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5.9 Practical Implications

High-end storage, which can track metadata on a per-sector basis, allows backup/restore operations to be more efficient by allowing changes to be tracked very closely and having backup operations deal with just changed data.

To be certain that a snapshot is consistent from an application's point of view, it is essential to have the operating system (including file systems) and the application participate in the process of flushing the cache and temporarily suspending write operations while the snapshot is made. The volume shadow copy service shipping with Windows Server 2003 provides the needed operating system and file system support, as well as architecture for the needed application support. Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server are two important applications that will take advantage of this architecture.

It remains to be seen how quickly other vendors adopt and support the volume shadow copy architecture.

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