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This article explains how to setup a small provisioning group allowing you to test out some of the features in Enterprise Vault.  It focuses on setting this up for Exchange Mailbox Archiving users, but can be adapted for Domino if required.  It covers how to setup and review your archiving and desktop policies, and how to provision a selection of users - your pilot users as it were.


Where we start from
For the purposes of this document we will assume:

  • This is a new install of Enterprise Vault 9.0.2, and that you have a mixture of Enterprise Vault 9.0.2, and that you have a mixture of Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 users who will be involved in the pilot.
  • The vault store groups, vault stores, and partitions have also already been created and we won't be doing Exchange journaling for now.
  • The mailboxes for your pilot users are all on the same Exchange server, and it has been added as a target to the "Targets" node in the VAC.  Having the users all on the same Exchange server simplifies things because you only have to target a single server, and have a single task running for archiving to take place.


Review your policies
The main policies to review are of course your Mailbox Archiving policy and your Desktop policy, optionally you can look at your PST Policy, but this isn't entirely necessary.  You can also review the Retention Categories you have defined, for the pilot group it is probably better to have infinite retention.

With each of the policies copy the default, naming it to indicate it's for your pilot group, and then review and adjust the policies as required.

Archiving Policy
You should review the policy for your pilot users to ensure that some data will be archived - otherwise they're not really going to see anything happening with their mailbox. Make sure that not EVERYTHING is archived, otherwise if they have portable devices (iPhone, Blackberry etc) they might have a worsened experience. 

For this I would suggest:

  • Picking an age based policy, so that you can archive, for example, everything over 1 year old. 
  • Reviewing the archiving actions tab on the policy.  I'd suggest ticking all the boxes on that particular tab. 
  • Reviewing the Shortcut Content tab.  There are many schools of thought over what a shortcut should contain, and even whether or not archived items should have shortcut at all.  It's really hard to advise what to do here, but, I would avoid things like "use message body" - because you're not going to make the message any smaller than it is now, and, if you decide to include part of the original in the shortcut, don't choose something like the first "100,000" characters.  Both lead to bad experiences.
  • Which message classes to archive.  Perhaps for the pilot users you only want to archive regular emails. If so, IPM.Note is the selection and deselect all the others. 
  • Reviewing the Moved Items tab - take care when setting this. This is called Shortcut Processing or Modifiable Metadata.  Essentially after an item is archived and a shortcut created, if the user moves that shortcut this option in the policy will determine whether the archived data is "moved" as well. When enabled for the very first time you may experience performance degradation as this processing is executed. Monitor the A6 MSMQ.
  • Reviewing the Advanced tab, just so you are aware of what is happening - for example, will the "Deleted Items" folder be processed, and so on.


Desktop Policy
This is what the user will see, so of course this is important too.  The Options tab should be reviewed because essentially it will show what the end users can do with the Outlook Add-in installed.  The Advanced tab has four separate categories that should be carefully reviewed after you have decided whether or not to show people Vault Cache/Virtual Vault (that's the Vault Cache tab).


PST Policy
Review each of the tabs in this policy, however, it is likely that for your pilot users you won't have enabled Client Driven PST Migration, and so these policies won't be as relevant, unless you're actually going to pilot that part of the experience.



Retention Categories
These define how long data is kept, and whether users are allowed to delete items or not.  It is worth reviewing these.  Later on we will deploy the HTTP client, so by default, the end user will not get the choice of which retention category a manually archived item goes to.  You can apply folder policies using EVPM, for example, so that items archived in particular folders get particular retention categories.  Review the Enterprise Vault documentation for how to do that.


Checking the schedule
Generally what I would do here is to remove the tick box, which tells the archiving task to use the site schedule, and use your own schedule defined on the task.  You will need to consider the date/time of backups of EV and of Exchange, and try to avoid those times.

Here is an example of what you might set as the schedule for the task:


Remember that making changes to the schedule settings requires the associated Archiving task to be restarted.

If you only have a small number of pilot users, then you can make your scheduled archiving window quite small, and depending on your business you may be able to do the archiving run late afternoon, rather than perhaps the more traditional, but more likely to clash with other activities, "middle of the night".  The aim for this setup is minimal impact on other aspects of the messaging environment, e.g. backups, online maintenance and so on.


