Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery and Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

Article:TECH108963  |  Created: 2004-01-19  |  Updated: 2012-01-26  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH108963
Article Type
Technical Solution


Environment

Issue



This document contains information on how Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery and LiveState Recovery work with Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).

 


Solution



When creating an image, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery alerts the Volume Shadow Copy Service that an image is about to be created. VSS then communicates this information to the VSS-aware databases and puts them into a quiesced (sleep) state. While in the quiesced state, the database continues to write to transaction logs while it is being backed up. Once the databases are quiesced, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery takes the snapshot. VSS is then notified that the snapshot is completed and the databases are awakened and the transaction logs are transferred back to the database. Backup Exec System Recovery then stops the VSS service. Meanwhile, the image is created. The databases are only quiesced for the snapshot, and are active for the rest of the image creation.

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery and Microsoft Exchange Server

Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery supports imaging Microsoft Exchange Servers; however, proper steps need to be taken when imaging the Microsoft Exchange server. As with other active databases, if an image is created of Microsoft Exchange and later restored, the restored database could and will most likely be corrupt if it was not properly quiesced or shut down when the snapshot was taken.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003

Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 is compatible with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Service (VSS) Technology. When creating an image, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (LSR) will alert VSS, which will send a request to quiesce Microsoft Exchange. If the database use is heavy, the VSS request may be ignored and the database will not be quiesced. Symantec recommends you create your image when the server is carrying the lightest load. In most cases, this will be in the middle of the night. It is also highly recommended that you check the event log for VSS errors. There are known Microsoft issues with VSS that have been resolved in Windows 2003 Service Pack 1, and some of these issues involve the quiesce functionality. If using the VSS aware capability when creating images, it is critical that you upgrade your 2003 servers to the latest Microsoft service pack and install the latest updates. If VSS still appears to not be able to quiesce a particular active Microsoft Exchange database, an administrator may want to consider using a batch process to simply shut down the database temporarily for the snapshot. The database could then be started again and be running during the rest of the image process. The snapshot will only take about a second, so the database would only be down for the amount of time to stop and start Microsoft Exchange. Batch examples will be discussed later in the document.

If the resources on the Exchange server are overloaded, it is possible that corruption could occur when pushed to perform additional resource intensive tasks such as creating an image. If the resources on the server are heavily used, then the administrator has a few options; turn down the Progress and Performance in LSR, increase the amount of RAM or CPU, or stop the Exchange database during the entire image process. The latter option should not be necessary unless the hardware resources are already pegged.



Microsoft Exchange Server 2000

Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 is not VSS aware. An administrator will need to stop the database with the batch files. The batch files will be discussed later in the document.

Sample Batch Command Files
The following are samples of batch command files that are used to stop and start a Microsoft Exchange database.

To create a batch file to temporarily stop a Microsoft Exchange database

  1. Open a text editor, such as Notepad.
  2. Type the following lines:

    net stop msexchangesa /y /y
    net stop "Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine"
    net stop "Microsoft Exchange IMAP4"
    net stop "Microsoft Exchange Management"
    net stop "Microsoft Exchange POP3"

     
  3. Save the file as StopExch.bat.
  4. Save the file to the following location:

    C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec System Recovery Server Edition\Agent\CommandFiles
     

To create a batch file to start a Microsoft Exchange database

  1. Open a text editor, such as Notepad.
  2. Type the following lines:

    net start "Microsoft Exchange System Attendant"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange Event"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange IMAP4"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange MTA Stacks"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange POP3"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine"
    net start "Microsoft Exchange Management"

     
  3. Save the file as StartExch.bat.
  4. Save the file to the following location:

    C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec System Recovery Server Edition\Agent\CommandFiles
     

Restoring Microsoft Exchange
No special steps need to be taken when restoring an image of an Exchange server. As long as Exchange was quiesced or shutdown properly, the database should be able to start normally and be brought back online.




 



Legacy ID



2004111916582360


Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH108963


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