Storage Policies

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Overview

Types of Storage Policies

Data Aging and Storage Policy Time Zones

Storage Policy Operations

Best Practices

Considerations

Audit Trail

Related Reports


Overview

Storage policies act as the primary channels through which data is included in data protection and data recovery operations. A storage policy forms the primary logical entity through which a subclient or instance is backed up. Its chief function is to map data from its original location to a physical media. The system provides a default iDataAgent storage policy for each media library, stand-alone, or disk drive once they are configured.

You can create storage policies to:

A secondary copy of a storage policy provides a means of making an additional copy of backed up data and is used in auxiliary copy operations, or data protection operations that create inline copies.

Quick Recovery Agent

If you are using the Quick Recovery Agent, this agent uses QR Policies for the data included in the agent's Quick Recovery Creation operations. For more information on QR Policies, see QR Policies.


Types of Storage Policies

Two types of storage policies can be defined. They are:

The following sections provide a brief description of the storage policies.

Standard Storage Policy for iDataAgent Backup and DataArchiver Archiving

A standard storage policy can be created to run both iDataAgent Backup and DataArchiver archiving operations.

iDataAgent Backup

The Standard storage policy for iDataAgent Backups is used by subclients associated with iDataAgents, to perform backup and restore operations. Subclients can be configured to use storage policies using one of the following methods:

By default, the retention period for the iDataAgent Backup data is set for an infinite period of time. This retention period can be modified to better suit your data retention needs. If the retention time is changed, it is recommended that you keep this data for a minimum of 15 days and two cycles. For more information on changing retention rules, see Retention.

DataArchiver Archiving

The Standard storage policy for DataArchiver Archiving is used by subclients associated with DataArchiver agents, to perform archiving and recovery/retrieval of archived data. The retention period for DataArchiver data can only be set by time, not cycles.

By default, the retention period for the DataArchiver data is set to be retained for an infinite period of time. If you want to change this retention time, it is recommended that it be set for a minimum of 365 days.

For more information on the DataArchiver agents, see the appropriate product features page.

Quick Recovery Agent uses QR policies for QR volume creation and QR volume recovery operations.

Disaster Recovery Backup Storage Policy

As an extra protection to rebuild your CommCell in the event of a disaster, Disaster Recovery Backup storage policies are used to store metadata to media. This metadata stores information about the CommCell and the backed up data. In case of a system failure, you can get Disaster Recovery Backup data back from the media used by the Disaster Recovery Backup storage policy. Though standard storage policies can be used for Disaster Recovery Backup data, it is not recommended.

A default Disaster Recovery Backup storage policy [CommServeDR (host name)] is automatically created when the first library in the CommCell is configured. This type of storage policy is recommended because it only writes the Disaster Recovery Backup data to the media, and its default retention period is defined as 60 days and 60 cycles, which can be easily changed during configuration. The media being used for this storage policy should be removable to prevent accidental data loss due to system failure. If the first library configured is a disk library, change your Disaster Recovery Backup configuration to use a Disaster Recovery Backup storage policy associated with a tape library as soon as the first tape library is configured. You can create as many Disaster Recovery Backup storage policies as needed.

When there is no secondary copy using a tape library for the active disaster recovery storage policy, a secondary copy will be automatically created when you configure a tape library. Also, an automatic auxiliary copy schedule will be created, which will run every 15 minutes.

By default, the retention period for Disaster Recovery Backup data is set to be retained for 60 days and 60 cycles. If you want to change the retention time for Disaster Recovery Backup data, it is recommended that you keep the default setting as the minimum with predefined extended retention rules defined as: weekly = 180 days, and monthly = infinite.

For more information, see Disaster Recovery Backup.


Data Aging and Storage Policy Time Zones

Storage policies, and all subsequent storage policy copies, automatically inherit the CommServe's defined time zone. This impacts when data aging jobs are pruned, as jobs are retained until the specified date and time specified in the storage policy.

