Purging Data with NetWorker and Data Domain

Purging data is sometimes required. There could be some legal requirement or more likely you are out of space on disk storage. Here is what I recently had to do.

Some data was identified to be purged. Specifically three clients.

The following tasks need to be completed:

  • Identify the save sets
  • Build the batch file
  • run nsrim -X
  • Run a clean on the DD

Identifying the save sets

There is a ton of info out there on mminfo. This is the command we will use to identify which save sets to remove. The command has two parts. A query portion where we feed in the required variables and a report portion where we can narrow the specific data we need. My command resembled the following.

mminfo -avot -q “client-clientname, volume=volumename.001” -r client,volume,ssid,cloneid

I ran the command and outputted to text. The output resembled the following.

client    volume         ssid          clone id

XXXXX volume.001 4065016450 1397439105

XXXXX volume.001 3997907656 1397439175

XXXXX  volume.001 3981130503 1397439239

XXXXX  volume.001 3947576123 1397439291

XXXXX  volume.001 3930798958 1397439341

XXXXX  volume.001 3914021948 1397439548

I’m really only concerned with the last two columns, as these are required to use with the nsrmm command to delete the data from the NetWorker databases.

The command we will use will look like this.

nsrmm-dy -S SSID/CloneID

Now that we have this we can build the batch file, as this is a windows system.

Building the batch

Just a lot of excelFU here. I saved the output from the mminfo command to a text file, then imported into using Data, From text. I selected Delimited and then selected “space” as the delimiter. This inserted my data into the columns nicely.

1 2



Next, I’ll delete everything in in columns A and B. In column A I will enter our nsrmm command as above. Then I’ll select the cell and drag it down to auto fill in the cells below.


Next I formatted all the cells as number and then entered the following formula into cell E2.

CONCATENATE(A3,” “,D3,”/”E3)

This will merge our command in column A, add a space after then our SSID and insert a / to seperate. Finally it will tag on the cloneid and output to one cell. Select the cell and drag down to auto populate. You will then have a column filled with individual commands. That entire column can be pasted into a batch file.


When complete run the batch, I have over 2000 rows so this will take while.

Run nsrim -X

nsrim -X will synchronize the media DB and wraps up the purging of this data from NetWorker

Run a clean on the DD

Start the DD clean. It can take some time, best to run when things are quiet. Here we can see we did not win a lot in the way of cleanable data?




Why is that? Reducing data retention has limited effect. When data is expired the pointers can be removed, but unique data is still needed to be retained for recovery.  Reducing retention is not always a positive thing as it can lead to a reduced pool of data to deduplicate  against. However, here we removed clients in their entirety? I can only assume that the data on this client was already highly deduplicated and there was actual precious little unique data identified. So are results are what they are. I hope yours are better. Let me know. Comment below.



Category: backup recovery |

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