Plan for Retention of Information on File Servers

Published: August 16, 2012

Updated: August 16, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012

A data retention policy is important for any organization.

Use the following table to plan how you retain information in your organization.


Task Description

1.1. Determine the retention schedule

Determining how long to retain data reduces your storage requirements, reduces liability, and satisfies regulations.

1.2. Identify files to be retained

Before you implement a data retention policy, you must first know the type of data that is stored on each file server in your organization.

1.3 Considerations for multiple computers

Use the Data Classification Toolkit when possible to export the configuration from a baseline computer and import it on the file servers.

Determining how long data is stored on file servers in your network and developing a data retention schedule offers the following advantages:

  • Limits the amount of data to store which lowers the overall cost of storage in your organization

  • Reduces liability

  • Satisfies regulations

When you are determining your retention schedule, you should consult an attorney to ensure that the retention schedule meets the regulatory compliance of the industry your organization is in. For example, if your company is a healthcare provider, you should understand the HIPAA regulations.

Before you can implement your data retention policy, you must first identify the data that is stored on each file server. Once the data has been identified, you should mark the folders with a retention period and retention start date. Also, you should remove the Delete Child permission from any folders that could contain files that are being retained. This will ensure that the files are not accidentally deleted.

Classification properties should not be specified as a date. You should use the retention period to classify the file. If the retention period should change, you can update the retention period interval without having to classify every file again.

There are several things to consider when you have more than one file server in your organization:

  • Data retention policies are usually the same across the organization so you can reuse the same set of rules on multiple computers.

  • The Data Classification Toolkit uses Windows PowerShell cmdlets to import and export classification rules. You should be this to export the configuration from a baseline computer and import to another computer to ensure that the configuration is the same.

  • You should use dynamic name spaces when the source and destination servers use the same drive letters for the storage on the server. When you create a new file share by using Server Manager, you can specify the name space. For more information about dynamic name spaces, see What's New in File Server Resource Manager.

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