Set the retention time overview

Contributors

You can set the retention time for a file explicitly, or you can use the default retention period for the volume to derive the retention time. Unless you set the retention time explicitly, SnapLock uses the default retention period to calculate the retention time.

About retention period and retention time

The retention period for a WORM file specifies the length of time the file must be retained after it is committed to the WORM state. The retention time for a WORM file is the time after which the file no longer needs to be retained. A retention period of 20 years for a file committed to the WORM state on 10 November 2020 6:00 a.m., for example, would yield a retention time of 10 November 2040 6:00 a.m.

retention
Note

Beginning with ONTAP 9.10.1, you can set a retention time up to October 26, 3058 and a retention period up to 100 years. When you extend retention dates, older policies are converted automatically. In ONTAP 9.9.1 and earlier releases, unless you set the default retention period to infinite, the maximum supported retention time is January 19 2071 (GMT).

Important revert considerations

ONTAP prevents you from reverting a cluster from ONTAP 9.10.1 to an earlier ONTAP version when there are any files with a retention period later than “January 19, 2071 8:44:07 AM”.

Understanding the default retention periods

A SnapLock Compliance or Enterprise volume has four retention periods:

  • Minimum retention period (min), with a default of 0

  • Maximum retention period (max), with a default of 30 years

  • Default retention period, with a default equal to min for both Compliance mode and Enterprise mode beginning with ONTAP 9.10.1. In ONTAP releases earlier than ONTAP 9.10.1, the default retention period depends on the mode:

    • For Compliance mode, the default is equal to max.

    • For Enterprise mode, the default is equal to min.

  • Unspecified retention period.

    Starting in ONTAP 9.8, you can set the retention period on files in a volume to unspecified, to enable the file to be retained until you set an absolute retention time. You can set a file with absolute retention time to unspecified retention and back to absolute retention as long as the new absolute retention time is later than the absolute time you previously set.

So, if you do not set the retention time explicitly before committing a Compliance-mode file to the WORM state, and you do not modify the defaults, the file will be retained for 30 years. Similarly, if you do not set the retention time explicitly before committing an Enterprise-mode file to the WORM state, and you do not modify the defaults, the file will be retained for 0 years, or, effectively, not at all.