Tracing the Volume Shadow Copy Service
In the last couple of articles, we’ve discussed about the Volume Shadow Copy service and troubleshooting it. If the issue is still unresolved even after performing those steps, it is required to create a batch file to set the registry entries. Click here for the links about VSS. You can copy and paste the following text to a text file and save it as “EnableVSSTracing.bat” as it will save the tracing information in a file that is known as C:\trace.txt.
net stop swprv
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceFile /t REG_SZ /d C:\trace.txt /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceLevel /t REG_DWORD /d 0xffffffff /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceEnterExit /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceToFile /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceToDebugger /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceFileLineInfo /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\VSS\Debug\Tracing /v TraceForceFlush /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
In order to provide a single view of virtualized infrastructures built on VMware vSphere and EMC VNX Series Storage, VMware and EMC have announced a joint solution at an EMC World. VMware says that they’re excited about the partnership with EMC to let the customers’ community know what and why they’re doing.
VMware explains “Why” first. Why they’re trying to solve the problems? Now-a-days, the virtualized environments are so dynamic that split decision-making leads to poor performance, capacity planning and utilization. Actually, a group needs all the necessary information about the infrastructure to coordinate their activities fast enough to meet the service levels and the users’ expectations. Unfortunately, it has become little difficult and troubleshooting consumes more time.
The Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 Operating System is capable of addressing some issues that usually affect the performance of VSS. You can find VSS by default in Windows 2003. If a requester (a backup program) uses the writers in the system, it will automatically run as it is set to start normally.
Before the backup operation runs, make sure that the Exchange Writer is set to the stable state and there is no error. Use the following command to determine state of the Exchange Writer.
VSSadmin list writers
You can restart the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service if the Exchange Writer is in the failed state. Then, you can run the VSSadmin list writers command to determine if the writer state returns to a stable state. Let’s have an example output that explains the Exchange Writer in a stable state.
Writer name: ‘Microsoft Exchange Writer’
In the previous article, we had a brief discussion about troubleshooting the Event ID 12302 and the Error: 0x8000FFFF error messages that appear while running the vssadmin list writers. Now, let’s have another discussion about enabling the Volume Shadow Copy service’s debug tracing features in Microsoft Windows 2003 and 2008. Have a look at the following steps to do this.
1. Click start and type “regedit” in the run box.
2. Now, click OK to open the registry window.
3. Then, it is required to navigate to the following registry subkey:
The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) backups of Microsoft Exchange-aware are supported for both “active storage groups and databases” and “passive storage groups and databases”. We can grub up a VSS only solution as it is the passive copy backup solution from Microsoft and it is usually implemented by the Exchange Replica VSS Writer that is one of the parts of a Replication service. Besides, the streaming backups are also supported only from the active storage groups. We can’t use the streaming backup APIs to back up a replica database as a VSS backup program must be used together with a VSS Requestor for the Exchange writer.
One of the major advantages of Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 is that we can run two different VSS backup jobs against the same Exchange Server. Moreover, the Exchange 2007 Writer lets you restore the Exchange data to an alternative location. But unfortunately, the Exchange 2003 Writer doesn’t allow you to target VSS restore options to any other location other than the original one.
By using the Exchange Writer, VSS backups can’t be restored to the replica location. However, we can restore them to an alternative location such as the replica copy directory.