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Product Version: 10.5
Last Modified: 14 September 2021

Question

How does the retention of recovery points work?

Answer

NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides the Grand-Father-Son (GFS) retention scheme. This scheme allows you to save storage space while retaining the recovery points for any period that you need. The following options are available:

  1. Retain the specified number of last recovery points: After the specified number of recovery points in the backup repository is exceeded, the oldest recovery point is deleted.
  2. Retain one recovery point for the specified period of time: One recovery point is stored for the specified period of time, after which this recovery point is deleted.
  3. Make new recovery points immutable: This option sets an immutability flag on new recovery points, preventing their deletion or modification for a specified period of time. 

Note

You can manually configure the recovery points retention by viewing the backup details on the Settings > Repositories page. Select one of the following options:

  • Use job retention: This option enables a job-specific retention policy for the recovery point.
  • Keep forever: This option is automatically enabled if the job does not have a schedule. You can also select this option manually.
  • Protect until: This option allows you to manually select a specific date until which the recovery point will be protected. Afterward, the rules of the job retention policy automatically apply to this recovery point.

Note that manually protected recovery points are separate from those protected by the job retention policy.

Also note that immutable recovery points cannot be removed by retention policies for the specified period of immutability.

Example

Let’s say you have scheduled a backup job to run every hour from Monday to Friday, and you have configured the following retention options:

  • Retain the 10 last recovery points;
  • Retain one recovery point per day for 10 days;
  • Retain one recovery point per week for 4 weeks;
  • Retain one recovery point per month for 12 months;
  • Retain one recovery point per year for 3 years; and
  • Make new recovery points immutable for 0 days.

Starting the following Monday, the backup job will run every hour and a new recovery point will be created in the backup repository after each job run. The following will happen with the recovery points:

  1. Once recovery point 11 is created, the first recovery point (the oldest) will be removed. So, the total number of last recovery points always remains 10. With each new job run, one new recovery point is created and the oldest one is deleted. 
  2. The last recovery point created on that Monday (let's say at 11:00 PM) will be considered the “recovery point of the day”. This recovery point will be stored for 10 days and deleted when the eleventh daily recovery point is created.
  3. After the end of the first week since the first backup, the last recovery point of the week (let's say Friday 11:00 PM) is stored as the “recovery point of the week”. It will be stored for four weeks and deleted when the fifth weekly recovery point is created.

The same process applies to monthly and annual recovery points.

Notes:

  1. To retain your per-week recovery point, for four weeks, for example, enter 5 in the Keep one recovery point per week for field, because the current week is also taken into account. Similarly, proceed with the Keep one recovery point per month for and Keep one recovery point per year for fields.
  2. In the case of backing up to an incremental-with-full-backups repository, incremental recovery points can only be removed if a newer full recovery point is created. Therefore, removal of recovery points happens in one of the following ways:
    • The whole chain of recovery points, including the full one, is removed provided that:
      1. The next full recovery point is created.
      2. The whole chain of recovery points until the next full recovery point no longer falls within your retention period.
      3. The full recovery point to be removed is not assigned to a recovery point of the week, month, or year.
    • Only a whole set of incremental recovery points is removed provided that:
      1. The next full recovery point is created.
      2. All the recovery points, except for the full recovery point, in the chain up to the next full recovery point no longer fall within your retention period.
      3. The full recovery point is assigned to a recovery point of the week, month, or year.

Viewing Types of Recovery Points

You can view which type of recovery point (incremental or full) is stored in the repository in one of the following ways:

  • On the Backup page of the Recovery Job Wizard.
  • By viewing the backup details on the Settings > Repositories page.
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