Windows Softlinks and backup

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Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby CharadeUR » Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:54 pm

My observations are that if you have a softlink junction created with mklink in windows Veeam treats it like a normal directory and includes all the files under that softlinked folder. However that is not what I wish to do. I have these links pointed to other virtual drives and when I backup the guest vm I end up with the data being backed up twice. I also assume the restore process would not work too well because the files would attempt to restore to a drive that did not have enough space on it.

I have thought about running a script that kills the softlinks before backup then recreates them after the backup has finished but it is a 24 hour environment so that would not really be an option.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:09 pm

Hi, George. I don't really follow you here. Veeam is not a file level backup tool, we cannot backup some files twice. All we do is backup each virtual disk attached to a VM you have selected for backup... and, we don't really care what is stored inside of those virtual disks' file system... Thanks.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby CharadeUR » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:01 pm

Hi Anton, Thanks for the reply. That is what I thought but when I do a file restore the softlink junctions appear as regular folders. Maybe this is just an appearance and a limitation of veeam to indicate the folder is a softlink?
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:45 pm

So, you're saying that if you try to perform the Windows FLR, those junctions will be shown as normal folders and the data present inside them will be restorable? Thanks.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:14 am

CharadeUR wrote:Maybe this is just an appearance and a limitation of veeam to indicate the folder is a softlink?

Yes, it's just how FLR engine treats them. Does not mean they are backed up twice or anything like that :)
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby yaroon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:23 am

So when I restore a userprofile on a W2K8 server, in v8, it restores the junction points as empty folders. v7 even got stuck in a restore loop, recursively restoring the ...appdata/Application Data folder.
Microsoft themselves state that ' backup applications must be able to backup and restore junction points' (https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/bb968829(v=vs.85).aspx). WSB correctly restores junction points.
It is not a big day to day issue for us, but it it got us into some serious and unnecessary downtime when restoring some accidentally removed user profiles which made the c: drive run out of space.
Will this be fixed?
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[MERGED] How to handle Junction aka soft links

Veeam Logoby CharadeUR » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:02 pm

I have a client that has a unique situation. He has shared drives that are running out of space. This drive has a ClientShare folder. Below this are folders named by state.

We moved the Michigan folder to another drive and created a junction point also called a soft link named Michigan to point to the new location. This makes it so they don't have to retrain users on a new drive letter and also any spread sheets that point to the Michigan drive will not need to be adjusted.

What appears to happen is Veeam backs up this twice now. Once for the junction point and once on the new drive. I am confused as to what the best way to handle this backup is. It seems like if I tell it to skip the new drive then if the whole vm needs to be restored it will not work. I know of no way to exclude just the Michigan directory on the old drive.

So what are your thoughts?
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Re: How to handle Junction aka soft links

Veeam Logoby DeadEyedJacks » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:13 pm

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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby CharadeUR » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:51 pm

Sorry it must be I asked this before and forgot. I am sure it is treating the softlink as it would any folder and backing up the files twice. When I do a FLR I see all the files under what should be nothing more than a softlink. Can someone at veeam test this and tell me a definitive answer? My concern is if I have to restore the whole drive it will be larger than the physical space given.
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Re: Windows Softlinks and backup

Veeam Logoby foggy » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:24 pm

As mentioned above, actual objects are backed up once. You can see them in FLR browser though and on attempt to restore the link, its content will be restored.
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