Configuring Data Retention for Archived Virtual Machines for VMware

When a virtual machine is archived, the virtual machine disk (VMDK) is backed up and removed from the ESX host or datastore; but the disk is retained on backups. The retention setting indicates how long to retain that data on backups after the virtual machine is removed from the vCenter or ESX host, before marking it for deletion as part of the data aging process.

You can control the retention period for archived virtual machines that are deleted from an ESX server. By default, archived virtual machines deleted from an ESX server are retained forever; but specifying a retention period in the subclient properties enables archived virtual machines that have been deleted from the vCenter to be dropped from the next incremental backups performed after the end of the specified retention period.

You can restore archived virtual machines from the latest backup cycle until the end of the specified retention period; after that you would need to do a point-in-time browse.


Perform the following steps to determine how data will be retained or pruned for archived virtual machines on a subclient.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient and click Properties.
  3. Click the VM Management tab and the Retention subtab.

  4. Under For archived VMs deleted by user in VCenter, prune data from MediaAgent, choose one of the following options:
    • Immediately

      Drop the deleted items from the next synthetic full backup in the backup cycle.

    • After n days

      Retain the deleted items in the backup cycle for the specified number of days.

    • Never

      Retain the deleted items forever (default setting).

  5. Click OK.

For more information about data retention strategies, see Extended Retention Rules.

Last modified: 3/13/2019 8:28:55 PM