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FSA Strategy

Created: 06 Jul 2012 • Updated: 03 Aug 2012 | 3 comments
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We're still on Enterprise Vault 8 SP3, getting ready to upgrade to EV9.  We adopted EV with the primary objective of supporting e-Discovery requirements and a secondary priority of helping manage retention management.  The ability to offload older documents from our file/Exchange servers was an added benefit but was not the primary reason for us adopting this technology.

Our e-mail rollout has gone very smoothly and has allowed us to perform numerous fruitful searches using Discover Accelerator.  File System Archiving, on the other hand, has been much more difficult.

Specific challenges include:
1) Since managing the link between folders and retention policies essentially requires the involvement of an administrator using the VAC (as opposed to a user being able to set the archive policy for a directory from the client), the easiest approach for allowing users to associate varying retention periods is to make them create the documents in the location which has the most appropriate retention policy for that document type.  In my experience, users tend and prefer to group documents together based on project rather than document type or retention characteristics. 

2) If a user decides to move the document to a different location to give it a different retention period at some point after it has been archived, the original retention period is retained without the user being given any notice of this. (see

Are there any other sites out there who have had similar objectives to ours and, if so, how have you tackled these problems in implementing FSA?  I know that Symatec have feature "concepts" that they're hoping to implement that would address these issues but, to the best of my knowledge, they haven't been assigned to a specific future release.



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Rob Brenner's picture

Hi Keith

This is a tricky subject to comment on as it requires wider considerations which are usually addressed from a consulting level upon implementation. Some of us on the forum don't reach out to a implementations and therefore it would be difficult to comment on comparison with other customers. I hope someone else is able to comment.

Nevertheless, if you compare Exchange e-mail archiving and File Server archiving, while users have an EV client installed to each user's system allowing functionality to be implemented and synchronised via Outlook, on the FSA side you basically have a centralised system holding the content where users connect remotely without a similar client.

The administration of file servers has to be done from a centralised administration (VAC). Because of the need to maintain a direct relationship between the file system structure holding the archived content and the hierarchy of the corresponding records in the database, there isn't much scope for flexibility and dynamic updates.

It is important to implement FSA based on the functionality which has been developed with the product and avoid expecting things to behave the same way as with e-mail archiving. If you feel there is a need for such logic within FSA you should consider raising an enhancement request from the support site. This would then be reviewed by the Product Manager who would be in a better position to comment.

GertjanA's picture

If you have a large FS structure, with lots of groups/permissions/acl's, it might be wise to setup a seperate EV FSA environment (having it's own Directory database). The ACL's etc are stored in the directory database, and if you have large (and complicated) structure, it might slow down you mail/journal archiving.

Verify with Symantec to see if your FS environment is best setup as standalone, or can be integrated into the existing EV one.

Thank you, Gertjan, MCSE, MCITP,MCTS, SCS, STS

KeithL's picture

Thanks to both of you for your answers.

The conclusion I had come to over time is that there is unlikely to be a obvious and easy solution/strategy -  barring enhancements to the product such as having placeholders that can be moved and have their retention periods automatically updated, or being able to specify that a document should remain in the archive for a fixed period after it is physically deleted.

I'll have to meet up with my users again and see what sorts of conventions / solutions we can come up with.