NetApp SnapManager for Exchange failing with VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE

Running into a problem with Exchange 2010, a FAS2240-4 and SnapManager for Exchange 7.1 where backups would randomly fail every now and then started failing consistently.

Our DFM server would send us an e-mail when the failure occurred that looked like this:

CLIENT APP ERROR Backup: SME Version 7.1: (111) on dora02 at Sun Sep 04 22:09:31 PDT 2016

The backup failure would also knock the databases offline and require us to re-sync them the next day.

Digging into the SME logs we found the following:

[22:10:42.635]  *****BACKUP DETAIL SUMMARY*****

 [22:10:42.635]  Backup group set #1: 

 [22:10:42.635]  Backup SG/DB [FK] Error: SnapManager detected the following Exchange writer error. Please retry SnapManager operation.
 VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE: The writer failed due to an error that might not occur if another snapshot copy is created.


 [22:10:42.635]  Backup SG/DB [LQ] Error: SnapManager detected the following Exchange writer error. Please retry SnapManager operation.
 VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE: The writer failed due to an error that might not occur if another snapshot copy is created.


 [22:10:42.635]  Backup SG/DB [RZ] Error: SnapManager detected the following Exchange writer error. Please retry SnapManager operation.
 VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE: The writer failed due to an error that might not occur if another snapshot copy is created.


 [22:10:42.635]  Backup SG/DB [AE] Error: SnapManager detected the following Exchange writer error. Please retry SnapManager operation.
 VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE: The writer failed due to an error that might not occur if another snapshot copy is created.


 [22:10:42.635]  Backup SG/DB [Public Folders (<SERVER>)] Error: SnapManager detected the following Exchange writer error. Please retry SnapManager operation.
 VSS_E_WRITERERROR_RETRYABLE: The writer failed due to an error that might not occur if another snapshot copy is created.




 [22:10:42.635]  ***SNAPMANAGER BACKUP JOB ENDED AT: [09-04-2016_22.10.42]

 [22:10:42.635]  Failed to backup storage groups/databases.

NetApp provides this page for what they call “Common VSS errors”: https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=1010785&locale=en_US

None of the suggestions there helped us.

In the end I found this forum post for a different product: https://community.emc.com/thread/168678?tstart=0 and applied the registry edits they suggested here: https://community.emc.com/message/705346#705346

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\TcpWindowSize=256000
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\GlobalMaxTcpWindowSize=16777216
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\KeepAliveInterval=1000
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\KeepAliveTime=600000

and then rebooted our Exchange server running SME.

Since making the change roughly 20 days ago we haven’t had a single failed backup.

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