ShadowProtect best practice

ShadowProtect backup best practice

This guide is not for how to create backup job using ShadowProtect. This guide outlines best practices for the steps that you need to pay attention.

Steps to create backup job:

Run preinstall checks for the server (physical or virtual)

(Preinstallation checks is important to ensure backup server help and ensuring fully compatible with ShadowProtect backup requirements. Ignoring this may cause issue when you ever need to restore entire system.

Address if any issue reported on preinstall checks.

Create destination folder: (one volume per job except MS SQL and Exchange server)

Select Continuous Incremental:

Following image shown every hour incremental backup but you can set maximum every 15min. Suitable for creatical and frequently changes server eg.S QL, Exchange.

Paging files

Use fixed size paging files. The recommended size for paging files is twice physical memory for

file servers and four times physical memory for application servers such as Microsoft SQL and

Microsoft Exchange. If the server has 32 GB or more of physical memory, then use twice physical memory for application servers.

This reduces disk fragmentation as the page file should always be a contiguous file which improves I/O performance

For following illustration assume, server has 4-GB RAM. It is good to place page file to the less busy drives.

Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)

Never, ever have two applications call VSS at the same time. Never perform a “Previous Versions Snapshot” (which by default occur at 0700 and 1200 hours daily) and a ShadowProtect backup at the same time as it will potentially corrupt and/or damage the VSS infrastructure.

If you would like to use shadow copies; ensure it is outside the Shadow protect backup window.

Know what existing SQL maintenance plans are in place and perform ShadowProtect backups outside of these times.ShadowProtect uses the VSS framework to freeze and thaw data. Data and most databases (for example Microsoft’s Exchange, SQL,and SharePoint and Oracle etc) can be backed up every 15 minutes.

Setting email alert from ShadowProtect application.

Setting email alert for Image Manger (IMG)

Image verification setting:

Important Note:
Ensure you have about 20% – 30% free space on backup server OR enough free space to restore any large backup server whichever is higher. This free space is needed when you need to use virtual boot or restore any server in VM.

For physical server backup; keep all the required drivers (particular Raid card, NIC) ready in case we need this driver during restoration.

Virtual Boot Issue:

Virtual boot is working when you match the supported version of VirtualBox and VT (virtualization) turn on from server BIOS.

See following file for the version of VB required with your current version of Shadowprotect.

C:\Program Files (x86)\StorageCraft\ShadowProtect\DeveloperNotes_VirtualBoot.txt

See VirtualBoot best practice guide:

Note: you need to follow special steps when you ready to remove running VM. Eg. Remove with following steps before backup job starts.

To remove te migration files or files created for a Virtual Machine (VM) in VirtualBoot, use the main VirtualBox management GUI and perform these steps:

  1. If the VM is running, stop it
  2. In the VM’s storage settings, detach any .XSP drives (these drives represent the images, and have very large filenames).
  3. In the VirtualBox “Virtual Media Manager” GUI (from the File menu choose “Virtual Media Manager”) on the Hard Disks tab locate any .XSP disks whose name includes the exact name of the VM that is being deleting, and then if any child items expand those child items in the tree and Remove each child (.vdi) item, selecting “Delete” rather than “Keep” when prompted.
  4. In the VM’s settings, under the Snapshots tab, right-click on the VirtualBoot snapshot and delete it.
  5. Close the main VirtualBox management GUI and wait about ten seconds and then reopen it to let the above changes take.
  6. Back in the Virtual Media Manager, on the Hard Disks tab, remove all .XSP disks whose name includes the *exact* name of the VM being removed. When prompted, delete the backing files rather than keep them. If there were any .SPI incremental files created within the VM, then selecting the delete option will not break the chain because the plugin will only delete the .XSP files but will keep the migration incremental and any of the .SPIs that depend on it. If no .SPI incremental files were created within the VM, then selecting the delete option at this point will cause the .XSP, migration incremental (.spi) to be deleted.
  7. Now delete the VM itself

Please have a look in best practice guide before setup any job. Failing to pay attention important steps may cause unsuccessful restoration/recovery.

Shadow Protect Best Practices guide:


About Robiul

Robiul has 15 years of continuous successful career experience in ICT with extensive background in System Engineering, IT infrastructure design, operations and service delivery, managing IT projects / MIS functions for local and multi-national companies with in-depth knowledge of multiple operating systems as well as construct / manage small to medium size Data Center. Proven ability to design and implement medium to semi-large scale LAN/WAN/WLAN and system infrastructures. Academic qualification: Master of Science in Information Systems. Professional certifications are: MCSE, CCNA, ITIL and FoundStone Security Professional, VCP, NetAPP, CISSP etc.
This entry was posted in DRP and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.