Scheduling a snapshot set

Before you run the VSS Exchange Snapshot Scheduler Wizard to schedule a snapshot set for an Exchange 2010 database, you must prepare snapshot mirrors attached to the volumes in the database.

See Preparing the snapshot mirrors.

You can then use the VSS Exchange Snapshot Scheduler Wizard to schedule the initial snapshot and to set up the schedule for keeping it refreshed.

When the scheduled snapshot occurs, the snapshot mirrors are detached from the original volumes, creating separate on-host snapshot volumes as well as an XML file to store the Exchange and snapshot volume metadata. The scheduled process integrates with VSS to quiesce the databases and then simultaneously snapshot the volumes. This snapshot is done while the databases are online and without disrupting the email flow.

Note that if an Exchange 2010 mailbox database is configured under VCS, then you can store the snapshot set file in a file share path by configuring a file share resource. This is to avoid configuring extra shared volumes to store the snapshot set file, which is available once the mailbox database fails over.

In the case of a scheduled snapshot, even though schedules are visible on all nodes, the snapshot will happen only on a node where the mailbox database is present. There can be a large number of mailbox databases in Exchange 2010 and each database may have independent schedules. Hence the number of different paths required for storing the snapshot metadata files is higher, which is achieved by configuring a file share resource. You can also specify the file share path in the redirect.txt file, for example, \\MySystemName1\share1\QRDir.

In the case of a VCS clustered setup with more than one node, configure the Veritas Scheduler Service with any user account with administrative privileges (other than the Local System account) which is valid on all the nodes of the cluster. This user account should have read-write permissions to the file share path.

For Exchange 2010, if replication is enabled in a DAG, you can choose to schedule a snapshot set for either the active or passive copy.


Before adding or removing a node from a VCS cluster setup, delete the schedules and then recreate the schedules on the required node.


For a VCS cluster setup if a schedule is created with snapshot set files stored on a file share path, then it is visible on all nodes of the cluster and can be deleted from any node irrespective of where the Exchange mailbox database component is online.

To schedule a snapshot

  1. From the VEA console, navigate to the system where the production volumes and snapshot mirrors are located.
  2. Expand the system node, the Storage Agent node, and the Applications node.
  3. Choose one of the following:
    • Right-click Exchange and select VSS Exchange Snapshot.

    • Optionally, if replication is enabled in an Exchange 2010 DAG and you want to create a schedule on the replication node, right-click Exchange Replica and click Schedule VSS Exchange Snapshot.

  4. In the Welcome panel, review the information and click Next.
  5. Specify the snapshot set parameters as follows and then click Next:

    Select component for snapshot operation

    Select the component for the snapshot set.

    For Exchange 2010, the component is a mailbox database.


    Accept or enter a directory location for the XML file.

    The XML file is stored by default in the directory shown on the screen.


    The XML file for the snapshot must be stored separately from the volumes that are included in the snapshots, otherwise a restore will fail.

    In a clustered server environment, the XML file must be saved on shared storage to be available from all nodes in the cluster. To accomplish this, either edit the directory path in the Directory field for this wizard screen or use a text editor to create a text file named redirect.txt. This text file should contain a single text line specifying the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path to the location of the XML file, for example, \\ServerName\SharedFolderName. Save the redirect.txt file in the default directory C:\Program Files\Veritas\Veritas Volume Manager\VSSXML on each node of the cluster.


    You must not use the volume name or volume path in the redirect.txt file that is involved in the snapshot. If the volume name or path for the snapshot is used, then a restore will fail.

    Note that if your Exchange 2010 mailbox database is configured under a VCS cluster, then you can store the snapshot set metadata file in a file share path by configuring a file share resource. You can also specify the file share path in the redirect.txt file.

    Snapshot set

    Enter a name for the snapshot set.

    Select snapshot type

    Select the snapshot type.

