fredag 19 september 2014

Mastering System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

There is a new opportunity coming up regarding attending the "Master System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager" course that I will teach in Stockholm the 8th of December this year.

If you are looking for an education that will give you the whole picture regarding how you can interact DPM with your Business Continuity plan and make the product work optimal with ohter System Center families and Azure this is the course for you.

We will also be focusing on restore since that is the reason of backup!

http://www.labcenter.se/Labs#!lab=Mastering_System_Center_2012_Data_Protection_Manager_R2

fredag 5 september 2014

Want to protect your Azure IaaS workloads? Use DPM!

A few hours ago the product group released the great information regarding that DPM now is supported to run as a IaaS in Azure protecting other IaaS Azure servers. There are some important facts that you need to consider and this blogpost will cover the basics that you need to get started.

The IaaS Azure virtual machine must be a virtual machine that is A2 or higher. Please keep in mind that DPM can also protect workloads that runs across multiple Azure cloud services that have the same Azure virtual network and Azure subscription. The number of disks that can be used for the DPM disk pool is limited be the size of the virtual machine. If you want to know more about size limits please read this information regarding Azure Virtual Machines (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/azure/dn197896.aspx).

The workloads that are supported to backup in Azure are:
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 – Datacenter and Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 – Datacenter and 
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – Standard and 
  • SQL Server 
  • SQL Server 2008 
  • SQL Server 
  • SharePoint 
  • SharePoint 2010  

For further information please read this blog post published by the DPM team http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2014/09/04/azure-iaas-workload-protection-using-data-protection-manager.aspx.


LET’S GO CLOUD!

fredag 29 augusti 2014

Longer retention for the Backup Vault, how about 3360 days?

The community has for a while mention that they need more retention time for their Recovery Points that they choose to store in Azure. As the UR3 release for DPM 2012 R2 a month back ago some final changes and optimizations were made from the DPM team to make DPM ready to deliver a fully supported, optimized and efficient Privet Cloud protection. With that came the architecture that was needed from the DPM server side to interact with the new version for the Azure agent, please keep in mind that there is a specific Azure team that develops the Azure services that closely cooperates with the DPM team to provide all great features.



To get this up and running you need to apply the UR 3 for 2012 R2 (http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2014/07/29/update-rollup-3-for-system-center-2012-r2-data-protection-manager-is-now-available.aspx) and the new version of the Azure agent (http://aka.ms/azure-backup-agent) on your DPM box. Remember when you apply the UR3 you need to reboot your DPM box and your production servers when you choose to update your DPM agents via the console or via SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager).

From a more personal view, I find this update a milestone where the great possibility to partially remove tape from your restore plans or even remove them entirely. There is a very positive feeling regarding the development of the DPM technology and also a great focus of delivering great interactions between systems.

For more information regarding the new retention time in the recovery service the Backup Vault please read this article that Sherees published a few days ago.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2014/08/27/introducing-long-term-retention-for-dpm-azure-cloud-backups.aspx

onsdag 30 juli 2014

DPM 2012 R2 UR3 released

Today the UR3 for System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 was released and with that Microsoft Product Group team in India sealed the deal regarding private cloud protection. More blogpost will follow regarding protecting your private cloud using the great features of System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2.

Features that are implemented in this update rollup

  • Scalable VM backup

    This update rollup improves the reliability at scale for Virtual Machine (VM) backups on Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 R2 infrastructures. This feature is supported on both Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) and scale-out file server (SOFS) storage configurations for VMs.

    Prerequisites
  • Backup and consistency check window

    Important This feature is supported only for disk protection for VM data sources.

    This feature, configured through Windows PowerShell, enables specific time windows to restrict backup and consistency check (CC) jobs. This window can be applied per protection group and will limit all jobs for that protection to the specified time window.

    After the backup job has ended, all in-progress jobs can continue. Any queued jobs outside the backup and consistency jobs will be automatically canceled.

    This feature affects only scheduled jobs and does not affect specific jobs that are triggered by the user.

    Windows PowerShell script examples are available on Microsoft TechNet. These examples show how to use PowerShell cmdlets to create the backup and consistency window.

    Notes
    • This feature is not supported for tape or cloud protection jobs.
    • This feature is not supported for non-VM data sources.
    • Setting these windows is the same as running a Modify Protection Group workflow.

