Job fails to create VSS snapshot for Windows Server SMB share

KB ID: 3099
Product: Veeam Backup & Replication | 10 | 11
Published: 2020-02-11
Last Modified: 2022-04-29
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Challenge

A NAS backup/file to tape job skips VSS snapshot creation on SMB share and ends with the following message in the log:
Failed to create a VSS snapshot for %hostname%, failing over to backup directly from the share.

Solution

Requirements

Below are the requirements for VSS to function when backing up from an SMB share hosted by a Windows File Server.:

  • The Veeam Backup Server and the Windows File Server hosting the SMB Share must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 or later.
  • The Veeam Backup Server and the Windows File Server hosting the SMB Share must be joined to the same Active Directory domain.
  • The “File Server VSS Agent Service” role service is enabled on the Windows File Server hosting the SMB Share.
  • The backup agent runs in a security context with backup operators or administrator privileges on both the Veeam and File servers.
  • The backup agent/application runs in a security context that has at least the READ permission on the file share data that is being backed up.
  • Veeam Backup Proxy server should resolve both hostname and IP address of Windows File Server hosting the SMB Share.

For more information on the VSS for SMB File Shares feature, see the following Microsoft page:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/archive/blogs/clausjor/vss-for-smb-file-shares

Enabling File Server VSS Agent Service

Do the following, with administrative privileges, to install the File Server role and the File Server Shadow Copy Agent role service on each file server:

Via the GUI

  1. In the Server Manager Dashboard, click Add roles and features.
  2. In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, do the following:
    1. In the Before you begin wizard page, click Next.
    2. In the Select installation type wizard page, select Role-based or feature-based installation.
    3. In the Select destination server wizard page, select the server where you want to install the File Share Shadow Copy Agent.
    4. In the Select server roles wizard page:
      1. Expand File and Storage Services.
      2. Expand File Services.
      3. Select File Server.
      4. Select File Server VSS Agent Service.
    5. In the Select features wizard page, click Next.
    6. In the Confirm installation selections, verify that File Server and File Server VSS Agent Service are listed, and click Install.

User-added image

Using PowerShell

  1. Start elevated Windows PowerShell (Run as Administrator).
  2. Run the following command:
Add-WindowsFeature -Name File-Services,FS-VSS-Agent

Add backup user to Backup Operators local group on the File Server

The user context in which the shadow copy is performed must have the backup privilege on the remote file server(s) that is part of the shadow copy set. Usually, this is done by adding the user that is performing the shadow copy to the Backup Operators group on the file server(s).

To add a user to the local Backup Operators group, do the following with administrative privileges on each file server:

Via the GUI

  1. In the Server Manager Dashboard, click Tools and select Computer Management.
  2. In Computer Management:
    1. Expand Local Users and Groups.
    2. Click Groups.
    3. In the results pane, double-click Backup Operators.
    4. In the Backup Operators Properties window, click Add.
    5. Type the username to add to the Backup Operators group, click OK.
    6. In the Backup Operators Properties page, click OK.
    7. Close Computer Management.

Using PowerShell

  1. Start elevated Windows PowerShell (Run as Administrator)
  2. Run the following commands, adjusting the user account and file server name to your environment:
$objUser = [ADSI]("WinNT://domain/user")
$objGroup = [ADSI]("WinNT://fileserv/Backup Operators")
$objGroup.PSBase.Invoke("Add",$objUser.PSBase.Path)
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