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Symantec Enterprise Vault™ File System Archiving

Created: 27 Feb 2009 • Updated: 03 Mar 2009
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This white paper is designed to give technical staff, project managers, and Microsoft® Windows® file server experts an overview of Symantec™ Enterprise Vault File System Archiving (FSA). It is not intended to introduce File System Archiving to a nontechnical audience.

Overview of File System Archiving

More than hierarchical storage management For more than 25 years, organizations have been attracted to the idea of providing different storage layers according to the relevance of data, an approach referred to as hierarchical storage management (HSM). Today, however, companies accumulate an enormous amount of information, presenting new challenges. In addition to simply storing the information, they must search and retain the right type of information according to defined policies.

Enterprise Vault has been designed as a universal repository and management solution primarily for unstructured data. It was started as a project within Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1997. The first version shipped in 1999, and since then Enterprise Vault has won numerous awards and analyst recommendations. Even more important, over 5,000 global customers use Enterprise Vault as an archiving framework to reduce risk and increase operational efficiency.

Enterprise Vault exceeds the limitations of traditional HSM applications by providing facilities to index and classify data, discover it for legal purposes, and facilitate compliance with external regulations. To provide a complete life-cycle management solution, integration of file blocking and state-of-the art quota management for file servers is on the near-term roadmap.

While many competing archiving solutions consist of a portfolio of point solutions acquired or delivered by OEMs that are more or less integrated on the surface, Enterprise Vault has been developed as a flexible framework using a single storage engine, unified administration console, and a security subsystem that matches the flexibility of existing e-mail and file servers (see Figure 1).

Today the majority of systems that have been developed for archiving business records struggle with the unstructured nature of e-mail and files. Offline access, permission synchronization, objectlevel retention, and full-text indexing are often afterthoughts. In contrast, Enterprise Vault has been developed with these requirements in mind, delivering enterprise-class performance with minimal impact on end users.


Enterprise Vault is a unique product in the marketplace owing to features such as:

  • Single point of administration for all archiving targets
  • Unified storage system for email messages, SharePoint® files, and other data
  • Flexible rules engine
  • Integrated Active Directory security/authentication system
  • Comprehensive recall limits, preventing abuse
  • No application logic on the file server (retrieval agent only)
  • Advanced monitoring and reporting
  • Data compression
  • File versioning and pruning
  • Single-instance storage, independent of the back-end platform Optional features (provided by FSA Archiving and Search option):
  • Full-text indexing and search
  • Alternate access through Archive Explorer (independent from placeholders)
  • HTML renditions for long-term information access
  • Legal discovery option through Enterprise Vault Discovery Accelerator (licensed separately)

In summary, Enterprise Vault offers the functionality of a comprehensive information management platform, rather than a classic HSM solution that focuses on data and storage management alone.

To read the complete article, download the PDF.