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Scheduled archiving run behaviour

Created: 09 Sep 2013 • Updated: 25 Sep 2013 | 7 comments
STHN's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi folks

when the archive task is set to run between Friday 6 PM and Sunday 6 AM we see that it starts running on Friday at 6 PM and then "finshes" at midnight. It's not really finished by then. Then at the same time the same task starts again and finishes about 20 hours later.

It's the same on every weekend. I wonder why it is starting two times? Does anyone have an explaination for that?

Thanks in advance!

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Dan_L's picture

Do your backups run at midnight? If so, they're probably setting it into backup mode.

JesusWept3's picture

So when you have a scheduled archiving run it does the following

1. Places a message in the A5 Queue telling it to process an exchange server
2. The Archive Task then looks up all the provisioned an enabled users, and posts a single message for each user in to the A5 queue, so if you have 2000 enabled users, you have 2000 MSMQ messages
3. The Archiving task then picks up each message/user in the order they were posted, and processes five at a time by default (This is based on the Connections specified in the Archiving task)
4. It then scans each mailbox looking for eligible items, and then puts each item in an order, based on size and age etc
5. Archive Task then archives the first 1000 items in that list, and then moves on to the next mailbox, this is based on the Messages Per Pass defined in the Archiving Task
6. Once the Task has finished processing each mailbox, it then looks to see if any of the mailboxes had more items to archive past the 1000 items..... if there are any, then it posts those mailboxes back in to the A5 queue

So if you have say 2000 users, it goes through and does 1000 messages for each of the mailbox if time permits, if you then have say 50 users that have more than 1000 messages to archive, then it posts the 50 users back in to the A5 at the end of its first processing run

If the Archive Task doesn't have enough time to complete, it will simply leave the users in the A5 queue ready to pick up on the next archiving run

If you have say a 10 hour schedule and it finishes archiving the mailboxes in one hour, it will not continuously look in the mailboxes, you will just have 9 extra hours where the archiving task is idle, because it has archived all eligible messages

If the archive task detected any moved items/moved shortcuts, then those items are posted in to the A6 queue, telling it to update the location in the database, and then go and modify the shortcut to update it with the new location, this will run at any time the task is running, it does not adhere to the site schedule or the task schedule

If you use an After Backup scenario, and items are left pending, and then you do a Backup, it will then update those items to be a pending item, and turn in to a full shortcut, this will happen at any time during the day as long as the task is running and EV is not in backup mode.

Dan_L's picture

Ah, I missed "Then at the same time the same task starts again." Probably not backups.

GabeV's picture


What else is schedule to run at midnight every Friday? SQL maintenance, backups?

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill

Pradeep_Papnai's picture

As far as I know Enterprise Vault initiates a run at the start of the scheduled archiving period and ends either when the end of the scheduled period is reached or when archiving of the mailboxes has completed, whichever is sooner. Mailboxes those do not complete in a single pass (per pass 1000 by default) will add an additional pass to the back of the archiving queue. May be that could be the reason.

Is there anything else such as backup mode Den asked which probably triggering task again or Any sort of script which restart archiving task.

There are some FAQ for archiving task schedule.
Exchange mailbox archiving reports: frequently asked questions

Explanation of the Enterprise Vault (EV) Mailbox Archiving Task Schedule function.

Old Man Jensen's picture

A couple questions:

  1. What archiving are you doing?  I think we're all assuming Exchange mailbox archiving, but might as well be sure.
  2. Is there any maintenance going on at midnight that's restarting the archiving task and/or the EV services?
  3. Is there only one archiving task?

JW3's description of the behavior is spot-on, but with that behavior, nothing should've happened after midnight.  I doubt there would've been any user activity, and pending item removal happens whether or not the schedule's on, so a service restart or a break in the schedule are the only two explanations I can come up with.

Either way, it's adviseable to break down your schedule a bit so that EV can make another determination of what's eligible and pull it in.  So as odd as the behavior is, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Jason Jensen

Director – Archiving & eDiscovery | Verizon Terremark

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STHN's picture

Thanks, I will look at any schedules on all involved systems.

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