Backup Enterprise Vault

What must be backuped ?

There are several components that need a backup:

  • Exchange Server (mailbox databases)
  • Enterprise Vault databases
    • EnterpriseVaultDirectory
    • EnterpriseVaultMonitoring (if monitoring is installed)
    • EV (for each VaultStore)
    • EVVSG (for each VaultStoreGroup)
  • Enterprise Vault Index data
  • Enterprise Vault Archive data (Vault Store Partitions)

All of the above components must be backuped daily to be able to do a full restore of an Enterprise Vault server. It is important that all backups are taken at the same time to have a consistent backup set. At the time the backup is running, we don't want to allow any data modifications or database inserts/updates. The EV data and databases are frozen by setting them in backup mode.

How to take a backup ? Which backup software is required ?

You can use one or more of the following backup solutions (although other common enterprise level backup software can do the same thing.)

  • flat files (like the native SQL backup: it dumps the contents of the databases + transaction logs in a flat file)
  • Symantec Backup Exec
  • Symantec NetBackup
  • another non-Symantec backup solution
  • high availability
    • Symantec Storage Foundation for Windows (I've never seen somebody using this method)
    • Microsoft Cluster Server


If you are going to use a non Symantec product for backup: Make sure that Enterprise Vault is placed in backup mode before you start the backup AND that Enterprise Vault is not taken out of backup mode before the backup has finished.

Exchange Server Backup

The Exchange mailboxes should be backuped daily and preferably before the EV backup. If your backup policy is for example "Archive mail older than 30 days and replace them by shortcuts", mails of more than 30 days old can be backuped several minutes before they are replaced by a shortcut. Normally, the Exchange backup method that's already in place will be ok, there are no specific changes required for Enterprise Vault.

Enterprise Vault databases

By default, these are backuped using a SQL Agent Job (Native SQL backup functionality). Some backup software solutions can handle the database backups for you too. Perform a full backup (transaction logs included). The Enterprise Vault databases are in most cases just several GB's. (the largest database are the VaultStore databases.)

Enterprise Vault data (Indexes + Archived emails)

The backup method of this data depends largely on the type of storage you're using:

  • SAN
  • NAS
    • EMC
    • NetApp
    • ...

So please refer to the manual for these storage appliances.

The following article describes the databases / files that should be backed up :
Preferably, Exchange should be backed up first before the EV backup is started. But the inverse scenario is possible too.

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