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Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by lwarner » May 29, 2011 6:17 pm

Hi, first post and I'm fairly new to Veeam. I started with 5.01, and have upgraded to 5.0.2.230. It's pretty much worked flawlessly for me, and almost everything clear and straighforward, but I'm not clear about retention of deleted VMs in v5.2.

First, I noticed that i can't set the value below 7 days - is this a bug or am I missing something?

I actually would like to set it to 0 (zero) days, can that be done? The other day I restored a user's VM workstation because that workstation was infected with a virus. I wanted to make sure that VM was not available for restore, but if I understand correctly, since I can't set it below 7 days, then someone could possibly restore that infected VM.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Vitaliy S. » May 29, 2011 8:47 pm

Hello Leigh,
lwarner wrote:I wanted to make sure that VM was not available for restore
Please be aware that the retention policy is applied at the end of the each job run, so it doesn't make any sense to allow setting 0 days.

However if you don't want to have an ability to restore this VM, just navigate to backups node, expand the corresponding job record and simply remove the desired VM from the backup file as it is described in our User Guide (page 106).

Thanks.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by lwarner » May 31, 2011 1:58 am

I guess I'm not fully understanding it. The user guide says "...unnecessary restore points are removed from the target storage after the specified number of days." So if I can't set it below 7, then I data for deleted VMs always is available for a minimum of 7 days? What I meant by '0 days' is that I want the deleted VM data removed upon the next job execution.

A couple weeks ago I deleted a VM from a job that runs daily and has 7 restore points. The target normally had 7 files... one full plus the reverse incrementals. A week after I deleted the VM, I had something like 14 files, and ran out of disk space on the target. Does that sound right? (the 14 files, not the disk space issue). I didn't take full details of the event, but it seems like 7 days of incremental files containing that deleted VM were kept for 7 days while the job ran for the next 7 days, creating the 14 files.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Vitaliy S. » May 31, 2011 9:09 am

lwarner wrote:So if I can't set it below 7, then I data for deleted VMs always is available for a minimum of 7 days?
By default the minimum allowed value for this retention parameter is 7 days, however you can apply a registry key available through our support team to change that.
lwarner wrote: A week after I deleted the VM, I had something like 14 files, and ran out of disk space on the target. Does that sound right?
No it's not. If you're using Reversed Incremental backup mode with a retention policy set to 7 rollbacks, you shouldn't have more than 7 files at a time.

"Deleted VMs retention period" only checks if a corresponding VM was backed up or not. If a VM hasn't been backed up for a defined time, then it gets removed. In other words, if you specify 8 days for deleted VMs while setting 7 rollbacks to keep (Reversed Incremental mode), then the deleted VMs policy will never be applied.

As for your issue with 14 files presented, sounds like you've used Forward Incremental mode. If this is not the case, let our support team have a look at your setup for further investigation.

Hope it makes sense.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by lwarner » May 31, 2011 5:47 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote:"Deleted VMs retention period" only checks if a corresponding VM was backed up or not. If a VM hasn't been backed up for a defined time, then it gets removed. In other words, if you specify 8 days for deleted VMs while setting 7 rollbacks to keep (Reversed Incremental mode), then the deleted VMs policy will never be applied.
That explanation helps, now I get it. I guess I was thinking about it too hard.

Thanks Vitaliy!

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by lwarner » Jun 07, 2011 4:51 pm

Hi Vitaliy,

I'm looking at this again, and the explanation you gave does not follow what I'm seeing. I'm using Reverse Incremental mode. I have my backup set to 5 restore points, and the Deleted VM Retention period set to the minimum 7 days. I deleted some VMs on June 2nd. When I look the Backup Properties, I see that I have 5 restore points for these deleted VMs - June 2nd back to May 29th. Plus I have the 5 restore points for my current VMs, June 6 (when it ran last) to June 2. That matches the 9 files that I have... but you said that I should only have 5 files, right? So the way it's working, it looks like it is possible to have twice as many files as restore points. Which goes back to my original question of "is there a way to disable this."

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Jun 07, 2011 8:28 pm

lwarner wrote:Hi, first post and I'm fairly new to Veeam. I started with 5.01, and have upgraded to 5.0.2.230. It's pretty much worked flawlessly for me, and almost everything clear and straighforward, but I'm not clear about retention of deleted VMs in v5.0.2.
Pretty simple. Previously, deleted VMs would never be removed from backup files - this was something you had to do manually, otherwise the backup files chain would grow endlessly trying to preserve the set amount of restore points for each VM (included deleted ones). We could not know if VM was removed purposely, or accidentally and thus will need to be restored later. Now, starting 5.0.2, deleted VMs are removed from backup files automatically, after giving you enough time to "react" to what have happened.

