Volume Shadow Copy Service
The Volume Shadow Copy Service feature in Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 can be used to create applications that back up and restore Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. VSS provides an infrastructure that enables third-party storage management programs, business programs, and hardware providers to cooperate in creating and managing shadow copies. Solutions based on this infrastructure can use the shadow copies to backup and restore one or more Exchange Server 2003 databases.
VSS coordinates communication between Requestors (backup applications), Writers (the Microsoft® Exchange Server 2003 writer for the Windows Server 2003 Volume Shadow Copy Service), and Providers (system, software, or hardware components that create the shadow copies). To use VSS to backup Exchange Server 2003, the backup program must include an Exchange Server 2003-aware VSS requestor. Because the backup program that is bundled with Windows Server 2003 has no such requestor, organizations must use third-party backup applications that include an Exchange Server 2003-aware VSS requestor or create a custom requestor.
In addition to this article, developers who want to use the VSS with Exchange Server 2003 should familiarize themselves with the VSS SDK, including all of the reference material needed to create an application that can be used to properly back up and restore Exchange Server 2003 data.