Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) for Microsoft operating systems provides a framework to allow volume backups to be performed while applications on a system continue to write to the volumes. VSS provides a consistent interface that allows coordination between user applications that update data on disk (VSS writers) and those that back up applications (VSS requesters). Specifically, VSS provides:
A backup infrastructure that coordinates applications with file system activities
A location to create point in time, coalesced copies known as shadow copies
The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Provider For Volume Shadow Copy Service Software is a VSS hardware provider that allows the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to take consistent snapshots for Windows hosts which are using block targets. VSS coordinates snapshots to ensure block data is consistent. The provider communicates with a set of workflows on the appliance to coordinate taking of snapshots as seen from the application. It works over both iSCSI and Fibre Channel.
The Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Provider For Volume Shadow Copy Service Software is installed on hosts that require this functionality and coordination between applications. Complete documentation for this application integration is packaged with the downloaded components in the form of a ReadMe file. The provider software and readme file are available as part of the Sun ZFS Storage 7000 Software Providers and Plug-Ins patch on the Oracle Technology Network]. More information on VSS is available on the Microsoft web site, including this [http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa384649%28VS.85%29.aspx overview.