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Archiving and eDiscovery Community Blog

What is a Placeholder?

Created: 16 Jan 2013 • Updated: 29 May 2014
Rob.Wilcox's picture
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It is a term that many people in Enterprise Vault will know about.  It is used in Enterprise Vault File System Archiving, but even if you don't use FSA then you may still know what it is.  Essentially it's a 'shortcut' or stub which points to the archived file.  In order to process the retrieval of a placeholder then the Enterprise Vault placeholder service has to be involved.  If that isn't working, then retrieval of the item is going to fail.  It appears when you look at it in Windows Explorer to be exactly the same as the original file (except the little X in the icon), but it is in fact a special file which when an application opens the file (even notepad) forces Enterprise Vault to retrieve the original file.

Placeholders can be used when:

* The FSA Agent is installed on the file server (in the case of a Windows based file sever).  The volume must also be NTFS.

* If the location is a NetApp filer then the Vault Service Account has to have administrative permissions

* If the location is an EMC Celerra then the 'filemover' functionality must be available and a HTTP connection must exist to the device.

Here is what a placeholder might look like:

When archiving FSA data if something is left behind, it can be either a placeholder or an internet shortcut.  This is on the folder and volume policies in the Vault Admin Console:

An internet link or internet shortcut as it is sometimes known as, looks like this:

In this case essentially each file properties (when viewed in Windows at least) shows the URL to the archived item, like this:

http://evserver.ev.local/EnterpriseVault/download.asp?VaultID=some-vault-id&savesetID=some-saveset-id&Request=NativeItem