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Code42 Support

Cold Storage

Applies to:
  • CrashPlan PROe

Overview

Cold storage is a temporary storage state for data that is not actively being used by the Code42 environment. These archives have been deactivated but not yet completely deleted.

Proper use and configuration of cold storage can help you manage your CrashPlan PROe and SharePlan archives, recover data from deactivated archives, and plan for compliance with policies and regulations that affect your organization.

Definitions

The terms below are used throughout this article.

cold storage

Temporary holding state for archives after they are deactivated, but before they expire and are permanently deleted. This is analogous to the period when a deleted file remains in the Recycle Bin or the Trash. Users who have backup archives in cold storage consume a user license. Administrators can retrieve archives from cold storage if the archives were backed up to a private cloud or hybrid cloud destination.

deactivate

Applies to devices, users, orgs, and plans. Deactivation stops backup and causes associated archives to be placed into cold storage and eventually deleted. Licenses are not immediately freed by deactivation.

store point

A storage location within a server that can store archives. The lowest level in the Code42 environment storage hierarchy.

Basics Of Cold Storage

When a user, device, or plan is deactivated, its data is not deleted; it is moved into cold storage. By default, archives are kept in cold storage for 365 days. After that, the archives are deleted permanently (and overwritten, if the secure delete option is enabled).

The Code42 environment does not interact with data that is stored in archives in cold storage. The archives themselves can be moved between store points by the data balancing process, but the enterprise server does not read, write, or modify any data within the archives.

Intended Use Of Cold Storage

Cold storage is most often used for these reasons:

  • Preventing Accidental Deletion - By default, archives remain in cold storage for 365 days. This gives administrators plenty of time to respond in case a user, device, or plan is deactivated accidentally.
  • Providing A Deactivation Grace Period - When a device is deactivated, its archive is placed into cold storage. This makes it easier to adopt this archive from a new device without the risk of data loss.
  • Preserving Data For Legal Holds - Enterprise regulations and policies may require archival data to be maintained for certain periods of time, especially in the event of employee departure.

States Of Archive Storage

Active Archive

When a device begins backing up with CrashPlan PROe or syncing with SharePlan, its data is stored in an archive. Archives remain active even if the device is disconnected from the network, powered off, or otherwise separated from the storage device (usually an enterprise server or an external drive).

Archives are considered active until an administrator takes action to deactivate them.

Cold Storage Retention Period

When a user, device, or plan is deactivated, the archive associated with it is not immediately deleted, but instead moved to cold storage.

By default, archives are retained in cold storage for 365 days. The length of the cold storage retention period can be configured in the administration console.

While archives are in cold storage, they are not monitored by the automatic archive maintenance process.

After Retention Period

When an archive's retention period is over, it becomes an expired archive. Expired archives are not included in archive maintenance, and the space consumed by an expired archive is not reported in disk use reports. Archives remain expired for 20 days, after which they are deleted (or securely deleted, if that option is enabled). After an archive is deleted, the data is not recoverable.

Effects Of Cold Storage

Archives in cold storage remain on the store point, but they are not affected by most operations of the Code42 environment.

The lists below are not exhaustive to all server operations, but rather examples of the types of operations that do and do not affect archives in cold storage.

Server Operations That Affect Archives In Cold Storage

  • Data balancing across store points
  • Countdown timer to the end of the cold storage retention period

Server Operations That Do Not Affect Archives In Cold Storage

  • archive validation
  • archive healing
  • de-duplication
  • removing files due to updated versioning settings
  • removing files due to updated file exclusion settings

Configuring Cold Storage

Changing Cold Storage Duration

You can change the cold storage retention period for your entire Code42 environment or only for specific organizations.

There is no practical upper limit on the duration you can choose for cold storage, but you may find other limitations in your environment, such as available storage space on your store points.

To view or modify cold storage settings at the top level of your Code42 environment:

  1. Sign in to the administration console.
  2. Go to Settings > Organization.
  3. Enter a new value in Move deactivated archives to cold storage for according to your needs.
  4. Click Save.

To view or modify cold storage settings for a specific organization:

  1. Sign in to the administration console.
  2. Go to Organizations and select the organization you would like to review or modify.
  3. From the action menu in the upper-right corner, select Edit.
  4. Enter a new value in Move deactivated archives to cold storage for according to your needs.
  5. Click Save.

You can review each organization's cold storage retention policy from Settings > Organization.

Disabling Inheritance
If inheritance is disabled for an organization, that organization is not affected by changes to its parent organization.

Disabling Cold Storage

You can disable cold storage entirely by changing the cold storage retention period setting to 0 days.

Removing Data From Cold Storage

If you wish to remove a backup archive from cold storage before the end of the cold storage retention period, you can purge the archive from cold storage.

Purged Archives
Archives purged from cold storage are permanently removed, and associated data is unrecoverable.

For detailed information on removing data from cold storage, see Purging Cold Storage.

Managing Space Used By Cold Storage

Archives in cold storage continue to take up storage space on your store point. You have a number of options for dealing with archives if space becomes an issue for your Code42 environment, as described in Managing Space When Disk Runs Low.

Expired Archives

Introduced in version 3.6.1. Once an archive has been in cold storage for the time of its cold storage retention period, the archive expires. Archive expiration represents a short, additional buffer between recoverable archives and permanent deletion. Expired archives are kept for 20 days (by default), then permanently deleted.

By default, expired archives remain on the store point for 20 days, but this setting can be configured in Settings > Server.

Expired archives are no longer managed by the Code42 environment. This means that an expired archive consumes space on the store point's disk, but this space is not reported by the enterprise server. Also, an expired archive does not consume a license.

Archive Names After Expiration

When a backup archive expires, it is renamed on the store point's file system with the following format:
<guid>.EXPIRED.<timestamp>
For example, an archive with the GUID 123456789012345678 would appear on the store point's file system as  123456789012345678.EXPIRED.2013-09-07_020832 after it expired. That archive would not appear at all in the administration console, because expired archives are no longer managed by the Code42 environment.

Reactivating An Expired Archive

To reactivate a device whose archive has expired, but not yet deleted:

  1. Activate the device.
  2. Change the name of the archive on the file system to its GUID, without the additional text appended when the archive expired.
    See Archive Names After Expiration for details.
  3. Seed the expired archive to your own private cloud.

Simply reactivating a deactivated device does not automatically reassociate an expired archive to the device.