Object Lifecycle Management

Cloud users can apply lifecycle rules (specified in Amazon’s AWS S3 API) to buckets managed through Zenko. These rules are triggered after a defined time has passed since the object’s last modification. Zenko supports expiration and transition of objects when a defined number of days has passed since those objects’ creation. This enables automated deletion or movement of older objects.


Lifecycle management features are not supported for Azure Blob Storage points of origin (Azure Blob frontend servers) in Zenko version 1.2.1.


Lifecycle management is part of Backbeat configuration and is installed with Backbeat. It is enabled by default, and can be disabled in the Zenko deployment configuration files.


Lifecycle management conforms partially to the S3 lifecycle management syntax described at https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/object-lifecycle-mgmt.html. Zenko lifecycle management supports expiration and transition actions. Files that exceed a preconfigured temporal threshold (for example, 90 days) are expired and deleted from the bucket in which they are stored or transitioned and moved.

Bucket lifecycle characteristics inhere to the bucket: Zenko’s lifecycle management feature does not set lifecycle characteristics, but does enforce them. When lifecycle management is enabled, the host cloud enforces buckets’ lifecycle rules. If CRR operation is enabled, Zenko replicates the lifecycle event to all backup clouds.

To configure bucket lifecycle, follow the AWS S3 Lifecycle Configuration Element syntax described in https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/intro-lifecycle-rules.html.


To implement the S3 API effectively in a cross-cloud context, Zenko interprets S3’s <StorageClass> field differently from how AWS defines it. Where Amazon uses StorageClass to indicate various proprietary Amazon storage locations that can be described by their quality of service, Zenko uses this parameter to identify cloud service locations by a user-defined name. So, instead of using <StorageClass>GLACIER<\StorageClass> for inexpensive, high-latency storage, the Zenko user must define a cloud location with satisfactory storage and pricing requirements and use that cloud location as the target cloud storage location. Zenko reads and writes to this location based on the StorageClass tag definition.

Zenko provides three API calls to manage lifecycle properties per bucket:

  • PUT Bucket Lifecycle

  • GET Bucket Lifecycle

  • DELETE Bucket Lifecycle


    See the AWS S3 API Reference for protocol-level formatting details.

These calls manage bucket attributes related to lifecycle behavior, which are stored as part of bucket metadata.

Managing Lifecycle Rules from the S3 API

See https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/lifecycle-configuration-examples.html for more examples and explanations on lifecycle rules.

  1. Create a JSON file defining the bucket lifecycle rules (see https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonS3/latest/dev/set-lifecycle-cli.html for examples).


    The “Rules” section is an array that can hold multiple rules.

  2. Use the aws s3api to set the JSON lifecycle rule on a bucket, zenko-bucket.

    $ aws s3api put-bucket-lifecycle-configuration --bucket zenko-bucket --lifecycle-configuration file://lifecycle_config.json

    You can confirm that the rule has been set with:

    $ aws s3api get-bucket-lifecycle-configuration --bucket zenko-bucket

Once the lifecycle rules on the bucket are set, the rules apply to all objects in the specified bucket.

Querying Lifecycle Events

You can access the storage location of transitioned object data by viewing the object’s metadata, for example by making a HEAD request.

Querying the CloudServer requires an active kubectl session with the Zenko controller and S3 API functionality configured as described in Set Up CloudServer API Access. Once this is configured, use the head-object command as described in https://docs.aws.amazon.com/cli/latest/reference/s3api/head-object.html.

For example:

$ aws s3api head-object --bucket <bucket-name> --key <key-name> --endpoint <endpoint-url>


   "AcceptRanges": "bytes",
   "ContentType": "application/octet-stream",
   "LastModified": "Tue, 16 Apr 2019 22:12:33 GMT",
   "ContentLength": 1,
   "ETag": "\"e358efa489f58062f10dd7316b65649e\"",
   "StorageClass": "aws-storage-location",
   "Metadata": {}

The returned information describes the <key-name> object in the <bucket-name> bucket. The StorageClass information indicates the object has transitioned to a storage location named “aws-storage-location”, as defined by the Zenko user.

After an expiration event, the object is deleted, and no metadata can be queried. The object metadata is not found.