If your environment has a storage policy for clients in a different time zone than the CommServe, you should define a specific time zone for the storage policy to prune data in the appropriate time zone.

If you have a storage policy impacting multiple clients in different time zones, you can prune jobs according to each client computer's time zone.

You can designate the following time zones for a storage policy; they are:

Changing the designated time zone for an active storage policy can pose potential problems for your environment. Data aging operations prune data according to the time zone of the associated storage policy. Changing the time zone can cause a data aging job to prune data at an earlier or later time.

For example, a storage policy's designated time zone is defined as Eastern Standard Time (US and Canada), and several backup jobs are set to be pruned on October 31st. If the storage policy's time zone is changed to Eastern Standard Time (Australia), the jobs will still be pruned on October 31st; however, they will be pruned a day earlier.

As such, changing the time zone of a storage policy is recommended only for advanced users, due to the potential loss of data and environmental impact.

For step-by step instructions, see Designate a Time Zone for a Storage Policy.


Storage Policy Operations

Storage policy operations allow you various options for customization and maintenance. These include features such as optimizing tape speeds, verifying data validity for restoring and copying, and ensuring alternate data paths.

Various storage policy operations dealing with creation and maintenance are available in the CommCell Browser at the storage policy level. These options are discussed below.

Create a Storage Policy

You can create a storage policy in the CommCell Console from the Storage Policy level. A Storage Policy Wizard guides you through the process of creating a storage policy. By default, the primary copy gets created when a new storage policy is created.

Create a Secondary Copy

When a storage policy is created, the software automatically creates a primary copy. All data from data protection operations from the subclient(s) is channeled through the primary copy.

In addition, you can create any number of additional secondary copies to the same/different libraries and MediaAgents. These copies are components of storage policies and are used in auxiliary copy operations, and can either be synchronous or selective. For more information about storage policy copies, see Storage Policy Copies.

Perform an Auxiliary Copy Operation

During an Auxiliary Copy operation, data is copied from the primary copy to the secondary (synchronous or selective) copies that you have defined.

Data Verification

You can configure a copy for Data Verification so that all backups, all full backups, or backups occurring on or after a certain date will be verified during a data verification operation.

Cloning

The Cloning Policies feature allows you duplicate a storage policy that retains all of the options of the original storage policy. A cloned storage policy is identical to the original policy, except it does not retain the original associated subclients. See Cloning Policies for an overview.

Delete

You may decide to delete a storage policy if:

View Media Not Copied

You can view the media that has data that has not yet been copied to all secondary copies within a storage policy. This will help you determine which media are required for operations, and how much data must be copied.

This media can be viewed from the Media Not Copied dialog box.

View Jobs

You can view and perform operations on the jobs that reside on, or are scheduled to be copied to, a storage policy copy. For more information on the View Jobs feature, see Jobs on a Storage Policy Copy. Selecting the Advanced button provides you with additional viewing options, which you can select in the Jobs in Storage Policy Advanced Filter Options dialog box. From here, you can view jobs based on:

Results will display in the Job for Storage Policy Copy window.

Schedules

You can view the schedules of jobs associated with a storage policy copy. For more information, see Scheduling.

Content Indexing

You can configure and run content indexing operations. For more information, see Content Indexing.


Best Practices

Limit the Number of Storage Policies in Your CommCell Environment

When you create a subclient, you must associate that subclient with a storage policy. The associated storage policy enables the data protection/archive operations and recovery/retrieve operations to be conducted for the subclientís data. When the data stored on media meets its retention criteria and data aging is run, the data is logically deleted (i.e., removed from the CommServe database). If all of the data on a media is pruned, the media is recycled. That is, it is returned to the scratch pool that is currently associated with the storage policy copy containing the media.

It is good practice to limit the number of storage policies in your CommCell environment; this will better utilize your media since media cannot be shared across storage policies. Limiting the number of storage policies means using less media to store your data. Whereas having many storage policies in your environment would utilize much more media to store the same amount of data.

