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Optimizing shadow copies to run without interfering with daily operations

Posted on 2013-12-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Hi!

We currently host an environment where we have company common drives, roaming profile folders and user shares hosed on a Windows Storage Server 2008. On this server we run shadow copies 4 times a day to improve the number of backup points we have for our users.

Here's the problem. The users that work on terminal servers (Windows Server 2008 r2) experience hangs and application errors around the times of two of the copies. These are different companies but in in excess to users experiencing that everything hangs for a short while we've also have seen them report hang ups and crashes in programs that use files from the common drives, user profiles or users shared folders.

Is there some way to optimize shadow copies to not interfere with daily operations? Are there best practices on file servers that run these kinds of tasks? We very much want to avoid switch shadow copies off since our users are aware of the feature and expect to be able to reverse to backups taken every few hours.

Cheers!
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Question by:joebilek
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Lee W, MVP earned 1500 total points
ID: 39725758
Things that can improve VSS performance:
1. Get better disks.
2. Add the fastest disk you can - 10K, 15K, SSD - for use PURELY as a storage for the shadow copies and then "move" them to this disk.  When the OS is not copying AND STORING on the same drive, that should improve performance.
3. Adjust your schedules.  Default is 7am and noon.  (Before work and at lunch).  But look over when people work and what they do and adjust accordingly.  Can you get away with a single daily copy taken at 3am?

NOTE: you cannot actually "move" copies (why I quoted "move") - You move by deleting ALL existing copies for that disk and then changing the storage location.  Future copies are now stored in the new location (on the other disk), but ALL PRIOR COPIES ARE LOST!
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by:joebilek
ID: 39735692
Thank you. We'll see if we can adapt our schedules or if we can try with a dedicated disk for our shadow copies.
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