Shadow Copy - how to best confire for shares

Posted on 2012-03-13
Last Modified: 2012-04-11
I have the shares configured like this:


e:\shares\sharename1 is mapped as g:\   volume name of APPS
e:\shares\sharename2 is mapped as j:\    volume name of DRAFT
e:\shares\sharename3 is mapped as k:\   volume name of ENGINEER

I would like to establish shadow copies of all the shares on the E: drive.  Currently they have about 7 drives mapped to the separate shares on the E: drive.

Reading documentation on establishing shadow copies is somewhat confusing.  I would like the users to be able to see the shadow copy version so they appear as g:\xxx and j:\xxx as opposed to e:\shares\sharename1\xxx and e:\shares\sharename2\xxx.  Depending on how the shadow copy is configured, the version could show as the later.

I know the later format is what I see for the files and volumes under the Arcserve tape backup.  When I need to restore a file, I find it under the e:\drive\shares\...... name and not the volume mapping.

What is the best way to configure shadow copy so it shows up to the user in a format which they can best understand and how do I do that.  Based on the mapped drive letters appears to make the most sense to the users.

In addition, how to control the amount of space used for the shadow copies so that it only maintains the latest file versions of all files and automatically deletes older file versions when the space allocated to shadow copies is used up.

I am most familiar with the methodology used by Netware when salvage is enabled, where all versions of erased files are archived and the oldest version automatically purged when space is needed.


Question by:cwsoft05
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 37721000
When using shadow copies, you see the previous versions exactly with the same pathing as how you see the files. In fact, until Windows 2008, you could ONLY see them when accessing via a network share, so it was IMPOSSIBLE to acess previous versions when going to e:\shares from the local system.

Enable shadow copies for the E volume, and STORE the shadow copies on another volume. This will prevent shadow copies from getting deleted when there is high IO on the E volume.

Shadow copies automatically uses a FIFO method for deleting old shadow copies when you are out of shadow copy space. The system can hold up to 64 copies. When it reaches the limit of 64, or when you are out of space, the oldest copy automatically gets deleted. Say you set to make 2 copies a day on weekdays. That means that you get a little more than 6 weeks of copies. When you actually look at the folders/files, you will only see versions for which there is a change. In other words, if over those 60+ days the file only changed 3 times, you will only see 3 versions of the file when looking at the previous versions for the file.

Basically, there is very little to control. You set which drive to use when storing shadow copies and how much space can be allocated, and you set the schedule. That's it. Everything else is handled. Everyone who has access to the files/folders has access to the shadow copies.

Author Comment

ID: 37721598
So, on my RAID, I have the c: drive (volume), and the e: drive (volume) currently.  I should take some of the existing space currently allocated to the e:drive (volume) and create a new volume, say the F: drive.  I specify this location as the location for the shadow copies.  

What is your recommendation as to how space to allocate currently to the shadow copy volume.  The 658 GB volume has 492 GB currently used.  I would have to add another drive to the RAID for the shadow copy volume or resize the existing volume and put it into the new volume.

Author Comment

ID: 37817012
I am still waiting on a response to my additional question?
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 37817042
Sorry for not getting back earlier. If you took say 100 GB from the E volume to make an F volume, that wouldn't leave a lot of free space left on E. If you take a smaller amount of space, say 50 GB, you will be able to store fewer shadow copies. Long term, your best bet it to add additional drive(s) to your server and then put the shadow copies on them.

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