BT.Retention Engine

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This is a Building Block document

Document icon BT Retention Engine Version: 0.92 OIAr logo
Document type: Building Block Type Owner:

J.A.H. Schoonderbeek

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This Building Block Type belongs to Working Area Storage (ST). A Retention Engine facility presents data retention functionality beyond the four basic operations (store/retrieve/modify/delete). It can thus be seen as "adding storage intelligence" to Raw Retention functionality, which itself provides the basic storage operations. However, this intelligence can be characterized as "back-end facing": generally speaking the facility's clients don't have (direct) access to it, only the administrators and back-end systems.

When present, the Retention Engine is positioned "between" the Raw Retention functionality and the clients that want to retain data or manipulate retained data. This means that the clients cannot "see" the data stored by the Raw Retention functionality directly. Instead, they "see" data as the Retention Engine presents it to them, while the data that's actually stored on the Raw Retention facility may be different (e.g. split in different blocks and augmented with parity blocks, as happens when storing data on a RAID-5 storage device).

Examples of Retention Engine operations are:

  • adding and handling data redundancy;
  • data integrity checking on retrieval/modification;
  • data replication (usually to another instance of a Retention Engine);
  • thin provisioning;
  • snapshotting;
  • meta-data reporting (e.g. space left on a physical or logical device).

Furthermore, the Retention Engine facility may handle integration with other storage-related facilities, such as Backup & Restore.

Note that the storage intelligence that the Retention Engine brings acts on the lowest abstraction level for data, that of the "raw bits" level, manipulating sets of elementary data elements, such as the bits and bytes on a hard disk.


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Pattern VariantBrief DescriptionOwnerMaturity
PAT.Raw StorageRaw StorageJ.A.H. Schoonderbeek4