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Jason Buffington: Data Protection for Virtual Data Centers

3:27 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Jason Buffington’s book, Data Protection for Virtual Data Centers, is available for pre-order on Amazon.

Considering the fact that this guy is the author of the All Backed Up ( and one of the specialists from Microsoft on DPM, this will be a must read for all of you needing to protect their infrastructure.

More information can be found on his blog and looking at the topics that will be covered, I’m already curious…



System Center Service Manager 2010: Error when registering the Datawarehouse

4:57 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

While registering a Datawarehouse with Service Manager 2010 I got the following error in the eventviewer of the Datawarehouse server…

A module of type “Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule” reported an exception System.FormatException: String was not recognized as a valid DateTime.
   at System.DateTimeParse.Parse(String s, DateTimeFormatInfo dtfi, DateTimeStyles styles)
   at System.DateTime.Parse(String s, IFormatProvider provider)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem.ShredReader(XmlReader wiInstance)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem..ctor(XmlReader wiInstance)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.WorkItem.GetWorkItem(String processCategory, String process)
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule.PollForNextWorkItemItem()
   at Microsoft.SystemCenter.Orchestration.Module.WorkflowWorkItemModule.OnDataItem(DataItemBase dataItem, DataItemAcknowledgementCallback acknowledgedCallback, Object acknowledgedState, DataItemProcessingCompleteCallback completionCallback, Object completionState) which was running as part of rule “WorkflowOrchestration.DeploymentRule” running for instance “Deployment Workflow Target” with id:”{0B09E978-69C6-709F-5D5E-B03C5477393C}” in management group “xxxxxx”.

The problem here was that the system locale from the service account used wasn’t set to English-US

After that change (and rebooting the server) the job succeeded



System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1: Errors

8:36 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Last week I had a strange error with a customer.  Here’s the situation:

One primary DPM server with quite a lot of Protection groups and protected servers that handled the disk to disk backup.  A secondary DPM server that did the backup to tape and of course the backup off the first DPM server.

All backups on the first DPM server went most of the times without any problem, and if there was a problem it could be solved with a consistency check or a rerun of the failed job.

However, everything on the second server failed completely. 

After investigation, I’ve noticed that many times the DPMRA service crashed on the primary server each time the backup server was doing a backup of the first.

I’ve read log files, event viewers but every error described on newsgroups and blog posts were about DPM servers that didn’t had the latest hotfix rollup.  This server and the secondary server however had all the hotfixes installed till date.

So because I couldn’t figure it out, I decided to log a call together with the customer.  Because I am not often with that customer I let him handle it but requested to forward me the steps taken by Microsoft support and hopefully the solution. 

After one week, they found the solution together with the Microsoft engineer.

Just as extra information, here is the error they got on the secondary server

Error Messages: The protection agent on primaryserver.FQDN was temporarily unable to respond because it was in an unexpected state. (ID 60 Details: Internal error code: 0x809909B0) followed by DPM failed to communicate with the protection agent on primaryserver.FQDN because the agent is not responding. (ID 43 Details: Internal error code: 0x8099090E)

So here are the steps taken and the solution.

1) They needed to run an MPS report as described on

2) They needed to run the following command (run as administrator!)

MOUNTVOL >c:\mountvol.txt

The engineers from Microsoft quickly viewed the problem

As you can see in the following exctraction out of the mountvol.txt file


        Q:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\servername\MSDEWriter\naamdatabase

        D:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\servername\MSDEWriter\naamdatabase


Q:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\Servername\Non VSS Datasource Writer\Computer\SystemState\SystemState\

        D:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\Servername\Non VSS Datasource Writer\Computer\SystemState\SystemState\


        Q:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\DiffArea\Servername\File System\D-2a56f4ae-783c-11de-8b69-005056ac1ad1\

        D:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\DiffArea\Servername\File System\D-2a56f4ae-783c-11de-8b69-005056ac1ad1\

The whole file was full with duplicate paths to the same volume, although this was not seen in a normal explorer

This happened because they once changed the location of the volumes.

Now the customer can use the mountvol command (with /d to remove the duplicates one by one, or take the the old disk offline and use the /R for all in once) to clear out the duplicate paths.

That solved the case



System Center Service Manager 2010: Error when installing the Compliance and Risk Process Management Pack

2:49 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

When I tried to install the Compliance and Risk Process Management Pack, I got following errors:

G:\Sources\Compliance and Risk Process Management Pack (Beta)\ComplianceAndRiskProcessMPBeta\Setup\Microsoft.ServiceManager.GRC.mpb

G:\Sources\Compliance and Risk Process Management Pack (Beta)\ComplianceAndRiskProcessMPBeta\Setup\Microsoft.ServiceManager.GRC.DocumentManagament.mpb
G:\Sources\Compliance and Risk Process Management Pack (Beta)\ComplianceAndRiskProcessMPBeta\Setup\Microsoft.ServiceManager.GRC.ControlManagement.mpb

The client has been disconnected from the server. Please call ManagementGroup.Reconnect() to reestablish the connection.The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error.

After searching on the web, and even posting a question on the system center service manager forum, I found the answer.

Many problems seem to arrive if your servers locale is different from en-us.  After changing that on my servers, the installation went smoothly.



System Center Service Manager 2010: Register the Datawarehouse with your Management Server

2:11 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just finished in setting up Service Manager 2010 beta 2 update in order to install the compliance and risk process management pack.

However, before I can start doing that, I’m first going to show you how you can connect your Datawarehouse with your service manager management group.  You need to do this in order to get the reporting running.  And if you want to have reports on the compliance and risk process management pack, this step is also necessary, so here goes.

