Windows Storage Server 2003, part 3

Windows Server 2003 is positioned to be a viable operating system in the

network attached storage (NAS) marketplace.

Last week we looked at some of the advantages of Microsoft's new version

of its Windows Server 2003 operating system called Windows Storage

Server 2003 (WSS). This week begin looking at some of the technical

details of this new version of its OS.

One of the best technical features of WSS is the Volume Shadow Copy

Service (VSS), which is an infrastructure that makes it possible to take

point in time shadow copies of data from one or more volumes. This is

similar to the snapshot technology that many Storage Area Network (SAN)

vendors utilize. There are many benefits to shadow copies. First, you

are able to create a shadow copy in seconds, instead of hours. Second,

there is no impact on network or server performance during the shadow

creation. Third, you are able to make copies of files that are open by

applications, making it possible to backup applications that are used in

24/7 operations.

Similar to the benefits of creating the shadow copies are the benefits

to restoring data that was created using VSS. Restores now only take

minutes, and can be accessed instantly. The restore can be stored in a

new location, or over the existing data depending upon your needs.

Additionally, administrators are not the only people to benefit from the

fast restore functionality enabled by VSS. Administrators have the

ability to enable Shadow Copy for Shared Folders (SCSF), which allows

users to restore previous version of files on their own without placing

costly trouble-tickets or contacting help desks and system

administrators - thus reducing overall support costs.

Join me next week when we look at Windows Storage Server Virtual Disk

Service (VDS).

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