SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Deleting Local and Cloud Data

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This article explains what happens when you use the Delete all Local and Delete all Cloud data deletion features on a Datto appliance.

For a general overview of how to use the feature, see our SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Manage Recovery Points article.

Datto recommends contacting Datto Technical Support before deleting data from your device. Deleted data may be impossible to recover.

Environment

  • Datto ALTO
  • Datto SIRIS

Description

Overview

Sometimes partners must delete backed-up data as an administrative function. Some example scenarios include:

  • When storage on the Datto device runs low
  • When storage space in the Datto Cloud runs low
  • When the data is redundant or out-of-date
  • When a device's dataset becomes corrupted
  • When removing a device from service

Deleting local data

The term Local Data refers to information stored on the Datto device's storage drives. All data resides locally on the Datto device before replicating to the Datto Cloud. You can delete local data in three ways:

  • Deleting individual data snapshots
  • Running retention on the agent
  • Deleting all local data

Deleting individual data snapshots

  • Each backup your Datto device takes is a unique data snapshot, also called a recovery point. Each recovery point contains all the information necessary to restore all the data present at the time of the backup. You can choose to delete one, some, or all of an agent's recovery points.
  • Individual recovery points are often deleted to create free space when local storage on the Datto device nears full capacity.
  • The Datto device will not allow you to remove any recovery points that it requires to keep the integrity of the backup chain intact. See Why can't I delete certain recovery points? below.

Forcing retention on an agent

  • Retention is the process of deleting recovery points according to a preset schedule. Retention runs each day automatically based on the schedule you set. The Force Retention feature allows you to manually run retention to remove all local recovery points that have passed their retention date.
  • A common reason to force retention is to free storage space on a full Datto device.
  • Retention will not remove any recovery points that are waiting to sync offsite to the cloud. See I forced local retention, but the data is still there. Why? below.

Deleting all local data

  • This option removes all local recovery points for all agents on the Datto device.
  • Removing local data is commonly done when a partner takes the Datto device out of service or repurposes it for use with a different organization.
  • Deleting all local data for a protected system will disassociate the offsite backups from your Datto appliance, resulting in the creation of a new offsite chain. You will not be able to see the old cloud backup chain or manage it directly. To restore from or remove an orphaned cloud data chain, contact Datto Technical Support.
  • The Datto device will not allow you to remove recovery points it requires to keep the integrity of the backup chain intact. See Why can't I delete certain recovery points? below.
  • If you delete local data that has not been replicated to the Datto Cloud, it will not be recoverable.
  • The device deletes locally stored data already synced to the Datto Cloud. You can recover this data from the Datto Cloud via file restore or image export.
  • Large data sizes may require a Reverse RoundTrip to repopulate to the Datto device.

Deleting cloud data

The term Cloud Data refers to data stored offsite within the Datto Cloud. Data replicates to the cloud to provide redundancy in the event that the physical Datto device is damaged or unreachable. If a disaster occurs, you can use the cloud data to restore to a hypervisor, virtual host, or a new physical machine.

Deleting cloud data is commonly done when the data is no longer needed, such as when a Datto Partner takes the Datto device out of service or repurposes it. You can also delete cloud data if the size of one or more recovery points is causing billing tier overages, or if you've identified ransomware in a recovery point and need to remove the backup containing the infected data.

Deleting all cloud data

  • If data no longer exists in the Datto Cloud, but it is still stored locally on your appliance, you can recover it by performing a local file restore or local image export.
  • You cannot retrieve data deleted from the Datto Cloud, that is no longer stored locally on the Datto device.

Why can't I delete certain recovery points?

Your Datto appliance will only allow you to delete recovery points that it considers non-essential to the integrity of the backup chain. There are two types of essential recovery points which your Datto device will prevent you from manually removing:

  • Connecting points: A connecting point is a crucial recovery point which your Datto appliance uses to maintain consistency between the local and offsite backup chains. Connecting points allow the device to evaluate the data change between the last recovery point sent offsite and the most recent one, and request a cloud synchronization file consisting only of the incremental differences between the two. If you were to remove the connecting points from a backup chain, your device would send a full base image offsite every time it replicated data to the Datto Cloud.
  • Recovery points pending replication: If a recovery point on your device is marked for offsite replication, you will not be able to delete it until the replication process completes.

To permanently remove all backup points for a selected system, you must first archive the backup chain.

I deleted data, but I didn't get as much space back as I expected. Why not?

Datto appliances use Inverse Backup Chain technology to ensure the maximum integrity of your backup chain.

When you attempt to remove an individual recovery point, your Datto device will evaluate the data it contains to see if any other recovery points in the Inverse Backup Chain rely on the information it contains. If it finds that any other recovery point references need the data, it will preserve it, and remove only the data unique to the selected backup point. For example, a 12 MB recovery point might contain 7 MB of data referenced by other backup points in the chain; if you were to delete this recovery point, you would only recover 5 MB.

When you delete all local or all cloud data, the same principle applies; your Datto appliance will remove all of the unique data contained in the backups while preserving the critical data needed to maintain the connecting points between your local and cloud chains. To permanently remove all backup points for a selected system, you must first archive the backup chain.

You can learn more about Inverse Backup Chain technology and how it affects space reclamation in our Explaining the Inverse Chain and Investigating Large Recovery Points article.

I forced local retention, but the data is still there. Why?

Local retention will not run if there are points outside the retention date window that are waiting to sync offsite to the cloud. This is to ensure that no critical local data is removed before it's safely backed up in the cloud. When large amounts of data are waiting to get offsite, a RoundTrip may be the best way to get the data uploaded to the cloud.

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