The CrashPlan app backs up open files by default so that users don't have to stop working in order to protect their files. Backing up files that are constantly being written to, such as databases or virtual machines, may require more consideration than backing up files that are changed less frequently, such as documents, pictures, or other media files. This article describes best practices for backing up open files and databases.
Best practices for open files and databases
Most files that are constantly being written to require application-specific "hooks" to back up efficiently. Some examples of these types of files:
- Virtual machines
- SQL databases
- Application databases
Rather than relying on application-specific hooks, we recommend backing up application "dumps" (that is, exported or copied versions) to increase the efficiency and consistency of your backups and restores from these types of files. Creating an application dump saves a snapshot of the application's internal files. Then, use the CrashPlan app to back up the dumped files.
When backing up large dump files, you may need to increase the backup interval to an hour (or more) to make sure the backup completes before the next scheduled backup starts. If you are backing up to multiple destinations, we highly recommend you make this change.
Application-specific links, and information about dumping an application state to a file for backup, are provided below for several common applications.
Information about products from other manufacturers is intended as a resource to help you get the most out of CrashPlan products. However, our technical support team cannot provide direct assistance for these products. For assistance with products not developed by CrashPlan, contact the product's manufacturer.
- Backing up an Access Database - from about.com
- Backing Up Lightroom's Catalog (Adobe help)
- How to back up and restore an Exchange computer by using the Windows Backup program - Exchange Server 2003, Exchange 2000, SBS 2003
- Using Windows Server Backup to Back Up and Restore Exchange Data - Exchange Server 2007 | Exchange Serve 2013
In server-based email configurations (such as enterprise environments or email clients using Exchange or IMAP), backing up email stored on your device may be unnecessary if your email is also stored on the email server. Contact your email provider with questions about your email storage.
- For Windows:
- Microsoft add-on for automatically dumping snapshots.
- Backup Outlook - A commercial product that works with Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013 (32bit and 64bit).
- For Mac:
For more information, see Backing Up Microsoft Outlook Data.
Under the hood
Open file backup behavior varies on each operating system:
- Mac - A non-exclusive read is acquired on the file while backing up.
- Linux - A non-exclusive read is acquired on the file while backing up.
- Windows - Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) support can allow backup of open files in Windows. This is the same service that NT Backup uses. A VSS snapshot is created and then the snapshot is read for backup. It is possible that all the files needed for a usable backup are not backed up at the same time.