5 1 0:Changing Retention (EOL)

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Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 5.1.0 Apollon. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


Overview


Retention time is configured at the media pool level and is specified in days. It defines the duration for which the backed-up data must be retained in storage. The retention starts from the date a saveset is written to the media (at the end time of the first backup) and defines the expiration date of the saveset (saveset EOL). When the protection (EOL) expires, SEP sesam can reuse the media for new backups.

To maintain integrity of a backup chain and protect against data loss, SEP sesam provides a dependency-based retention strategy through automatic EOL adjustment. This strategy is used to manage and preserve the recoverability of the backup chain.

If the default retention does not meet your requirements, SEP sesam enables you to manually change the expiration date – EOL (End of Lifetime) – of your data.

saveset EOL
You can change the EOL date of any individual saveset that is stored in the data store, see Changing Saveset EOL.
backup EOL
You can change the EOL date for all savesets that belong to the same backup (original, migrated and replicated savesets). Unlike the saveset EOL, which is applied individually to each selected saveset, changing the backup EOL always affects all dependent backup versions that are part of the same backup, see Changing Backup EOL.
(tape) media EOL
Some special rules apply to tape media, as the expiration date of the tape corresponds to the maximum retention time (the longest EOL) identified on the tape, see Changing Media EOL.
Tip
In Web UI, in the backup results window the Backup EOL (in GUI, in the Components -> Tapes -> Media view, the column Media EOL changed by) shows the Backup ID/Saveset ID for changes that were made by automatic EOL adjustment, or username if it was changed manually by the UI user. This information can also be generated for audit trail purposes, see Audit Logging.

Modifying EOL (expiration date)

You can extend EOL to prolong the retention of specific backup data, or reduce it to expire backups and free up the storage space. If you want to decrease the EOL, note that you cannot set the expiration date to a time in the past; the minimum allowed date is the current date.

Manual changes to the EOL do not affect automatic retention management. When you manually shorten the EOL, and as a result, subsequent backups have longer EOL settings than the backups they depend on:

  • If the savesets have not yet expired, the EOL is extended.
  • If a saveset has already expired, the next backup (INCR or DIFF) is performed as a full backup.

For more information on how manual and automatic retention management interact, see rules for automatic EOL adjustment.

To free up space or remove backup data you no longer need, you can delete backups before their EOL is reached. If you want to preserve certain backup data indefinitely, you can also lock a backup or a tape.

Additionally, you can configure global retention settings to customize the default retention behavior for backups and migrated savesets.

Changing Backup EOL

The backup EOL parameter sets the expiration date for all savesets that belong to the same backup, including migrated and replicated savesets.

If you extend the backup EOL, it is adjusted only for the saveset that already has the longest EOL, while the EOL of other savesets remains unaffected. Decreasing the backup EOL can affect all data belonging to the same backup (the entire backup chain), including migrated and replicated savesets.

You can make changes to Backup EOL in various views in the GUI:

  • From Main Selection -> Job State -> Backups: Double-click the backup task (tab Info 1), click the Backup EOL to access the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Data Stores: Double-click the selected data store, go to the Savesets tab, and find the column Backup EOL. Click the date to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Media Pools: Expand the target media pool, double-click the selected item, and in the properties, click the Savesets tab. Then, click the date in the Backup EOL column to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Tapes -> Media: Filter the media, e.g., by using the Media EOL column, or select the target media from the list. Then, double-click the target item to open its properties. In the Savesets tab, look for the Backup EOL column and click the date to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.

Changing Saveset EOL

The Saveset EOL parameter sets the expiration date for individual savesets stored in a datastore or on tape media.

If you extend the Saveset EOL of a saveset that is part of an FDI backup chain, then the EOL of the preceding savesets in the chain will also be extended. If you shorten the saveset EOL, the new expiration date is set only for the selected individual saveset.

You can make changes to Saveset EOL in various views in the GUI:

  • From Main Selection -> Job State -> Backups: Double-click the backup result and then click the date in the Saveset EOL column in the table Storage Location to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Data Stores: Double-click the selected data store, go to the Savesets tab, and find the column Saveset EOL. Click the date to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Media Pools: Expand the target media pool, double-click the medium, and in the properties, click the Savesets tab. Then, click the date in the Saveset EOL column to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.
  • From Main Selection -> Components -> Tapes -> Media: Filter the media, e.g., by using the Media EOL column, or select the target media from the list. Then, double-click the target item to open its properties. In the Savesets tab, look for the Saveset EOL column and click the date to open the drop-down calendar and select a new date.

