How to purge Microsoft Message Queues (MSMQ) used by Enterprise Vault

Problem

Enterprise Vault is unable to process one or more messages on a message queue, resulting in an excessive backlog on the affected queue.

Solution

Monitoring the Enterprise Vault queues is part of the daily Enterprise Vault administration tasks. From time to time a backlog may develop on certain queues. This is quite normal where the Enterprise Vault tasks and services should be allowed to clear message queues. If there is an excessive backlog of messages on one or more queues, it is important to investigate the cause of the backlog promptly.

Important: It is important to follow the steps described in this article in order to clear down Enterprise Vault queues as much as possible before purging queues.
Purging message queues can leave the system in an indeterminate state, and should not be undertaken unless advised by a Symantec Enterprise Support engineer.

About the Enterprise Vault message queues

The Exchange mailbox, public folder, and journal archiving tasks use Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ) to prioritize what the archiving tasks need to do. Each Exchange mailbox archiving task has two associated sets of MSMQ queues, each set linked by a common ID. The following example shows the queues associated with one Exchange mailbox archiving task:

  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124740 admin queue
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124740 r1
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124740 r2
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a1
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a2
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a3
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a4
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a5
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a6
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 a7
  • enterprise vault exchange mailbox task for EVSVR1 080630124747 admin queue

Each Exchange journal archiving task also has two associated sets of MSMQ queues, each set linked by a common ID. The following example shows the queues associated with one Exchange journal archiving task:

  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151210 admin queue
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151210 r1
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151210 r2
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151211 admin queue
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151211 j1
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151211 j2
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151211 j3
  • enterprise vault exchange journaling task for EVSVR1 090707151211 j4

If Exchange public folder archiving is configured, the server has an associated set of MSMQs for this task. Some servers also have an Enterprise Vault Storage Archive queue.

For more information about the Enterprise Vault message queues, refer to the "Enterprise Vault message queues" chapter in the Administrator's Guide. Ensure that the version of the manual matches the installed release of Enterprise Vault.

Steps to clear and purge Enterprise Vault message queues

The following procedure describes the steps to clear Enterprise Vault message queues as much as possible before purging any queues. Instructions on how to purge a queue are given at the end of this article.

  1. Prevent Enterprise Vault from adding new messages to the mailbox task queues. To do this, configure the Exchange mailbox and public folder archiving tasks to run to the site schedule, and then clear the site schedule so that the tasks never run.
  2. Prevent Enterprise Vault from adding new messages to the journal task queues. To do this, suspend archiving for each journal mailbox target that is configured on the server by clearing the option Archive this Journal Mailbox in the journal mailbox properties.
  3. In certain circumstances, Symantec Enterprise Support may advise to cancel the archive pending state of items in mailboxes before purging queues. The following article gives instructions on how to do this:  http://www.veritas.com/docs/000028261
  4. When Exchange mailbox archiving and Exchange journal archiving have been suspended, you must clear some of the Enterprise Vault queues, and purge some others.
    Monitor the Enterprise Vault queues and wait for the following queues to reach zero:
    • Exchange mailbox task’s a2 queue
    • Exchange journaling task’s j2 queue
    • Exchange public folder task’s p2 queue
    • Storage archive queue (if your server has one)
  5. Purge the following queues:
    • Exchange mailbox task’s a3, a4, a5, a6 and a7 queues
    • Exchange public folder task’s p3 and p4 queues
  6. Wait for the following queues to reach zero:
    • Exchange mailbox task’s admin queue
    • Exchange journaling task’s admin queue
    • Exchange public folder task’s admin queue

    Note: Depending on the numbers of message on the queues, these actions might cause warnings to be written to the event log.

  7. Set backup mode on all the server’s vault stores and index locations.
  8. Wait for the following queues to reach zero:
    • Exchange mailbox task’s a1 queue
    • Exchange journaling task’s j1 queue
    • Exchange public folder task’s p1 queue
  9. In the Enterprise Vault Administration Console reinstate the archiving schedule, and/or select the option Archive this Journal Mailbox in the journal mailbox properties.
  10. Restart the Enterprise Vault Admin service. Ensure that the other Enterprise Vault tasks and services restart.

Purging an Enterprise Vault message queue

  1. Logon to the Enterprise Vault server using the Vault Service account, or another administrator account with adequate privileges for managing message queues.
  2. Right-click My Computer and select Manage. (In a clustered environment, opening the queues is done by executing the ClusterCompMgmt.bat located in the enterprise vault install folder)
  3. On Windows Server 2003, expand Services and Applications > Message Queuing > Private Queues (see Figure 1).
    On Windows Server 2008, expand Features > Message Queuing > Private Queues.
  4. Expand the Enterprise Vault queue that requires purging.
  5. Right-click Queue messages and select All Tasks > Purge (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Navigating to message queues on Windows Server 2003



Figure 2: Purging a message queue

 

 

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