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tarkmyler asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have two Win2k3 servers.  One domain controller with Veritas, a second with Exchange.  I'm using a REV backup and it's getting a little tight.  I have a 7Gb Exchange Database and it generates an 8Gb Volume Shadow Copy on the Exchange box.  Is there a pre-backup routine I can run to reduce the size of this piece of the backup?  Perhaps shutting Exchange down and bringing it back up in the middle of the night before the backup?
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what is in the shadow copy?  You can't shadow the c:\program files\exchange\mdb data that is not safe, windows will go crazy updating it.

Certinaly the percentage of your drive used for volume shadowing can be changed.  Also I beleive it defaults to stop at 10% freespace.

Why not just use Backup Exec with exchange module?
Sorry if I'm missing something.


I'm getting my terminology a little scrambled.  Sorry for the confusion.

I AM using Veritas 9.1 with the Exchange agent.  I am picking up the Exchange Store and the Public Folders.  I have the associated mdb files excluded in the Veritas backup selections.  I have also selected the "Shadow Copy Components" because I've read on this site that I can't get a clean restore without having a copy of them.  The "Advanced Open File Method Used" that is listed in my Job logs is "Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)".  That is the component that is 8Gb and that seems a little excessive.  I am wondering if there is a way to flush it before the backup starts.

ok next question- are you up on using shadow copy to provide a few old versions of user's files?  are you doing that in practice?  Many an admin have enabled shadow copy for no reason.  It is only useful for userfiles where versions of "my resume.doc" are helpful in the event of deletion mistakes and oops I hit save instead of save as.

if you beleive that there is something backed up in multiple versions via shadow copy, then YES it would be very helpful to fully comit that to your real backup rotation.  The cache it creates is going to be huge, when used to it's full potential.

If not then turn it off.  I have yet to see it helpful for system files, more of a hinderence.


The 8gb system state file backup is on the Exchange server and there are no shared files on it.  So the answer would be that I have no reason to back it up except for my (mistaken?) understanding that it is required to get a snapshot of the file system during backup.  If I can really restore everything (Win2k3, Exchange) after a disaster without this piece I'm okay with "turning it off".  By turning it off.. do you mean simply de-selecting it in the Veritas backup job selections, or is there some Admin tool that turns it off at the O/S level?
can you turn on system state but turn off volume shadow.  the actual system state is generally a few megs.

I know you want a file system backup of your exchange server to be comitted to backup, it's just

RE By turning it off.. do you mean simply de-selecting it in the Veritas backup job selections, or is there some Admin tool that turns it off at the O/S level?
At OS level if you can find it, at Backup Exec level if you are in a hurry to move on


Ok.  I did some more homework and discovered that as part of the "Shadow Copy Components" the following is selected...

Shadow Copy Components
 ->User Data
   ->Exchange Server
     ->Microsoft Exchange Server
       ->Microsoft Information Store
        ->[Exchange Server Name]
         ->First Storage Group

Mystery solved...  I also have the mailboxes and the public store backed up separately.  Do I have to do both?  How about to just restore one mailbox?

ah yes very hot controversy.

Backup of mailboxes is also sometimes called brick level.  Novices do it because, hey more backups the merrier. Experts argue over it.  I don't do it because it is alot of extra work for your information store.  Backup Exec backs up mailboxes using mapi, in much the same way outlook requests of messages from exchange; except that EVERY item in the mailbox has to be read during each backup.  It is slow.

IN exchange 2003 microsoft invented a new way to recover mailboxes, the recovery storage group, you run your restoration into that (new) information store database, you can do alot more knitpickie selection for restoration of user's mail after the tape has been restored into the recovery group.  It improves things, so I don't feel it necessary to do BOTH IS and Bricklevel nightly.

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