Data Backup and Recovery

SnapProtect archive retrieval questions

Here's the scenario; We have VM guest VMX that resides in it's own datastore in VMware which is a volume on NetApp-A. SnapProtect is configured to do backups based on datastore and has been backing this VMX up for quite a while now. For this particular VM, the backups look like; 1 local snapshot (Primary Snap) in the production datastore on NetApp-A. There is also a Secondary Vault that snapvaults this snapshot to NetApp-B. The Retention on the Secondary Vault is 21 daily snapshots and 11 monthly snapshots - all controlled via SnapProtect.
Now the VM guest VMX gets decomissioned and deleted from the datastore it's in on NetApp-A but I'm required to retain the data for certain period past the decommission date.
When I look at the physical systems now, I have the original volume/datastore that held the VM on NetApp-A. That volume still contains the last SnapProtect snapshot that was taken about a month ago before the VM was deleted. I also have the Secondary Vault on NetApp-B that contains the last 21 daily SnapProtect snapshots as well as the last 11 monthly SnapProtect snapshots.
If I go into SnapProtect and attempt to do a Browse and Restore, I cannot find this system VMX in any of the backups no matter how far back I look. Even if I explicitly tell it to use the Secondary Vault using the appropriate 'Browse from copy precedence:' option, I cannot find the VM that was deleted. It's still physically there in the Secondary Vault as I can explore to it from my laptop and see all the files, i.e. I can manually copy them back outside of SnapProtect.
So here's my questions;
1) Is the behavior I'm seeing in SnapProtect normal or expected given the fact that the original VM was deleted? If not, how do I get to the existing backup data via SnapProtect?
2) What is the proper process to 'Archive' data if a VM is to be decommissioned but we still need to retain the data for a period of time? I thought we were good deleting the VM's since we still have the Secondary Vault data but apparently that is not the case.


I do see a VM management tab in the subclient properties that lists some behaviour for when a VM is deleted. One option is to remove the record of it immediately from SnapProtect.