How Backup Immutability Works

After you specify the immutability period for a backup and run the backup job for the first time, Veeam Agent will append an additional period of 10 days to the specified immutability period. This additional period is called block generation. The resulting effective immutability period is the sum of the user-defined immutability period and the block generation period. All data blocks transferred to the target repository within the block generation period will have the same immutability expiration date. For example, data block a added on day 1 of the block generation period will have the same immutability expiration date as block b added on day 9. For more information, see Block Generation.

During the effective immutability period, the following operations with backup data in the object storage repository will be prohibited:

  • Manual removal of data from the backup repository.
  • Removal of data by backup retention policy.
  • Removal of data using any object storage provider tools.
  • Removal of data by the technical support department of the object storage provider.

Extension of Effective Immutability Period

During each transfer of data to the object storage repository, Veeam Agent creates a new checkpoint file with metadata that describes the latest state of the backup in the storage. The immutable blocks of data from a previous checkpoint may be reused in the newly created checkpoint. Veeam Agent keeps reused, or dependent, blocks of data locked by continuously assigning them to new generations and extending their effective immutability period. This guarantees that the effective immutability period is no less than the immutability period defined by user.

During data transfer, the effective immutability period for the backup is set as follows:

  • [For new data blocks in the checkpoint] Immutability is set anew. The user-defined immutability period is appended with a 10-day block generation period.
  • [For data blocks reused from the previous checkpoint] Immutability is extended to the immutability expiration date set for the new blocks.
  • [For data blocks that are not reused in the checkpoint] Immutability is not extended. Such data blocks will remain in the repository until their immutability period is over. After that Veeam Agent will automatically remove them from the repository.