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I am working in virtualized environment. All my SQL instances are hosted on Windows Server machines. My infrastructure team is using Veeam tools for backups and replication to the secondary data center. I noticed that pretty much each SQL box is reporting some backups and I cannot figure out what they are. (Everyone claims that it's not theirs.) For now, I do not think that it is causing me any specific problems, but I do not know what is triggering that and it drives me crazy.

In the Windows event logs I found the following entries that match the times when it is happening: enter image description here

Following that entry, I found this article: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-server/high-availability/shadow-copies-of-shared-folders but 'Shadow Copies' seems to not be scheduled (Next Run Time is 'Disabled' for all Volumes).

Thus, I guess it's triggered for something from outside VM.

For now, I do not think that it is causing any problems, but I can see two potential issues. Firstly, I can see following entries in SQL logs:

Message: I/O is frozen on database master. No user action is required. However, if I/O is not resumed promptly, you could cancel the backup.

For now, users are not complaining about that, but at some servers it seems that I/O is frozen for a noticeable moment so I guess it's a matter of time before business will reach out to me about that.

The second issue is the below warning in Failover Cluster Manager each time when that backup runs:

enter image description here

So, to sum up. I have two questions:

  1. Is anyone able to suggest what may be doing these 'backups' or how can I find that out?
  2. Should I care about it; or as long as no-one is screaming, can it be safely ignored?
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  • Does the timing of the Veeam backups match up with the timing of these messages?
    – J.D.
    Feb 19 at 18:38
  • Sorry I forgot to mention important part in my question. I can see such entries even at the servers that infra team claims are not included within Veeam routines. That is why even if that's veeam I wander if I can check/proof that from VM level. Feb 20 at 10:24
  • Any possibility of disabling the VSS service? I ran into this on AWS EC2 servers hosting SQL. It would completely mess up my log chain, end even skip the backups that I wanted to do. The shadow copies would end up taking up a lot of space on the servers. You can check for that by seeing how much free space is on a volume, and compare that to the sum of the file sizes on the volume. Feb 20 at 15:07

2 Answers 2

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Checking the SQL Server backup tables, with something like the following, may help.

SELECT S.backup_start_date, S.backup_finish_date, S.[database_name]
    ,M.device_type, M.physical_device_name, S.is_copy_only
FROM msdb.dbo.backupset S
    JOIN msdb.dbo.backupmediafamily M
        ON S.media_set_id = M.media_set_id
WHERE S.[type] IN ('D') -- Full Backup (I = Diff, L = Log)
ORDER BY S.backup_finish_date DESC;

VSS seems to be device_type 7. If your VSS backups do not have is_copy_only set to 1 then they will probably interfere with SQL Server backups. If you are using SQL Server backups, you should make sure that your infrastructure team make VSS backups with is_copy_only set to 1. If your infrastructure team is uncooperative, then disable the SQL Server VSS Writer service. This will allow the SQL Server backups to work but the SQL Server data in the secondary data center may be inconsistent or corrupt.

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Veeam uses Volume Shadow Copy Service to make backups. Ask your system engineer who manages Veeam backups at what times the Veeam jobs are running to see if they correspond with your logentries.

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  • Thanks, my problem is that I do not have access to Veeam and its admins claims that my timings do not match. Plus such entries occures at VMs that (they claim) are not included in veeams rutines. Feb 20 at 10:35

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