Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

Window Server 2008 R2 Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) provides some great features that can be used to enhance backup and recovery for Windows disks. One great feature of VSS, called Shadow Copies for Shared Volumes, captures and stores copies of the files and folders at a specific point in time.

Administrators and end users with the correct permissions can browse the shadow copies based on the time and date of creation and essentially restore a specific folder, file, or entire volume without restoring from tape. The shadow copies are very space efficient, as the first copy is a complete compressed version of the data on the volume, and subsequent copies store only the changes made since the last shadow copy was created.

Another great feature of the VSS is the tight integration it provides for third-party software vendors and to the Windows Server Backup tools. VSS enables manual backups created using Windows Server Backup to store shadow copies on remote server shares. Windows Server Backup also utilizes VSS to manage the storage space of the backup by using the space-efficient and intelligent storage functions of VSS.

Enabling Shadow Copies for Shared Volumes
Enabling shadow copies on a volume can be very simple. Administrators have more options when it comes to recovering lost or deleted data and, in many cases, can entirely avoid restoring data to disk from a backup tape device or tape library. In addition, select users can be given the necessary rights to restore files that they’ve accidentally deleted.

The Volume Shadow Copy Service is already installed and is automatically available using NTFS-formatted volumes.

To enable and configure shadow copies, follow these steps:

1. Log on to the Windows Server 2008 R2 system with an account with administrator privileges.

2. Click Start, click All Programs, click Administrative Tools, and select Server Manager.

3. In the tree pane, double-click the Storage node, and select Disk Management.

4. In the tasks pane, scroll down to locate the desired volume, right-click the volume, and select Properties.

5. Select the Shadow Copies tab; in the Select a Volume section, click on the desired volume, and click the Settings button.

6. The Settings page enables you to choose an alternate volume to store the shadow copies. Select the desired volume to store the shadow copy and set the storage space limit for the volume. The default is usually set to 10% of the volume size.

7. After the location and maximum size are configured, click the Schedule button and define the schedule. The defaults create a shadow copy at 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

8. Click OK to close the Schedule window, and click OK again to close the Volume Shadow Copy Settings window. The shadow copy for the originally selected volume is now enabled.

9. If necessary, select the next volume and enable shadow copying; otherwise, select the enabled volume and immediately create a shadow copy by clicking the Create Now button.

10. If necessary, select the next volume and immediately create a shadow copy by clicking the Create Now button.

11. After the shadow copies are created, click OK to close the Shadow Copies page, close the Server Manager, and log off of the server.

Source of Information : Sams - Windows Server 2008 R2 Unleashed

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