Determining immutability periods when working with Grandfather, Father, Son (GFS) backups can be a bit tricky considering GFS immutability periods can be determined by either
a) the GFS retention period
b) the Backup Repositories immutability period.
Fortunately, Fabian (@Mildur) from the Veeam R&D forums shared valuable insights that simplify this process. The full discussion can be found here.
The key takeaways from the forum discussion are as follows:
Standalone Repositories: In the case of standalone repositories, data remains immutable throughout the GFS retention period. This means the backup data is secure and unchangeable throughout the entire GFS retention timeline.
Performance Tier without Capacity Tier: When using the Performance Tier without the Capacity Tier, data immutability holds for the complete GFS retention period.
Performance Tier with Move Policy Disabled: Similar to the previous scenario, if the ‘Move Policy’ is disabled within the capacity tier, the data will be immutable for the entire GFS retention period.
Performance Tier with Move Policy Enabled: When the Move Policy is enabled within the Capacity Tier, unlike the previous example, immutability is applied as per the repository’s immutable retention period.
On Capacity Tier: For backup data stored on capacity tier, the immutability aligns with the repository’s settings.
On Archive Tier: Within the Archive Tier, data immutability is for the entire GFS retention period.
An essential note from the forum post highlights that if the GFS retention period is shorter than the Repository immutability period, the Repository immutability period becomes the minimum for all backup files. In other words, whichever is longer out of the two will be the immutability period.
To simplify this further, check out this fabulous table created by a fellow Veeam colleague, John Suh.
This is the second part of a three-part blog series on Veeam and Pure Storage FlashBlade. In the previous blog post, we configured a Network File System (NFS) share on a Pure Storage FlashBlade as a Veeam backup repository. In this blog post, we will be focusing on configuring SafeMode snapshots to harden the backup files that are residing on the FlashBlade.
Ransomware attacks continue to rise, with constantly evolving sophistication and complexity. A key part of ransomware resilience strategy is backing up data on a regular basis and implementing a strong line of defence against threats targeting the backup data. Adopting industry standards for data protection such as 3-2-1 rule, offline backups and immutable backup storage are effective techniques to protect backup data sets against malicious attacks. Now let’s discuss how to make your FlashBlade system an immutable backup storage target with SafeMode snapshots.
A storage snapshot is a point-in-time, image-level view of data that are impervious to ransomware. This immutability makes them an ideal layer of defense against ransomware. The problem with storage snapshots is they can still be removed by rouge admins or attackers if they gain access to the storage array management. In the case of a Pure Storage system, the deleted snapshots are temporarily stored in a ‘destroyed state’ that is similar to a recycle bin. If these snapshots are not recovered in a timely manner, they will be auto-eradicated and can even be manually destroyed prior to the auto-eradication.
The SafeMode snapshots on the other hand, cannot be deleted, modified, or encrypted either accidentally or intentionally. This prevents the manual and complete eradication (permanent deletion) of data backups that are stored within the FlashBlade. Due to their immutability, the SafeMode snapshots serve as an additional mitigation mechanism against ransomware attacks or rogue administrators.