Shadow Copy on Windows 2003

Posted on 2004-09-23
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
My goal here is to gather collective information from experts that are currently using Shadow Copy in a Windows 2003 environment.  Please only post if you have real-world experience/exposure.

We are soon to begin using this within our company and I am just looking for as much experience/knowledge as I can gain from your knowledge/experience! : )

Pros/Cons, trouble you've had with it, how it works, etc, etc.  I know the basic theory behind it, but am ignorant beyond that.  I am beginning my google-quest now to learn more about it and hope to get some good feedback when I return.

Thanx all!!!
Question by:sirbounty
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Assisted Solution

jmcnear earned 125 total points
ID: 12134462
I know you need minimum of 100megs for shadow copy to work.
It allows you to restore a set of files from a number of previous states.
ie.  I would like to open this current spreadsheet I'm working on, but in the condition it was in say 2 months ago, or 1 month ago, etc...

I think of shadow copy as a residual backup.  It keeps stateful iterations of your files, as opposed to your normal backup(which should also most definately be run and not confused with the prior)



Accepted Solution

onesquin earned 125 total points
ID: 12134617
I currently have it setup for the two departments that are nonstop editing files:  Marketing and Mechanical.  I have a serperate partition on our server just for the shadow copies for these two shares.  So far it has been pretty useful since the Mktg department is always corrupting word documents because they are creating huge files with large pictures in them.

I had an incident yesterday where a Mech Eng did not save his work before leaving for lunch, he complained because his file was not backed up when he lost his work.  I told him he had to save before the service runs at noon to catch the file and back it up.

I recommend it because I no longer(usually) have to go to tape to get files.  This alone makes it worthy of the few minutes it took me to setup and the time it saves me to go through previous incremental backups to find when the file was last backed up.  Also, I run it at noon so if they work on a file before lunch, SAVE it, and corrupt it/lose it, after lunch, they can get it back.  This is just not feasilbe with tape backups.  We have tons of extra disk space and it is free with 2003.  So why not.  To me, it is another worthy tool from MS.

I did have to use domain policy to push out the msi file to make sure everybody could use the feature.
LVL 67

Author Comment

ID: 12134722
Yea - we keep our Friday tapes off-site (many states away).
We've also had the foresight to create a seperate partition for VSC - much greater than 100mb - but I forget how many GB.
So, is it 100% effective, or do you find it doesn't work as 'promoted'?  Any difficulty with end-user training, or does it still involve a call: "How do I restore my file again?"

What's the recommended backup schedule - I've seen some examples on the web, but in a real-world corp environment - do you limit it to twice a day during business hours or would more frequent timeframes be better?

Any problems with a file size cap?  Say if I've got a db that's 30% of my shadow storage, will that still work?  Or is it ONLY affected by the amount of storage allocated to this service?

Presumably you can limit this by department/share as you've implied...
LVL 67

Author Comment

ID: 12219225
Does anyone know if you can implement VSC on a per share basis?
I know per-volume is possible...

Assisted Solution

onesquin earned 125 total points
ID: 12251975
No you cannot do it per share.

Luckily we keep our departments and such separated by Volumes not by shares.  I did not have to do much work to get it working.

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