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Apr 252013


For people that have used Enterprise Vault to archive Exchange environments sometimes introducing another aspect of Enterprise Vault, such as File System Archiving, requires them to learn a few new tricks. For example when, and how items that are archived are turned in to placeholders. These are the FSA equivalent of a shortcut.

In lab environments it’s common to have the Vault Store set to not keep safety copies. But in a production environment it is recommended to have the safety copy setting to ‘After Backup’. This means that the items when archived, aren’t immediately turned in to ‘shortcuts’.

It’s also worth remembering that in the FSA world there is no need to worry about MSMQ. That’s not used for passing information between stages of the archiving process.

For FSA at a high level the steps are this:

Do archiving run

Allow a reasonable sized window to get lots of files archived (that of course is open to debate!)


Do Backups

Start backups by ..

*** Enter backup mode for Vault Store and Indexes
*** Backup DB’s, index volumes, and Vault Store Partition data
*** Exit backup mode


Another Archiving Run

NEXT archiving run those items which were archived, and secured (ie backed up) will then be turned in to shortcuts/placeholders along with data which will then be archived.


Two Run Deal?

So you can see it’s a two-run deal with FSA. During the archiving run things are in fact archived, but aren’t turned in to placeholders because of the ‘safety copy’ setting.

In my test, I created a file called testfile.txt with just some text in it. When I do an archiving run the resulting report file shows:



But remember the item HAS been archived. When the task runs the first time you’ll also see ‘ARCHIVE’ ‘Archived’

When the task runs the next time after you’ve done a backup, you’ll see ‘ARCHIVE’ ‘ArchivedBackedUp’, and then you’ll see CREATESHORTCUTIMMEDIATELY followed by ‘ShortcutCreated’.

Remember the thing you’re backing up in order to work through this process is the Vault Store partition data, not the target file server.

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