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Erase Backed-Up or Archived Data: Overview

Data that has been backed up or archived can be permanently erased, so that it is no longer available for browsing and recovery. This is useful if you want to erase data so that it cannot be restored again. For example, you may want to erase data for legal purposes or compliance regulations.

Important: The erase data operation only erases data from the backup. It does not erase the source data from its local hard drive. Therefore, it is best to delete the data from its source first, so that the next backup operation will not back it up again. Also, if the files have been archived, their stubs must be deleted from the source before running the erase data operation, so that they are not backed up again. If this is not done, synthetic full backup jobs will fail.

The Erase Data operation makes the data inaccessible for browsing and recovery, but the actual data remains on the media (and consumes space) until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data, even though the data is not recoverable.

Content indexing data does not honor erasing data by browsing. If a file is erased using browsing and it was content indexed, the file will remain in the content index on the Search Engine according to the retention settings for content indexing.

  • For an erase data operation to run, the MediaAgent and the CommServe instance must be at the same version.
  • Archived or backed-up data that was content indexed is still visible and searchable after being erased through this feature.

There are three general methods for erasing data:

  • The Erase Data by Browsing method supports erasing data (both files and folders) in a backup or archive. Use this method to browse and erase data if you want to erase data from one instance, or across all backup/archive sets. When data is erased by browsing, the backed up or archived data is no longer restorable. Also, any stub recall attempts will be blocked. For more information, see Erasing Data by Browsing.
  • The Erase Data by Stubs method permanently erases stubs that have been deleted in a specified location. Stubs contain information about the archived data to facilitate end-users with non-browse recovery operations (i.e., stub recalls) from third-party applications. Use this method if you want to to permanently erase stubs once they are deleted and if they pertain to the content of just one subclient. When stubs are deleted in a specified location and an Erase Data job is run, stub recalls are blocked. For more information, see Erasing Data by Stubs.
  • Erasing Stubs from Outlook Add-in will erase stubs in a mailbox for the agents listed in Erase Backup/Archived Data - Support. Stubs contain information about the archived data to facilitate end-users with non-browse recovery operations (i.e., stub recalls) from Outlook or Outlook Web Access. After data is erased, any stub recall attempts will be blocked. For more information, see Erasing Stubs from Outlook Add-In.

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