What is VSS H/W Provider?

Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is a feature of Microsoft Windows Server that coordinates data servers, backup applications, and storage management software to support the creation and management of consistent backups.



VSS coordinates Snapshot copy-based backup and restore operations and includes:

VSS Requestor

The VSS requestor is a backup application. It initiates VSS backup and restore operations. The requestor also specifies Snapshot copy attributes for backups it initiates.

VSS Writer

The VSS writer owns and manages the data to be captured in the Snapshot copy.

VSS Provider

The VSS provider is responsible for creating and managing the Snapshot copy. A provider can be either a hardware provider or a software provider.

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How it works?

  • Hardware providers work at the storage system controller level.
  • Hardware providers implement the Create Snapshot Set and Hardware Snapshot Provider interfaces.
  • Create Snapshot Set implements the shadow copy state sequencing.
  • Hardware Snapshot Provider operates on a LUN abstraction.
  • Providers are implemented as an out-of-process COM server.
  • Providers use provider-specific mechanisms to communicate with the storage subsystem that instantiates the shadow copy LUNs.