Using Hobocopy to regularly and safely backup SmarterMail domain data

This KB article will detail how administrators can leverage Hobocopy, an open source backup tool inspired by Robocopy, to create a VSS-based snapshot of your data. From there, it can be backed up further to another location without risking locked files on busier environments. While Robocopy is typically sufficient for most environments, busier environments can experience locked and corrupted files when using Robocopy alone for backup purposes. Hobocopy uses Volume Shadow Copy Service (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/file-server/volume-shadow-copy-service) to copy data without locking the files/directories. This is just one possible backup solution administrators can use to ensure data redundancy.

First, you'll want to download the Hobocopy build that best matches your environment. In most cases that will be the 64-bit installation (x64.) The downloads can be found here:

https://github.com/candera/hobocopy/downloads

Once you have downloaded and extracted the contents, you can place them into a SmarterMail directory like the one below:

C:\SmarterMail\Scripts\Backup\

Next, you'll need to open your text editor of choice and create a batch file that calls Hobocopy.exe and requests a backup of your Domain/User data. For example:

C:\SmarterMail\Scripts\Backup\hobocopy /clear /recursive "C:\SmarterMail\Domains" "C:\SmarterMailBackup\Domains" /Y

Save this batch file to the same directory as Hobocopy, and you can name it whatever you like. (We used hobocopy.bat). For example, your save path may look like this:

C:\SmarterMail\Scripts\Backup\hobocopy.bat

Once that is done, you can then use Windows Task Scheduler to automate running the batch file whenever you like. Please understand, however, that the VSS-based backup system can take longer to complete, so you'll want to stagger the backups. To further enhance your backup solution, you can then use something like Robocopy (or any backup system of your choosing) to move this backup data to a tertiary location (off-site location is ideal) for redundancy purposes.

NOTE: Hobocopy is no longer being actively maintained by the developers. That said, this is an open-source utility and so it can be expanded upon by those with the skillset to do so.