Zimbra Suite Plus/Zimbra Backup Plus/Backup Validation

Zimbra Backup Plus - Backup Validation

Zimbra Backup Plus - Backup Validation

Backup Validation

Extract from the Wikipedia page on Backup Validation[1]:

Validation is the process of finding out whether a backup attempt succeeded or not, or, whether the data is backed up enough to consider it "protected". This process usually involves the examination of log files, the "smoking gun" often left behind after a backup attempts takes place, as well as media databases, data traffic and even magnetic tapes. Patterns can be detected, key error messages identified and statistics extracted in order to determine which backups worked and which did not.

Validating a backup made with Zimbra Backup Plus

Two different types of Backup Validation are described below: a "Quick" Validation Procedure that only checks user-level stored items (both Data and Config) and a "Deep" Validation procedure that checks all available data (User Data and Config, Domains, Classes of Service)

Please note that, due to the nature of this test, the Deep Validation procedure it is not meant to be executed on a live, production server. A proper test environment is specified along every Backup Validation procedure.

Quick Validation Procedure

Test Environment



A running Zimbra Backup Plus infrastructure

Step by Step Quick Validation

  • Log into the Zimbra Administration Console
  • Select a target account for the test. Any account will do, as no changes will be done to it.
  • Perform a Restore on New Account operation, using the choosen account as the source, selecting a new name for the destination account and using the current date/time as the restore time.
  • After the Restore on New Account operation is completed, ssh to the Zimbra server
  • To check folders and number of items, run the following commands (as the Zimbra user):

zmmailbox -z -m source_account@domain.tld getAllFolders

zmmailbox -z -m destination_account@domain.tld getAllFolders

and compare the outputs.

  • Except for the "Id" column, the other fields should be the same for both accounts. If the "Unread" or "Msg Count" slightly differ from one output to the other, check if new emails arrived while performing the test and subtract them from the totals.
  • If the outputs match, check the inboxes with the "Vew Mail" function of the Zimbra Administration Console to further check actual data in emails/calendars/address books etc.
  • To check account preferences and settings, run the following commands (as the Zimbra user):

zmprov ga source_account@domain.tld

zmprov ga destination_account@domain.tld'

and compare the outputs.

Deep Validation Procedure

Test Environment

A server with a fresh install of Zimbra, with the same OS/Zimbra Version/Zimbra Suite Plus Version as the original server.


If performing the Deep Validation procedure on a multiserver environment the complete infrastructure must be replicated

Enough disk space to perform a full restore.

Server configuration manually applied on the Test Enviroment, mirroring production's server configuration (Server only - domains, accounts and Classes of Service are going to be imported).


A running Zimbra Backup Plus infrastructure

Access (at least read permissions) to the Zimbra Backup Plus path

Step by Step Deep Validation

  • Log into the Zimbra Administration Console on the test server
  • Perform an External Restore using the running Zimbra Backup Plus path of the production server as the source. Import all domains and accounts.
  • Once the import is completed, use the doCheckShares and doFixShares commands of the Zimbra Suite Plus CLI to verify and eventually rebuild folder shares. Use the map_[server_id] file as the argument for the doFixShares commands
  • manually check the coherency of imported domains and Classes of Service.
  • Perform some sample checks on the accounts using the guidelines described in the Quick Validation Procedure

Zimbra Suite Plus Resources

Here you can find useful resources for your Zimbra Suite Plus environment

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