SimpliVity data protection is policy based and VM-Centric. A SimpliVity Backup Policy is a collection of data protection rules which define 1) how often to backup a VM, 2) how long to retain the backup for, and 3) in which SimpliVity Datacenter to store the backup. A Backup Policy is assigned to a VM, or multiple VMs, and ensures the RPOs for the assigned VM(s) are met.
SimpliVity Manual Backups can be taken at any time to provide a full point in time backup of a VM. These manual backups are useful when doing things like software updates or patching on VMs. For these types of tasks the SimpliVity Manual Backup can replace VMware Snapshots. Unlike a VMware Snapshot, the Manual SimpliVity Backup happens very quickly and has no impact on consumed capacity or the performance of the virtual machine.
Policy based SimpliVity Backups have a retention period defined in the backup policy. When the retention period expires the backup is automatically deleted from the system.
When an expired backup is deleted from a SimpliVity Federation the unique data associated with the backup is also deleted and the space is reclaimed as free space.
The backup retention period is only set when the SimpliVity Backup is Policy based. When a Manual SimpliVity Backup is taken no retention period set by default and the backup will never expire. A manual backup must be manually deleted, or manually configured with a retention period, before it will be removed from the Federation and any space associated with its unique data is reclaimed.
A customer recently asked me how to quickly identify all the Manual SimpliVity Backups in a SimpliVity Federation. One way is to use the vSphere Web Client to search each SimpliVity Datacenter from the SimpliVity Search Backups tab to locate SimpliVity Backups with the type Manual.
From here you can right click the Manual SimpliVity Backups found and there are options available to either set a retention time for the backup or to delete the backup.
If a retention time is configured for a manual backup the backup will expire after the set retention time. Once expired the backup will be deleted from the system reclaiming any unique space which was consumed by the backup.
Manual backups can also be easily identified using the SimpliVity REST API. I put together a simple example script which uses PowerShell and the SimpliVity REST API backups operation to retrieve all the Manual SimpliVity Backups in the SimpliVity Federation.
The script uses the GET backups REST API operation to create a comma separated list including the VM Name, Backup Name, OmniStack Cluster Name (Datacenter), and the time stamp of when the backup was created for each manual backup found.
This provides just a basic list, but it could very easily be modified to clean up (delete) the manual backups. The ability to set a retention time is not available in the REST API, but I am sure it will be in a future release.