Monday, September 13, 2004

Volume Shadow Copy

I just had a good Windows experience. That doesn’t happen too often anymore. I have been having problems with my roaming profile and was getting tired of calling the helpdesk to get them to fix it. I remembered hearing someone mention the Shadow Copy Client for Windows XP and that they used it to restore something in their home drive. I decided to install it and give it a try. Talk about cool, all I had to do was click on my profile directory and click properties, I got a Previous Versions tab and was able to restore it from a couple of weeks ago just by clicking Restore.



Now, I’m and IT guy and I know what it used to take to get something restored from backup. This is so much better, and the fact that it doesn’t require a server guy to go find a tape, load it up, use the backup software to restore, and then contact the user to say it is done, is even better. I think that the average end user could figure this out fairly easily, and if not, could be talked through it by a helpdesk person without a problem. This technology is the single best advancement I’ve seen in Windows file servers ever.

Volume Shadow Copy is a feature of Windows 2003, while my company doesn’t actually use Windows 2003 server, we use a NAS device that basically emulates the API’s. They back up every hour on the hour and save those backups for 24 hours. The midnight backup is kept for a week, and the backup at the end of the week is kept for 5 weeks. My restore possibilities are endless, and the fact that I can do it as a regular end user just blows my mind. You might think that this uses a lot of storage, well, yes and no. The first backup (snapshot) is a full copy of everything, so you need enough storage to hold the data plus one complete copy. Subsequent snapshots only store the difference or delta from the first snapshot. Windows 2003 and most storage area network vendors support these types of backups. Anyone that isn’t using it is seriously missing out on great technology.

What Is Volume Shadow Copy Service?(Microsoft)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are a freak. Geek!
-sgof