Erase Archived Data - File Archiver for Windows

Table of Contents

Overview

The Erase Data feature allows you to permanently erase any data that was archived. This is useful if you want to erase data so that it cannot be recovered again. For example, you may want to erase archived data for legal purposes or compliance regulations. 

Keep in mind that  the erase data operation only erases the archived data - the source data will remain on the local hard drive.  Therefore, it is recommended to delete the data from the source first so that it will not be backed up again.

The Erase Data operation makes the data inaccessible for browsing and recovery - the data will remain on the media and take up space until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data. Data will not be recoverable using any data recovery methods. If the archive job is already content indexed, the data being erased will be removed from the index.

Using Erase Data, you can erase data such as  file system, system state, and office communications server (OCS) data.

Configuring Erase Data

After meeting the prerequisites, Erase Data must be configured before this feature can be used.

Prerequisites

Before configuring the Erase Data feature, confirm that these requirements have been met:

  • An Erase Data license is installed.
    • Verify whether it has been installed by checking the License Summary Report.

      The value for the Erase Data license in the License Usage table should be "1", in either the Permanent Used column or the Evaluation Used column.

    • If it is not installed, obtain and apply it as described in Applying a License.
  • The MediaAgent is installed on the CommServe host.

Assign a Filter Storage Policy

To erase data, a filter storage policy must be associated with the agent. Ensure that the filter storage policy that you associate with the agent has retention criteria that is greater than or equal to the retention criteria of the storage policy for the data to be erased.

  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the appropriate agent icon and then click Properties. The agent Properties dialog opens.
  2. Click the Storage Device tab and select a filter storage policy from the Filter Storage Policy list.
  3. Click OK.

Enable Erase Data in Storage Policy

Before you can erase data, the storage policy assigned to the subclient where data will be erased needs permission to allow the erasing of data.
  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the storage policy to permit to erase data, then click Properties.
  2. On the General tab of the Storage Policy Properties dialog box, select the Erase Data: Allow Erase Data option.
  3. Click OK.

Running an Erase Data Job

After the configuration has been completed, you can now browse and erase data.

Run or Schedule Erase Data Job

  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the <BackupSet> that contains the data to erase, click All Tasks, then Erase Data By Browsing.
  2. Click Yes to acknowledge the warning and continue.
  3. In the Erase Data by Browsing dialog box, on the General tab, click Browse.

    When a path is selected and a browse time is specified, all data that matches the path on that client will be erased even if the data was not backed up in the specified time range or does not belong to the backup set. 

  4. In the Erase Backup/Archived Data dialog box, select a browse time range and any advanced browse options, then click View Content.
  5. In the browse selection window, select the data objects that you want to erase, then click OK.

    If you need to erase data from a specific folder that is not visible in the current browse selection, you need to browse to a backup taken at a point in time that included the folder. Then, you can select the data to be erased inside that folder.

Erasing Stubs

Stubs contain information abut the archived data to facilitate end-users with non-browse recovery operations (i.e., stub recalls) from third-party applications.

Keep in mind that  the erase stubs operation only erases the archived stubs - the source stubs will remain on the local hard drive. Therefore, it is recommended to permanently delete the stubs from the source first so that it will not be archived again.

The Erase Stubs operation makes the archived data inaccessible for recalling - the stubs will remain on the media and take up space until they are aged off according to the retention rules set for them. Stubs will not be recoverable using any data recovery methods. If the archive job is already content indexed, the stubs being erased will be removed from the index.

After erasing stubs, it may take up to one hour for the erase data cache to be erased. Therefore, a recall operation may succeed during that time. Once the erase data cache is refreshed on the CommServe, stub recalls will be blocked for the data that has been erased.

Configuring Erase Stubs

To erase stubs, you need to first configure the following:

Associate a Subclient to a Storage Policy

To erase data, a storage policy needs to be associated with the subclient that contains the stubs you want to delete.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the subclient whose associated storage policy you want to change and then click Properties.

  1. Click the Storage Device tab of the Subclient Properties dialog box.
  1. From the Storage Policy list of the Data Storage Policy tab, select a data storage policy to associate with this subclient.

    If necessary, click the Create Storage Policy button to create a new storage policy to which the subclient can then be associated.

  2. Click OK.

Enable Erase Data in Storage Policy

To erase data, the storage policy assigned to the subclient where data will be erased needs permission to allow the erasing of data. 
  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the storage policy you want to allow for the erasing of data, then click Properties.
  1. From the General tab of the Storage Policy Properties dialog box, select the Allow Erase Data check box.
  1. Click OK.

