May 07, 2012

Why has the retention period for backed up data been decreasing?

I was discussing something with a sysadmin last week, and he made a comment that backed up data is often only retained for a few days now. It wasn't long ago that the standard I was familiar with was a 30 day retention of data. I didn't get around to asking why the retention period had decreased so much before we parted ways. Was he right? Is backup data only being kept for a few days, and if so, why has there been such a big decrease in the retention period?


I bet that he was talking about a Microsoft Exchange email system.  That would make sense.  Assuming that is the case, while a few days seems too short to me too, he is right; retention times have been decreasing on second tier storage.  In general, it is due to compliance, which used to demand longer retention along with offsite tape storage.  Now, for the most part that has been replaced with journaling as far as compliance is concerned.  It is the journaling that makes it unnecessary (mostly) to keep the longer retention periods.  

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