined by an organization's legal and business data retention requirements. You may need to keep data available for months or even years. How you achieve this may be a combination of on-system retention and archiving to removable media for longer term storage.
Space on the system is self-managed based on the user settings for balancing ingest rate and retention (see Balancing backup performance and retention). When your system capacity is full, the oldest backups are purged to make room for newer ones. However, the Unitrends system will not purge the latest backups of any type for a given client, or any backups for a client that are put on legal hold. The greater the difference in the amount of total data protected and the system size, the greater the on-system retention. If the difference is small you will see less retention on the system. If you require many weeks of on-system retention, you must deploy a system of sufficient size.
The retention control feature allows you to decide how long backups are retained on the system before being purged. Controlling the order in which backups are removed allows for more effective management of available space, without affecting the manner in which general performance is balanced with retention.
The Retention tool tracks backups as groups containing a master or full backup, along with any incrementals or differentials that followed. A master in a file-based backup group may be generated on-demand, by a scheduled backup, or synthesized by the system during an incremental forever process.
No retention policy is set for newly added clients. With no retention policy set, backups for a client are kept as long as possible by a system until the system runs out of backup space, at which point the oldest backups are purged. Retention policies are set using the following controls. You must have Manage privileges or higher to change retention settings.
See these topics for details on setting retention:
The following table describes the available retention control settings.
A notification mechanism to inform when the desired retention goals are not being met. Setting the minimum retention goal does not guarantee the retention of protected data for the defined period. As newer backups are performed (scheduled or immediate), older backups are purged to reclaim space on the system if necessary. If guaranteed minimum retention is needed, use legal hold. If the minimum retention goal is not met, a message displays on the Alerts Last 7 Days tab of the Status screen.
Number of days backups are retained if space allows. Backups are deleted once the full has exceeded this limit. When a full backup exceeds its retention, the full and all associated incrementals and differentials are purged as well. If you set the maximum retention limit below the minimum limit, backups are deleted and the process cannot be stopped.
Note: The most current backup group for a client is never purged from the system regardless of the need for space.
Legal Hold (Days)
Unlike Min retention goal, Legal hold allows you to set a hard minimum limit on the number of days a backup will be held. The legal hold setting takes precedence over the Min and Max retention settings. Backups that are younger than the legal hold limit are not purged for any reason, including at the expense of new, incoming backups. For legal hold purposes, the age of a backup is only considered to be as old as the latest backup in a set, e.g., the last incremental before a new full. After passing the legal hold limit, the min retention goal and max retention limit settings take over for the purposes of retention. If legal hold is preventing new backups from occurring, a message displays on the Alerts Last 7 Days tab of the Status screen. Information about backups that have been placed on legal hold can be found in the Legal Hold report. See Legal Hold Backups Report for details.
Actual Retention (Days)
Indicates the number of days that the oldest full backup for the client, application, or virtual machine has been retained on the appliance.
|Modifying a client’s or application’s retention settings on the Backup Retention page updates these settings on any computer-level backup schedules that have been created for the client or application(s).
|Once you enter values on the Backup Retention page, you can no longer modify retention settings from the schedule itself. Instead, do this from the Backup Retention page.
|To set retention for a replication target, switch to replication view before starting this procedure (see Viewing replicated backups).
|Select Settings > Storage and Retention > Backup Retention.
|Select the Unitrends system in the Navigation pane to see retention settings for all clients and databases. If desired, select an individual Navigation pane item to see only it and its sub-items retention settings.
|On the Retention Settings pane, highlight individual machines or applications, and enter the desired number of days in the Min Retention Goal, the Max Retention Limit, and Legal Hold fields.
|If a machine or application has a triangle beside it, expand to set goals and limits for any associated items. Entering the goal and limit for the main item on a tree and clicking Apply configures the same settings for all the sub-items. Otherwise, sub-items can be set individually.
|Click Confirm to save the changes.