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File System Archiving in Enterprise Vault v9: FSAUndelete

Created: 26 Nov 2010 • Updated: 26 Nov 2010
Darren Locke's picture
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This is the third in my series of what's new for File System Archiving in Enterprise Vault v9.  Here I want to focus on a new utility we've delivered called FSAUndelete. This is there to help you when you need to granularly restore placeholders from a backup image and where you have Delete on Delete enabled.

We all know that sooner or later end users will ask the IT department to restore some files that have been accidentally deleted. If you've been archiving the file system, then that restore request  may need to include non-archived files as well as placeholders pointing to the archived content.

If you have not enabled Delete on Delete then there is nothing additional to worry about. Restoring placeholders from a backup image will straight away work. Better still, instead of having the IT team do the restore, point the user to Archive Explorer and let them recover the files themselves directly from the archive.

However, if you are using Delete on Delete there are other considerations to take in to account for the restoration. The first thing I will say is that Enterprise Vault has a wastebasket. Ensure that that is enabled, and set to a retention period longer than the default of 14 days. If you do not have the wastebasket enabled then the recovery methods we are going to talk about will not work and you will need to resort to a full EV server rebuild from backup images in order to recover the deleted files.

Let's walk through a scenario. A user has deleted a folder containing files and placeholders. Delete on Delete is enabled in FSA so the archived files are moved to the Enterprise Vault wastebasket.  Some time later the user realises they do need everything in that deleted folder. A restore request is logged with the IT team.

The IT administrator recovers the whole folder from the last backup image prior to the deletion. Providing the placeholders are recovered prior to the wastebasket expiring the files, the recovered placeholders will work straight away. However they are pointing to the archived files in the wastebasket. If nothing further is done, the files in the wastebasket will still expire as per the wastebasket retention schedule. This means you will be left with orphaned placeholders pointing to no content.

FSAUndelete is a command line tool which you will run on the restored folder structure immediately after the restore. It will look at each restored placeholder and if that placeholder is pointing to a file in the wastebasket, it will move that file out of the wastebasket and place it back under regular retention. Now you will not end up with orphaned placeholders.

FSAUndelete will not help you if the archived files have been expired from the wastebasket, so that is why I recommend extending out the wastebasket retention beyond the default of 14 days. The maximum period is 99 days.

You could use the regular Enterprise Vault recovery method, but that will recover all deleted files from the wastebasket in that particular archive. In a shared folder structure that could be thousands of files. That is not necessarily desirable.

So FSAUndelete is a very simple tool, but one which we hope will make the lives of your backup and archive administrators much easier. You may ask why we haven't extended Symantec's NetBackup or Backup Exec to directly perform the functions of FSAUndelete within the backup application. We did consider that, but I know there are one or two of you out there not using Symantec backup software. FSAUndelete will work irrespective of your backup software, as long as the backup software can correctly backup and restore the placeholders.

Check out the Utilities guide in the Documentation folder of the Enterprise Vault media for detailed syntax about how to use FSAUndelete.

Keep checking back  here for the rest of my blogs on the new features of FSA in Enterprise Vault v9.