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  • October 5, 2018

Introducing Object Storage Lifecycle Management Policies

Not all stored data is equally valuable or mission-critical. This was the operating assumption when we launched Archive Storage into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure storage portfolio. Archive Storage offers customers the flexibility of classifying data as hot or cold, and then storing it in a standard bucket or an archive bucket based on that classification. The benefit? Significant cost savings. Storing data in Archive Storage is 90 precent cheaper than storing data in standard Object Storage.

That said, data might not always fall neatly or permanently into the hot and cold categories. Data that starts its lifecycle being hot (needing to be accessed frequently or quickly) can decrease in demand as it ages (and be suitable for archival cold storage). At some point, it might make sense to purge data to keep storage costs in check. Actively managing data placement across its lifecycle can significantly reduce overall storage costs. However, without effective data management tools, managing your data’s lifecycle could result in significant operational overhead.

To alleviate this storage management pain, we are pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s Object Lifecycle Management functionality. 

Object Lifecycle Management lets you define a lifecycle policy on a bucket, letting you control how objects stored in a bucket will be automatically managed for you over time. You can create up to 1000 distinct rules for each bucket that govern the lifecycle management of your objects. Object Lifecycle Management offers two types of rules: those that archive your objects for you, and those that delete your objects for you. With the first, Object Storage changes the storage tier of an object from standard Object Storage to Archive Storage based on the object’s age in days. Rules that delete objects work in the same way, except that your specified data is deleted after it ages beyond a specified number of days. You can define rules that apply to all objects stored in the bucket, or rules that operate on only on a subset of objects that contain a specified object name prefix pattern.

You can mix and match rules in a lifecycle policy to drive specific lifecycle management behavior. For example, you can create a lifecycle policy that automatically migrates objects containing the name prefix "ABC" from standard Object Storage to Archive Storage 30 days after the data was created, and then delete the same group of objects 120 days after creation. Note that for data in an Archive Storage bucket, delete rules are the only type that can be defined.

Sample Lifecycle Policy

[
    {
        "name": “Archive ABC”,
        "action": "ARCHIVE",
        "objectNameFilter": {
            "inclusionPrefixes": [
                “ABC”
            ]
        },
        "timeAmount": 30,
        “timeUnit”: “DAYS”,
        "isEnabled": true
    },
    {
        "name": “DELETE_ABC”,
        "action": "DELETE",
        "objectNameFilter": {
            "inclusionPrefixes": [
                “ABC”
            ]
        },
        "timeAmount": 120,
        “timeUnit”: “DAYS”,
        “isEnabled": true
    }
]

Rules can be modified after they are created. Any changes made to the rules take effect immediately. Rules are evaluated for conflicts at runtime, and rules that delete objects always take priority over rules that would archive the same objects. If you want to modify or add rules to an existing lifecycle policy by using the CLI or SDK, or the API, you must rewrite the bucket’s entire lifecycle policy, including all previously defined rules for the bucket that will not change, along with your edits and additions. (If previously defined rules in the policy are not re-created, they will be overwritten.)

You also have the option of editing your lifecycle policy by using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, where you can easily add, edit, and remove individual rules.

To create lifecycle policies by using the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console, sign in to the Console and select the Object Storage bucket that you want to define the lifecycle policy on.

In the Resources list displayed on the lower-left side, click Lifecycle Policy Rules.

Click Create Rule, and in the Create Lifecycle Rule dialog box, specify the rule name, the type of action, and the age of data before the lifecycle rule becomes active. Optionally, you can also specify the object prefix, if you want the rule to apply to only a subset of the objects stored in the bucket. Clicking Create creates the lifecycle policy role on the bucket.

For more information about Object Lifecycle Management, review the storage FAQs and the Object Lifecycle Management documentation.

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