Moving SM Archive location
Question asked by Matthew Titley - August 21, 2015 at 7:12 AM
Unanswered
Hi all,
 
I don't see a tech article on moving a message archive location. I need to move archiving from drive E to F on the same server, but I need to keep all existing email and search indices. So, I did a copy of one domain as a test from e:\archive\acme to f:\archive\acme. Took about 3 hours. After it finished, I did a quick robocopy to catch any new messages which arrived during the initial copy, and then changed the archiving location in SM for that domain. I didn't do a service restart of any kind.
 
However, to test whether or not SM was searching the new location and not old, I tried to rename the old acme folder to acme1 but Windows said the folder was still in use.
 
What is the official method (if there is one) to moving an existing archive from one place to another?
 
Thanks,
 
Matt
 
**edit** I'm still on 11.7 by the way. (I know, I really should do my 14.x upgrade...)

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Matthew Titley Replied
I know I that I posted this on Friday and it's only been one working weekday since my post, but I'm just bringing it up again as a reminder that there should be a technical article on this. I have six years worth of message archive data for a few clients, and one domain alone is storing about 130 GB of archived email. As you may imagine, It isn't unreasonable to expect many SM admins are faced with this storage issue as archives continuously grow and will eventually outstrip server capacity thus requiring expansion/migration. Since I am now in the process of moving all archived message data to a separate partition from the message store, it will be easier to manage the storage subsystem in future.
 
However, I think that at the minimum there should be an approved procedure from SmarterTools on doing this. At best, SmarterTools should improve the process so that migration/move can be done from within the system, not just changing the path to the archive folder, but moving existing archive data from the old location to a new location.
 
The process I'm using works, but it's a bit of a hassle to restart the SM service every time I move a domain's archive location.
 
Thanks,
 
Matt
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Paul Blank Replied
I suspect that you'll have to restart the SM service, because SM reads the config files into RAM upon service start. Might be inconvenient, but probably the only way to get it to switch to the new location.
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Matthew Titley Replied
Might someone at SmarterTools explain why there are technical articles in the knowledge base on the process of moving the message store but none on moving message archives? If a customer is using archiving and needs to do a server migration, the customer is going to need steps to successfully move the archive as well as the message store. I have a procedure that works with minimal downtime, which I'm very happy to share, but the process is messy enough that SmarterTools really should come up with a better solution within SmarterMail which entails no downtime or services restart.
 
Matt
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Paul Blank Replied
Would be interested to see your procedure for this. Thanks!
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Matthew Titley Replied
Hi Paul,
 
Basically, I just do a robocopy command on the mail server console like this:
 
robocopy x:\mailarchive\acme y:\mailarchive\acme /s
 
Drive letter Y: is the newly attached drive. The '/s' processes subfolders.
 
The copy job might take quite a while depending upon the size and time frame of the mail archive. After it finishes, I run the command again to pick up any new emails which might have arrived during the initial robocopy job. Once that finishes, I go into SmarterMail as sysadmin and modify the message archiving location for the Acme domain from x: to y:. After I save settings, I restart the SmarterMail service and it's done. Restarting the SM service is critical as SM will keep writing to the old archive location even though it was changed via the web interface! The first few times I did this, I renamed the old folder as \acmeold (after service restart) then went into message archive search and searched for mail. If SM was indexing and pointing to the new location properly,  you should get search results. Once I feel comfortable that the move worked, I'll delete the original archive folder for the domain in question.
 
Matt
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Paul Blank Replied
Yes, that is the preferred procedure. From what you'd said previously, it sounded like you did something that didn't require stopping the SM service (but indeed you do stop and restart the service when changing locations). One of my SM installations is on a 1TB drive; approx 500GB of that is archive data, and there's 63GB remaining on the drive. Moving (only) the archive data to a new 1TB drive will free up about 1/2 the existing drive, so that's a no-brainer, and there will be much less downtime than cloning and replacing the entire SM volume. And of course you are correct in keeping the original archive data until you're comfortable that the new data location is being updated.

And all my drives are backed up daily; all "production" disks are RAID1 mirrored.
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Paul Blank Replied
Follow-up: Finally did the move, quite successfully. Note: SM service must be restarted in Windows Services after changing the archive location setting. Stopping and restarting all SM services from the SM GUI, the archive files continued to be written to the old location until I restarted from Windows Services (happily, I checked this right away and noticed it). Note 2: FastCopy is a great utility for updating data. Their default Differential "Diff (Size/Date)" copy works just great. Have used it for years. RoboCopy is another good option.
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Hi Paul, thanks for the update. I had no issue moving the archive, like you. The over-arching point of my post and question was to ask SmarterTools to create a technical article on an approved process for moving the archive. I guess this particular question is invisible to ST as there has been no comment or advice from support which is slightly odd, frankly.
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Paul Blank Replied
It's odd in a way; not trying to be an apologist for ST here (I complain lots, sometimes), but it's a very complex product. I guess they can't get to everything. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate all the cool stuff SM does when you're having issues.

So, I have been waiting "patiently" to upgrade SM until some known bugs were straightened out. Seems reasonably calm on the forum for some time now, so it looks like my wait may be over.

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