cyrus server and backup

Phil Chambers P.A.Chambers at
Fri Apr 4 09:10:35 EST 2003

I have never used the Cyrus IMAP server before and have just intalled it on a test 
system to evaluate it, with a view to moving our service over to it.  We have over 
20,000 users and need to upgrade our current system.

One of our fundamental requirements is to be able to take security backups.  These 
are primarily for recovery in case of hardware failures.  The backups are 
conventional periodic full backups with intermediate incrementals.

I am concerned that because Cyrus is a "black box" system which keeps track of its 
own internal organisation we may have problems if we restore a disc from our 
backups.  It will take hours to do a backup and the files within the Cyrus structure 
will be changing as we do it.  Are there going to be problems with inconsistencies 
between files?

There is a secondary, but important use of our current backup service, which is to 
dig users out of a hole when they make mistakes:  Occasionally a user will 
accidentally delete a message or even a whole folder and then come and ask if I can 
recover it for them.

With our current backup system it is ussually very easy because I have no problem 
identifying the relevant files to be recovered.  I seems to that it will be 
impossible to recover deleted messages because I will not be able to identify the 
files which I need.  If I can identify the files, presumably there is no way to get 
them back into the Cyrus system?

The only information I have been able to find which says anything about recovery 
is in the Server Overview and Concepts document.  However, this does not go into 
sufficient detail and includes statements like "Many objects in the configuration 
directory are discussed in the Database Recover section".  I cannot find any section 
anywhere with a title of "Database Recover"!

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Phil Chambers (postmaster at
University of Exeter

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