  • Support for synthetic fiber channel-to-tape

    This update rollup introduces support for the synthetic fiber channel-to-tape process. Follow the tape certification process for third-party tape devices when you use Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

Issues that are fixed in this update rollup


  • A backup of a mirrored SQL instance fails if the principal SQL instance that was first backed up is now the mirror.
  • DPM console crashes while a recatalog or "mark as free" operation is performed on an imported tape.
  • The MSDPM service crashes when protected data sources have long names.
  • The DPMRA service crashes during replica creation when the database name on one of the SQL instances matches or is a substring of a SQL instance name that is hosted on the protected server.
  • This update lets administrators configure the DPMRA port and select a nondefault port by following these steps:
    1. Install UR3 for DPM 2012 R2.
    2. Run Setagentcfg.exe by using the following command:

      setagentcfg.exe s  

      Notes
      • In this command, represents the nondefault port.
      • By default, this command should be located in the following folder:

        %PROGRAMFILES%/Microsoft System Center 2012 R2/DPM/DPM/Setup
    3. Verify that a new entry is created in the following registry subkey:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Agent\2.0\PsPortConfig
    4. Copy the setagentcfg.exe file from the DPM server to the following folder on the protected computer:

      %PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\bin
    5. Run the following command on the protected server:

      setagentcfg.exe e DPMRA 
      Note Use the same port number that is specified in step 1.
    6. Restart the DPM server.
    7. Restart the DPMRA service on the protected server.
To get the UR3 for DPM click the following link: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2966014

tisdag 20 maj 2014

DPM 2012 R2 UR2 re-released

Today Microsoft re-released the UR2 to resolve the DPMAMSERVICE crash that occurred if the original update was applied (KB2958100).

The updated bits can be downloaded from here: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2963543/en-us

fredag 25 april 2014

Great features keep on coming, now support for backing up Hyper-V replica

Microsoft keeps on delivering great technologies to their customers, the last contribution is the support for backing up Hyper-V replicated servers.

When building a disaster recovery plan for a customer one important key component is the Hyper-V replica feature that lets you asynchronous replicate a Hyper-V machine between two hosting servers. The only previously supported scenario was to back up the virtual machines running at the primary site, this has now changed. On the 24th of April Microsoft announced that they now support backup of the replicated sever that is located at the replica site, this makes it easier to provide a decent and also a more optimal disaster recovery scenario or strategy to customers.  
 
Please note that backup of a Hyper-V virtual machine should only be considered as a disaster recovery strategy. From a DPM perspective you can recovery items that are defined as flat files from within the backup of the virtual machine, this does not apply to the applications (SQL, Exchange etc.) running inside the virtual machine. To summarize it, to be able to create a basic recover strategy you need to deploy a DPM agent to the virtual machine OS and perform what Microsoft call a guest-level backup providing a recovery scenario for the hosted application.

The Hyper-V replica feature has been a great contribution from Microsoft to their customers and with this announcement of support the efficiency of building a more optimal and strategically disaster recovery plan, which will directly map to the customer business continuity plan, means a great deal.

For more information regarding Hyper-V replica please have a look at this website: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj134172.aspx

For more information regarding the new support please read this article from Neela Syam Kolli that is the Product Group Manager for the DPM team: http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2014/04/25/backing-up-of-replica-vms-using-dpm.aspx

torsdag 10 april 2014

Bringing back the support for Windows Server 2003


Releasing the R2 version of System Center Microsoft excluded the support for backing up Windows Server 2003. This raised a discussion in the community and among the MVP’s.
 
Microsoft realized the challenge this resulted in for many companies and decided to bring the support back with the UR2 that is due to the end of April.
 
I would like to see this action as a result of Microsoft really listening to the community and their customers. If you got any feedback regarding DPM please provide me with your thoughts.

fredag 28 mars 2014

Article on Technet, how to get started with DPM and Azure


A little while back I wrote an article for Microsoft that was published on Technet. The article covers how you get started using the Recovery Services in Microsoft Azure (name change!!) with focus on the backup vault and DPM integration.

 

 

fredag 21 mars 2014

New DPM book comming soon

Just would like to inform you that there will be a new DPM book soon published via Packt Publishing regarding DPM 2012 R2.

I’m writing the book right now and will try to provide good content to the reader not just regarding DPM as a product bit the whole picture of design, implementation etc.

Happy Friday!

