New Cloutility feature: Documented data deletion workflow

We have released another official update to Cloutility and this update includes a very valuable feature: A documented data deletion workflow.


Deletion requests
With the right privileges, users can now request the deletion of entire consumers (which includes related backup nodes or virtual machines) as well as individual file spaces. Grace periods, i.e. how soon a deletion can be requested to be carried out, can be specified on the individual business units and the values are inherited by subordinate business units (until overridden, as usual).

For each business unit in the hierarchy, it is possible to specify the number of required approvals (if any) required by the business unit for a deletion request to be approved. When a deletion request achieves its required approvals for a said business unit, it will advance onto the closest ancestor which also require approvals where it will then need to be approved until it is finally approved.

By default, only the “system owner” is specified as a “final approver”, but any business unit get this status, which will prevent deletion requests from advancing beyond the “final approver” closest to the business unit which has the target item for the deletion request.

When a deletion request has received its final approval, the requested deletion date (or the final approval date, whichever is later) will determine when the target item is deleted from its parent business unit, i.e. if the target is a:

  1. Consumer

    1. without an active backup node, it will be deleted from its business unit.

    2. with an active backup node, the consumer will be deleted from the business unit and the backup node will show up in “backend admin > deleted items > backup nodes“ (see next section).

    3. with a virtual machine (VM), i.e. an assigned VM file space originating from another consumer’s backup node, it will be unassigned from its business unit and “return” its storage and transferred data values to its origin backup node.

  2. File space, it will show up in “backend admin > deleted items > file spaces” (see next section) once the deletion request has been approved and the requested deletion date is reached (or exceeded).

For deletion requests which have related Spectrum Protect items, the deletion requests will contain information regarding which command was used to delete the item in Spectrum Protect along with information about when the deletion took place and how did it, i.e. a specific user or the “Service (cleaner daemon)”.

The end result of a deletion request is a timeline-based overview (report) of the deletion of an item, from initial request and approval (or rejection) to completion, showing you: what, when, how and who was responsible for removing data from Cloutility and Spectrum Protect.

Backend admin/deleted items: Manual or automatic deletion from Spectrum Protect
When a backup node (and its related consumer) has been removed from a business unit, or when a file space (with an approved deletion request) has reached its requested deletion date, they will show up in “backend admin > deleted items” tool, under the “backup nodes” and “file spaces” sub-sections, respectively. From here each item can be deleted from Spectrum Protect, either automatically by a “Service (cleaner daemon)” or manually by a user by the click of a button.

Each sub-section of deleted items now includes complementary settings, from where you can define:

  1. Backup nodes:

    1. Retention days: The number of days between a backup node is deleted from a business unit before it can (or will, depending on your settings) be deleted from Spectrum Protect.

    2. Automatically delete backup nodes when retention is fulfilled: Whether Cloutility should automatically delete a backup node which has fulfilled its retention period from Spectrum Protect, or whether this action should require user interaction.

    3. Use DECOMMISSION (SP ver. 7.1.3 and above): Whether to use DECOMMISSION, when available, instead of deleting file spaces belonging to a backup node and then deleting the backup node.

  2. File spaces:

    1. Automatically delete file spaces: Whether Cloutility should automatically delete file spaces from Spectrum Protect backup nodes, or whether this action should require user interaction.

Each item in the lists clearly depict the Spectrum Protect command which will be used when deleting the individual item.

As before, the items in this section are synchronized, meaning that if you delete them directly in Spectrum Protect, they will disappear from “deleted items” after the next synchronization.

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