Shadow copy: backup open and locked files
The "Shadow copy" meaning is used in few spheres of informational technologies, but we're going to review its benefit that related to backup operations. This is it: uninterrupted backup of open and locked files.
Running applications keep their files open and thus it prevents the backup of these locked files and these applications. Your backup software cannot access and copy these files and you have to encounter this annoying message like "Cannot perform an operation, the file is currently in use".
Additionally, backing up servers and large network with vast bases of data becomes a real headache due to extensive circulation of the files, huge flows of transactions and messages. Since the running applications keep their data in a constant flux between memory and disk, it is difficult to define that data which needs to be archived.
The most pertinent solution would be to interrupt the application during backup. Well, it's not comfortable: you lose your time on switching the application on and off and provoke the forced downtime. Some backup products have an option "Skip open/locked files" - it allows avoiding of this conflict, but what to do if you need these files to be backed up, not skipped?
Exactly for such problems the Volume Shadow Copy service works: it enables a snapshot (read-only copy) of the data at a specific point of time and minimizes the interruption to applications. Your backup application and the running one create a sort of cooperation and might function together. With Shadow copy you no longer have to check that all applications using with files to be backed up are closed: it will be backed up, if you want to.See also: back up zip | differential backup | back up encryption | secure backup | version backup
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