Robert

fredag 7 mars 2014

1 – 1 Q&A @ TechEd NA


As I mentioned in my previous blog post (http://robertanddpm.blogspot.se/2014/02/attending-teched-north-america.html) I’m going to TechEd NA to deliver a session together with John Joyner. We will talk about how to deliver Backup As A Service (BaaS), Restore As A Service (RaaS) and Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRaaS) using SCDPM and the other members of the System Center 2012 R2 stack, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Azure.

If you are attending TechEd NA I would of course be very happy to see you in the audience but I would be even more than happy if I got the opportunity to listen to your challenges, thoughts or any idea you may have regarding DPM, SCOM or other members in the System Center family stack.

If you would like to have a 1 – 1 Q&A @ TechEd NA please send me an email (robert.hedblom@gmail.com) with the subject TechEd2014.


Looking forward to listen to you.
 
/Rob

fredag 28 februari 2014

Attending TechEd North America?



Are you attending TechEd? If you are I would love to see you in the audience for my session “How to deliver BaaS, RaaS and DRaaS in a modern datacenter using System Center 2012 R2” where me John Joyner and a PM member of DPM product group would like to explain how to use the combined power of the System Center stack, Windows Server and Azure to deliver BaaS (Backup as a Service), RaaS (Restore as a Service) and DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) with focus of SCDPM that are the key component for this service delivery.
 
The session code is DCIM-B421.
 
CU @ TechEd!!

tisdag 25 februari 2014

UR1 for System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 has been released

UR1 has been released and here is the link for the download.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2904687

With UR1 comes three fixed issues.

Issue 1A 0x80070057 error occurs when a session is closed prematurely. This error is caused by a failure during a consistency check.

Issue 2

Lots of concurrent threads or calls to Microsoft SQL Server from the Data Protection Manager (DPM) console cause slow SQL Server performance. When this issue occurs, the DPM console runs out of connections to SQL Server and may hang or crash.

Issue 3

The DPM console crashes, and an error that resembles the following is logged:

fredag 31 januari 2014

MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy) great resources!

As an IT Pro you probably sometime now and then face the facts that you need to look up something for a deeper understanding. The most common dialogue I have with the community is "why is it so hard to find information that is relevant to me".

This blog post may not solve all of your problems but should be considered a possibility to investigate the MVA or Microsoft Virtual Academy that is an online repository with great information regarding the Microsoft product stack. 

What is important when you design your services in your data center is to see the whole package of a service delivery. To be able to understand how the service should be built up and designed you need the knowledge. Microsoft Virtual Academy is a great starting point and from there you are of on an journey exploring the new possibilities that no one has ever considered possible.

Have a look at there e-books http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/ebooks

Happy knowledge hunting! 

fredag 24 januari 2014

Backing up cross domains

Recently I have got a lot of questions on my blog regarding how to backup workloads cross domains in the scenario that you setup a two way transitive trust. I wrote a blog post a while back ago and it is applicable for Windows Server 2012 R2.

http://robertanddpm.blogspot.se/2011/09/backing-up-cross-domains.html

fredag 17 januari 2014

DAG challenges

I ran into a problem when a customer tried to back up his newly added Exchange mailbox databases. The environment was a primary DPM server backing up a DAG Exchange and a secondary DPM server protecting the DAG offsite.

The customer added some new mailbox databases to the primary DPM server and it worked. When the primary DPM server had synced-up the databases he tried to add the databases to the secondary DPM server and got the error 915.

The operation failed because the data source VSS component 39f96ce3-c40d-4232-8248-2261258e690e is missing.
Check to see that the protected data source is installed properly and the VSS writer service is running.

ID: 915
Details: The operation completed successfully (0x0)

The error occurred since the VSS Writer ID has changed. The VSS prompted in the error dialog was replaced with another VSS Writer ID.


All the configuration regarding your DPM setup is stored in the DPMDB database, this goes also for your VSS Writers ID. The tables that stores that information is tbl_IM_Datasource and tbl_IM_ProtectedObject.

Those tables weren’t updated hence the error.

To solve this you must do this:
· Stop the primary protection of your DAG, choose to retain your data
· Stop the secondary protection of your DAG, choose to retain your data
· Re-protect your DAG on your primary DPM server
· Re-protect your DAG on your secondary DPM server

fredag 10 januari 2014

Delivering sessions @ NIC 2014

I got the great pleasure to deliver two sessions at the NIC conference in Oslo. I will deliver a session on Business Continuity and RRR (Rock N' Roll Restore) where you will get a deeper understanding of the concept of building a Business Continuity plan for your data center and also how you can provide a BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service), RaaS (Restore-as-a-Service) and DRaaS (Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service).

