This guide defines the system requirements that must be met in order to successfully install and operate PST Flight Deck. The target audience for this guide is professional system administrators. The information included pertains to the operation and configuration of PST Flight Deck. All installation, configuration, and support should be performed by PST Flight Deck qualified administrators.
This guide provides minimum and recommended system requirements.
The PST Flight Deck server should meet the following requirements:
PST Flight Deck is a robust system designed to be scalable and meet the needs of organizations of any size. You should consider project requirements when evaluating the systems to allocate to the PST Flight Deck solution. The hardware requirements we recommend are meant to provide a general guidance for proper hardware configuration.
Core Server and Nodes
We recommend the following hardware requirements for the PST Flight Deck Core server and Nodes. These may be physical or virtual machines.
The size or requirements of a project can dictate the hardware required. It is best to review sizing for a specific project to ensure the solution meets the project requirements.
It is now possible to put a full, or any portion of a deployment on Azure resources. For information on deployment of a full Core in Azure please contact a PST Flight Deck Architect to appropriately size, configure, and deploy your environment.
Additional Module or Ingestion Nodes
PST Flight Deck is able to be expanded to include additional Nodes for scalability or to otherwise accommodate the needs of a project. The following hardware requirements are for additional Modules or Ingestion Nodes. These may be physical or virtual machines.
It is also possible to expand an environment onto Azure instances. Minimum instance types are D2 for Module Nodes and DS2 for Nodes containing an upload location and Extraction module. Migrations for over 1000 users should consult a PST Flight Deck architect to design a solution that best suits their needs.
Under most circumstances, it is advised to run Extraction and Repair modules local to the Upload directory for a given location to ensure sufficient IOPS are available to facilitate and optimal processing time of a PST file.
Requirements for Additional Server Components
PST Flight Deck is a scalable and flexible product that supports a number of configurations to suit the needs of any PST file elimination or migration initiative. There are several components that could be installed on separate hardware to support the needs of a migration project. Examples of these components are:
- Active Directory Scanner
- Share Scanner
- Central Upload Agent
Generally speaking, a minimal system is required to support these components. They can, and frequently are installed on the same machine. In environments where a modest use of these components is needed, the following specifications are recommended:
- 4 Core CPU
- 8 GB RAM
- 10 GB of dedicated disk space
The Active Directory Scanner (AD Scanner) is a very lightweight component that, under normal conditions, does not require many resources. A single core machine with 4 GB or RAM is typically sufficient for a production AD Scanner.
Project requirements or constraints could result in an increase in hardware requirements.
Requirements for Consoles
Consoles are typically run from the Core server, but can be installed on any supported operating system. Any system running a console requires the following:
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
- Display resolution of 1440 x 900 or higher
- Low-latency connection to the Microsoft SQL Server hosting the system database
- Consoles are used to manage, configure, monitor, and administer PST Flight Deck PST file elimination and migration projects. A minimum supported display resolution is 1440 x 900, but it is recommended that machines used to manage projects have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 or higher.
- The console must be run by an account with read/write access to the system database.
Storage is based on the PST volume and processing rate. The following table outlines general considerations. Storage is required for the upload directory per location and several modules prospectively running on any number of nodes configured in the environment.
|Area||Recommended size||Recommended speed|
|Uploads||3-5 times the daily ingest volume||Fast disks with high IOPS is required, preferably SSD|
|Backup||Daily upload volume multiplied by the number of days to keep the data||Standard disk speed requirements|
|Filter||Usually more than 1% of the total data. Volume may change dependent on filter configuration||Standard disk speed requirements|
|Hash Tables||Hash data is usually about 0.2% of total space in scope||Mid-range disks required due to frequent reads|
|Cleanup||Volume of storage is dependent on the target and data quality. Office 365 and Exchange migrations are usually 2-6% and other targets are less.||Standard disk speed requirements|
|Park||If managed, the size of the Park Area can be small since it is only used as a waiting area while PST file ownership is determined.||Standard disk speed requirements|
If you’re only estimates of the volume of data are available, make sure to re-evaluate the total volume after the discovery process of the project takes place.
PST Flight Deck can now use Azure storage for the Backup and Cleanup module storage locations. It has been tested with standard, locally redundant blob storage. All access tiers have been used for this sort of storage and it is suggested to select the one that best suits the requirements of the project. For more information on how to create and configure Azure storage for PST Flight Deck, please reference the appropriate article.
The PST Flight Deck server can be installed on several different operating systems
|Windows 2008 R2||Yes|
|Windows 2012 R2||Yes|
|Windows Server 2016||Yes|
All server components require the following server-based features to be installed:
- Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
- Internet Information Server with ASP.Net enabled It is recommended the required components be installed using PowerShell commands. (See later in this article)
This product also requires Microsoft Office 2013 x64 or 2016 to be installed on the core server to install the solution. Note that Microsoft Office 365 is not supported.
PST Flight Deck uses a SQL Server database to track the migration project. The minimum configuration for this server is:
- 10 GB Disk Space on a fast disk for the database
- Adequate space to accommodate log growth between maintenance cycles.
The following versions of SQL Server are supported:
|SQL 2008 R2||No|
The PST Flight Deck database can share an instance with other databases provided that adequate resources required for the operation of PST Flight Deck are available and the instance is not associated with the target system. PST Flight Deck also supports the Standard and Enterprise editions for the supported versions listed above.
The PST Flight Deck service account requires local Administrator access to all PST Flight Deck servers, full read/write access to the BITS upload share and the storage location that the share points at, and also active SQL ‘dbcreator’ permissions during the installation process.
