This best practice document discusses the inherent needs to securely backup operations Enterprise Vault servers to insure best available DR scenarios. With several very important information sources integrated with Enterprise Vault, it is critical that proper backups of this data be performed on a regular basis. This paper considers the impact this has on Enterprise Vault ways customers can easily implement a high degree of coverage for their archived content. It is important to understand that it is a Best Practice to regularly backup the components of your Enterprise Vault environment to insure that you have adequate DR protection as with any Tier-1 business critical application.
Scope of Document
This document is focused on Enterprise Vault, Microsoft SQL, Vault Store settings, and the indexes that are part of the environment as a whole. This document presumes a good working knowledge of your company backup products, schedules, and DR plans. The implementation, planning and use of actual backup software / hardware solution are outside the scope of this document. However, Best Practice recommendations to insure your DR plans protect your data in Enterprise Vault for use of your backup software are made.
This document is aimed at customers, consultants and support staff and it is assumed the reader has a good understanding about the architecture and operational aspects of an Enterprise Vault server, and their internal network and storage architecture. This document also discusses concepts related to Microsoft Server management, and expects the reader to either be skilled in this area, or have team member(s) who are.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution that other individuals made towards making this a successful and informative document. Contributions and feedback came from the following teams: Technical Product Management, Technical Field Enablement, Engineering, Consulting, and our Customer Support Teams.
Companies implementing Enterprise Vault typically purchase to solve one of several needs. They are either trying to offset the explosive growth of individual mailboxes, file server personal / shared areas, or insure relevant regulatory compliance in their country. Backing up your data to insure your company has an adequate safety net has long been the bane of the modern System Administrator, but lack of backups place a company at extreme risk in a DR (Disaster Recovery) situation. Because of implementing Enterprise Vault, a company must undertake a review of their existing backup schedules and plans, as archiving allows customers more flexibility and newer ways to have a safety copy.
At some companies they are of a smaller size; thus their Enterprise Vault backup scenarios are relatively straightforward to deliver. At larger companies, given a number of Enterprise Vault servers their backup scenarios are slightly more complicated. Given the advances in both large storage tape technologies such as DLT^2 and LTO3, and disk systems that operate like tape or replicate, no two customers studied are performing their backups in a similar fashion.
The one unifying similarity of Enterprise Vault customers regardless of size is that they are aware they have to insure for their internal &/or external customers a high degree of data availability.
Enterprise Vault Infrastructure and your environment
As the landscape changes with the introduction of Enterprise Vault into your environment, it does not absolve one of the responsibilities to insure that adequate backups are in place. Given the data contained in Enterprise Vault is still just as valuable, just as important, it is our recommendation just like with email and file servers, that you treat your Enterprise Vault server(s) as any other Tier-1 application server in your network. Because of installing Enterprise Vault at your site, you will observe (in many cases) greatly shortened backup times for the server(s) that Enterprise Vault archives from, but you will still need to make sure your DR position is strong by the scheduled backups of your Enterprise Vault data.
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