Erase Backed Up Data - Exchange Mailbox Agent

Table of Contents


The Erase Data feature allows you to permanently erase any data that can be backed up. This is useful if you want to erase data so that it cannot be restored again. For example, you may want to erase data for legal purposes or compliance regulations. 

Keep in mind that  the erase data operation only erases the backup data - the source data will remain on the local hard drive. Therefore, it is recommended to delete the data from the source first so that it will not be backed up again.

The Erase Data operation makes the data inaccessible for browsing and recovery - the data will remain on the media and take up space until it is aged off according to the retention rules set for the data. Data will not be recoverable using any data recovery methods.

Using Erase Data, you can erase mailboxes, folders in a mailbox, messages within a folder, and attachments.

Configuring Erase Data

After meeting the prerequisites, Erase Data must be configured before this feature can be used.


Before configuring the Erase Data feature, confirm that these requirements have been met:

  • An Erase Data license is installed.
    • Verify whether it has been installed by checking the License Summary Report.

      The value for the Erase Data license in the License Usage table should be "1", in either the Permanent Used column or the Evaluation Used column.

    • If it is not installed, obtain and apply it as described in Applying a License.
  • The MediaAgent is installed on the CommServe host.

Assign a Filter Storage Policy

To erase data, a filter storage policy must be associated with the agent. Ensure that the filter storage policy that you associate with the agent has retention criteria that is greater than or equal to the retention criteria of the storage policy for the data to be erased.

  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the appropriate agent icon and then click Properties. The agent Properties dialog opens.
  2. Click the Storage Device tab and select a filter storage policy from the Filter Storage Policy list.
  3. Click OK.

Enable Erase Data in Storage Policy

Before you can erase data, the storage policy assigned to the subclient where data will be erased needs permission to allow the erasing of data.
  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the storage policy to permit to erase data, then click Properties.
  2. On the General tab of the Storage Policy Properties dialog box, select the Erase Data: Allow Erase Data option.
  3. Click OK.

Running an Erase Data Job

After the configuration has been completed, you can now browse and erase data.

Run or Schedule Erase Data Job

  1. In the CommCell Browser, right-click the <BackupSet> that contains the data to erase, click All Tasks, then Erase Data By Browsing.
  2. Click Yes to acknowledge the warning and continue.
  3. In the Erase Data by Browsing dialog box, on the General tab, click Browse.

    When a path is selected and a browse time is specified, all data that matches the path on that client will be erased even if the data was not backed up in the specified time range or does not belong to the backup set. 

  4. In the Erase Backup/Archived Data dialog box, select a browse time range and any advanced browse options, then click View Content.
  5. In the browse selection window, select the data objects that you want to erase, then click OK.

    If you need to erase data from a specific folder that is not visible in the current browse selection, you need to browse to a backup taken at a point in time that included the folder. Then, you can select the data to be erased inside that folder.

Viewing Erased Data

These features are available to view the data erased.

Admin Job History

You can view detailed, historical information about the Erase Data jobs in the Admin Job History Filter dialog box. 

To view admin job history:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click the CommServe, click View, and then click Admin Job History.
  2. From the Admin Job History Filter dialog box, select the filter options that you want to apply and click OK.

View Erased Data in an Erased Data Job Summary Report

An Administrative Job Summary Report provides details of all the Erase Data jobs.

To create an Erase Data Job Summary report:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click the Reports icon.
  2. Select Job Summary from the Reports pane of the Report Selection dialog box.
  3. From the General tab, select Administrative Jobs and then select Erase Backup/Archived Data.
  4. Select the filter criteria to include in the Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report from the various tabs (e.g., Computers, Selection, Options, Time Range).
  5. From the Output tab, select the output format and/or save options for the report.
  6. Click one of the following: Run to generate the report immediately, Schedule to schedule the reports for specific times, Save Template to save the report filter options into the My Reports node, or Close to exit the window.

See Erase Backup/Archived Data Job Summary Report for details.