I'm currently running a Microsoft Server 2008 R2 box and want to utilize Volume Shadow Copy but my development machine doesn't have enough hard drive space for 30 days worth of copies, which is what I am aiming for and currently only have 5 days of backups.
I have another Windows XP box and I was wondering if it was possible to remotely store the shadow copy images in my remote XP box.

If it isn't possible with the built in Volume Shadow Copy, is there an open source alternative that I can utilize that has the same or similar functionality?

Edit: Sorry for not being clear enough, but what I'm specifically looking for is a simple tool with a GUI. I'm just implementing the backup process and handing it off to someone else to manage, who admits to not being very computer savvy. I don't mind if the backend is working in the background, more specifically I need an easy way to restore the files to the server from a remote computer.

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    AFAIK, VSS requires local storage, or at least block-level storage. Something similar would be a backup program. – Zoredache Sep 17 '12 at 21:39
  • VSS will not work over the network... it's for local drives only. You say "development machine". So this server is for dev and testing only by you? Maybe give us more info on what you need VSS for and maybe we can recommend a different way of capturing changes... Windows Backup, git, robocopy, etc. – Bret Fisher Sep 17 '12 at 22:38
  • The development machine is used by a team, I'm in charge of doing regular backups and sometimes we have to roll back some files due to human error. I'm not looking for a repository system, we have one implemented (SVN) but would not work efficiently with the data files we are working with. I don't want to put too much strain on our server so I'm trying to use an extra XP pc to do the backups. Shadow Copy is working great, but as I said above, it is taking up too much space and I dont have physical access to add more Hard Drives to it. Thanks for the help. – Aaron Nguyen Sep 18 '12 at 21:39

You can store shadow copies on another (local) drive, but you cannot store shadow copies on another machine. What you're asking for is a regular backup that can be achieved with the usual tools (e.g. robocopy or Windows Backup).

  • Yeah, I need a way to do a regular copy, but I like how convenient shadow copy is and was wondering if there was a software that is as easy as shadow copy. I'm specifically looking at something with a GUI which would be preferable since not everyone on my team who wants to utilize these backups are very computer literate. Is Windows Backup easy to use to restore files with? – Aaron Nguyen Sep 18 '12 at 21:46
  • If you're looking just for a file-level backup, something like FBackup might be a better choice. – Ansgar Wiechers Sep 19 '12 at 8:54

I'm not in a position to test this at the moment but I believe the target can be anything that the OS interprets as a local drive. It follows therefore that you may be able to use iSCSI for this purpose, with the physical drive being on any suitable machine.

  • From what I just googled, iSCSI requires a new network card and I don't have physical access to the server and looking for a pure software solution. Please correct if I'm wrong though. It does look promising and will look into it more, maybe for a future reference. – Aaron Nguyen Sep 18 '12 at 21:54
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    iSCSI don't new a separate network card. And VSS works nicely over it. – Gregory MOUSSAT Sep 18 '12 at 22:05

If your other box was Windows Server 2008 R2, you could use DFS-R and replicate the changes between the two boxes and set the second box to use more VSS space.

Though honestly, it would probably be cheaper and easier to get a larger or secondary drive for the existing server and use Ansgar's suggestion of storing the data on a seconday drive.

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