The Enterprise Vault Vault Cache and Virtual Vault functionality has made a great impact to the end user experience that people have when working with archived emails in Outlook. Under the covers though there is a set of files that people often wonder about. These are the .DB files which make up the 'Content Cache' of Vault Cache/Virtual Vault. In this blog I'll explain a little bit about the files.
The files existed in the previous incarnation of offline usage of Enterprise Vault, which was called Offline Vault, and actually the structure and contents haven't varied that much in their new life of Vault Cache. You may see a collection of these files on one of my tests systems below:
The files vary in size, and have a special file name. Here is an example name of a .DB file:
This file contains archived emails from the end-users archive for October to December 2012. It is the 3rd such .DB file in that calendar-quarter. Each of the files are named using the same principal.
The files themselves are actually PST files, we can take a copy of one of them with Outlook closed, and open it as a PST file to see the contents. It might look a little bit like this:
And if we look in a folder, we can see the archived items themselves. The collection of these files can take up a sizable amount of disk space, and I've written before about how to manage that via policy, and Vault Cache itself manages the amount of disk used too. The final thing to say is that you might not have these files, it's depending on the users desktop policy whether or not the Vault Cache content is stored locally, or not, and whether or not the setting for 'Offline Store required' is set or not, versus the Outlook connection state.
I've seen some sizable Vault Cache DB files in the past, the sum total of them being several GB of disk space. How big have you seen the Vault Cache DB files? Let me know in the comments below: