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EV with Centera - do vaultstores need to go into backup mode when tape backups of app/index/SQL are running?

Created: 12 Nov 2012 • Updated: 06 Dec 2012 | 6 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

This is a follow on from:

We have replicated Centeras, so do I still need to put the vaultstores into backup mode while tape backups are running? I know I have to do this for indexes., why the vaultstores if I have Centeras?

The "Symantec Enterprise Vault and EMC Storage Applied Best Practices" doco says "when archiving to EMC Centera, as opposed to any other storage device, it is not required to back up the vault store partitions."

The Centera is replicated, there are no tape backups so we can't restore from a point of time to it.

If I lose Exchange, or SQL, what advantage is there if the vault stores were in read only mode when tape backups of the EV servers were running?


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TypoProne's picture

I am not certian if you are backing up your Centera.... which is possible but many do not do this. If you are backing up the storage location too then it is important that it is in backup mode so you have a true point in time backup of the data. 

I would suggest also that it is somewhat important to place the Vault Stores into backup mode while performing the EV DB backups... 

I believe that you are looking at this as if the Vault Store is the centera itself, but in actuality it is more closely related to the DB and the Centera is the next tier down (the Vaultstore Parition. 

What can happen is if you resotre data that has an inconsistant data set between directory and Vault Store and FP DBs (due to an archive run, manual archive in a new folder, Archive added......) and you ahve to perform a DR where you restore both... there can be very big and very hard to solve issues due to incosistant data over all the DBs. The right conditions would have to occur to be a problem... but your DR solution would be far from bullet proof. 

I may suggest that if you are only backing up index volumes at a specific point in time... there is a slight but negligable advantage to placing the VSs in backup mode. 

My suggestion is to bullet proof your DRs as much as possible... because you dont want to find the thing you didnt think of in the wake of a disaster. 

Hope this helps. 


MMcCr's picture

Because your Centera is replicating (to a DR site I hope) it acts as the backup, however because you're not backing up the vault stores in the traditional sense doesnt mean that you dont need to put the environment in 'read only' state by setting Backup Mode.

As mentioned in the last thread you quoted, its worth while looking at reducing the amount of time it's taking to backup your indexes by controlling the Index locations better - concentrating backups on the index volumes that have been changed during week day/evening runs.

By having the VS's in backup mode during the SQL DB backup window ensure that any validation and consequential updating of the DB's is reduced - reducing the downtime.  Not indexing while archiving will leave backlogs and depending on how much you're archiving it can take extra resources to index the archived items on top of its normal journaling, potentially during busier times - you'll be shifting one issue onto anouther.

Is your Journal task able to catch up with the backlog?

goatboy's picture

Yes, we replicate the Centera to a DR Centera on another site, there are no other backups of it - we can't do a point in time restore of it.

I logged a case with Symantec who advised:

As of now we do not have any Technical documentation for this query.

But we can confirm you that If we are using Centera storage for Enterprise vault it’s not necessary to put Vault Store in Backup mode only we need to put indexes in backup mode.

I can probably put vault stores in backup mode during SQL backups as they are pretty quick if it puts me in a better DR position, and if it is advantageous to do so.


TypoProne's picture

Thanks for the update.

IMO, the statement posted from support only takes into consideration the storage location and not the DB. If you were doing an archive run it would be updating the DB during your backujp and permit writing to the VS DBs. 

If you have further questions please let us know. If not ... can you please select an appropriate posting to mark as the solution to this topic so that those attempting to assist dont try to do so where it is not desired.

Thanks again for the update on your findings.


goatboy's picture

Thanks, Symantec has confirmed the same:

This is recommended to put Vault store in backup mode (Read only) whenever you performed backup for SQL (Vault store database).

To avoid any new entry in EV database during the SQL backup.

So I will place vault stores in backup mode during SQL backups, and indexes in backup mode when the app servers are getting backed up.

TypoProne's picture

Glad you got it sorted.

Thanks for flagging your posting as resolved too.