fredag 22 maj 2015

Ignite session

I had the great pleasure delivering the session Enterprise Backup: Custom Reporting, BAAS and Read-World Deployments in Data Protection Manager together with Steve Buchanan and Islam Gomaa at Ignite.

If you weren’t able to attend the session live nor Ignite here is the link so you can watch the session on-demand.



I would like to dedicate my gratitude to the Product Group team for DPM/Azure/System Center that made this session possible. 

fredag 15 maj 2015

DPM 2012 R2 book released

I’m very happy to announce that my book for System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 is finished and is available for you at the following link:

https://www.packtpub.com/virtualization-and-cloud/microsoft-system-center-data-protection-manager-cookbook



The book covers both basic content for DPM beginners but also more advanced design, configuration and deployments scenarios.

Happy reading =)

fredag 8 maj 2015

Ignite interview

During Ignite I had the great pleasure to talk to Lee Berg regarding information released on the two DPM sessions.



If you have any questions or need help on Backup, Restore or Disaster Recovery design…let me know robert.hedblom@outlook.com

fredag 10 april 2015

Interview regarding the Enterprise backup session @Ignite

Did an interview with Lee Berg regarding the session that is coming up at Ignite. In our session we will cover UR5 information, Custom Reporting, BaaS and Real-World Deployments.



Happy viewing =)

torsdag 5 mars 2015

Error 197 after applying UR5 for DPM 2012 R2

This is an issue with UR5, where Create\Modify\Delete on a PG with Clustered File Server datasources may fail with Error 197, or cause a console crash.

Please use this workaround and see if it resolves the issue:

  1. Close the UI and all DPM services
  2. Important: Take a full database backup of the DPMDB to a safe location
  3. Run the SQL script on the DPM DB that is posted below
  4. Start all DPM services, and open the UI

This issue may recur whenever the underlying volume of the File Server migrates across nodes of the cluster and an inquiry is triggered on the File Server cluster role. You can run the script again as required.

DELETE FROM dbo.tbl_IM_ProtectedObject
WHERE ProtectedObjectId IN
(
SELECT PO.ProtectedObjectId
FROM dbo.tbl_IM_ProtectedObject AS PO
JOIN dbo.tbl_AM_Server as SRVR
ON PO.ServerId = SRVR.ServerId
JOIN dbo.tbl_IM_DataSource AS DS
ON PO.DataSourceId = DS.DataSourceId
WHERE DS.AppId = '00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000'
AND PO.ProtectedInPlan = 0
AND PO.ProtectedObjectId NOT IN (SELECT ProtectedObjectId FROM dbo.tbl_IM_ProtectedObjectAlerts)
    AND CONVERT(XML,PO.LogicalPath).exist(
        '/child::ArrayOfInquiryPathEntryType/child::InquiryPathEntryType[attribute::Type="NonRootTargetShare"]'
    ) = 1
    AND PO.ProtectedObjectId != PO.DataSourceId
AND SRVR.ServerId = DS.ServerId
AND SRVR.IsRG = 1
)


lördag 21 februari 2015

DPM 2012 R2 UR5 released

UR 5 has just been released and it is a really feature rich update rollup. Within this UR you have:

  • Improved workload support regarding backup to Azure
  • Custom Reporting
  • Offline transfer of protected production data to Azure
  • Multiple retention ranges for long term retention with Azure Backup


Features that are implemented in this update rollup


  • Protect SharePoint with SQL Server AlwaysOn configuration

With Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, Data Protection Manager can now protect Microsoft SharePoint Server farms that are hosted on instances of Microsoft SQL Server with an AlwaysOn cluster.

There is no change in the Data Protection Manager UI for the backup and recovery steps. If there is a failover within the SQL Server AlwaysOn cluster, Data Protection Manager will automatically detect the failover and continue to back up from the active SQL Server availability instance without requiring user intervention.

Note The Data Protection Manager Agent must be installed on all the nodes of a SQL Server AlwaysOn cluster.



  • Protect SharePoint Server, Exchange Server, and Windows Client workloads to Microsoft Azure by using Data Protection Manager

With Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, Data Protection Manager can now protect Windows Client, Microsoft Exchange Server, and SharePoint Server workloads to Microsoft Azure.



  • Support for multiple retention ranges for long-term backup on Microsoft Azure

With Update Rollup 5 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, Data Protection Manager will enable users to configure multiple retention policies for long-term retention of backup data on Microsoft Azure. Users can choose between daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly retention policies and can configure the number of recovery points (retention range) for each policy.