In the SM console, under the home page of administration, go to the Register with Service Manager’s Data Warehouse


Select Register… there

The following Wizard will appear


Press Next to continue


In this screen, type in the servername that is your datawarehouse management server and then press the Test Connection.  Don’t forget to make sure that your firewall is correctly configured as stated in the documentation otherwise this will fail if your DWM server is on another server.

Press Next when the Your connection to the datawarehouse management server wass successful is shown.


Now you need to give the credentials for the connection registration.  These credentials can already exists, or you can create a new one.  This account needs to have Administrator privileges on the datawarehouse management server.


Now you see the Summary and off we go, press the Create button

During this, it is perfectly possible that you will receive a notification that the report deployment process is not completed.  Just press OK



Not exactly :-).  The process of synchronizing can take up a few hours.  But, you can immediately see already some changes. 

Close the console, wait for a few minutes and open the console again.

You will see two new buttons in the navigation pane


You can of course extract the navigation pane so that all buttons are fully shown


Now go to the Data Warehouse button.

Select the Data Warehouse jobs


You will see five jobs here


Select the MPSyncJob and then press the resume button


Refresh the view so that you can see that the MPSyncJob is running again


As said, this can take a few hours to complete.  From time to time, you can click the details of that job to see how far the job is.


When all the Management Packs are associated or imported, the job is done.



System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1: Bare Metal Recovery of Windows Server 2008

8:54 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Microsoft has updated its whitepaper Bare Metal Recovery of Windows Server 2008 with System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1

It can be found at

Important to know is that the DPM SRT (System Recovery Tool) that is used for recovering windows 2003 and windows XP has been completely replaced by the built-in backup utility of Windows server 2008, the WSB (Windows Server Backup) utility.

In the white-paper, they give a step-by-step instruction on how to enable bare metal recovery of a windows server 2008

Except for the fact that you need to do some additional work, this procedure certainly has some possibilities for the BMR of a physical windows server 2008. 

Still, I believe more in the procedure of working with the offline P2V which was discussed two weeks ago.  Since Matthijs Vreeken has responded on my questions I’m gonna keep working on this procedure and test it out.



Data Protection Manager 2010: Workgroup backup will be supported

7:17 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

As said in the previous post, I promised to give some additional information about the live meeting

One of the greatest things they said (it actually made my day) was that backup for Workgroup based servers or DMZ servers will be supported in the RC.  For now, the beta hasn’t included it yet, but the RC will.

Or so to speak with the words of Jason Buffington… “Consider it as an early Christmas present” 😉



Influencer Live Meeting: Managing the New Mail Infrastructure

7:14 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just finished with an interesting live meeting from Microsoft.  This live meeting was about managing the Exchange 2010 infrastructure with System Center.

It was a very cool meeting, getting into some details about the new management pack for exchange 2010 and operations manager but also (and for me the most interesting part) about using Data Protection Manager 2010 with Exchange 2010.

Jason Buffington ( was in the meeting and showed some very nice features for the future.

In the next few posts I will give some information that was said in the presentation.

In this one, I will start with an overview of the capabilities of DPM 2010 with Exchange 2010.

First screenshot you see is the basic drawing for DPM


Probably nothing new here, but the next screenshot is more interesting for the exchange 2010 fans



As you can see in this screenshot, DPM 2010 will have the possibility of backing up (or protecting) the different Exchange scenario’s. 

What’s very interesting about DPM 2010 is that you will be able to have offsite backups of your Exchange environment if you are using the DAG (Database Availability Groups) scenario where one server is located… off-site.

What’s also cool is that you can use DPM 2010 to offload the eseutil tool from your exchange server and put the load on the DPM server as you can see in the next screenshot


More information, including screenshots from the demo will come in the next posts but one thing is already for certain… Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for your exchange environment will become more easier then ever before.



System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 – SQL End-user Recovery

9:57 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

While reading up on the different blogs I follow, I found this interesting post from Anders Bengtsson, Microsoft MVP.

It’s all about SQL End-user Recovery.   In DPM 2010, it is possible to give SQL Administrators the rights to recover their databases without the need for a backup administrator.

See the article for the technical specifications (

The end-user recovery drew my attention for the following reasons:

– End-user recovery makes the live of a backup administrator more easy.  In 2007, when we implement the end-user recovery for files for users, we notice every time again, that the backup administrators are having less work

– Doing this for SQL administrators gives you an additional advantage.  Imagine that you have a test environment at your site.  This test environment is a virtualized “copy” of your production environment.  The programmers team is doing different things there and testing new features and so on.  They need a refresh of the database very often.  Now the SQL team can do this instead of the backup administrator.  How cool is that.  You as a backup administrator have less work, the programmers team will be helped more quickly, it’s a win win situation :-)


Now I am wondering if Microsoft would pull this further? What if we could delegate end-user recovery tasks for exchange, sharepoint and so on…

For the moment this is not possible, or at least I don’t have no documentation about this yet, but when I see the power of the SQL end-user recovery, I’m quite sure that this will be a much requested feature for the future



System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1: Sharepoint issues

9:28 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

One of our engineers was having a big issue with the protection of a sharepoint farm.  In DPM, he could not resolve the following error:

The replica of SSPComponent_SSP Intranet on servername is inconsistent with the protected data source. All protection activities for data source will fail until the replica is synchronized with consistency check.

He has searched a lot on the problem but finally found that the problem was not with the DPM program but with the Sharepoint configuration.

The problem was that some service accounts tried to do a remote log-on to the server.  These service accounts are used for the timer / search server functions and had the appropriate rights locally but did not had the rights to do this remotely.

After adding the service account the rights to “logon as a batch” and “logon as a service” it suddenly started to work again.