About backing up VSS-aware databases using Symantec System Recovery

Article:HOWTO48565  |  Created: 2011-04-07  |  Updated: 2013-10-17  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO48565
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About backing up VSS-aware databases using Symantec System Recovery

Symantec System Recovery integrates with Microsoft's VSS to automate the process of backing up VSS-aware databases, such as the following:

  • Exchange Server 2003 or later

  • SQL Server 2005 or later

  • Windows Server 2003-based domain controller or later

VSS-aware databases are auto-enabled and cannot be turned off. VSS lets administrators create a shadow copy backup of volumes on a server. The shadow copy includes all files and includes open files.

When it creates a recovery point, Symantec System Recovery alerts the Volume Shadow Copy Service. VSS then puts the VSS-aware databases into a temporary sleep state. While in this quiesced state, the database continues to write to transaction logs during the backup. After the databases are quiesced, Symantec System Recovery takes the snapshot. VSS is then notified that a snapshot is completed. The databases are awakened, and the transaction logs continue to be committed to the database. Meanwhile, the recovery point is created. The databases are only quiesced for the snapshot, and are active for the rest of the recovery point creation.

Symantec System Recovery supports Exchange Server 2003 or later, which implements VSS technology. However, if the database load is heavy, the VSS request might be ignored. Create recovery points at the lightest load time.

Be sure that you have installed the latest service packs for your given database.


For backing up Exchange databases, additional backup applications are not needed to run with Symantec System Recovery.

See About backing up non-VSS-aware databases using Symantec System Recovery.

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