Notes

  • Data Protection Manager with Update Rollup 5 will enable up to 366 recovery points for each data source.
  • This option will be available only for protection groups that enable online protection for the first time.
  • Ability to transfer initial backup copy offline to Microsoft Azure


While it is creating a new protection group or adding data sources to a protection group, Data Protection Manager has to create an initial backup copy for the data sources that were added. Depending on the data source, this data could be large. This could make it difficult to send data over the network.

This update provides an option to transfer the initial backup copy to the Microsoft Azure data centers. Large data can now quickly be transferred to Microsoft Azure without consuming Internet bandwidth. If a user decides to transfer the initial backup copy offline to Microsoft Azure, the backup data will be exported on a disk. This disk is then shipped to Azure data centers. After the data is imported to the customer storage account in Azure, the disk is returned to the user.

More information about this feature can be found here.



  • Support for protecting Microsoft workloads that are hosted in VMware

With this update, Data Protection Manager can protect Microsoft workloads that are hosted on VMware. It will provide application-consistent protection at the guest OS level. Data Protection Manager Agents have to be installed on the guest OS of the VMware virtual machines that are hosting the workloads to be protected.

Note VMWare VM backup/recovery is not yet supported.



  • Display missed SLA alerts on the Data Protection Manager console


In Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, a feature for configuring backup SLA by using theSet-DPMProtectionGroupSLA cmdlet was added. For any protection group that missed the configured backup SLA, Data Protection Manager raised an alert that was visible only from Operations Manager. With this update, the SLA missed alert will also be displayed in the Data Protection Manager console.

During its nightly job, Data Protection Manager will check for all the protection groups that have the SLA configured and check if any protection group missed the SLA and raise an alert. For example, if a user configured a backup SLA of 8 hours for a protection group but there was no recovery point created in the past 24 hours, at midnight the missed SLA job would run and display three SLA missed alerts for the protection group.

Note Data Protection Manager SLA miss alerts will not be resolved automatically on the next successful recovery point. Users have to manually activate the alert.



  • Enhanced reporting with Data Protection Manager Central Console

This update also provides a new enhanced reporting infrastructure that can be used to create customized reports instead of just relying on the standard canned reports that were shipped with Data Protection Manager. We also expose the reporting schema to enable the creation of custom reports.

Users can now have aggregated reports from various Data Protection Manager servers that are managed in Operations Manager. A demonstration report is also available to help users create custom reports.

The new reporting infrastructure will be available after users upgrade their Data Protection Manager servers to Update Rollup 5, install the Data Protection Manager Central Console on Operations Manager, and import the new Data Protection Manager Reporting Management Pack that is available on the Microsoft Download Center.

To install the new Data Protection Manager Central Console update, follow these steps:
1. For existing customers who already use Data Protection Manager Central Console
a. Update the Data Protection Manager Central Console to Update Rollup 5 for both the client and the server by using the Update Rollup 5 download link.
b. Delete the following older Data Protection Manager MOM packs:
Discovery and Management (version 1126)
Library (version 1126)
c. Import the following Update Rollup 5 Data Protection Manager MOM packs:
Discovery and Management (version 1276)
Library (version 1276)Reporting (version 1276)
2. For new customers who use the Data Protection Manager Central Console for the first time
a. Import the release version of the following Data Protection Manager MOM packs on the Operations Manager server:
Discovery and Management (version 1126)
Library (version 1126)
b. Install Data Protection Manager Central Console client and server from the release version of Data Protection Manager 2012 R2. For example, run the setup program from the CDLayout folder of the Data Protection Manager server.
c. Update the Data Protection Manager Central Console client to Update Rollup 5 for both the client and the server by using the Update Rollup 5 download link.
d. Delete the following older Data Protection Manager MOM packs:
Discovery and Management (version 1126)
Library (version 1126)
e. Import the following Update Rollup 5 Data Protection Manager MOM packs:
Discovery and Management (version 1276)
Library (version 1276)
Reporting (version 1276)

fredag 13 februari 2015

Delivering sessions @ NIC conf

During this week I had the great pleasure to deliver two sessions on NIC in Norway. The first is regarding how to deliver BaaS, RaaS and DRaaS using Windows Server, System Center and Azure.



The second one was Monitoring and Manage you datacenter…let’s get started.



lördag 7 februari 2015

Session @ TechX Azure

I had the great pleassure presenting a session regarding how to create a proactive monitoring concept, this session was delivered in Swedish.



fredag 9 januari 2015

The purpose of a backup network

The majority of the datacenters that are build up using the modern datacenter approach are committed to both redundancy but also smart designs regarding providing uptime for the hosted services.