For migrations to an Enterprise Vault target, the account used as the PST Flight Deck service account needs to be the Vault Service account used for the applicable Enterprise Vault server(s).
All accounts used during the operation of a PST Flight Deck project require the ability to access applicable servers, and to have full read/write access to the PST Flight Deck SQL database. Any account used during the operation of PST Flight Deck must be configured as an “Expert” in PST Flight Deck to have full control over Console functions.
Accounts running services that provide supplemental functionality, such as the Share Scanner or Central Upload Agent, require permission sufficient to access the resources they are acting against. For some of the more advanced features of the Central Upload Agent, this may include access to local workstation administrative shares. Typically these components run under accounts other than the service account.
The following ports must be open for communication between PST Flight Deck and its dependencies.
|Workstation||PST Flight Deck Server||80/443||Agent communication|
|PST Flight Deck Core||SQL Server||1433||SQL access|
|Module Node||PST Flight Deck Core||80/443, 445 (SMB)||Module to core communication|
|Ingest Node||PST Flight Deck Core, and target system||80/443, 445 (SMB)||Module to core communication|
|Workstation||Upload location server||81/444||File transfer (BITS)*|
* In addition to the Default Web Site, PST Flight Deck uses a separate PST Flight Deck BITS Website. The Default Web Site’s communication passes via port 80/443, whereas the BITS website is preconfigured to use port 81/444. Having this as separate website makes it possible to limit bandwidth immediately when the server is in OFF STATE (because of a full disk for upload) while communication to the Default Web Site continues. All ports can be changed manually, if needed.
PST Flight Deck has a highly extendable architecture. As this is the case, the requirements per deployment may change. The following section stipulates the additional requirements needed for supplemental components used within a deployment.
For Ingestion into Exchange or Office 365
Two types of accounts are required in PST Flight Deck when ingesting. Any account used for these targets will need to be assigned “application impersonation” rights. To use some of the advanced functionality available to Exchange or Office 365 targets,
To migrate data for people who have left the organization to an Office 365 target, an account with additional permissions is required. In addition to having “application impersonation” rights assigned, the Exchange Administrator and User Management Administrator roles are also required in order to apply the licenses necessary for this type of migration.
For Ingestion into Enterprise Vault
If the intended target system of a PST migration is Enterprise Vault, additional requirements are needed to accomplish the ingestion.
The current Enterprise Vault Service Account is required for installation and to run the services responsible for any Enterprise Vault related function.
The API associated with version of Enterprise Vault being ingested to is also required. This is typically included in the Enterprise Vault installation media (e.g. “X:\Symantec Enterprise Vault\API Runtime\” where “X:\” is the drive letter of the Enterprise Vault installation media). Frequently, customers choose to install the Enterprise Vault Admin Console instead of the API. this is an acceptable and supported configuration.
For migrations requiring Enterprise Vault shortcut creation, the account running the shortcut module will require “Application Impersonation” rights in the target Exchange environment.
For Shortcut Rehydration
PST Flight Deck includes the ability to restore Enterprise Vault shortcuts found within PST files in the upload area prior to the ingestion into a desired target.
The current Enterprise Vault Service Account associated with the shortcuts being restored is required to run the service responsible for any Enterprise Vault related function, including shortcut rehydration. The Enterprise Vault server associated with the shortcuts must be running and able to successfully retrieve the items associated with the shortcuts via API calls to the source server.
The API for the version of Enterprise Vault being retrieved from is also required. This is typically included in the Enterprise Vault installation media (e.g. “X:\Symantec Enterprise Vault\API Runtime\” where “X:\” is the drive letter of the Enterprise Vault installation media). Frequently, customers choose to install the Enterprise Vault Admin Console instead of the API. This is an acceptable and supported configuration.
PST Flight Deck includes the ability to identify and repair corrupted PST files where ever possible.
To facilitate this functionality, PST Flight Deck leverages the native repair utility for Outlook. Outlook 2013 x64 or Outlook 2016 x64 is required to be installed on any machine running a Repair module.
Outlook from Office 365 is NOT supported by Repair module.
PowerShell for Software Components
The following PowerShell commands will install the required components for the installation and operation of PST Flight Deck:
Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
Add-windowsfeature application-server, web-server, bits, web-asp-net, Web-Windows-Auth
Windows 2012 and Windows 2012 R2
Install-WindowsFeature Application-Server, Web-Server, Web-Windows-Auth, BITS
Install-WindowsFeature Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45
Windows Server 2016
Install-WindowsFeature Web-Server, Web-Windows-Auth, BITS
Install-WindowsFeature Web-Net-Ext45, Web-Asp-Net, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45
It may be necessary to utilize the –Source switch to specify the Sources directory on your installation media depending on your OS setup. For additional information, please read the following article: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2913316.
PST Flight Deck is a product designed to move large quantities of data from client workstations to a desired target. This involves a high level of processing against a given file. If not appropriately excluded, antivirus software can cause file locks, missing data, and performance-related issues that can impact the functionality of PST Flight Deck. The following should be excluded from antivirus scanning.
PST Flight Deck can be deployed in a number of configurations. It is expandable and customizable to suit the specific needs of any enterprise it is deployed in. Several areas are used to read and write data in a PST Flight Deck environment. Since these areas are frequently in use as part of PST file processing, we recommend that you exclude applicable directories for all of the following services:
- Hash table
Fileservers and Workstations
PST files are frequently centralized, migrated, and then deleted. The following are recommended exclusions for workstations and file servers containing PST files that you want to migrate.
- %Temp% location for authenticating users
- Files ending in a *.PST extension