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How SnapLock works

The WORM data on SnapLock volumes is administered in the same way as data on regular (non-WORM) volumes. SnapLock volumes operate in WORM mode and support standard file system semantics. You can create data on a SnapLock volume and commit it to the WORM state by transitioning the file from a writable state to a read-only state.

Marking an active writable file as read-only on a SnapLock volume commits the data to WORM. When a file is committed to WORM, it cannot be altered or deleted by applications, users, or administrators until the file retention date is reached. The exception is in SnapLock Enterprise volumes, where you can delete a file before it reaches the retention date by using the privileged delete feature.

The data that is committed to the WORM state on a SnapLock volume cannot be changed or deleted before its retention date. However, you can change or delete the empty directories and files that are not committed to a WORM state. Directories do not behave any differently than they would on regular volumes, with the exception that they cannot be renamed or moved once created. It is a requirement for regulatory compliance that WORM data be not only non-erasable and non-rewritable, but it must also be locked down in the same location at which it was created. In the case of WORM implementation, this means that the directory path to WORM files must be locked down and should never change.

In Data ONTAP 7.0 and later, WORM files can be deleted after their retention dates have been reached. The retention date on a WORM file is set when the file is committed to the WORM state, but it can be extended at any time. The retention period can never be shortened for any WORM file.