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Alternatives to shadow copies ??


JustonD
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I've just started testing drivepool since 2 days ago.

 

After migrate to Drivepool i found that the "Shadow copies" is no longer available.

I wonder what are the alternatives that work good with driverpool ? that we can still have similar feature to shadow copies?

 

I did some research on the forum, some mentioned that the single disk still has the shadow copies feature.

However, i assume after a while, after drivepool did "balance" couple times that the contain of the folders might be moved to different disks. Is there an easy way to locate the files in drivepool to where it physically located?  If there's a way to do this i guess we could still use shadow copies?

 

However some has mention that while we already enable folder duplication on certain folders, shadow copies will not be any good since it's creating the shadows of a "duplicate folder".

 

What's your best method on getting the similar feature to "shadow copies"  " having multiple versions of file"?

 

Thank you!!

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Unfortunately, we do not support the Volume Shadowcopy Service on the pool currently.

 

It is supported on the Pooled drives though (the disks in the pool).

 

There are two main uses for this feature though, "Previous Versions" and "Windows (Server) Backup".

Which feature is it that you are needing? Once I know that, I can recommend several courses of action.

 

 

And no, there isn't a way to control file/folder placement right now. Well, there is "Ordered File Placement", which fills one disk at a time, and tries to keep the contents of each folder on the same disk. 

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What i'm referring to is the "Previous versions" of those files in drivepool. 

I still kept the system drive's shadow copies turned on.

 

What I were assuming that in option 1:  if we continue to have shadow copies feature turned on on all pooled drives.

 

There has to be a way that we could easily locate there the files physically located, or a button that could bring up the "previous version" window from DrivePool's management UI that would be the easiest to locate where the folder or files actually stored since drivepool knows where all these folders and files located.

Or is there an easier way to locate the folder or files so we could access it's "Previous version" through "property" menu?

 

in option 2: I"m exploring the alternatives solution to replace shadow copies' "Previous version".

Is there anything that works better with drivepool?

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Yeah, unfortunately we don't support Previous Versions in the pool. The requirements for doing so are a) incredibly difficult to implement and B) there is absolutely no documentation on how to do this. 

 

 

However, Previous Versions absolutely does work for the drives that make up the pool. 

 

And as for replacing it, any file based utility should work fine. If you want "versioned" sync/backup, then "FreeFileSync" may be just what you want.

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Hi Chris,

Thanks for the reply.

Can you recommend on the quickest way to locate the folder's actual location and call out it's property to access the "Previous Version" feature?

I am having trouble to figure out how to do it even after gone through v1.x and v2.x 's user manual. 

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The location of the files on each drive are hidden "PoolPart.xxxx" folders. These should appear in the "Previous Versions".

 

As for the most reliable way to access these is to use "\\PC-NAME\x$\", where "x" is the drive's letter. From there, you can right click on the folder and do "Restore Previous Versions" to see all the snapshots. Once you've opened the snapshots, you can search through it.

 

However, depending on how things get balanced, the contents can change drastically.

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Chris, I'm going to pile on. Is there a way to get the "Windows (Server) Backup" in WSE 2012 R2 to work with the drivepool, i.e. to work around the issue with the Volume Shadowcopy Service?

 

I am getting a message that there Is The bootfile is too small to support persistent snapshots which I assume is expected due to this limitation?
 

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Steve,

 

Windows (Server) Backup explicitly depends on the Volume Shadowcopy Service. Without it, it cannot take a snapshot of the disk. And without this snapshot, it cannot backup. Specifically, it uses the snapshot to grab all the data, as this should never change.

 

But because the VSS service is so well documented (note: add dripping sarcasm to that statement when you read it), it's very difficult to add support. Specifically, Microsoft has ONLY documented the commands to send to the service to do stuff. It hasn't documented how to *add* support to a file system at all.

I do keep on bugging Alex about this, because VSS support (even partial) would be awesome.

 

 

As for your specific error, I'm not sure. A quick search shows that a full disk check usually resolves that issue though (chkdsk /r)

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Hi Chris,

Thank you for your suggestion.

I think with versioned file sync solution we can finally let go of shadow copies' "Previous version" feature.

I'm comparing FreeFileSync vs syncbackSE and thinking that SyncBack might be a better option on keep file versioning backups.

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