If you currently have many storage policies in your environment, you can consolidate your storage policies by following these steps:

  1. Identify a storage policy or create a new storage policy for the purposes of consolidating all of your storage policies. For step-by-step instructions, refer to Create a Storage Policy.
  2. Select the subclients to be associated to the storage policy designated for the purposes of consolidation. For step-by-step instructions, refer to Associate Multiple Subclients to a Storage Policy.
  3. Rename those storage policies that are no longer associated with subclients. The new name should include a phrase indicating that the storage policy is no longer in use, e.g., "storage_policy_1" should be renamed as "storage_policy_1_old".
CAUTION

Do not delete the storage policies that are no longer being used. Deletion of a storage policy prior to all data being aged from the associated media will lead to a loss of data.

There are several things to consider when reassigning subclient storage policy associations, refer to Considerations: Subclients.

Disable Additional Subclient Associations with a Storage Policy

If a storage policy is inactive, it is not recommended that it be deleted due to a potential loss of data if the deletion of the storage policy occurs prior to all the data being aged from the associated media. It is best to disable it for additional subclient associations to prevent new backup operations from running to that storage policy. For more information, see Disable/Enable Additional Subclient Associations for a Storage Policy. Note that when a storage policy is marked as disabled for subclient associations, the storage policy will not be listed as available when creating or editing the associations of a subclient. The subclient will also not be available for association when a new client is being installed to the CommServe, which has a disabled storage policy. 

If a Storage Policy is marked as disabled for subclient associations, you have the ability to hide these storage policies by enabling the Do not show storage policies disabled for subclient association parameter in Media Management Configuration.

To hide the storage policies disabled for subclient association:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the CommServe icon, and select Control Panel and Media Management.
  2. From the Media Management Configuration (Service Configuration) dialog box, select a parameter and change the Value field.
  3. Click OK.

Password Protect the Media Associated with a Storage Policy

The storage policy level media password is used to prevent unauthorized access to the data residing on media used by the system for a storage policy. If not enabled, the CommServe Level Media Password is the default password. To see how to enable this feature, see Password Protect the Media of a Storage Policy.

If you choose to password protect your media, it is essential that you record this password. In certain disaster recovery scenarios, it may be necessary to read your backup data directly from the backup media (using Media Explorer, for example). This password will be required to directly access the media.

Hiding Storage Policies

There are two ways to hide storage policies.  You can hide inactive storage policies or you can use permissions hide specific storage policies from specific users.

Hide Inactive Storage Policies

Inactive storage policies can be hidden from the CommCell Console to simplify management, report generation, and reduce overall clutter in large configurations. Storage policies with infinite or long-term retention can be hidden using this feature, which reduces the risk of accidentally removing important information. To see how to use this feature, see Hide Inactive Storage Policies

Once a storage policy is hidden, you cannot associate it with a subclient.  Additionally, you cannot hide a storage policy if any subclients are associated with it.  If you try to hide a storage policy with one ore more associated subclients, an error message displays, stating to re-associate the subclients before hiding it.

You can choose to disable the hiding of storage policies through the Service Configuration tab of the Media Management Configuration Control Panel. 

Hiding Storage Policies based on User Permissions

You can determine which storage policies are available to specific groups using user permissions. This allows you to to simplify management, report generation and reduce overall clutter in large configurations. To see how to use this feature, see Hide Storage Policies Based on User Permissions.


Considerations

NAS-attached Libraries and Drive Pools

In an environment with NAS file servers, consider the following when creating and using storage policies:

NAS Clients

Subclients

Incremental Storage Policy

Deleting a Storage Policy

Disaster Recovery Backup Storage Policy

Synchronous Copies

Selective Copies

Data Streams


Audit Trail

Operations performed with this feature are recorded in the Audit Trail. See Audit Trail for more information.


Related Reports

Storage Policy Report

The Storage Policy Report provides information about the storage policies and associated subclients based on the selected filter criteria.


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