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VSS Writer for Domino 
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: Domino Server / Data Storage and Management
: Backup, VSS, Domino
: Dag Kvello221 11 Oct 2009
: / Email
I think this is long overdue now. Please IBM, give us VSS for Domino ?
I'm so tired of always having to create Freeze/Thaw scripts stop/start the Domino-service before a backup. Pretty much every serious application on Windows supports it (DB2, Oracle, SQL, Exchange, etc....) and has done so the last 5 years.
In these virtualized days it's needed to get consistent off-site replica's of Virtual Machines. We don't do backup in-host anymore, it's all being done with VCB/vStorage API's

1) Philip Storry849 (17 Feb 2010)
I assume you mean Volume Snapshot Services...

That opens up a can of worms. Microsoft VSS is obviously the most commonly used, but if you support that do you have to support similar services on Linux (LVM), AIX, OS/400 and so forth?

That'd be a lot of effort, as all the various volume managers/snapshot services accomplish the same goals but do them differently.

And is it worth putting all that effort in when there's a backup API anyway? Snapshots can take time, which means you'd probably have to use a method like transaction logging to defer writes until after the snapshot is taken - so why not just use the existing backup API?

Plus with the backup API, when I do a restore I have a Domino-aware product - so I can do things like restore transactions to a point in time, change the replica ID after restore so that nothing can replicate old data, and so forth. Much better than just grabbing a snapshot copy, in my opinion.

Overall, this seems like a lot of work when we already have a solution in place. Hence I'm voting it down.
2) Nicolas Melay41 (10 Mar 2010)
I have a totally different view (from Philip's) on this.

VSS support has become ubiquitous in the Windows world. It's a must-have for any database (or database-like) server application.

Supporting it on Windows won't hurt other OSes. The availability of a low-cost and efficient backup solution on this platform (with NTBackup or any other agent-less backup software) can only be a boost for the competition!

Also, I don't think it competes with the Domino backup API in any way.
AFAIK, all the backup API provides is a way to tell Domino, for a given database, to flush any pending I/O and ensure that the file stays in a coherent state as long as it's "locked" for backup.
Actually, a Domino VSS writer would very likely build upon this and be a simple wrapper around the existing API. Since all the gory details are already dealt with in the backup API, it sounds like it would not require a large development effort from IBM.

Of course you won't get the ability to restore up to a specific transaction and other fancy stuff, but for the vast majority of us, being able to backup and restore a database file without shutting down Domino is all we need.

So, for me it's a big up!
3) Dag Kvello221 (10 Mar 2010)
Exactly Nicolas, for those of us using f.eks. VMware vSphere 4 and leveraging with it's vStorage API for Backup/Replication/DR it would be one of the last little stumblingblocks having VSS support for Domino.

Using Veeam 4.1 (soon 5) we implement 100% agent-free, host-free, LAN-free backups and most everybody supports VSS (DB2 supports it on Windows without complaints about VSS not being available on AIX, Linux etc.) besides Domino.

It's a core Storage function in Windows and it's remarkable that it's not been implemented in some way in Domino.
4) Glynn Seymour10 (23 Jul 2010)
Agree with the two positives above - VSS is where it's at for most Windows database backup, and every virtualisation backup is leveraging this to.

We don't necessarily want point in time for these db's, just a reliable recovery point without having to invest in expensive agents for maybe one or two servers per site.

I have no objection for paying where I need to the extra functionality, but in many cases it just isn't necessary. Equally, stopping and starting Domino is a difficult (politically) task to sell to management who expect their IT infrastructure to 'just work'.

I have no figures but I'd be surprised if Domino on Windows doesn't account for 90% of installations. Why not throw a bone to 9/10 of your users? :-)


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