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Will SBS 2008 Standard backup files in use?

Posted on 2011-03-15
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I've been searching the net and must have missed something.  I was wondering if the new sbs backup software that differs from ntbackup.exe will backup files in use.  I do not remember what the term is that allows files that are in use to be backed up like will happen when using Symantec Backup Exec.

Thanks!
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Question by:rexxnet
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Expert Comment

by:Acosta Technology Services
ID: 35137418
Yes, it can backup using volume shadow copy (as long as nothing else is utilizing it) which allows it to backup files which are in use.
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by:rexxnet
ID: 35137560
When would it be in use (I'm assuming you're talking about volume shadow copy)?  Let's say there's a data file that everyone writes to real time.  That's what my concern is.  If they are connected to that database, will the sbs backup backup that file?
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Expert Comment

by:Acosta Technology Services
ID: 35137591
If you don't have Volume Shadow Copies enabled on the share drives then you should be safe.  Try running a small test backup job on a single file that you have open and check out the results, everything should work correctly.
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by:KCTS
KCTS earned 664 total points
ID: 35137656
SBS backup will copy open files with no issues - don't confuse volume shadow copy of shared folders with the volume shado copy service that is used to back-up open files - they are not the same thing
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Acosta Technology Services earned 668 total points
ID: 35137674
They are not the same thing, but it's also not recommended to have backup jobs overlap with volume shadow copies of shared folders.
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Author Comment

by:rexxnet
ID: 35137842
Ok.  So, bottom line is that if I do not enable shadow copy on the shared folder with the database file, I should be fine?
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Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 668 total points
ID: 35142651
I would not go so far as to say you will be "fine." VSS has several "writers" that make sure things are in a consistent state. Yes, there is a default writer to back up open files and this works quite well. But with databases, especially ones that multiple uesers are accessing, OTHER problems can arise. Here is an example:

When exchange processes an email, it writes the email to the database store *and* it records information about that information in a log file. That is *TWO* files. Lets say you run a backup and the "snapshot" of files happens to occur *after* Exchange wrote the message to its store but *before* it wrote this information in the log file.

If you were to restore this backup, the *files* were backed up properly even though they were open. But *EXCHANGE* will detect a message in its store that it has no log entry for and will not mount the database store. This essentially makes the backup useless.

So...MS added a special "writer" to VSS that when a backup is run, all data is flushed to ensure Exchange is in a consistent state. SQL Server has its own special writer as well. Any database that has multi-user access probably will have a similar requirement, and no backup solution...MS's VSS, or BackupExec, can get around this. You will have to refer to the applicatoin documentation on what they recommend for performing backuyps. If they say that all users must be logged out to perform a backup then no "open file" solution can sidestep that requirement. If they provide a VSS writer then this becomes a non-issue (BackupExec now uses VSS as well, just as a by the way)....so you really have to refer back to the vendor before you can be sure you have a working backup.

-Cliff
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