Tuesday 31 July 2007

SBS - Volume Shadow Copy - OOPs

While the Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) service for network shared documents can be a life saver for deleted or corrupted network based files, it isn't 100% full proof.

For instance, if one just setup My Documents redirection to the server and the user logs in for the first time, the entire contents of their My Documents folder gets moved over to the server. A local database is also kept via Offline Files. What happens if they accidently delete everything before the VSS snapshot on the server is scheduled to run?

If they don't have a backup of their data somewhere, they could be in a real pickle.

It would not be so bad if they were running Windows Vista Business as VSS is also built into Vista. They would at least have a way back. But, with Windows XP they would not.

It is a given that any data located on the network that gets deleted via a user somewhere on the network is gone. Thus we have the Volume Shadow Copy Service.

If there is a server VSS snapshot of the lost data, then at least there is something. If the data was around for a while, then there should be both a VSS snapshot and a backup. In the above case of the deleted My Documents, there was neither.

But, what if the server is too laboured to run VSS snapshots during the day? Then, it may be quite possible that a full days work would be lost in the event of a file deletion or corruption.

In the end, our users have accepted the fact that if a mistake was made, or something happens to kill the data, there may be a setback on their work.

In our case, we try and have solutions in place that place that setback at no more than 24 hours. Depending on how the StorageCraft ShadowProtect Desktop Edition works out, we may be able to reduce that number significantly.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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