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28.10.13

Vaulty McVaulterson

If you've ever woken up in a strange hotel room, sticky and covered in glitter, wondering how the hell you got there and then suddenly realize you have Vault consulting to do in 40 minutes - well, then you know what it is like to be me.

While the glitter is fairly easy to explain*, the question on my mind is, "How did I become a Vault person?" My answer is, "If you have a modicum of logical thinking and ever checked out a book at the library, you too can be a Vault person."

This post specifically addresses an issue from a customer site that I encountered last week. I plan on posting more basic how-to's as time permits, however, the contents of this post are more on the server administration end.

Here's what it looked like when trying to create the backup manually (e.g. not through scheduled backups) -


This is an issue I encountered with Vault Collaboration AEC 2013, but it also applies to Vault Professional 2014. The client wanted Vault backups to be routed directly to their network drive, but due to permissions limitations at the organization, the backups were failing.  I whipped up a workaround/kludge/solution that easily fixed the backup situation.

Here's why the network backups were failing:

When Vault is installed on the server it creates a local user called AutodeskVault. By default, this is the user that "owns" the SQL instance. This is the user that logs in when backups are created. If you want Vault backups to go directly to the server you either need to change the default SQL user or add AutodeskVault as a user on the network with write permission to the backup directory. Since I didn't want to redo all the scripts that call the SQL database username and password, and since network security policy at this organization forbids non-human users, I opted for plan C; just make the backups locally and use Windows Task Scheduler to copy backups to the network.

It doesn't matter if it is a full backup or incremental, essentially the same thing is happening "under the hood." When you create scheduled backups in Vault, really what it is doing is creating a task in Windows Task Scheduler and generating a simple batch file to log in and create the backup.

At the end of the process I had three Vault-related tasks in Task Scheduler:

  1. Make incremental backups Monday-Thursday at 6:00pm (going to C:\Vault BKUP\)
  2. Make full backup Friday at 6:30pm (going to C:\Vault BKUP\)
  3. Every day at 8:00pm, copy new files from C:\Vault BKUP\ to N:\Vault Bkup\  [Since I used the /d switch in the script, it should only be copying new files to the server. ]
A big thing to remember in Windows Task scheduler is to make sure you have the security setting using the "Run whether user is logged on or not" checked. 

So that's my little fix. So far so good. If anyone knows of a more elegant solution, I'm open to hearing it. 

*In regards to the glitter, some lip gloss exploded in my luggage.