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Version: 0.13.1

Configuring Database Retention


DataHub stores different versions of metadata aspects as they are ingested using a database (or key-value store). These multiple versions allow us to look at an aspect's historical changes and rollback to a previous version if incorrect metadata is ingested. However, every stored version takes additional storage space, while possibly bringing less value to the system. We need to be able to impose a retention policy on these records to keep the size of the DB in check.

Goal of the retention system is to be able to configure and enforce retention policies on documents at each of these various levels:

  • global
  • entity-level
  • aspect-level

What type of retention policies are supported?

We support 3 types of retention policies for aspects:

PolicyVersions Kept
IndefiniteAll versions
Version-basedLatest N versions
Time-basedVersions ingested in last N seconds

Note: The latest version (version 0) is never deleted. This ensures core functionality of DataHub is not impacted while applying retention.

When is the retention policy applied?

As of now, retention policies are applied in two places:

  1. GMS boot-up: A bootstrap step ingests the predefined set of retention policies. If no policy existed before or the existing policy was updated, an asynchronous call will be triggered. It will apply the retention policy (or policies) to all records in the database.
  2. Ingest: On every ingest, if an existing aspect got updated, it applies the retention policy to the urn-aspect pair being ingested.

We are planning to support a cron-based application of retention in the near future to ensure that the time-based retention is applied correctly.

How to configure?

We have enabled with feature by default. Please set ENTITY_SERVICE_ENABLE_RETENTION=false when creating the datahub-gms container/k8s pod to prevent the retention policies from taking effect.

On GMS start up, retention policies are initialized with:

  1. First, the default provided version-based retention to keep 20 latest aspects for all entity-aspect pairs.
  2. Second, we read YAML files from the /etc/datahub/plugins/retention directory and overlay them on the default set of policies we provide.

For docker, we set docker-compose to mount ${HOME}/.datahub directory to /etc/datahub directory within the containers, so you can customize the initial set of retention policies by creating a ${HOME}/.datahub/plugins/retention/retention.yaml file.

We will support a standardized way to do this in Kubernetes setup in the near future.

The format for the YAML file is as follows:

- entity: "*" # denotes that policy will be applied to all entities
aspect: "*" # denotes that policy will be applied to all aspects
maxVersions: 20
- entity: "dataset"
aspect: "datasetProperties"
maxVersions: 20
maxAgeInSeconds: 2592000 # 30 days

Note, it searches for the policies corresponding to the entity, aspect pair in the following order:

  1. entity, aspect
  2. *, aspect
  3. entity, *
  4. ,

By restarting datahub-gms after creating the plugin yaml file, the new set of retention policies will be applied.