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stub files in exchange regarding email restores and disaster recovery issues

Posted on 2014-01-20
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Would someone please help me understand better the options in exchange regarding archiving methods that leave a stub file in the database? I'm looking over a new possible client who used a archive solution that leaves a 'stub file' on the server and moves the email with attachments to the archive server. How does this leave the exchange database if there was a recovery needed? Seems there would be nothing but the stub files left? What if the archive location becomes corrupt? How about reattaching the archive back to the original email database?

Reading up on the software however prior to possibly taking on a new client prefer to fully understand the integrity of their database and restore options.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:WORKS2011
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Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
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Microsoft don't recommend the use of stub files, so officially you would be in an unsupported scenario. If the archive gets corrupt then you are pretty much stuffed there as well.

The database would just be restored in the usual way, which would include the stubs. How the restore would affect the archive would have to be something that the archive provider would need to answer.

Simon.
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by:WORKS2011
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Thanks Sembee, sounds like I'm dependent on the archive database regardless if using stub files or not either way the entire email is moved over to the archive location (unless I’m wrong with my assessment)...I'm thinking as I write this so bear with me ¿. Sounds like if you archive to any scenario there is a link between the archived email location and user, am I correct saying the stub doesn't really matter much still left with the same problem which is how to access / link specific users to their archived email if somehow the link between them becomes corrupt.

Regarding email support from Microsoft I do like to know what they do and don’t support.

I like the stub files simply because it makes locating the archive / data allot easier for end users as apposed to coming up with search criteria only. It’s nice they can click on the link from the stub file and get to their email.  Thinking that users may not access the data for years after there actually is a use for stub files...in my opinion (I like the end user to have access to data as easy as possible).

Then there’s the question regarding if the stub itself becomes corrupt which I expect depends on the archive solution to have the ability to recreate stub files and index data.

Thanks, I know some of this is very vague as we’re not discussing just one brand etc, I appreciate the feedback and any input.
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by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
Simon Butler (Sembee) earned 500 total points
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Microsoft did release an article on stub file support, but it was pulled shortly afterwards, almost certainly because one of their major partners (Symantec) uses stubbing in their flagship archiving product (Enterprise Vault).

This is now the closest you can get.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/08/27/exchange-stubbing-and-database-space-reclamation.aspx

Stubbing confuses the Exchange database, and there have been reports of performance problems and general issues with that kind of solution.
You will notice in that article I have provided the link to that Microsoft have said they may push you to the third party vendor for support - that is basically saying it isn't something they will support.

Most other archive solutions will actually remove the content from the mailbox, that includes Microsoft's own. The end user then has to look in two different locations for the content. That isn't as bad as it sounds, if the archiving policy is clearly defined so users know where content is.

Simon.
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by:WORKS2011
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thank you for the quick and accurate response.
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