    Full Backup is typically used for backup to tape or other storage media. It does the following:

    • Creates a copy of the selected component

    • Runs Eseutil to check for consistency before truncating the logs

    • Truncates the transaction logs

    Copy is typically used for Quick Recovery. It creates a copy of the storage group, but does not truncate the transaction logs. Optionally, check Run Eseutil with the Copy option to check the snapshot for consistency.

    You can specify that snapshots be created as either a Full backup or Copy backup type. Either type can be used to restore a database.

  6. In the Change Attributes panel, optionally change the attributes for the snapshot volumes and click Next:

    Snapshot Volume Label

    Displays the read-only label for the snapshot volume.

    Drive Letter

    Optionally, click a drive letter and select a new choice from the drop-down menu.

    The drive letters specified may not be available when the snapshot is taken. When this occurs, the snapshot operation is performed, but no drive letters are assigned.


    Optionally, click a plex and select a new choice from the drop-down menu.

  7. Optionally, in the Synchronized Snapshot panel (Volume Replicator only), select the secondary hosts for which you want to create synchronized snapshots. Either double-click on the host name or click the Add option to move the host into the Selected Secondary Hosts pane. To select all the available hosts, click the Add All option. The VSS wizard creates synchronized snapshots on all the selected secondary hosts.

    This panel is displayed only in an environment using Volume Replicator. Otherwise, you will be directly taken to the Schedule Information panel.

    See Volume Replicator Administrator's Guide.

  8. In the Schedule Information panel, on the General Options tab, specify the following:

    Name of this schedule

    Enter a unique name for the snapshot set schedule.

    This name identifies the snapshot schedule if you later want to view information about the snapshot status. A default name consists of the VSS writer name, the component name and a numbered suffix that increments with each schedule.

    Description of this schedule

    Optionally, enter a description to help you identify the schedule when you view information about the snapshot status

    Start Time

    The time of the day to begin taking snapshots.

    End Time

    The time of day to end taking snapshots.

    If a snapshot is in progress it is completed but a new one is not started after the end time.

    Schedule takes effect on

    The date on which the specified schedule takes effect. The default is the current date.

    Restart task every

    The interval between snapshots, in minutes.

    For example, if the interval is 360 minutes and you schedule a snapshot start time of 12 P.M. and an end time of 7 P.M, the snapshot occurs twice.


    Enable the Every option to have the snapshot schedule continue to occur. Otherwise the schedule applies only for one day.

    Specify the number of days before restarting the snapshot schedule.

    For example, 1 day would mean the schedule takes effect daily, 2 days would mean every other day.

    Start On

    If you enable the Every option, specify the starting date.

    Pre Command

    Optionally, specify the full path of a command script to run before the scheduled snapshot occurs.


    Precommands which launch windows or any other GUI related entities are not allowed in the Scheduler.

    Post Command

    Optionally, specify the full path of a command script to run after the snapshot is complete.


    Postcommands which launch windows or any other GUI related entities are not allowed in the Scheduler.

  9. To specify run days for the schedule, make selections on the following tabs:

    Days of Week

    Select one or more days on one or more weeks of the month.

    You can click a button at the top of the column to select the entire column or a button to the left of a row to select the entire row. For example, clicking First schedules the snapshots to occur on the first occurrence of all the week days for the month.

    Days of Month

    Select one or more days of the month. You can also check the Last Day checkbox to schedule the snapshot for the last day of each month.

    Specific Dates

    Select one or more specific dates to include in or to exclude from the schedule.

    Excluding a date takes precedence over days scheduled on the other tabs. For example, if you schedule every Monday on the Days of Week tab, and you exclude Monday October 9 on the Specific Dates tab, the snapshots are not taken on October 9.

    If two schedules overlap for the same snapshot set, only one snapshot is taken. For example, if you select every Thursday plus the last day of the month, and the last day of the month occurs on Thursday, only one snapshot is taken on Thursday,

  10. Click Next.
  11. Review the snapshot set and schedule details and click Finish.