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AD Snapshots: size and speed

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  • AD Snapshots: size and speed

    Hello everyone

    After reading and trying Daniel's articles on AD Snapshots, I have some questions:

    1) Whenever I take a snapshot from NTDSUTIL, and mount it with "mount" and "dsamain" commands, it seems that he took the snapshot of entire disk. In fact if I take a file from within the mounted snapshot and copy and paste to C:\ it allows me to do it. So my question is: how large is a single snapshot taken from the ntdsutil?

    2) If it includes the entire disk and not only the AD (as I thought before trying it), then I don't understand why it takes only 10 seconds to snap, as opposite of the Windows Server Backup that takes more than 30 minutes. Am I missing anything?

    2) Where is this snapshot saved? Is it saved in the "System Volume Information"? If so, I should carefully plan a daily snapshot in order to avoid a disk full. Any suggestion?

    TIA

  • #2
    Re: AD Snapshots: size and speed

    Snapshot technology tends to copy pointers to files. If you need to restore, it just roles the pointers back ot how they were. It doesn't copy the data as such and therefore, doesn't take up a great deal of space.

    I believe snapshots (shadow copy) are generally saved in a location that won't be accessible. You can't back them up. They are only good whilst the server/PC is operational.

    They are a quick way or restoring data without having to access backups. You still need to keep up with regular backups. it is by no means a backup solution.

    If you could provide a link to the article as well, just in case I have the wrong assumptions.

    You can often set snapshots/shadow copy to automatically delete the older snapshots as the space allocated to them is filled up. Therefore, you won't get disk full errors.

    You could also configure performance logs and alerts to warn you when space is near to running out.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: AD Snapshots: size and speed

      NTDSUTIL snapshots are not full disk snapshots, and yes, they're stored in the System Information folder.
      Cheers,

      Daniel Petri
      Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
      MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: AD Snapshots: size and speed

        Thanks both Daniel and Virtual for your answers

        Virtual,
        I know that snapshots are not meant as a disaster recovery strategy. I was only trying to understand them better
        Daniel's articles are
        http://www.petri.com/working-active-...erver-2008.htm
        and
        http://www.petri.com/exporting-activ...erver-2008.htm

        Daniel
        On your article regarding export from snapshot, I see you didn't mention one of the tools that effectively allow to export data from the snapshot and import it back to production environment: ldifde.
        I mean: once the snapshot is mounted and exposed, LDIFDE allows you to export objects and import them back to the production.
        Is there any particular reason for that? Do you think it is not a good method?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: AD Snapshots: size and speed

          I see AlleyCat Hope you do now.

          I never knew AD snapshots existed and will now implement these myself.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: AD Snapshots: size and speed

            Originally posted by alleycat7th View Post
            On your article regarding export from snapshot, I see you didn't mention one of the tools that effectively allow to export data from the snapshot and import it back to production environment: ldifde.
            I mean: once the snapshot is mounted and exposed, LDIFDE allows you to export objects and import them back to the production.
            Is there any particular reason for that? Do you think it is not a good method?
            Indeed, that was/it a part of a future article.
            Cheers,

            Daniel Petri
            Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
            MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

            Comment

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