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VMware Tools confirm VSS working

Posted on 2014-01-27
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Last Modified: 2014-02-04
Probably dumb questions but I am backing up a number of VMs running  a variety of Windows OSes with backup software that relies on the installed VMware Tools to snapshot some open databases . Whenever I'd back these databases up with NTBackup or Windows Server Backup, I'd always see entries in the application event logs related to VSS but the only entries I see now are the Service Control events in the system log saying that various services are starting (ex. VMware Snapshot Provider) or stopping. The log from the backup says everything went well but I'm not really sure that it did. Is the lack of VSS entries normal and is there any way that I can easily confirm that the database backups are actually consistent? Just don't want any nasty surprises with corruption should a database need to be restored.
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Question by:steve352
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Dectecting VSS errors in the event log is "completely normal" when the virtual machine is "stuned", and the Snapshot is executed, and VMware Tools VSS driver is called, you will see these errors in the event log.

Test and Restore Backups to check, your databases should be consistent.

If you do not want the VSS errors, you could remove the VMware Tools sync driver, but then you would have crash consistent backups, e.g. just like the machine crashing type backupsm but unlikely to have an errors.

We are currently in discussions with a SQL Admin, and his databases, with these very same issues! (as per usual!), because his SQL VMs, give all these errors at backup!
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by:steve352
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Andrew,

  I was probably unclear in my question. My issue is that I don't see any of the normal VSS related log entries (the ones I would expect to see with NTBackup and Windows Server Backup). No errors either, only Information log entries about VSS shutting down due to inactivity. Just wasn't what I expect and want to make sure that snapshot is really taking place.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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You can test this...

the Snapshot called by the Backup software is as follows:-

1. Take a Manual Snapshot with the Quiesce option ticked.
2. Wait 60 seconds
3. Delete the Snapshot.

Does it succeed?
Any errors ion event log?

If it succeeeds without error, Snapshot is working correctly.
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