Changing tape Media EOL

To adjust the EOL of tape media, you can modify the Media EOL parameter. Tape media EOL is shown as Media EOL in the Media view or as Locked until in tape properties.

The lock icon next to the EOL date in the Media view list indicates:

  • Gray open lock: tape EOL has expired and the medium can be overwritten.
  • Blue lock: The medium is protected until the displayed date (Media EOL). Current data cannot be overwritten, but there is still free space on the tape and new savesets can be appended.
  • Red lock: The tape is full and protected until the displayed date.

For more information see Changing tape EOL.

If you don't want to reuse the tape after the EOL date of the tape media has been reached, you can also lock the tape using write protection. This option overrides the Media EOL.

Locking a backup or a tape

In case you want to preserve backup data after its EOL has expired and ensure that it is not deleted or overwritten, you can lock a backup. A lock has no time limit and backup remains locked until you unlock it.

The lock status is automatically applied to all savesets in a backup chain on which the locked backup depends on for restore. All backups belonging to the same chain are protected from deletion until one of them is unlocked. This ensures that no backup is removed prematurely from the system, which could render the locked backup unrestorable.

To lock a backup in Web UI, click Monitoring and then select Last backup state or Backups. Click the backup task of the backup you want to lock and in the properties window click Lock this backup.

In GUI, you can lock a backup in various views:

  • Job State -> Backups -> double-click a backup task -> backup properties – Info 1 -> above the Storage location table on the right select the check box Lock state
  • Components -> Tapes -> Media -> select the media and open properties -> Savesets tab -> double-click to open the saveset properties -> select the check box Lock state
  • Components -> Media Pools -> select a media pool and expand it to open the media -> double-click to open the Media properties -> Media properties – Properties 1 -> tab Savesets -> double-click to open the saveset properties -> select the check box Lock state
  • Components -> Data Stores -> double-click the selected data store to open the properties -> Savesets tab -> double-click to open the saveset properties -> select the check box Lock state

To lock a tape media, you can enable the Write Protection option for a tape. This option overrides the media pool retention time and any individually adjusted EOL values, providing permanent protection for savesets on tape. Write-protected media cannot be used until write protection is manually deactivated (unlocking the media). Once write protection is removed, the set retention time of the media pool is applied to the tape media.

To enable write protection, in the Main Selection -> Components -> Tapes -> Media, in the list of media find the required tape and toggle the On/Off button in the column Write Protection.

Deleting savesets, backups or data on tape media

If you want to remove backup data you no longer need before the EOL expires, you can delete a single saveset, a backup (all savesets that belong to a backup), or an entire backup chain.

Before deleting a saveset or backup, SEP sesam checks if any dependent backups will become unusable for restore. A list of any dependent backups that will also be deleted is displayed for review, ensuring that no important backups are inadvertently deleted. Deleting a saveset or backup in SEP sesam also removes redundant and unusable savesets or backups from storage to optimize space utilization.

For more information see Deleting Backups.

You can delete data on tape when the EOL of all savesets stored on the tape has expired and the tape is not locked (write-protected). In case the tape EOL hasn’t yet expired, you have to expire the tape to remove protection before you can delete or overwrite the tape.

For more information see Deleting Media.

Customizing the default retention behavior for backups and migration

You can configure global retention settings to customize the default retention behavior for backups and migrated savesets. You can configure longer retention time of different media pools for migrated savesets, decrease retention time for failed backups, and change the automatic retention of the last successful backup and/or migration.

To change the global retention policy, you can add or modify the keys associated with retention. In Web UI, in the navigation menu click System Configuration -> System Settings (in GUI, in the SEP sesam menu bar click Configuration -> Defaults -> Settings) and find the EOL-related keys. See Customizing Global Retention Policy for details.

The screenshot shows the System Settings table with the EOL-related parameters.


See also

Automatic Retention (EOL) ManagementBackup Chain DependenciesBackup Strategy Best PracticesTape Management - Deleting Backups

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