METHOD, SYSTEM AND PROGRAM FOR ARCHIVING FILES
This patent application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/465,594, filed on Aug. 18, 2006, which is a continuation of U.S. Pat. No. 7,146,388, which issued on Dec. 5, 2006, which patent application and patent are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention is related to a method, system, and program for archiving files.
2. Description of the Related Art
Organizations may need to retain and archive electronic files (where a file comprises a document, record, or any other data structure storing code or data that may be represented in a hierarchical file system) in storage for an extended period of time due to internal corporate requirements or external regulatory or legal requirements. For instance, government regulators may require that certain files remain archived for a minimum period of time. Companies in regulated industries, such as securities and financial organizations, defense contractors, etc., may be required to archive certain documents. Further, govermnent agencies may also be required to archive files. Yet further, organizations subject to a govermnent proceeding, such as litigation, may also be subject to a file retention policy. An organization may also archive documents for backup and storage, and versioning. A storage system often includes some archival software to manage the archival of files at different locations that are retained according to a policy. Such archival software may maintain a database of archived files. Use of the archival software may require significant user training and management, as well as a stand alone application program. Archival software typically features customized graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and application program interfaces (APIs) to interface with the operating system to perfonn archival related operations.
One archival data storage technology referred to as WORM (for write once, read many) involves archiving data to a storage media, such as optical disks, that can only be written to once. One disadvantage of using optical disks is that their access rates are slow, especially when the disks are maintained in an auto-changer that needs to mechanically access a disk from a slot and insert the accessed disk into a disk drive to access.
To avoid some of the drawbacks of using optical disks, some archival system vendors are using inexpensive hard disk drives as the medium for archiving data. The hard disk drive storage system is sold bundled with software to expose the storage as a proprietary archive utility, requiring custom interfaces and application program interfaces to use the archival features.
SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Provided are a method, system, and program for archiving files. A hierarchical file system having directories is provided. An archival retention policy is associated with at least one of the directories in the hierarchical file system, wherein the retention policy applies to files included in the associated directory, and wherein the retention policy specifies a reten
2 tion time indicating a time period during which a file is subject to the retention policy.
In further implementations, associating the archival retention policy with one directory comprises indicating a retention policy code in a pathname of the directory.
In further implementations, a request directed to a target file is received and a determination is made as to whether the target file is included within the directory associated with the retention policy. A determination is made as to whether the retention time of the retention policy indicates that the target file is currently subject to retention in response to detennining that the target file is included within the directory associated with the retention policy. The retention policy is applied to the target file if the target file is currently subject to the retention policy.
Yet further, the retention policy may comprise a non-rewritable and non-erasable retention policy and wherein the directories and files therein are stored in a magnetic storage medium.
Still further, additional subdirectories may be included in the directory associated with the retention policy such that the retention policy applies to any file within the additional subdirectories.
Yet further, the directory associated with the retention policy is a subdirectory of another directory.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Referring now to the drawings in which like reference numbers represent corresponding parts throughout:
FIG. 1 illustrates a computing enviromnent in which embodiments of the invention are implemented;
FIG. 2 illustrates an example of an arrangement of a hierarchical file system in accordance with implementations of the invention;
FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 illustrate operations perfonned to manage archived files in accordance with implementations of the invention;
FIG. 6 illustrates a computing architecture that may be used to implement the computing enviromnent described with respect to FIG. 1.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In the following description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which fonn a part hereof and which illustrate several embodiments of the present invention. It is understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural and operational changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention.
FIG. 1 illustrates a computing enviromnent in which embodiments of the invention are implemented. A host system 2 includes an operating system 4 and a file system 6 that provides an organization of files stored in a storage device. The file system 6 may implement a hierarchical tree-like arrangement of files, which may involve the use of directories and subdirectories in which the files or records may be stored, where any directory may comprise a subdirectory of another directory or the root directory. A file system user interface 8 provides a command line or graphical user interface to enable the user to explore the file system and perfonn file system related operations, such as moving a file to a specified directory, deleting a file, renaming a file, creating a file, etc. The file system user interface 8 may comprise a file management program that renders a presentation of the hierarchical arrangement of files. The file system user interface 8 may