Providing a dedicated backup network that the backup traffic can use and rely on is a good strategy since it will offload the primary network architecture and not be dependent of the network hardware that builds up the production network.

There are some prerequisites for enabling a backup network:


  • Secondary network card
  • Enabling name resolution 
  • Verifying network connectivity 


The configuration for setting up a backup network is made via PowerShell but first you must have a secondary network card installed that is configured with the IP addresses that is a member of the backup network subnet.

The next step is to verify name resolution, alter the HOST file on both the production server and also the DPM server and enter the NetBIOS name for the servers involved.

Verify that you can ping the IP address for the backup network on the DPM server from the production environment and also via NetBIOS name.

To configure the backup network you open the DPM Management Shell and use the PowerShell CMDLET called Add-BackupNetworkAddress.

To configure the DPM server to use the dedicated network of 10.1.1.0/24 enter the following syntax:
Add-BackupNetworkAddress –Address 10.1.1.0/24 –DPMServer DPM1 –SequenceNumber 1

The three switched are:

  • Address
  • DPMServer
  • SequenceNumber

The Address switch provides the address for the backup network. The DPMServer provides the NetBIOS name for the DPM server. With the SequenceNumber switch you provide the primary backup network and also the failover backup network.

The DPM agent will verify its XML configuration and understand what network it should use as its primary backup network. Normal communication between the DPM agent and the DPM server will still travel over the production network. If the backup network connectivity fails the DPM agent can be setup using also a secondary backup network that will be a failover network for that traffic. The failover network is something that you must configure for it to work.

fredag 2 januari 2015

MVP Renewal

This year starts of really great. For the fifth time I’m awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award (MVP) which im very honored of. 




I’m looking forward to be the community voice into the very internal core of Microsoft for another year but also provide close cooperation with my internal Product Group team members.

torsdag 27 november 2014

What can be improved?

I have had some interesting meetings with the Product Group managers at Microsoft regarding the development of Data Protection Manager also known as DPM. I’m very pleased that Microsoft are working very hard to make improvements to the product and that is the reason for me writing this blog post. 

I want to understand the community wishes regarding HOW Microsoft can improve the DPM software from two scenarios:

  1. The on-prem tape story. What do you think Microsoft should improve regarding tape management and features in DPM
  2. SharePoint protection. What do you think Microsoft should improve regarding SharePoint protection, restore and features? What is missing from your point of view.

Just to be clear. I will read all of your email and I will summarize them without changing your words. The information you provide to me will be provided to the product group managers for system center and DPM.


Let Microsoft know what they can imnprove send me an email @ robert.hedblom@outlook.com

fredag 21 november 2014

Almost done...work in progress

Dear readers,

Laytley I have got some questions regardin if the new DPM book will be out and released this year, I have great news for you. I have only three chapters left to write of a total of 14 chapters.

I will have my part done ASAP and then the great people who are reviewing my work will have their work done. The nice people at PacktPublishing will produce the book as soon as all the information is gathered and reviewed.


Hang in there the book is comming, thank you for asking =) 

fredag 14 november 2014

TechDays

Are you intressted in learning how to start your proactive monitoring experience and also learn how to get started with your business continuity planning based on the features and functions of Microsoft product stack?

If the answer is yes I would like to personally welcome you to my two sessions that I deliver at the TechDays event in Stockholm.

For more information regarding the sessions have a look at this webpage!

http://www.techdays.se/Program/(speaker)/20026/#sessionanchor


See you all there!

onsdag 29 oktober 2014

DPM 2012 R2 UR4 released

Microsoft has just released UR 4 and with this comes the demand for reboot of your production environment that you want to protect.

It is important to emphasize why you need a reboot of you production environment. When Microsoft makes changes to the drivers that is a part of the deduplication process the DPM team must update their code to adopt to the changes. For DPM to be 100% adoptable the operating system kernel needs to be rebooted due to the fact of re-initializing the deduplication updates made by the Windows Server team. Hence, this is not due to DPM but the fact of re-initializing the code changes for the deduplication engine made by the Windows Server team.

The content of UR4 is a mixture of many good things, the following list provides a description of what has been fixed or added to the product:



  • Item level recovery does not restore custom permissions when Microsoft SharePoint is running localized language packs.


Scenario
You try to back up SharePoint when SharePoint has various files that have custom access permission settings and is using a non-English locale for SharePoint sites. When you try to recover the files, data is recovered successfully. However, the custom permissions may be lost. This causes some users to no longer have access to the file until permissions are restored by the SharePoint administrator.



  • The DPM user interface crashes, and you receive the following error message: Connection to the DPM service has been lost.