Specify Location for Deleted Stubs

In this step, you will specify a location (e.g., drive, folder, path, UNC path) where the system will be monitoring for hard-deleted stubs. For example, you may want to specify the C:\ drive as the location for monitoring the stubs. Stubs could be dragged and dropped from the D:\ drive to the C:\ drive and hard-deleted from there.

Once a stub is hard-deleted from this location, it is added to a collect file. When a Erase Data Job is run, the archived data that is associated with the deleted stub will be erased.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the appropriate agent icon and then click Properties.
  1. From the General tab of the Agent Properties dialog box, select the Erase archive data when stub is deleted option.
  1. In the text box, specify the location where if stubs are deleted from there, they will be collected in a file. This could be the entire computer (indicated by a \), a particular drive (C:\), a particular folder (C:\deleted_data), or a UNC path (\\filer\directory).  Multiple locations could also be specified, separated by the ; delimeter. 

  • The path that is configured here will be applicable for all instances of the File Archiver for Windows Agent and is only used when an Erase Data job is run.
  • If you delete stubs within the path that is specified and the subclient that includes the path is deleted, the data will not be erased.
  • Specifying the deletion folder varies according to instance type. See Instance Types  below for more information.

 
  1. Click OK.
  2. Recycle the services by restarting the DataArchiver Services from Process Manager. See Starting a Service on Windows for step-by-step instructions.

Instance Types

Instance Type Consideration
Local File System A  folder can be created to contain the stubs to be hard-deleted (SHIFT_DELETE). This folder would then be part of the path that is specified (e.g., (C:\deleted_data).This would alleviate specifying entire volumes. From the volumes, you can then move the stubs (cut+paste) to the specified deletion folder. To move stubs across volumes, you must use the GXHSMUtility tool.
Celerra The list that records the deleted stubs is not populated immediately after the stub is deleted. This can be modified by configuring the Proxy Prune Interval in the Celerra instance. See Configure Celerra Proxy Settings for details.

A folder cannot be created to contain the stubs that are deleted. You can instead restrict the deletion to certain folders by specifying a subclient path or a path that is a parent to the subclient path.

Network File Share Erasing stubs is not supported.
FPolicy A folder cannot be created to contain the stubs that are deleted. You can instead restrict the deletion to certain folders by specifying a subclient path or a path that is a parent to the subclient path.

Stubs can be erased only on NetApp File Servers with ONTAP versions 7.2 or higher.

Stubs must be deleted on computers other than the computer in which the File Archiver for Windows Agent is installed. You can specify "\" or a specific deletion folder path (see footnote below).

Celerra and FPolicy:

If the intended deletion folder path is:

 \\<filer_name>\<volume_name>\<folder_name>

the deletion folder specification needs to be:

\\<fully_qualified_filer_name>\ONTAP_ADMIN$\vol\<volume_name>\<folder_name>;\\<short_filer_ name>\ONTAP_ADMIN$\vol\<volume_name>\<folder_name>

Otherwise, the data will not be erased.

Running an Erase Stub Job

After the configuration has been completed, you can now erase stubs.

Run or Schedule Erase Data Job

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click  a subclient of an appropriate Agent, click All Tasks and then click Erase Data.
  1. The Erase Data selected for deletion (Job Initiation) dialog will appear allowing you to Schedule the job or run it Immediately.
  1. If you select Immediate, the Erase Data job will begin when you click OK, and you can track the progress in Job Controller.

    If you select Schedule and then click Configure, the Schedule Details dialog box will open. This allows you to create a new schedule for this operation. After you are finished click OK to continue. Your Erase Data operation will execute according to the specified schedule. See Create a Job Schedule for more information.

  1. Optionally, you can click Advanced to configure an alert for this job or the number of job retries.
  2. Click OK.

Viewing Erased Stubs

These features are available to view the data erased.

Admin Job History

You can view detailed, historical information about the Erase Data jobs in the Admin Job History Filter dialog box. 

To view admin job history:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the CommServe, click View, and then click Admin Job History.
  2. From the Admin Job History Filter dialog box, select the filter options that you want to apply and click OK.
  3. The Admin Job History dialog box displays with the specified filter options.
  4. Click Close.

