Enabling Volume Shadow Service for SQL Backups

Use the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create consistent point-in-time copies of data. These copies are known as shadow copies.

For more information on how VSS works, see Volume Shadow Copy Service Technical Reference.

You can enable VSS at the instance level for backups of local volumes in both clustered and non-clustered environments.

When the VSS option is enabled, the following events occur automatically:

  • All previously scheduled traditional full backups and differential backups convert to VSS full backups and VSS differential backups.
  • All previously scheduled transaction log backups are unaffected.
  • All previously scheduled file and filegroup backups are blocked from running.
  • Immediate and scheduled VSS full backups and VSS differential backups run as single-stream backups.


VSS has the following restrictions:

  • During a restore operation, databases can be moved to a new location on the same SQL Server instance and renamed. Data files cannot be renamed.
  • To avoid potential issues with restore operations, make sure all database files are located under folders or directories and are not located on the root of the volume.

Before You Begin

Verify that you have sufficient disk space before starting a VSS-enabled backup of local volumes.


  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers > client > SQL Server.
  2. Right-click the instance, and then click Properties.

    The Properties of SQL Server dialog box is displayed.

  3. On the General tab, select the Use VSS check box.
  4. Click OK.

Last modified: 5/9/2019 6:24:51 PM