Data Protection & High Availibility – upcoming new features – Part 2

Microsoft announced different cool features at the TechEd 2014 in Barcelona and I needed some time to get into all the cool new stuff.
Especially the tracks of Data Protection and High Availability got me.
There are major and minor changes with Hyper-V, Data Protection Manager and Azure which makes life easier and HA/DP better.

Here’s a series of conclusions of the changes and new features from all over different sessions.

2. A new Reporting Framework

Another missed thing, is an accurate and reliable reporting feature.
At the moment DPM doesn’t have good reports especially for environments with more than one DPM server.
The reporting engine is only usable for one single server for example.
I’m sure you really desperate to get something better.

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Deduplication and virtualized backup – new supported scenario

Update 18.11.2014

The needed Update KB3000850 to get the support, mentioned at the TechEd Barcelona 2014 Session about VDI, is coming across.
It’s included in the November 2014 update with roughly 700 megs.
You can find it via Windows Update or here.

Deduplication and virtualized backups were announced as new supported scenario at the TechEd 2014 embedded in a VDI and Deduplication session.

Windows Server Data Deduplication at Scale: Dedup Updates for Large-Scale VDI and Backup Scenarios

Actually it’s nothing new, it was basically working already and I’ve been doing this since the early days of preview 2012 R2.
But now it’s officially supported by Microsoft.

The basic idea is to lay down all backup VHDX made by DPM Server on Scale-Out-Fileservers.
So the SOF can do exactly the same what like in a VDI environment and dedup all the drives.
I can totally agree with dedup rates above 50% and up to 80% in real world scenarios.

Linux on Hyper-V – a summary 10.2014

I struggled with a Live Backup issue on Ubuntu 2014 LTS a while ago as ralish from Stockholm DevOps describes here.
The problem was a broken installer meta package and ends up in a missing kvp deamon if you tried to install it on Ubuntu.
This daemon is used to interact between Host and VM to get a consistent backup state during snapshot creation on the Hyper-V Host.
So at the end, Backups without kvp can be risky due to a service interruption of the VM workload(s).

A screenshot from the DPM 2012 R2 Backup console shows the offline state.

In the meantime, the bug got fixed, Live Backups without service interruption can be taken, the sun is shining again and so it’s time to wrap some things up and give you a short overview about Hyper-V and common Linux Distributions.

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owned by a different DPM server

The full error message is:

“DPM could not run the backup/recovery job for the data source because it is owned by a different DPM server.
Data source: \Online\DC-01 Owner DPM Server: (ID 3184 Details: Internal error code: 0x809909B3)”
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Starting up a scheduled Replication Job in DPM 2012/R2 … immediately

Sometimes i’m creating scheduled replication tasks because i’m still working on servers and systems or i have performance considerations.
Surprisingly often I’m finished earlier than expected and would like to start the postponed tasks as soon as possible.

But i couldn’t find DPM specific tasks within the task scheduler and starting the job with the usual way via GUI wasn’t helpful. Continue reading

Migrate DPM custom filter

Within the DPM console you can create custom filters.
These filters aren’t exportable and they’re only usable on the local system.

DPM Filter migration
But at the end it’s only a XML file which is located in %systemdrive%\Users\%YourUser%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager

Look for JobsFilter.XML and copy it. This is working for DPM 2012 and R2 as well.

DPM 2012 R2 – unable to configure protection SQL 2012

I had an issue with a SQL Server directly after creation the protection group.

“Unable to configure protection SQL 2012”.
Unfortunateley the error id 30184 leads to a page without any further Content.

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DPM 2012 SP1 Update Rollup 3–Issues

A couple of weeks ago the CU3 for DPM 2012 SP1 cracked something in the SQL Database of one of my DPM Servers.
The Microsoft Support scheduled my case very quickly and resolved the problem within half an hour.

Now after one week CU3 re-release it seems the situation is cleared and everything is fine.


Important Update on DPM 2012 SP1 Update Rollup 3–Issues and Workarounds (Update: UR3 has been re-released)

Converting a Citrix Server to a virtual Machine

Pain in the… 😉

I tried to convert an old Server 2003 R2 with Citrix on top today but the Virtual Machine Manager couldn’t grab and convert the HDDs.
I got different errors as I also tried it again via offline conversion. The WinPE couldn’t get any informations about the HDD (RAID 10 on LSI SCSI Controller).
Finally I cracked it as I backed up the whole machine and recovered it inside a Virtual Machine.

My experiences with old Systems an on/offline P2V conversions aren’t very well.
Within the last weeks I tried unsuccesfully to virtualize some old Windows XP and Server 2003 (R2) Systems.
The lucky thing was always to catch them via regular backup routines and recover them as I wrote above.

DPM 2012 SP 1 – Tape import and recataloging

Within the last days I was switching from Data Protection Manager 2012 beta SP1 to the final Build which is available for TechNet and Volume Licensing customers at least since the 1st of January.

And I thought moving the Tapes and the MSL Library from one Server to another without the SQL Database is a kind of disaster recovery and likely an option to proof the concept of long term backups via tape. 😉

If the DPM Server is destroyed you will also lose the knowledge where and what files are located on the tapes and/or disks.
Keep in mind the DPM brain is stored in the SQL Database with reports, client server configurations and all this stuff.
Although you don’t have any of this you can simply get your data back with importing end recataloging the tapes.

What you need is another running DPM Server and, sure, a tape drive that’ll read your tapes. 😉

First step – you start inventorying the whole library or if you use a single drive with the inventory button on the left top side on the ribbons.
After and during the inventory you will see the tag/description (Imported) in front of you tapes.


But you also want to know what exactly is stored on the tape?
If you try to take a look and hit the “View tape contents” line in the middle …

… the following info box appears.

Sure you want to do that.
Note: Attentive observers would see there was a shorter way and hitting the line “Recataloging the tape” is quicker.

Anyway… the tapes will be “marked for recatalog and waiting for drive” now.

The tape drive is reading the tape and …

… after finishing you get more information. You see a date and what is stored (and maybe when it is expired or will be).
That should suffice for a first look.

Switch to the recovery and take a look. You’ll see “External DPM Tapes”.
You can browse through the backed up data and dig deeper if you need. 😉

If the tape is still in the library/drive DPM will read more data if needed and you’ll get a message.
“Please wait while DPM reads tapes …”

If the DPM could read enough data from the tapes you can look for whatever you’re looking for and recover your data.

Note: If you don’t need a deeper look and it’s not necessary to search for specific files you can simply recover the whole volumes/system the usual way. 😉