Creating consistent backups with VSS

If you create and administer backups, you will have heard the term VSS. You may even know that VSS runs in the background while a backup takes place. Knowing that is usually enough but if you’re customizing your backups or encountering VSS problems it helps to know more.


We have created an online resource to provide a detailed overview of what VSS does, how it works and why it is important for backups.

This resource can be found here: Creating consistent backups with VSS

Our online VSS tour will help you understand the following VSS functions and features.

Application-consistent backups

Backup jobs can take a long time and data in server applications like Exchange, SQL and Hyper-V is always changing. This is a problem because when you restore application and database data, it has to be consistent – all of the data needs to be as it was at a specific point in time. Our online resource explains how VSS works to create application-consistent backups.

The VSS subsystems

VSS stands for Volume Shadow Copy Service (or snapshot service). It is a Microsoft technology that runs as a service on Microsoft operating systems but other subsystems play key roles in the process. Our online resource looks at how these subsystems work together to create and maintain VSS snapshots.

How image backups use VSS

BackupAssist File Protection, File Archiving and System Protection backups all use VSS to create consistent backups of data and applications, while the data and applications are in use.

System Protection backups also use VSS to:

  • Create fast incremental image backups
  • Maintain multiple restore points for an image backup

Our online VSS resource looks at how System Protection backups use VSS, and what you need to know to ensure your backups make the most of the Volume Shadow Copy Service.

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