Previous versions on SBS 2011

Daniele Brunengo
Daniele Brunengo used Ask the Experts™
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Hello.

I have this SBS 2011 server which is retaining a whole lot of previous versions of files, more than a month's worth.

So System Volume Information takes up about 120GB of space. I was wondering, which way would be the best to reduce this space, say by about 20%?

Thanks, y'all.
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yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Commented:
Do you have a backup routine that is in place?  If so I would think more than a month of the previous version is a bit excessive.  
If your previous version is your method of backing up data I would highly recommend rethinking this and put a routine in place.
You can get a very dense USB drive and leverage Windows Backup (which is no extra cost) to schedule a routine backup of your system and files.
Then change your previous version to 14 days at most.  If someone needs a file that has been changed past that point is probably slim to none.
Daniele BrunengoIT Consultant, Web Designer

Author

Commented:
No, we have a very thorough backup routine on this server with Shadow Protect.

But the CEO also wants to have access to old versions, so removing them all is out of the question.

He asked me to reduce the space dedicated to them by about 20%, but I'm not familiar with the procedure and thought I'd ask.
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Commented:
Turn OFF VSS?  Are you crazy?  Sorry, but I'm passionate about VSS.  It's a service you should NOT be getting rid of.  DO NOT TURN OFF VSS!  That's just bad advice in my opinion.

As for "14 days at most" - that's not how VSS works.  At least not directly.  You set the maximum amount of space to use for VSS.  Not the maximum days.  Though with a registry setting you COULD reduce the number of snapshots and then modify the schedule so you ONLY keep 14 days worth.  But again, this is not great advice in my opinion.

To resolve the immediate issue, right click on the drive letter and click on Configure Shadow Copies.  Then go to Settings for the drive letter in question and set the Maximum Size to whatever size you want.  The size used will vary based on how much changed data you have.  

I would also strongly recommend before you make any adjustments, you should read my article on Volume Shadow Copy:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/30742/A-Guide-to-Volume-Shadow-Copy.html

Lastly, you are aware of the end of support for SBS 2011 essentially happening in January?  You have 8 months to replace this system or put yourself at a greater risk of problems.  If this is presenting a problem, fix it, but I'd recommend fixing your bigger issue - namely that you're still using an outdated server platform.

Commented:
There is nothing wrong with reducing VSS or tuning it off as long as you have good backup protection (real time backups).  It is very common to have older servers in production with limited drive space.  Be not afraid of conserving drive space and relying on your backups.
Daniele BrunengoIT Consultant, Web Designer

Author

Commented:
Actually this is NOT my server but a customer's server, of course I know about the EOL problem but they told me they'll tackle it when it comes.
Daniele BrunengoIT Consultant, Web Designer

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Commented:
Thanks for the help.

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