Space Data Retention

The move to hosting Space in partnership with  QCIF has come with some excellent improvements around data retention/backups. The new data retention mechanism is built into the storage components.

Space data retention mechanism is a combination of features and policies provided by DMF (Data Management Framework) and GPFS (General Parallel File System). DMF and GPFS are products of Hewlett Packard Enterprise and IBM respectively. 

The main characteristics of this Retention Mechanism are as follows:

  • Each file has 3 copies:
    • 1 on zero watt disk (WorkSpace only)
    • 2 on tape at two geographically isolated data centres
  • Every 6 hours files are copied to tape if they have been modified during that period. Only the most recent copy created within the last 6 hours is retained
  • DMF retention mechanism keeps a record of each version of a file for up to one year
  • Any version of a file can be restored upon request including deleted files
  • 2 on tape at two geographically isolated data centres

Process to get a file restore:

  1. Subscribe to or purchase the SpaceVault product
  2. Raise a service request, indicating path to file(s), date and desired destination
  3. File is restored within 1-3 business days

Comparison against current Space and SpaceVault Improvements:

  • Tape storage is now in physically separated Libraries that are in different data centres
  • Workspace has an additional layer on zero-watt disk to speed up the return of data that is not in the disk cache
  • We no longer need additional storage to store most SpaceVault backups

Side Effect

  • Custodians are no longer able to directly access the backed-up filesystem, and must raise tickets to restore.