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FSA placeholder delete option

Created: 06 Sep 2010 • Updated: 04 Nov 2010 | 1 comment
JBlaise's picture
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We are missing a specific feature when deleting placeholders.
Currently options are either DOD (delete on delete) or retain archived file.
Problem with DOD is we cannot do a file restore after that, if the user mistakenly delete an archived file...
Problem with "retain archive" is that there is no cleaning, so if we ask users do some cleaning on our fileservers, they will delete many files online and archived, but for those only the placeholder will be deleted and the archive will stay there forever, wasting space.
I know it's possible to delete archives manually using archive explorer but it's not realistic in our environment...we know users won't take time and steps to clean things properly.
My request is to have a way to detect and remove orphaned archives, I mean : delete archives whose placeholder have been deleted....
For information, we use FSA to archive items older than 6 months, with no retention. We cannot specify retention because of business needs.  Our fileservers are netapp filers.
The fpolicy on netapp filers is configured to contact the server on file open and file delete. So, the FSA server "knows" when a placeholder is deleted....
Based on this asumption, I think it should be possible to specify an additionnal attribute for each item in the database, specifying whether the placeholder still exists for an archived item? With this, searching and cleaning orphaned archived files could be done?


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Darren Locke's picture

Hi, thanks for the suggestion. While this is not on the immediate roadmap I have a few comments for you. Regarding delete on delete being enabled and the lack of ability to restore files, then you can recover these from the EV wastebasket if that is enabled. The default recovery option will recovery all files from an archive (which could be lots). In v9 we introduced FSAUndelete which allows you to do granular recovery from the wastebasket. You restore the placeholders you need from a backup image and then run FSAUndelete to remove them from the wastebasket. Both of these do assume you have the wastebasket enabled and I would ensure it was storing items for longer than the default setting of 99 days.

For the main request - to be able to clean up 'orphaned archived files' that do not have placeholders referencing them any more, then I have seen this request from other customers. It's a difficult one for me to productise as there are risks associated with it which could lead to permanent data loss. What if placeholders have been deleted and then restored from a backup image? EV will not know about that restore operation. We could scan the file system to see what placeholders exists and which don't, but again we don't know where placeholders might have been restored to. So it does create a lot of scenarios which we could not code for. I always veer on the side of caution when it comes to protecting your data.

Saying that, there does appear to be a need for this cleanup. One of our partners, Longerich Consulting has developed a tool which will do this cleanup. Symantec disclaimer: I have not tested this tool and make no claims or endorsements as to the functionality offered. If you are interested in this, then reach out to Longerich Consulting and do your evaluation as to whether it meets your needs or not.


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