Troubleshooting VEEAM and MS Exchange running on VMware ESX

While troubleshooting some issues with Veeam running backups of our MS Exchange environment came across an issue where it was failing with the following error:

Freezing guest operating system
Unfreeze error (over VIX): [Backup job failed.]

The only info MS Exchange itself was giving was that VSS was timing out. What I found out that we had to do was determine what VSS writers were failing. That is when I came across this command:

vssadmin list writers

At a normal time all of the writes should show up as stable and ok. However our Microsoft Exchange Writer was showing as “Timed Out”

What I ended up doing was stopping and starting the information store which resolved the VSS error and then reran the command “vssadmin list writers” and saw that everything was okay at that point. I was then able to rerun the Veeam backup and get a good backup of our Exchange environment. Please note that stopping and starting the information store will cause your databases to become unavailable for a time.

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