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archive and backup scheduling

Aaron_Heid
Level 4
I am curious as to what Symantec recommends as best practice for EV backups and mailbox archiving scheduling. Currently both our exchange backups and our EV servers backups run at 5:30pm. Both take any where from about 30min to 90min. Mailbox archiving is scheduled from 10pm to 6am.

I am thinking about changing it so archiving runs after exchange backup, say 7pm to 3am. And then backing up the EV servers at 3:30am.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Thanks in advance.
13 REPLIES 13

Alan_M
Level 6
The only thing to remember is that when EV is archiving it will saturate your processors so it would be unresponsive to your users. So if the earlier start time won't affect your users you should not have a problem.

TonySterling
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified
That is probably a better way to do it. That way you don't have pending items hanging around until the next nights back up. If you are version 6 there is an example backup procedure in the Admin guide or Vault Admin Console help.

Micah_Wyenn_2
Level 6
Partner Accredited
My general rule of thumb is to archive when you're not backing up, and then to backup the archive you just took. Pretty simple.

micah

SymcMarj
Level 4
Employee Accredited Certified
Aaron, the scenario you mentioned, is exactly what SYMC recommends.

Back up Exchange - Always good to have a full back up of your exchange especially when making changes
Archive Exchange using EV - dont do this at the same time as your exchange backup. as both use MAPI and will be fighting over resources.
Backup EV. this is to ensure that you remove the safety copies and all shortcuts are converted tonormal archived items.

As Tony mentioned, this will allow for your messages to be actualy archived and not in pending and causing confusion for your users.

Rick_Krieger_-_
Level 3
What Tony said... plus I would add the following commentary...

The new scheme you mentioned would be the better way to go...
Configure your Vault Stores to remove 'Safety Copies... 'After Backup' and...
configure your overall schedule so you Backup Exchange, then archive, then backup the archive data (as you mentioned.)
Doing it in this order (with safety copies) ensures that you have multiple copies of data before things are deleted and gives you more recovery options.
IMHO I would do all of this as 'Full' backups every night (if possible) to simply the restore process.

Also, make sure you are doing the 'backup the archive data' part properly... which should contain at the very very minimum... 3 things... EV databases in SQL, indexes and vault stores. All three should be backed up while the storage service is in read only mode.
You should also be backing up things like program files, MSMQ, registry/system state, PST Holding Temp, Shopping, etc.
Refer to the backup in the Admin Guide as Tony suggested for more info.

Micah_Wyenn_2
Level 6
Partner Accredited
Um,
I usually don't recommend saftey copy backup after archive...i think it's dumb. :) You've already got multiple backups of the email mbox on the stores, why wait for yet another copy to be backed up before you move it to the vault.

micah

Jason_Szeto
Level 6
Well have you thought about the scenario that some items may actually got archived before an Exchange backup runs?

For example, if a user receives what he think is an important email and he manually archives the item. Then you lose your EV server and have to restore from the backup from last night. How are you going to recover that item?

Also backups fail all the time for different reasons. Someone forgets to load new tapes, the tape fails, the backup device fails, why take any chances.

Rick_Krieger_-_
Level 3
Provides more/better recovery options...
- After Exchange backup... if you have failure of EV, restore EV.
- After archiving run (with safety copies) ...if you have failure of EV, restore EV and perform another archiving run.
- After archiving run (without safety copies)... if you have failure of EV, restore Exchange, restore EV, then perform another archiving run.

IMHO... I would choose options that involve 'not' having to restore my real time messaging environment.

Also... adding safety copies does not delay moving the data from Exchange to the Vault... during the archive run EV will copy these items to the vault. With safety copies enabled it will only delay when it will actually delete them from Exchange and create the shortcuts in their place. (i.e. after the vault store is backed up.)

Also... the way I see it... you don't have multiple copies of the mailbox in the scenario we are discussing... you would have one... the most recent exchange backup... (unless you were doing a brick level backup or something like that as well as an IS backup.)

If you have the resources and backup window then... why not configure your vault stores to use safety copies?

Throw in Centera as your primary storage device as your primary storage that you have to replicate (instead of backing up) or implement snapshots of your EV data then safety copies becomes more important.

If you don't have the resources/backup window, don't see the risk of losing EV in that short time window as a likely/significant risk (which, admitedly is marginal) and/or still think safety copes are dumb.. then rock on.

SymcMarj
Level 4
Employee Accredited Certified
Micah,

Just because you think its dumb doesnt mean its not a sound recommendation. Like Jason said.. if you lose your EV server before a back up of Exchange the client is truely SOL in that scenario.. I would definitely review your recommendations going forward.

Micah_Wyenn_2
Level 6
Partner Accredited
Folks,
sorry about the dumb comment, I'll be more mindful in the future.

Anyhow, the arguement for best practices now seems to be, if you have enabled the client side to archive manually, then enable safety copies (to guard against the Jason scenario).

So here's why I have a problem with safety copies. When an item is in safety mode, it sits in pending. When it's in pending you can't forward, reply, or edit the item. For a product who's major strength in the market is that the user's need a minimum of training to deal with it, this hurts. I can't tell you how many environments I've walked in to (hell, I'm in one right now), where users have 30 to 300 pending items "stuck" in their inboxes. Couple that with the fact that most companies don't read the manual and stick the cancel operation button somewhere on the client...and you've got a big problem. I've seen many instances where this has caused many a client to dump KVS (especially 5.0) and go with email Xtender (which is a horrible choice).

So okay, I'm a little biased against safety copies because I tend to be cleaning up after them a lot. And yes, I do realize that there is a scenario where email could technically be lost...but still...it's a really small window comparitively. But still, I'm willing to admit that if a situation exists, a recommendation should be made for safety copies.

But I still don't see a need for safety copies if you don't allow user archives, and have more then a 7 day age based archival strategy.

micah

Rick_Krieger_-_
Level 3
No problem... everyone is entitled to an opinion.. ;)

re: Safety copies and pending shortcuts... I understand the issue with users seeing pending shortcuts but if the backup strategy is designed and managed properly (mentioned previously - backup Exchange, Archive, Backup Enterprise Vault and this occurs during typical off-hours)... then users should not see pending shortcuts - unless they are working in the middle of the night or something like that.

Micah_Wyenn_2
Level 6
Partner Accredited
I hear ya, but there's a great # of backup programs out there that don't flip the A bits right, or the vault stores are so outa hand that the backups take days. It's frightening how many people don't get partitioning or let their stores get to like 800gb's without collections.

micah

TonySterling
Moderator
Moderator
Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified
If you back up the vault store right after you run archiving you should not have any items pending. Hence the best practice of backup exchange, archive, backup vault store. If you are seeing pending items setting around then there is a bigger issue at hand.