ContentStore and Edge Drive

Article ID: IND0002 ContentStore and Edge Drive

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ContentStore and Edge Drive

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What is ContentStore?

ContentStore is a directory service (think exported Network File System) that allows users and applications access to data in Commvault protected storage. ContentStore comes in 4 flavors:

  • Edge Drive

File system data made accessible to End Users via

  • The WebConsole
  • Edge Drive folder on Windows and Macintosh File System
  • Microsoft Office
  • Smart phone app on Apples or Android devices
  • ContentStore

File system/application data made accessible to System Users / applications using API access methods.

  • Outlook Addin ContentStore

Email data made accessible to users via Commvault’s Outlook Add-in ContentStore Email Viewer.

  • ContentStore Mail Server

Email data made accessible to users via IMAP (non-Outlook) clients such as smart phones.

Note: While Edge Drive uses a different name, it is essentially ContentStore with a pre-built access method.

Primary Uses of ContentStore

The Edge Drive version of ContentStore can be used as a drop box allowing data copied to the Edge Drive to be available to the user on that client or other client computers. For example, you can configure Edge Drive on your desktop, copy files to the Edge drive, and those files are now accessible from your laptop.

A group of users could share files between themselves using Edge Drive. Security is configurable as to who will have access to these files.

A key feature of Edge Drive is the ability to view and download past versions of a file. Edge Drive handles versioning by keeping a copy of each version of a file. A user can download the most recent version or view and download a previous version of a file.

Edge Drive can also be used as an access point to data that has been backed up. For example, you can associate your laptop’s backup with the same storage policy used by Edge Drive. The data you back up from your laptop will be available via your Edge Drive. You can browse for the latest backup copy of a file or for a previous version – and then download the file back to your laptop – or to another client configured to use the same storage policy.

ContentStore API methods allow administrators to customize how data is copied in and out of a ContentStore storage policy.  ContentStore features can be integrated with application or system data storage. Examples of data uses for ContentStore are application logs and file shares.  Administrators can also build custom interfaces for end users to access ContentStore data.

Outlook Add-in ContentStore is used to give end user’s the ability to search and download backed up or archived emails. The Outlook Add-in component has the ContentStore Email Viewer feature which provides the same functionality—such as reply, forward, and view attachments—as if the archived emails were still in your regular inbox.

ContentStore Mail Server gives end users access to backed up or archived messages on devices where Outlook is not installed. This includes mobile devices. End users must set up an IMAP client on their devices to view the archived messages.

Archived messages are cached locally on the end user's device. New messages are pushed to the device as they are archived. Both the Administrator and the End User can limit the number of days that archived messages available in the cache.

What do I need to use ContentStore?

To use ContentStore, you need the following Commvault components and features:

  • Microsoft Windows host with
    • MediaAgent  installed
    • Web Server  installed
    • Analytics Engine configured

This is referred to as an Index Server.

When configuring the analytics engine in the MediaAgent’s Properties, select Edge Drive as the engine type in all cases.  Note that Edge Drive does not appear as an analytics engine type unless a Web Server component is installed on the MediaAgent.

  • ContentStore client

A client is needed to provide a single, consistent reference point for the data. Each ContentStore type requires a different client type. Three of the ContentStore client types can be created using the Tools->New Client-> File System menu option. These are:

  • Edge Drive
  • Content Store
  • Outlook Add-in ContentStore

The fourth client type – ContentStore Mail Server – must be installed.

Different ContentStore clients are required because security is handled differently for each ContentStore client.

Multiple ContentStore clients of the same or different type can be added to the CommCell. The usual reason for adding multiple ContentStore clients of the same type is to facilitate the use of more than one storage policy, one or more Index Servers, or to meet different user access requirements.

  • Storage Policy

In adding a ContentStore type client, a storage policy and the Index server needs to be assigned. The storage policy used must include the Index Server in its data path. Data passing through the Index Server and contained in the storage policy will be indexed and made available through the Web Server interface.

  • Subclient Policy (Automatically created)

Once the client is added, a read-only Subclient policy is automatically created that locks down the ContentStore client’s configuration. No content is defined at this point as content is determined by data written to the storage policy through the Content Store interface or though associated subclients.

  • Search Engine (Email only)

Outlook Add-in ContentStore and ContentStore Mail Server require the services of a search engine to content-index the email messages.  This provides the ability to search ContentStore using message fields and keywords.

  • SMTP Server (Email only for adding/modifying content through ContentStore Mail Server)

With the exception of ContentStore Mail Server, all ContentStore access methods support adding, modifying, viewing, and downloading of data. The ContentStore Mail Server supports download of email only. A SMTP server is required to support the addition or modification of email available via the ContentStore Mail Server.