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Using Volume Shadow Copy Service to back up Exchange 2003 stores

Is it possible to use VSS shadow copies of shared folders with Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 to get some previous version of one store group (or information store) in a day?

For example: A small information store for VIP mailbox on a dedicated volume disk and the VSS configured to make a shadow copy of this volume every two hours.

With third-party software like Quest Aelita Recovery Manager, OnTrack PowerControls, or Recovery Storage Groups, it will be very fast and easy to restore information in a mailbox from the last copy of VSS. Microsoft KB article 822896 speaks about Volume Shadow Copy services, but I don't understand.

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Good question. Yes, you can set up VSS to take a snapshot of your stores on a regular basis (i.e., hourly, every two hours, etc.). Then, if you have a VSS API-aware solution, you can read straight into the backup media to recover individual mail or attachment items. You can also search across all mailbox and attachment content throughout the store(s) if you're looking for information with specific keywords or other attributes. Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert question and response? Let us know.

This was first published in February 2005

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