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How does URT (Unspecified Retention time) work for Snaplock ?

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Applies to

  • ONTAP 9.8
  • ONTAP 9.12.1
  • SnapLock


Starting from ONTAP 9.8, you can set the retention time to "unspecified" when a specific retention period has not been determined or defined.

  • A file set with an unspecified retention time remains a WORM file indefinitely until a specific retention time is set.
  • If a specific retention time has previously been set, this feature allows you to change the retention time to unspecified.
  • When changing from unspecified back to a specific date, the new retention date cannot be earlier than an older one that was previously set.

You can set and unset the unspecified retention time on the file by using the following options:

  • File retention CLI, NetApp Manageability SDK (NMSDK), and REST APIs
  • Event Based Retention with the retention period unspecified
  • Enabling autocommit with the default retention period of the SnapLock volume unspecified
  • Removing write permission from NFS and SMB clients when the default retention period of the SnapLock volume is unspecified

As for compliance with SEC and other regulations, a best practice is to set the retention period to specific retention first and then set the retention to unspecified.
This will ensure that the retention period cannot be lower than the value initially set.

Starting from ONTAP 9.12.1, there is a change in the behavior of “unspecified” retention period setting.

  • When a file is first made WORM with the retention period set to “unspecified”, it is guaranteed to have a retention period set to the minimum retention period configured for SnapLock volume.

  • When transitioning the retention period of the file from “unspecified” to an absolute retention time, the new retention time specified must be greater than the minimum retention time already set on the file


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