How Enterprise Vault works

Article:HOWTO57753  |  Created: 2011-08-01  |  Updated: 2013-07-12  |  Article URL
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How Enterprise Vault works

This section introduces the Enterprise Vault components and gives an overview of the basic archiving and retrieval processes. Enterprise Vault is packaged as a number of components, which you can select at installation time.

The core Enterprise Vault components include the following:

  • The Enterprise Vault Server component comprising services and tasks for performing the main archiving, indexing, storing and restoring functions.

  • The Enterprise Vault Administration Console for configuring and managing services, tasks, indexes, and archives.

  • Active Server Page (ASP) web access components for enabling users to access items in archives.

The following additional components are provided for Exchange Server archiving:

  • Enterprise Vault Outlook Add-In for enabling users to access archived items from within their Outlook client.

  • Enterprise Vault Client for Mac OS X for enabling Microsoft Entourage or Outlook 2011 for Mac users to access archived items.

  • Outlook Web App (OWA) 2003 - 2010 extensions for enabling users to access archived items from within OWA 2003 - 2010 clients.

  • Office Mail App for OWA 2013 and Outlook 2013 for enabling users of these clients to access archived items.

  • Enterprise Vault Mobile Search for enabling mobile device users to search for and view Microsoft Exchange Server emails that Enterprise Vault has archived.

The following additional components are provided for Domino Server archiving:

  • Enterprise Vault extensions for Lotus Notes and DWA clients.

The following, additional components are provided for file system archiving, SharePoint archiving and SMTP message archiving:

  • The FSA Agent, which provides the FSA services on Windows file servers for the creation of placeholder shortcuts, for File Blocking, and for FSA Reporting.

  • Microsoft SharePoint components for archiving and restoring documents on SharePoint servers. Optional Enterprise Vault web parts provide archive search features for SharePoint users.

  • SMTP archiving components for processing messages from third-party SMTP messaging servers

The following optional components provide enhanced management and reporting facilities:

  • Enterprise Vault Operations Manager is a web application that makes remote monitoring of the status of Enterprise Vault possible from any computer on which Internet Explorer is installed.

  • Enterprise Vault Reporting provides enterprise-level reporting, using Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Once installed and configured, the Enterprise Vault Server comprises a combination of Windows services and tasks, Microsoft SQL Server databases and Active Server Page (ASP) web access components. Services, tasks and archives are configured using the Enterprise Vault Administration Console, which is a snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

Figure: Illustration of an installed Enterprise Vault system shows the main components in an installed Enterprise Vault system. The target server in the diagram is a server from which items are to be archived. The illustration omits the components involved in single instance storage, which are described separately.

Figure: Illustration of an installed Enterprise Vault system

Illustration of an installed Enterprise Vault system

The Windows services and tasks perform background tasks such as scanning target servers for items to be archived, storing the items in archives, indexing item attributes and content and retrieving items from archives.

The Enterprise Vault Directory database and Vault Store database are SQL databases that hold Enterprise Vault configuration data and information about the archives.

The Enterprise Vault Monitoring database is a SQL database that holds monitoring data for use by the Enterprise Vault Operations Manager and Enterprise Vault Reporting components. A Monitoring agent on each Enterprise Vault server monitors the status of the Enterprise Vault services and archiving tasks, and the values of performance counters for vault stores, disk, memory, and processors. The agents collect data every few minutes and record it in the Enterprise Vault Monitoring database.

The first time that you configure a file server target for FSA Reporting, Enterprise Vault creates an FSA Reporting database (not shown in the figure). The FSA Reporting database holds the scan data that FSA Reporting gathers from the file server. When you configure another file server target for FSA Reporting, you can assign the file server to an existing FSA Reporting database, or create another database. Multiple FSA Reporting databases can provide scalability if you obtain FSA Reporting data for many file servers.

The Active Server Page web access components run on an IIS server and enable users to view, search and restore archived items using Enterprise Vault web client interfaces.

The physical organization of the components will depend on the requirements of your site. The various Enterprise Vault services and tasks can reside on one computer or be distributed over several computers. In a pilot system, for example, all the Enterprise Vault services, SQL server, IIS server and target server for archiving can, in most cases, reside on one computer.

The archives themselves can reside on your preferred storage system, for example, SAN, NAS, NTFS, WORM. You can also use certain storage devices that support the Enterprise Vault storage streamer API. Older archives can be moved off to more economic media for long term storage. An increasing number of products can be used to provide long-term storage solutions for Enterprise Vault archives.

These products include the following:

  • Symantec NetBackup™

  • Symantec Backup Exec™

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service™

  • AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service

  • Nirvanix Storage Delivery Network™

  • Rackspace Cloud Files™

  • IBM System Storage™ DR550

  • FUJITSU ETERNUS® Archive Storage

The use of Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is also supported.

For details of supported software and storage devices, see the Enterprise Vault Compatibility Charts.

Enterprise Vault organizes the archives in entities called vault stores. Vault stores contain one or more Enterprise Vault partitions. A partition can reside on any of the supported storage media.

In each vault store, there can be only one open partition, and this is the partition in which Enterprise Vault archives data. When you want to switch archiving to another partition, such as when the disk that hosts the open partition is nearly full, you can use the Administration Console to close this partition and open another. You can also use Enterprise Vault's partition rollover feature to manage the automatic rollover from one partition to another.

On NTFS volumes, Enterprise Vault automatically uses NTFS file security. Although some elements of Enterprise Vault can be set up on FAT volumes (for example, the indexes) there will be no file security.

See About single instance storage

See Overview of Enterprise Vault

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