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Backup Exec & VSS - I'm such a newbie

Created: 04 Dec 2013 • Updated: 04 Dec 2013 | 3 comments
MIXIT's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I guess I dont' know as much about this stuff as I thought. 

Recently I began wondering aout Hyper-V snapshots, and this lead me to reading about Volume Shadow Copy Service in general.  After reading a few MS articles and af we BE ones too, I now realize I have no clue about this stuff it seems. 

Would anybody be willing to help me with these questions, or add whatever info seems relevant?  Here they are:

  1. If I install Windows Server (2008 R2, or 2012), do I need to manually configure anything related to Volume Shadow-anything-whatsoever, or is all this stuff ready to go by default as it pertains to being able to do full backups using BE? 
  2. Does any of the answer to #1 change when considering I am backing up Hyper-V VM's, some of which may contain Exchange 2010?
  3. Every time I right-click a volume in Server 2008R2 I have the option to Configure Shadow Copies... - these are always Disabled by default.

And perhaps just as a general question, does BE 2012 require any special VSS-related configuration to be done on a completely default Windows Server 2008 R2 (or 2012) system? In other words if I build a server for a customer, install BE 2012 and set up a job to cover all aspects of the machine (physical host, VMs, system state, etc.), am I covered? 

Thanks - it just seems you move along thinking you're fine, then you read one little thing that makes you question all of it, so here I am questioning all of it :)  

Operating Systems:

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CraigV's picture


1. Nothing to configure unless you are using AOFO in your job and need to manually specify which VSS provider you use.
2. No...just do not use AOFO when backing up databases like Exchange and SQL.
3. No need to use Shadow Copies unless you need to use them from an OS perspective. This is not required by BE.


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MIXIT's picture

I always thought you should enable AOFO?  Admittedly I don't always kn ow when something shuold or shoulnd't be enabled.  It seemed with BE 2012, everyting that needed to be, was enabled by default (which equates to c omplete backup of a Hyper-V host, it's VM's, Exchange, SQL, and everything else on that machine with overlap being eliminated via Deduplication). 

CraigV's picture

...AOFO for files and folders is fine, but for databases it can lead to not being able to restore Exchange properly, or being able to redirect SQL for instance...issues I have both had.

In this case, you'd rather split your backups off from each other. Use AOFO with data, and don't use it with databases.


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