Knowledgebase: Index related
Mandatory Unique Archive Index Prefix in P4 - Why?
Posted by Sven Koester, Last modified by Andre Kuehnemund on 22 July 2011 11:26
We were asked for an explanation why that timestamp and job ID is added to the archive index automatically.
This feature has been changed to mandatory since PresTORE 4, it was advisory in PresSTORE 3.

The reason is: to protect from creating a non manageable archive.

There is today a variety of different archiving patterns, but only a few peole really care about the structure of the archive and attempt to simply copy the well known structure they have on disk. In fact, the filesystem on disk is a living system that permanently changes while an archive can be seen more or less as a series of snapshots of (parts of) that filesystem, taken at different times. To maintain the time as an addition dimension, the date stamps are in the archive index.

Customers who disabled the unique index after a year of archiving discovered some problems that cannot really be solved AFTER archiving:

  • The archive ends up with ten to hundred thousand files in one folder. Browsing such a structure becomes extremely slow.
  • The folder structure in the archive "overshadows" other parts of the archive. For files, this is resolved in file versions. That is the smaller problem as it simply implies that the restore is possible for one of the versions at a time only.
  • In some cases a certain file name stands for a folder at one time and a file at another time and for a different folder at a third time. These cases  cannot be resolved in a handy way.
Please remember that the folder structure in the archive index does not represent a true file system and cannot be dynamic. An attempt to realize that would end up with a rather long time decision process whether or not to show a folder.

In PresSTORE 4.2 we will allow to remove the date stamp as an expert option. We do so because of the feedback we received for making the unique index path
advisory. Again, that was intended as a protective step for less experienced users. The resulting archive index will be supported partially only, the effects
described above will be allowed again but without support from our development.

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