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Three Things EV Users do, but shouldn't...

Created: 29 Oct 2012 • Updated: 31 Oct 2012
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Rob.Wilcox's picture
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Most administrators of Enterprise Vault spend a considerable amount of time thinking about, and implementing fairly reasonable policies for different types of users across the organisation that they use EV in.  Sometimes end-users can still do the strangest of things, and it is possible because of a subtle nuance in the product, or a forgotten-about nuisance!
 
Here are three things that Enterprise Vault users do, but shouldn't....
 
Manually archive message classes that you don't normally get archived via the scheduled task
 
You might be the decision maker who says what will get archived by end users, or you might just be the person that implements it.  Either way you're likely to have a set of message classes on the archiving policy which the archiving task will process during it's regular runs.  You think all is good, but you happen to scan someone's mailbox with the QUADROtech Mailbox Analysis tool and discover that actually lots of other message classes are being archived in a mailbox.
 
Why?
 
Well, by default end users if they are given the 'Store in Vault' button can manually archive any message class.  To many people it seems a bit odd that they can do that, but for a long time it was seen as a feature.  Quite a few different organisations thought that it was a bad thing that people could do this.  It used to be that the only way to prevent users from manually archiving any type of message was to remove the 'Store in Vault' button, which was a bit of a sledge-hammer approach.  For quite some time there has been a registry key that can be implemented on the Enterprise Vault server which will prevent users from being able to manually archive something that isn't in the 'allowed' list of message classes.
 
The key is :
 
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\KVS\Enterprise Vault\Agents
ManualArchiveMessageClassCheck
DWORD
1
 
Restart the archiving tasks after making the change.
 
Now from an end-user machine, either using Outlook or Outlook Web Access when you manually archive an item the item will briefly turn to a pending item, and then back to a normal item. It will work with any of the Outlook Addin versions and flavours.  It would be very nice to have some user feedback at that point, but unfortunately there isn't any.  User education is a must !
 
 
Build up a huge amount of data in Virtual Vault ready to archive but then do a Vault Cache reset
 
Many customers have users who drag and drop huge amounts of data into their Virtual Vault folders.  This is either from the mailbox or from old PST files.  This can cause a build of data in the Virtual Vault folder, and if it's not handled correctly it can cause problems if that data doesn't get synchronised in a timely fashion.
 
There are two things that are available to help with this ..  Firstly the thresholds at which synchronisation takes place can be tweaked and tuned to suit the types of users in your organisation.
 
The defaults look like this ..
 
 
You can change them depending on how much load you want to impose on your Enterprise Vault environment, and whether you have users who are doing this heavy-work.  I would suggest that if users are educated to drag and drop items in to Virtual Vault to get them to be archived, then it would be advisable to change these values up from the default of 0 - which means the automated trigger is disabled.  To what value specifically, will really depend on the organisational needs.
 
The second thing that you can do is to implement a registry key on each end-user workstation which will tell a user when synchronisation isn't working.  Normally the synchronisation of Virtual Vault and Vault Cache happens in the background, and the end-user doesn't really see anything.  This is normally a good thing, but it does mean that if the synchronisations are failing, the end user isn't getting told.
 
The registry to assist with this is :
 
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\KVS\Enterprise Vautl\Client
NotificationsEnabled
DWORD
1
 
Now, end-users will be notified.  This was introduced in a EV 9.0.3 Client hotfix.  In Enterprise Vault 10.0.2, it is now a policy setting - look for 'Display Notifications' and set the value to On.
 
 
 
Change policies on folders or prevent a folder from archiving
 
In the old days with the 'full' aka DCOM client, and now with the 10.0.1 or later Unified Client end-users can sometimes modify folders so that they either change the policy away from your pre-defined rules and regulations.  They can even change it so that a folder is not archived at all.  I know I used to have a folder called DNA (Do Not Archive) where I used to store items that I didn't want to be archived.  One other side-effect with this is that users often times forget that they have done this on a folder, or a folder tree, and later raise issues with the help desk because they don't see items being archived, or they start to encroach on their Exchange mailbox quota.
 
The way that the user does this is that they right click on a folder in their mailbox, go to properties, and then click on the Enterprise Vault tab.  There, more often than not, is this seemingly 'magical' "Change" button.  If they select that then they can see the option to prevent archiving of a folder.
 
Like here...
 
 
As an administrator you can stop using doing this by ensuring that the following is selected in the archiving policy:
 
 
Now end-users will see this:
 
 
With that selected then the only thing to remember is that if you use EVPM to apply a particular 'manual' policy to a folder or folders in users mailboxes, you need to include the setting:
 
OverrideArchiveLocks=True
 
Otherwise, the setting in the policy to force users to obey the policy settings will override your EVPM settings.
 
If you suspect end users may have done this in the past, then I have written two bits of code available in the Downloads Section of the Connect Forum which can help scan an environment to look for this type of setting on folders within mailboxes.