The NIC conference will be held 16th and 17th of January in Oslo.

I would be delighted to meet up with any community members that are attending NIC and have questions. Please send me an email @ robert.hedblom@gmail.com and we will meet up.


torsdag 2 januari 2014

MVP



I’m very glad to announce that Microsoft has given me the MVP award for the fourth year in a row. It is a great honor and I’m moved.

I will try to work even harder for the community and looking forward to a great year helping you out =)

tisdag 5 november 2013

Nordic System Center Summit 2014


 
 
The biggest Nordic System Center event is about to launch and it would be a great pleasure to see you in the crowd. Listen to several MVP’s and also Travis Wright regarding the news and great features and functions for modern datacenter management using the System Center family.

The event will take place in both Sweden (Stockholm) and Norway (Oslo) the 4th and 5th of December.

For registration and more information please go to the following webpage:
 

fredag 1 november 2013

Tape Library Sharing

The Tape and Library Sharing feature is not a new feature within the System Center 2012 R2 release, the TLS feature has been around for a couple of DPM versions.

The TLS function is enabled when you designate a DPM server as the Library Server. The Library Server will control and manage the shared tape library and coordinate the DPM server that shares the library called Library Clients. For the DPM administrator to be able to start using the TLS feature the tape library must be presented using a fiber channel technology.

There are some prerequisites that you must consider before you start configuring the TLS feature:
  • Use only fiber channel as the primary communication media.
  • The physical tape library must be presented to all DPM server that should use it. 
  • For the server that should be Library Server the media changer / Tape Library AND the tape drives should be enabled in the device manager.
  • For the servers that should be Library Clients the media changer / Tape Library MUST be disabled in the device manager of the servers. The tape drives MUST be enabled in device manager.
  • Configure SQL Named Pipes Protocol on all SQL servers (will be covered in the blog post).
  • A service account for the TLS feature. In this blog post I will call the service account DPMTLS.
The following part in this blog post will cover how you configure the TLS feature so the DPM servers could share the tape library.
On all DPM Servers that will use TLS verify that the Medium Changer devices and Tape drives are present.
 

On the DPM server that will be library server (SRV1) the Media Changer devices and Tape drives should be enabled.
On the DPM servers that will be library client computers (SRV2) the Media Changer device should be disabled, keep the Tape drives enabled since the library client computers will need access to the tape drives.
 
 

Next step is to enable named pipes protocol for the SQL servers hosting the DPMDB for both client and library servers. Open your SQL Server Configuration Manager and expand the SQL Server Network Configuration and click on Protocols for MSDPM2012. Verify that Named Pipes are enabled on the right side of the MMC. If not enable Named Pipes by right-clicking and choose Enable. You need to restart the SQL server (MSDPM2012) service, it will also restart the SQL Agent (MSDPM2012) and DPM services.

 

Next step is to go to all your Client Library Computers and open an elevated command prompt. Open the following catalogue “C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\DPM\DPM\Setup>” and execute the following command
AddLibraryServerForDpm.exe –DpmServerWithLibrary SRV1.contoto.local
You must always provide an FQDN for the DPM server name.
 

It is very important that you run this executable on all your client library computers. After you have executed the command on all your client library computers go the DPM server that will be the library server computer.
Open an elevated command prompt and go to the catalogue “C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\DPM\DPM\Setup>” and execute the following command:
AddLibraryServerForDpm.exe – ShareLibraryWithDpm SRV2.contoso.local
 
 
Create a service account called DPMTLS that you make a member of the local administrator group of all your client library computers and the library server. When the DPMTLS account is a member of the local administrator group on all our involved DPM servers you configure the two SQL services:
  • SQL Server (MSDPM2012)
  • SQL Server Agent (MSDPM2012)
By default the two services are configured to use local accounts, you should change this for both services so they use the DPMTLS account.
 

 
 
 
This apply to both library server and client library computers.
 
When that is done you open an elevated command prompt on every client library computer and open the catalogue C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\DPM\DPM\Setup and run the executable SetSharedDpmDatabase.exe with the following syntax:
SetSharedDpmDatabase -DatabaseName <SqlServer\Instance\DatabaseName> [-DoNotMoveData]
To find out the path for the SqlServer\Instance\DatabaseName go to the library server and open the DPM console. Click on the About DPM information button and you will see the path.
 