This issue occurs when you change some protection groups after you upgrade to DPM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 2 or a later version.



  • You experience issues when you try to restore a SQL Server database that has error 0x800423f4.

Scenario
You have a SQL Server database that uses multiple mount points that point to the same volume and that protect it by using DPM. When you try to recover from an existing recovery point, you receive an error message 0x800423f4.



  • An instance of SQL Server is missing when you try to create a protection group (PG).

Scenario 
You have two or more instances of SQL Server on same server so that one of the database names in one instance is a substring of another name of an instance of SQL Server. For example, you have a default instance of SQL Server and another instance that is named "contosoinstance." Then, you create a database that is named "contosoins" in the default instance of SQL Server.

In this case, when you try to create or change a protection group, the “contosoinstance” SQL instance and its database do not appear in the Create Protection Group Wizard.



  • The DPM console or service crash after VMs are removed from the Hyper-V host.

Scenario
Several virtual machines on the Hyper-V host are physically removed. Then, the DPM UI crashes when you try to stop protection for these virtual machines.


  • DPM crashes with NullReferenceException.

Scenario
When you protect a SQL database by using long-term protection on tape, the SQL logs are moved to a different disk volume. When you try to make a backup for the first time after you move the logs, the DPM UI crashes. However after you restart the UI, everything works correctly.



  • Scheduled backup to tape runs on an incorrect date for quarterly, semi-annually, and yearly backups. In some cases, you see that the backup runs before the specific date.

  • The DPM UI sometimes crashes when you change a protection group that has the following error: Connection to the DPM service has been lost. (ID: 917)


The following features has been added in UR4:

  • Added support for protecting SQL Server 2014

This update let you protect SQL Server 2014 as a workload. There is no change in the user experience or in scenarios that are supported. Therefore, you can continue to back up SQL Server 2014 by using DPM in the same way that you protected older versions of SQL Server.

Unsupported scenarios in SQL Server 2014:
You cannot use SQL Server 2014 as the DPM configuration database.
You cannot back up the data that is stored as Windows Azure blobs from SQL Server 2014.
The "Prefer secondary backup" preference for the SQL Always On option is not supported completely. DPM always takes a backup from the secondary. If no secondary can be found, the backup fails.



  • Added support for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 2 (SP2)

This update lets you protect the latest SQL Server 2012 SP2 as a workload and also use it as a DPM configuration database. There is no change in the user experience or scenarios that are supported. Therefore, you can continue to back up SQL Server 2012 SP2 by using DPM in the same way that you protected older SQL Server versions.



  • Simplified steps for Online backup registration

Note Existing DPM to Azure customers should upgrade to the latest agent (version 2.0.8689.0 or a later version available here). In case this is not installed, online backups fail, and no DPM to Azure operations will work.

By adopting the latest new features and improvements in this update, DPM customers can register for Azure protection in several clicks. These new features and improvements remove the dependency of creating a certificate by usingmakecert and uploading it to the Azure portal. Instead, you can download vault credentials from the vault page on the Azure portal and use those credentials for registration.

To register the DPM server to the Azure backup vault, follow these steps.

Prerequisites
You must have a subscription on the Azure portal, and a backup vault must be created on the portal.

If you already use DPM-A
1. From the backup vault page on the portal, download the agent for SC Data Protection Manager.
2. Run the installer on the server. To do this, follow these steps:
a. Select the folder to install the server.
b. Enter the correct proxy settings.
c. Opt in for Microsoft updates, if you are not already opted in. Critical updates are usually propagated through Microsoft updates.
d. The installer verifies the prerequisite software and installs them.

Please be aware that you do not have to register the server again if the server is already registered and backups are in progress. In this case, you have only to upgrade the agent.

Getting started with DPM-A
3. From the backup vault page on the portal, follow these steps:
 . Download vault credentials.
a. Download the agent for System Center Data Protection Manager.
4. Run the installer on the server. To do this, follow these steps:
 . Select the folder where you want to install the agent.
a. Enter the correct proxy settings.
b. Opt in for Microsoft updates, if you have not already opted in. Critical updates are usually propagated through Microsoft updates.
c. The installer will verify the prerequisite software and installs them.
5. Register the DPM server. To do this. follow these steps:
 . In Data Protection Manager, click Online, and then click Register Server.
a. In the Registration window, select the vault credential file that is downloaded from the portal. In the case of a remote scenario, only the network share path is enabled.
b. Follow the rest of the steps, and complete the registration.



Click on the following link to download UR4 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3009516) and remember to reboot your environment.

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;