In other words, behavior did not really change from previous versions, except that where previously you HAD to perform manual operations by "cleaning" your backup files after VM was deleted from infrastructure, then you no longer need to do this now. Good thing!

It only worked "flawlessly" for you because you did not have any VMs deleted from infrastructure until after you upgraded to 5.0.2 (just a coincidence).
lwarner wrote:First, I noticed that i can't set the value below 7 days - is this a bug or am I missing something?
This is set this way to prevent accidental/temporary glitch to be treated like VM is gone. We see this happening quite often when VMware host or vCenter query returns no objects for a specific container for no reason, when indeed there are objects.

In other words, you do not want to set this value very low, thus the restriction. And there is a registry key to make it lower if needed. This is not recommended though, 7 days is optimal as this ensures that weekly full backup (that we expect most people to make a copy of) will always contain each VM. Do you keep offsite or onsite copy of your backups to protect them?
lwarner wrote:Which goes back to my original question of "is there a way to disable this."
Hope it is clear now that you will "disable" this functionality by setting the value to 999 days or something, but there is no point to do this, as this would require manual operation performed each time the backed up VM is removed from infrastructure (= original v5 behavior).

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by rowdy » Jun 08, 2011 12:26 pm

Hello all,

I just received an e-mail from Veeam regarding a bug with a new UI setting.
The suggested fix is to update, of course.

However, I would like to know if the following work-around would be okay in cases where can't be updated:

The messages states the problem is:
This issue affects any backup jobs with retention policy for data on disk longer than default settings (which are: 14 restore points, daily backups). If you had previously changed the default retention policy to large amount of restore points, "Deleted VMs retention period" will take priority and remove restore points older than 14 days, regardless of the required restore point count settings.
So, the 'remove deleted VMs from my backup after x days' also applies to the not-deleted VMs. If I just set this value (way) higher than 14 (say 999), the normal retention policy will once again apply, correct? I don't delete that many VM's so it's not really a big problem if they were to linger around.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 08, 2011 1:44 pm

Yes, as Anton has stated, If you set 999 days as a retention period for deleted VMs, then it will "revert" to original v5 behavior.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by pizzim13 » Aug 08, 2011 7:05 pm

Regarding deleted VM retention. Along with the restore points being removed after the specified amount of time, is the vm object also removed from the job?

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Aug 08, 2011 7:07 pm

No, jobs are never edited automatically.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by pizzim13 » Aug 08, 2011 7:20 pm

If I remove a VM from a backup job, regardless if the VM has been deleted from vCenter, that VM can be restored until the max number of restore points has been reached (cycled through)?

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Aug 08, 2011 7:30 pm

Correct.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by wdbarker3 » Sep 17, 2011 3:41 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote:<snip> "Deleted VMs retention period" only checks if a corresponding VM was backed up or not. If a VM hasn't been backed up for a defined time, then it gets removed. In other words, if you specify 8 days for deleted VMs while setting 7 rollbacks to keep (Reversed Incremental mode), then the deleted VMs policy will never be applied.</snip>
My backups are set to 7 restore points to keep, reversed incremental, and are run twice weekly (3.5 weeks retention). You imply that the default 14 days really means 14 restore points and will never affect my deleted machines. Is that correct? It doesn't sound right to me. If they meant restore points instead of days, the dialog label should say so.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Sep 17, 2011 3:48 pm

The quoted statement is correct for daily backups. Restore points means restore points, which is why the label on the dialog does not say "days" or anything - just "restore points". Thanks.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by damocue » Sep 19, 2011 10:37 am

If I remove a VM from a backup job, but not from vCenter because I'm backing it up with another job, what retention policy should I choose to finally delete the backups of this VM from original job?

My backup is daily incremental with full synthetic and rollback conversion, and both options ("Restore points to keep on disk" and "Deleted VMs retention period") are the same. This weekend I re-made my backups jobs redistributing my VMs, and now I have .vbr olders than my policy of backups. Is this because of the retention period?

By I have read on this topic, I think I will must delete the VMs manually at the end, but until then, if I reduce the retention period Veeam B&R should delete the .vbr, no?

