Enterprise Vault™ Managing Retention

Last Published:
Product(s): Enterprise Vault (14.1, 14.0, 12.5, 12.4, 12.3)

About retention categories

When Enterprise Vault archives an item, it assigns a retention category to the item that specifies how long to keep it. Enterprise Vault typically deletes the item automatically when its retention period expires.

A retention category can specify a retention period, or inherit retention settings from the Archive Settings page in site settings. A retention period is how long an item is retained in Enterprise Vault. The retention period can be defined as one of the following:

  • A period of time from the date on which the item is archived or modified. For example, you can specify that items are retained for five years from their archived date.

    By default, the start of the retention period is based on the item's modified date, but you can configure Enterprise Vault to use the archived date instead. For mail messages, the modified date is the date and time when the message was received. For documents, the modified date is the date and time when the document was last modified.

  • Until a fixed date. For example, you can specify that items are retained until December 31 2021.

  • Forever. Retaining items forever means that they never expire, and Enterprise Vault does not delete them automatically.

You can create as many retention categories as you need, and configure Enterprise Vault to assign them automatically to different Enterprise Vault entities. For example, you may want Enterprise Vault to assign one category to items that are archived from the mailboxes of users in the accounts department, and a different category to the items that are archived from the mailboxes of users in the legal department.

You can also configure the following Enterprise Vault clients, so that end users can change the retention category on items:

  • Enterprise Vault Outlook Add-In. You can allow users to set the retention category on a mailbox folder, or on an individual item when they archive it manually.

  • Enterprise Vault Search. You can allow users to change the retention category on an archived item.

If you assign a different retention category to a mailbox folder, or standard archive folder, Enterprise Vault only assigns the new retention category to new items that are archived from the folder or moved into it. Enterprise Vault does not change items that it has already archived. If you want to ensure that all items in a folder have the same retention category, you can use the Enterprise Vault Retention Folder feature.

If you modify an existing retention category, the changes are retrospective. For example, if you have a retention category called "Customer Accounts" with a retention period of 5 years and you change it to 10 years, then items that have been already archived with the "Customer Accounts" retention category are retained for a minimum of 10 years.

Retention categories allow you to categorize items in archives. When searching for items in archives, users can specify a retention category in the search criteria.

Properties in the retention category dialog let you prevent automatic deletion or user deletion of archived items that have the retention category assigned.

The Enterprise Vault records management and classification features extend the way that you can categorize archived items as follows:

  • The Enterprise Vault records management feature lets you associate a record type with a retention category. When the retention category is applied to an item, the item is marked as a record of the type specified in the retention category.

    For more information on the records management feature, see "Using Enterprise Vault for records management" in the Administrator's Guide.

  • The Enterprise Vault classification features (Veritas Information Classifier (VIC) and Windows File Classification Infrastructure (FCI)) let you apply retention categories to items that match classification rules that you have set up. You can configure when classification applies retention categories. For example, classification can apply retention categories when Enterprise Vault first indexes and archives items, or when users try to delete items manually.

    For more information on the Enterprise Vault classification features, see the following guides:

    Classification using the Veritas Information Classifier

    Classification using the Microsoft File Classification Infrastructure