What retention rules do you use?

Last post 10-24-2019, 10:34 AM by jbs727. 4 replies.
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  • What retention rules do you use?
    Posted: 10-18-2019, 10:39 PM

    Hi All,

    To have a retention at 30 days or 1 month, I've always used a combination of 30 days and 4 cycles to capture Synthetic Full backups on a Friday night, and incrementals the rest of the week.  Is this still a good strategy, or do you guys use 30 days one cycle?  I've heard other people using this strategy as well. 


    Ideally, I want to have the following retention policy:

    30 daily backups

    8 weekly backups

    12 monthly backups


    Thanks for the feedback in advance!


  • Re: What retention rules do you use?
    Posted: 10-22-2019, 4:07 AM

    Hi Phil 

    How you have setup the retention to 30 Days and 4 Cycles sounds about right and aligns to the default recommendation. 

    In saying that for long-term retention it is also good to have a Secondary Copy to another Disk Library, Tape or Cloud so this will ensure redundancy and scenario where Primary is not available you can still restore your data from another copy.



  • Re: What retention rules do you use?
    Posted: 10-23-2019, 8:06 PM

    My advice... how retention by "cycles" works in Commvault is complicated.  It's implemented exactly as documented so I can't say there's anything wrong with it.  That being said, it can lead to situations where you expect a backup job to age off but it doesn't.  

    If you're using both days and cycles, the jobs won't age off until both conditions are satisfied. The extreme (but obviously very common)  example would be if you add a backup job and you only back it up a couple times before identifying that you never really needed it backed up.  You then decide to turn off backups for it.  None of the backup jobs will age off because Commvault will happily try to retain all of the last 4 cycles even when only one cycle was started. 

    In my environment, I just use retention based on days/weeks/months.  For items I want to stop backing up but keep forever, I have a separate storage policy I assign them to and then I do one final full backup.  For most items when I stop backing it up I don't need to keep it.  Your regulatory requirements may be different than mine but this simple setup has served me well for several years now.  Whenever I run low on tapes I know that I can within a few clicks easily identify if I need to buy more or if I have something wrong causing them not to age off.  If I was using cycles plus days as a retention period I'd have to run the data retention forecast report and deep dive into those results before coming to an answer.  

  • Re: What retention rules do you use?
    Posted: 10-24-2019, 6:32 AM

    if you have incremental + full backup schedule, my recommendation is just go by days and dont use cycle in it. 


    if you doing daily full backup jobs than defintely keep cycle as 0 and just mention your retention.




  • Re: What retention rules do you use?
    Posted: 10-24-2019, 10:34 AM

    We found out the hard way that zero cycle retention is actually treated as one cycle retention, unless no backups are run for x days where x is the number of days in the retention policy. Documented at http://docs.commvault.com/commvault/v11/article?p=11977.htm#o11981, under "How does zero cycle retention work?"

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