Backing up mailboxes
Question asked by Robert Turner - 7/29/2015 at 2:54 AM
Hello all,
We are currently experiencing warnings generated by our backup software indicating that particular SmarterMail files are failing to be backed up. These are *.cfs and segments_* files within Index folders.
I believe that the files are so short-lived that the backup software can't always copy the files before they are deleted by SmarterMail.
Are there any risks involved in omitting the Index folders entirely from our backups?

8 Replies

Reply to Thread
Hemen Shah Replied
What tool/software you are using for backup ? does it  support such backups ?
its just that one side your software is trying to backup and on other side SM is deleting and you are facing such issue.
Robert Turner Replied
We are using BackupExec by Symantec.
Is there something in particular I should know about SmarterMail backups? I've always believed that SmarterMail just stores files on a disk in the traditional sense; No databases or registry entries to worry about.
BackupExec is fit for this purpose.
ellisfr Replied
We have the same problem (We use SyncBack).
I think I asked the same question in the past but didn't get any answer.
It is my understanding SM will recreate the index folder if it is missing, but I would love to get an "official" answer about the question you asked :
"Are there any risks involved in omitting the Index folders entirely from our backups?"
ellisfr Replied
Anyone ? I can't believe nobody else has this problem during backup...
Andrea Free Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Hey guys!
I'm sorry about the delay in a response to this thread. I'm seeing it for the first time today.
When backing up SmarterMail, the files we recommend preserving are:
  • All .xml and .dat files found in the Service directory folder (default installation path: C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail)
  • All SmarterMail domain folders (default installation path: C:\SmarterMail\Domains) 
You can choose to omit the indexing files from your backup. Just keep in mind that while SmarterMail will automatically recreate the index folder, only new messages will be indexed, so searching for existing messages would not work. The same would apply for the calendar, contacts, tasks and notes until one item in each of those collections is edited. (The edit would cause those collections to fully reindex.)
So in short, if you do not backup the index files, I would recommend manually reindexing the user's account if you have to restore it from backup. Mail is the most likely thing to be searched for, and all old messages will not be searchable until they reindexed. (You can reindex a user by logging in as the Domain Admin and going to Settings > Domain Settings > Users. Highlight the user and click Reindex in the toolbar.)
Hope this helps!

Andrea Free
SmarterTools Inc.


ellisfr Replied
Thank you Andrea for this detailed and useful answer !
Paul Blank Replied
I use SSR (Symantec System Recovery), now from Veritas, but still called SSR. Have used it for years to back up Windows servers, including SmarterMail servers. I have not had any issues with SM files not backed up, and I find the product to be quite reliable. Without any additional software or plug-ins, it backs up all open files, automatically using Windows' VSS (Volume Shadow copy Service), no special configuration needed. I segment the backups into 4.6GB (DVD-size) files. Of course I have never actually copied the backup files to DVDs, but that file size seems about right to me. I highly recommend SSR.
BTW I only do full (and incremental) disk (image) backups with SSR, not file backups. It's still simple to recover individual files/folders from these backups.
jorge.mx.neto Replied
Thank you Andrea, can you please add this to the
Knowledge Base?

Reply to Thread