 
Go back now to the elevated command prompt on your client computers and type the following syntax:
SetSharedDpmDatabase –DatabaseName SRV1\MSDPM2012\DPMDB
 
 
Keep in mind that it will take some time for the TLS configuration is finished. You may see the SQL Server configuration Successful message for a long time before the Client SQL and Client DPM messages appears. DON’T CLOSE THE COMMAND PROMPT BEFORE THOSE THREE MESSAGES HAS BEEN PROMPTED
 
Go now to your Library Server and perform a Rescan and Refresh of your tape library. Go to Management in the console and click on Libraries. Right click on the library and choose first Rescan, wait for the process to finish. Right click again and choose Refresh. Repeat this on all your client library computers.

fredag 25 oktober 2013

PowerShell script for adding specific catalouge protection to a Protection Group

This blogpost is with regards to Mukul Singh Shekhawat and Balaji Hariharan

Lately I got a question from a friend of mine working for the PFE organization at Microsoft. The question was how to create a PowerShell script that will add an explicit catalogue present on a volume to a protection group.

Here is the script:
 
$dpmname = "DPMServername.somedomain.com"
$psname = "PSservername.somedomain.com"
$dsname = "G:\"
$poname = "G:\ProtectableFolder"
$pgname = "MyCLIPG"
 
function CreatePG
{
                param($dpmname, $psname, $dsname, $poname, $pgname)
 
                write-host "Creating a D->D PG --> $pgname..."
 
                trap{"Error in execution... ";break}
                &{           
                                Write-Host "Getting PS: $psname from DPM: $dpmname"
                                $ps = Get-ProductionServer -DPMServerName $dpmname | where { ($_.machinename,$_.name) -contains $psname }
                               
                                Write-Host "Running Inquiry on PS: $psname for datasource $dsname"
                                $ds = Get-Datasource -ProductionServer $ps -Inquire | where { ($_.logicalpath,$_.name) -contains $dsname }
                              
                                Write-Host "Getting Child-datasource $poname from datasource $dsname"
                                $po = Get-ChildDatasource -ChildDatasource $ds -Inquire | where { ($_.logicalpath,$_.name) -contains $poname }
 
                                write-host "Create New PG ..."
                                $pg = New-ProtectionGroup -DPMServerName $dpmname -Name $pgname
 
                                write-host "Adding child datasource..."
                                Add-childDatasource -ProtectionGroup $pg -ChildDatasource $po
 
                                write-host "Setting Protection Type..."
                                Set-ProtectionType -ProtectionGroup $pg -ShortTerm disk
 
                                write-host "Setting Policy Objective...retention range - 10Days, synchronizationFrequency 15"
                                Set-PolicyObjective -ProtectionGroup $pg -RetentionRangeInDays 10 -SynchronizationFrequency 15
                                
                                write-host "Setting Policy Schedules ..."
                                $ShadowCopysch = Get-PolicySchedule -ProtectionGroup $pg -ShortTerm| where { $_.JobType -eq "ShadowCopy" }
                                Set-PolicySchedule -ProtectionGroup $pg -Schedule $ShadowCopysch -DaysOfWeek mo -TimesOfDay 02:00
 
                                write-host "Setting Disk Allocation, with optimization (will take a few minutes to complete)"
                                Get-DatasourceDiskAllocation -Datasource $ds -Calculatesize
                                Set-DatasourceDiskAllocation -Datasource $ds -ProtectionGroup $pg
 
                                write-host "Setting Replica Creation Method ..."
                                Set-ReplicaCreationMethod -ProtectionGroup $pg -NOW
 
                                write-host "Commiting PG"
                                Set-protectiongroup $pg
 
                }
}
 
function waitforIRtoComplete
{
 
                param($waittime)
 
                write-host "Wait for IR to complete"           
 
                $val = $waittime/30
 
                while($val -gt 0)
 
                {
 
                                Write-host "Wait for IR to complete... $val"
 
                                start-sleep 30
 
                                $val--
 
                }           
 
}
 
Connect-DPMServer -DPMServerName $dpmname;
 
createPG $dpmname $psname $dsname $poname $pgname;
 
waitforIRtoComplete 120;