Thanks in advance
David Molina

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by foggy » Sep 19, 2011 11:33 am

David, as new backups are not created for the deleted VMs, the max number of restore points cannot be reached. Old backups will be deleted on reaching the number of days specified in the Deleted VMs retention period setting. Thanks.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by wdbarker3 » Sep 19, 2011 11:42 am

The label to which I was referring and the question I asked were about the form field labeled "Deleted VMs retention period 14 days". Your response was about the form field labeled "Restore points to keep on disk 14". Sorry I was unclear in my question.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by foggy » Sep 19, 2011 11:54 am

Dan, regarding your question about the "Deleted VMs retention period" field, this setting defines the number of days to keep the backups of deleted VMs, not restore points. So both options are named according to what they really mean. Thanks.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Sep 19, 2011 5:24 pm

v6 will have all this stuff simplified, so this should reduce confusion. I can see how this can be confusing.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by damocue » Sep 21, 2011 4:58 pm

A last question: does "deleted VMs" concept refer to deleted VMs from backup job or deleted VMs deleted from VI?
My job continues saving the same number of backups of deleted VMs from job as restore points, after reduce the retention period to 7 days. I think that concept refers to deleted VMs from VI.

Regards,
David Molina

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Sep 21, 2011 6:42 pm

Both.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by brupnick » Oct 04, 2011 8:41 pm

Is there a way to find out which VMs met or exceeded the retention period and were deleted and when that happened? Maybe in one of the logs?

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Oct 04, 2011 8:46 pm

Logs have everything, but they are mostly non-human readable ;) support can assist though, if you need help investigating something.

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[MERGED] Restore backups excluded of retention

Post by ivanildogalvao » Apr 09, 2012 1:17 pm

Veeam is an option in the backup job named "Deleted VMS Data retention period" = x days, from what I understand the rule Veeam backups of VMs that are no longer participating in the backup process for a period of x days.

Then after it deletes these backups for recovery ?


Thanks !

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by dellock6 » Apr 10, 2012 7:08 pm

No, it's regarding VM deleted from the datastore. When you delete a VM from VMware, this VM obviously is not saved anymore by Veeam, but it's still inside the previous backups. This value says how many days Veeam has to keep this VM into the backups before deleting it.
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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by vmbackupuser » Jun 20, 2012 7:35 am

Hi, can you kindly confirm that the '999 days' setting fully disables the Deleted VMs Retention Period, or is it that on the 1000th day the backup archive removes these deleted VMs?

Our company's data rentention policy requires us to retain deleted VMs.

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by Gostev » Jun 20, 2012 11:05 am

As of 6.1, this functionality does not affect incremental backups at all (produced backups are never touched again).

The only place this functionality used for is to determine how long to keep delete VM data in the VBK file for all backup modes which maintain single full backup file on disk (that is, reversed incremental backup, and incremental backup with transform). After set amount of days, block belonging to the deleted VM in VBK should be marked as unused, and be re-used by the new data (without requiring to expand VBK to store new data). This is essential as otherwise, VBK will grow forever - so no amount of days disables this behavior completely.

To retain deleted VMs indefinitely, normally people simply preserve monthly/yearly backups. Please remember that your disk based backups are not intended or designed for long-term retention, and rather for short-term retention and operational restores (30-90 days back typically). For long-term archival, people use tape and dedupe devices to store weekly/monthly backups.

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[MERGED] Restore points VS Deleted VMs period

Post by SandroRiz » Sep 22, 2012 9:35 am

Sorry for the dumb question, but I'm not sure to have well understood the difference between those 2 settings:
- Restore points to keep on disk (On Storage form in backup job wizard)
- Deleted VMs data retension period (Advanced tab in Advanced Setting)

If I do an incremental backup every night, should I keep those 2 numbers equals ?

thx
Sandro

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Re: Deleted VMs Retention Period

Post by rurouni » Jul 27, 2013 9:04 am

Sometimes a nice drawing tells things better than words. Who has a full understanding of the question to draw it to make things clear to all of us?

On the other hand my question is about the same as others here but couldn t get their answered.

Now i stet up my backups to perform
Inc with Synthetic full on Saturday. Nothing on Sunday. I kept 6 restore points on my backup and set the deleted vms retention to three days. After reading this topic my understanding is that my deleted vm datas will be removed 3 days after it has been removed from the job. I consider that 3 days is enough to find a vm has been deleted by mistake. Else i ll go back to my Tape recovery from monthly Full.

So, am i right here or am i mistaken. I mean i ll keep for 3 days ALL the datas inside my backup (Full+Inc) and they ll be removed altogether once the 3 days has expired. Right?

Still asking for the drawing describing relationship between Restore Points and Deleted Vms Retention.

Thx to all of you.

Rurouni

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