Provisioning the users
There are a number of ways to target your pilot users.  One, which seems the easiest to me, is to add the users to a Distribution Group.  You will have the added advantage that you and they will be able to email to that distribution group, and share feedback and experiences.  So have the Exchange guys create a group, along the lines of:


Add the test subjects to that group.

Now the group is setup and exists, you can target that by the provisioning process in the Vault Administration Console as follows:

  1. Open the VAC
  2. Expand the Site -> Targets -> Exchange -> Name of the domain
  3. Click on the Provisioning Group node.  You will see something like the one below, bear in mind I've already created some groups :


  1. Right click on Provisioning Group, and choose New -> Provisioning Group.  This will start a wizard to help you set up a group.
  2. You need to give the group a name, let's call it "Provision DL EV Pilot Users"
  3. On the selection screen for the targets for this provisioning operation, we want to choose Add, and then choose "Distribution Group" :

  1. Search for the group we have created, and pick it from the list.

  1. Pick the policies that we setup and reviewed earlier:

  1. Associate with aretention category, I used the default one.
  2. Choose theVault Store, and Indexing options - or we can set those when we enable the users, I opted for that approach.
  3. The last screen in the wizard is whether we want to automatically enable the mailboxes, I left that unchecked, meaning I will have to enable them manually.

That was the steps to create the group, but you then might see that the group is at the bottom of the list.  We want it to be at the top of the list so that it will mean our pilot users definitely get the right policy.  We change the order as follows:

  1. Right click on theProvisioning Group node
  2. Choose Properties
  3. Select our newly created group, and then the Move Up button until we get it to the top of the list:

  1. Finally, choose Ok

We now need to run the provisioning task, so that it actually provisions our users.  That's a task under the server node, so run that, then use Windows Explorer to locate the provisioning task report, and ensure that the users are in the report, and assigned to the right group. For example, here is the output of my report:


Provisioning Group Summary:

Provision DL EV Pilot Users:

Mailboxes added: 5

Mailboxes updated: 0

Mailboxes relinked: 0

Mailboxes ignored because already processed: 0

Provisioning targets that returned no mailboxes: 0

Users without a mailbox: 0

New mailboxes ignored because of existing entries in the Enterprise Vault database: 0

Journal mailboxes found: 0

Users with mailboxes outside the current domain: 0

Users whose mailboxes were not synchronized: 0

Errors: 0



Enabling the users
Once the provisioning task has run, then the next step is to enable the users.  During the provisioning process it is possible to auto-enable people for archiving, but let's assume that we didn't do that for the purposes of the pilot.  You can also send the user a welcome message, this is documented in the Enterprise Vault documentation - for this example I've not configured it.  We will just enable the users manually as follows:

  1. Open the Vault Admin Console
  2. Click the Enable Mailbox button in the toolbar
  3. Walk through the wizard to identify each of the users that were added to the pilot users distribution group.  For each user you will need to identify the Vault Store, and Indexing Server.


Deploy the client
How you do this for the pilot users will obviously vary from company to company.   One option I've seen quite often is to send the users an email with a URL in it, which when they click on it takes them a site (or SharePoint server) where they can download the client.

As we mentioned let's assume that there are a mixture of Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 pilot users.  You want to have as little difference as possible between these groups of users, so the Enterprise Vault Outlook Add-in to deploy will be the HTTP aka Lite client.  This means that users won't be able to view folder properties (relating to EV), and when they manually archive items, they won't get to choose the archive that the item goes to, but it also means less problems from the deployment point of view, since all users can have the same type of client installed.

If you wanted to at this point you could deploy (manually, or automated) the DCOM Add-in to the Outlook 2007 users, and the HTTP Add-in to the Outlook 2010 users.


Outlook Web Access
If your pilot users use Outlook Web Access/Application then you will need to deploy the Enterprise Vault OWA add-in.  This is described in the Enterprise Vault documentation.  Alternatively you can indicate to your pilot users that you won't be customising OWA, and that they won't be able to access archived items, or archiving functionality during the pilot stages.


The pilot users should now see the Outlook Add-in toolbar when they re-launch Outlook.  They can then experiment with the options you made available to them, and you can also see what happens in regards to the users after the archiving task has run a few times.


As you can see from this article it is actually quite easy to get a pilot group of users enabled for mailbox archiving, and it involves a few simple steps to check policies, and assign these to users.

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