YES, do not allow shadow copy to copy files that are in use for FMS. I have personally seen corruption to a file as a result of shadow copying.
If you require shadow copying, enable incremental backups in filemaker, then make shadow copies of your backups folder.
DO NOT TOUCH THE HOSTED LIVE FILES.
Actually you CAN use VSS snapshots in this way but you MUST pause FMS before the snapshot and resume it afterwards. That is the crucial step.
The benefit of snapshots is that they are very fast. But they are really meant as a "complete machine" backup, not as a normal way of backing up FM files.
As Mike said: without the pause/resume, the VSS snapshot is still valid as a "machine backup" but the FM files will be marked as improperly closed as a minimum and likely be corrupt.
Thank you wimdecorte. Is there any way to automate the pause/resume process? Maybe it can be done with server side scripts?
I came to this decision:
- Create two different disks via partition;
- One use for server operations an live files and no backup actions;
- and the 2nd one use only for backup storage with 'Shadow copy' backups.
Is that would be correct?
Using different partitions is generally a good idea.
As to automating: yes: both VSS and FMS have command line support so you can use OS-level scripting to control both.
You typically would not "drive" a VSS snapshot from an FMS server-side schedule (but you could). VSS is typically governed by the IT staff that controls the server. All they need to know is how to use the FMS command line for pausing and resuming.
To see all the available FMS commands, the the FMS help. There is a PDF version of it here:
Thank you. It really helped. I think I will stay with partition idea. It would be easier and much faster...
That depends on what you are backing up.
1. Never under any circumstances allow any other software to touch the live databases. NEVER!
Virus protection and file indexing should be denied access to the folder these files are in. File sharing should not have access to the FMS data folder structure.
Progressive backups are, as default, updated every 5 min so its really really hard to sync any external backup processing with the FMS update of these files. For backup purposes you should treat them like live files.
2. If you are backing up the FMS backup files that is appropriate. Except you need to ensure the Shadow copy is done after the write process is complete. You could might get partial files or not all of the files being backed up.
Thanx, ch0c0halic! Great advice.