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Windows Shadow Copies in Windows 2019 File Servers

I have been asked to look  into the possibility of adding Windows Shadow Copy on Windows 2019  servers running  between 10 - 20TB of Data for File Servers for our users.   Users access their data thru file servers which are set up thru DFS-N.  

May I ask the experts is this a good feature for users? We do run our Daily backup too..  What is the best way to configure this?  Should this feature be set up in the same  HD itself on separate Hard Disk? Are  there  any real advantage or disadvantage. Are there any alternatives please.

Many thanks. 
Windows Server 2019Windows OS

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8/22/2022 - Mon

You should use dedicated logical hard drive for shadow copies. If you store shadow copies with the parent files, the shadow copies can get deleted during high IO.
Hopefully all of your file servers are VMs, so just add a new dedicated drive letter for shadow copies.
IMHO shadow copies for file servers, now available for 18 years, is one of the best features of Windows as a file server.

By default schedule, you will get two VSS snapshots per day. You can change that schedule, so you could do 5 a day, which will give you more restore points that what you're currently getting with your daily backups.

Its great that you have DFS Namespace, but isn't relevant.


From my point of view, it is recommended that you have a backup of all user data, either with a third-party tool or with the backup feature offered by Windows Server.

The shadow copies, in my opinion serves as temporary use, you can configure it on another additional hard drive. If you have enough space, you can do it and schedule the execution of the shadow copies, according to the criticality of the data handled by the users.

Annex link of best practices.


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James Murphy

That is indeed a very assuring feedback Kevinhsieh and RAFA Many thanks.
Sure I will configure that on a Separate Drive.  

The reason I brought DFS-N is because users currently access the folder targets  thru Namespace/Folder Target.  
Does that mean I have to give them access for this new "logical drive" too.  Or it does not matter since the "Previous versions are pointed" to a new Logical drive i.e.a new drive in the"settings"
I know if the VSS is configured on the same data HD it could get into issues as pointed by Kevinhsieh. That best practices link has great points RAFA!


You don't give users access to the shadow copy storage. You don't even have to tell your users that they can restore things themselves. Every time I do a shadow copy restore, my users/customers are thrilled.

Great Point kevinhsieh! Will follow that advice - Thanks again.
(My personal opinion - My thought was the reason we have VSS was to ensure the users don't call HelpDesk)  But the IT dept doing it is much safer.  
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You can't stop users from restoring or reverting files that users have access to.
Lee W, MVP

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Well documented and easy to follow Lee - Thanks!