View Erased Data in a Log File

To view data that has been erased by using the Erase Data by Browsing feature, see  SelDelete.log.

For example, TempFil_00008.txt is a file that had been erased:

4836 17a4 10/15 14:37:10 1106 ::main() - 1: '/ext3/fsdm/HW_1/erasedata/TempFil_00008.txt'

wedge.gif (136 bytes)To view the log files of a CommServe, MediaAgent, or client computer.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click a CommServe, MediaAgent, or client computer, click View, and then click Log Files. The Select the Log File to Open window displays.
  2. To see a specific log file, either select the log file name from the list or type the name of the log file in the field provided. (In the Files of type field, Log Files (*.log) is displayed by default.) Click Open. The contents of the log file are displayed.

View Erased Data in an Erased Data Job Summary Report

An Administrative Job Summary Report provides details of all the Erase Data jobs.

To create an Erase Data Job Summary report:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click the Reports icon.
  2. Select Job Summary from the Reports pane of the Report Selection dialog box.
  3. From the General tab, select Administrative Jobs and then select Erase Backup/Archived Data.
  4. Select the filter criteria to include in the Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report from the various tabs (e.g., Computers, Selection, Options, Time Range).
  5. From the Output tab, select the output format and/or save options for the report.
  6. Click one of the following: Run to generate the report immediately, Schedule to schedule the reports for specific times, Save Template to save the report filter options into the My Reports node, or Close to exit the window.

See Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report for details.

Job Management

When erasing stubs, you can click Advanced in the Erase Stubs selected for deletion dialog box to access the Job Retry tab where you can set a number for Job Retries and the total Job Running Time options. For procedures, see Configuring Job Restart for Specific Jobs.

Using Find to Erase Data

The Find feature lets you search and locate data such as files, directories and messages, in a backup. Once located, this data can be erased. After erasing the data, it can no longer be browsed or restored. However, the data will remain on the media and take up space until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data.

Before You Begin

  • Keep in mind that the erase data operation only erases backup data. The source data remains on the local hard drive. Best practice is to delete the data from the source first, so that it will not be backed up again.
  • In the Erase Backup/Archived Data dialog box, only the data objects that you add to the Selected Path box are erased during the erase data operation. The additional options that you select for the browse operation only filter the data that is visible for browsing and are not applied to the data that will be erased.

Procedure

  1. In the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System.
  2. Right-click the <BackupSet> containing the data to erase, then click All Tasks |  Erase Data By Browsing.
  3. Click Yes to acknowledge the warning that the data will be permanently removed.
  4. Click Browse.
  5. In the Erase Backup/Archived Data dialog box, the Filters tab, click Add and select File Name filter.

    Enter search criteria such as a file name or name pattern to narrow the search. You can search for partial words without the need for wildcard characters at the beginning and/or end of the search string.

    These wildcards are supported, and can be combined:

    • * for any number of characters (including zero). For example, Accounting*.
    • ? for any one character. For example, user_group?.
    • [] for a range of characters. For example, [a-k]Lee.
    • [!] to exclude a range of characters. For example, [!a-k]Lee.

    Note: The advanced browsing options and filters only apply to the browse operation and are not applied to the erase data operation.

  6. Click View Content to see what data matches the criteria in Search Results.
  7. Select one or more items and click OK.
  8. Optionally, modify what will be erased by selecting either Browse or Delete.
  9. Confirm the data to be erased and click OK.

Viewing Erased Data

These features are available to view the data erased.

Admin Job History

You can view detailed, historical information about the Erase Data jobs in the Admin Job History Filter dialog box. 

To view admin job history:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the CommServe, click View, and then click Admin Job History.
  2. From the Admin Job History Filter dialog box, select the filter options that you want to apply and click OK.

View Erased Data in an Erased Data Job Summary Report

An Administrative Job Summary Report provides details of all the Erase Data jobs.

To create an Erase Data Job Summary report:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click the Reports icon.
  2. Select Job Summary from the Reports pane of the Report Selection dialog box.
  3. From the General tab, select Administrative Jobs and then select Erase Backup/Archived Data.
  4. Select the filter criteria to include in the Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report from the various tabs (e.g., Computers, Selection, Options, Time Range).
  5. From the Output tab, select the output format and/or save options for the report.
  6. Click one of the following: Run to generate the report immediately, Schedule to schedule the reports for specific times, Save Template to save the report filter options into the My Reports node, or Close to exit the window.

See Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report for details.