DeDuplication Issues on Server 2012 – running out of space

DeDuplication is one of the coolest new features on Server 2012 and I can’t wait to get the new R2 with all improvements.
Anyway…

All (File) Servers I’m using are brand new setups but there is an older system which was 2008 R2 and upgraded inplace a couple of months before without worries.
There are many image files, drivers, backups laying around but the dedup rate was very low right from the beginning.

Usually I can see dedup rates around 40 – 50% on most fileservers. Sometimes much more especially If there are sys preps and Microsoft related stuff.
This one special fileserver was running out of space the second time and it seems there is a problem with the garbage collection.

I started a thread at the Technet Forum and got a couple of informations.

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/08fe4c31-7fa8-421c-9068-b99b0330090c/server-2012-deduplication-and-antivirus-experiences

The interims solution for me at the moment is a powershell command to run the clean up manually and get space back.

PS C:\> Start-DedupJob E: –Type GarbageCollection -full

Within the next days I’m crawling a bit deeper and take a look into the system log trying to get more useful error messages or something.

Recreating AD DNS SRV records on server 2012

Today I installed a new Domain Controller and I got an interesting error which I’ve never had before on a couple of new Servers as I tried to put them in to the new and fresh created domain.

The Message was:
Note: This information is intended for a network administrator.  If you are not your network’s   administrator, notify the administrator that you received this information,   which has been recorded in the file C:\Windows\debug\dcdiag.txt.The following error occurred when DNS was queried for the service   location (SRV) resource record used to locate an Active Directory Domain   Controller for domain example.com:

The error was: “DNS name does not exist.”
(error code 0x0000232B RCODE_NAME_ERROR)
The query was for the SRV record for _ldap._tcp.dc._msdcs.example.com
Common causes of this error include the following:

- The DNS SRV records required to locate a AD DC for the domain are   not registered in DNS. These records are registered with a DNS server   automatically when a AD DC is added to a domain. They are updated by the AD   DC at set intervals. This computer is configured to use DNS servers with the   following 

IP addresses:

192.168.0.1

- One or more of the following zones do not include delegation to its   child zone:             
example      
.com
. (the root zone)
For information about correcting this problem, click Help.

I went straight to the DNS console and got confused as I couldn’t see any of the common SRV records at the _msdcs and so on.
After reading some threads and looking around I got it fixed and here is how I done it.

First of all you should check your DNS Settings as described here:

http://geekswithblogs.net/technetbytes/archive/2011/10/09/147233.aspx

If it isn’t helpful you can try to do the same as I did and hack into the cmd  ipconfig /registerdns and dcdiag /fix.
After that  I restarted the DNS Server and netlogon service. Another dcdiag /a run later it almost ran through as usual and the missing records appeared in the DNS console.
The Servers I tried to join the domain went through the procedure and the problem was solved.

I learned two things.

First … It doesn’t matter how often you’ve done something and you believe it’s going well as everytime, you have to check it to be safe.

In my case I thought I’m installing an ADC as I done it hundred times before. I don’t need the usual check list.
Wrong!
This time I forgot to check the DNS records after setting up the ADC and creating the Domain.
Half a day later after creating dozens of groups, OUs, users and all this … You can image. 😉

Second … The reason of the problem was made by myself as I forgot to set “Register this connection’s addresses in DNS” checkbox at the advanced TCP/IP Settings before I installed the AD.

I’ve done that to avoid an entry to an existing DNS Server. It’s not unchecked by default. 😉

One of the heaps of different threads I found:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverDS/thread/884e59a4-0037-4714-bfdb-957046182e13

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. 😉

 

Data Protection Manager 2012 – DPM 2012

During the last days I took a deeper dive into DPM 2012 SP1 CTP2 and had some troubles with 2 Domain Controllers and “inconsistent replica data” sets.
It reminds me to an interesting blog post from the last year with different trouble shooting tips.

So here we go… 🙂
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2011/10/31/troubleshooting-data-protection-manager-system-state-and-bare-metal-backup.aspx

Server 2012 – SMB 3.0 Performance

Last week at the Hyper-V training course we had the opportunity to get a good view on Server 2012 SMB Performance.
The enhancement is really impressive.
The Server is distributing the SMB network traffic up to 5 ports and there is no need to team NICs or something like this.
It works… just like this. 😉

A picture is telling more than words.

http://sdrv.ms/KZSXha