You are browsing the archive for 2010 March.

How to remove a dead server from DPM 2010

7:30 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Every DPM administrator will have sooner or later this problem.  A server has been removed, decommissioned or went dead suddenly.  But the agent was never installed through the UI so it remains there.  DPM starts to throw errors at you because it’s not possible anymore to backup that server and you want to delete the agent from the console.  And, of course, business requires that you retain the data for a specific period.

If that period is within the thresholds that have been set, then there is no problem as you will see later in this post.  However, if you need to maintain the data longer, then you better “restore” the data to a tape, so you can store it away for a longer time.

But, for today, here is the procedure how to remove the ‘dead’ agent

image

In this screenshot you can see an agent that is not reachable anymore.

image

So I tried to remove the agent.  I did right click and choose Uninstall

image

This is the error I’m getting.  The server is still in one of my protection groups, so I can’t remove it until I first remove it from the protection group.

So I’m going to the protection group

image

Right-click and choose Stop Protection of Group.

Note: In case you want to remove a server out of a protection group, but don’t remove the protection group then you need to modify it.  It will automatically create an Inactive protection for previously protected data in the UI

image

I choose to delete the protection group and retain the data

image

After the job, I have an inactive protection for this source

So back to my management, right-click on the dead server and Uninstall

image

image

I have to enter my credentials

image

The agent is being uninstalled

image

But as said, the server is dead, so this is not going to work.  DPM now asks me if I want to remove the agent record from the database.  I choose Yes

image

At the end, DPM still tells me that the job has failed, but since I told him to remove the record, it should have done the job after all.  And indeed, the server will not be listed anymore in the UI.

When I go back to protection, I will see that I still have data for that source and still can restore if needed.  Again, don’t forget to restore to somewhere if you need it longer, otherwise the data will be gone after it’s protection period is over

image

Cheers,

Mike

Sharepoint 2010 protection in DPM 2010: Part 3

8:37 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

This is part 3 of our Sharepoint protection in DPM 2010 serie and also the last part.

You can find the other two parts here:

http://scug.be/blogs/scdpm/archive/2010/03/11/sharepoint-2010-protection-in-dpm-2010-part-1.aspx

http://scug.be/blogs/scdpm/archive/2010/03/12/sharepoint-2010-protection-in-dpm-2010-part-2.aspx

 

Item-level recovery

So what is Item-level recovery?  Item-level recovery means that you can recover a single document, list, page or whatever.  While it was already possible in Sharepoint 2007 and DPM 2007, you needed a sharepoint recovery farm to do this.  And the recovery farm had to be at the exact level as the production farm.  If you hadn’t had this farm, then you could only recover a complete farm or site collection.

With Sharepoint 2010 and DPM 2010, you can do item-level recovery without the need of a recovery farm.

Every 24 hours, DPM will create a catalogue of the Sharepoint environment in order to allow the item-level recovery.  In case you need to do an item-level recovery before the 24 hour (such as demo-purposes :-)) you can run the following powershell commands to force this task

$pg = Get-ProtectionGroup <dpmservername>

$ds = Get-Datasource $pg[index1] (index1 points to the protection where

SharePoint is protected, to see all protection groups try $pg)

Start-CreateCatalog $ds[index2] (index2 points to the SharePoint datasource,

to see all datasources try $ds)

Example

In my demo environment, I have a sharepoint farm running which is the view you will get after a basic installation with one site configured

image

image

As you can see in the screenshot, I have modified the home page a bit.  Now I’m going to modify it again

image

Of course, now I realize I made a mistake, don’t have a clue what it used to be before and I call IT to restore :-)

So IT will start from the DPM UI

image

As you can see, In the recovery pane, I can see the sharepoint farm and some items under there.  I need to recover a page, so I need to be in the WSS Content

image

After some drilling down, I reached the page that need to be recovered.  I select this page, also select the time from which I want to recover and start a recovery.

image

image

So here are my options.

  • Recover to original site
  • Recover to alternate site
  • Export selected items into a network folder (not possible in this case)
  • to tape

In our case, I’m going to recover to the original site

image

Now I get the option to do a recovery without or with a recovery farm.  Since the purpose of today was to demonstrate it without the recovery farm…

image

Now you need to make some decisions.  The first you need to decide is the SQL instance that you want to use to recover temporarily the content database where the item is located.  You can use the same SQL instance as where the production farm is located, but this will give some additional load so if that is not an option, choose another SQL instance if possible.

The second choice you need to make is a location where the database can be temporarily copied to.  This can be any volume or share that you want, but you need to have enough space free to copy the entire database to that location.

image

Next screen, you will need to give again a file location for the temporary location of the item that you want to recover.  This has to be on a front-end web server so that the item can be inserted from there into the sharepoint farm.

image

Again some options in the next screen.  the security that you want to apply, bandwidth throttling if necessary,  SAN recovery if that is supported and a notification if you have configured email notification

image

Finally you will receive the summary.

image

And here the recovery is busy.  You can close this window and follow the progress in the jobs pane.

image

And here you can see that the recovery is successful.

Now when I switch back to the sharepoint farm, you can see that my original page is restored

image

That’s it

Cheers,

Mike

Sharepoint 2010 protection in DPM 2010: Part 2

6:42 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

This is the second part of the 3-part sharepoint 2010 protection series

In the first part we looked at the things that were necessary as prerequiste to protect a sharepoint farm.  We also looked at some details about sharepoint protection.

Today, we gonna create a protection group for sharepoint.

Background information

image

This picture shows how DPM works for sharepoint protection.

So when we are protecting a sharepoint farm (as said in the previous post) with one click, then we are protecting all these items with their different writers.

Basically, when you want to protect a sharepoint farm, DPM 2010 will do everything for you in the back-end.  That’s easy :-)

Don’t forget, whenever you create a new content database, and the auto-protect option is enabled, then it will be automatically protected within 24 hours.

You will however get a warning alert in the Console that there is a new content database.

The same will happen when the Sharepoint Administrators delete a content database.  DPM 2010 will figure this out, give you a warning alert, and you just need to follow the information in that alert to reconfigure the protection group.

One other thing that can go wrong is that the Sharepoint administrators change the farm administrator password that you use to protect (see previous post).  At that moment, you will get a warning alert but DPM will continue to backup everything he knows.  However, he won’t be able to query the config database anymore, so he won’t know when there are (for example) new content databases.  So if you are having this issue, perform the commands again from my previous post with the new password (or even new user and passwords) and you’re back ok.

Create the protection group

Ok, so let’s create a protection group for sharepoint.

image

image

Choose Servers to continue

image

When I open my sharepoint server, I will see a possibility of choosing a sharepoint farm.  So I select it

image

Here I choose my short-term and long term protection.  No tape library in my environment here so…

image

Time to choose the settings for the short-term protection.  So here you can define how long you want to be able to recover and when he needs to take a full express backup.  Note that this is the only possibility for sharepoint farm protection.  Synchronizations are not possible.  If you wander how many disk space this is going to eat, then you need to calculate your chunk that you have each day.  But how do you calculate this chunk?  Well, with DPM you can find out, so my suggestion would be to use the tool a few days to see the changes, and use the excel sheets that can do an estimate based on your input.

image

DPM will calculate itself the diskspace, but since it doesn’t know how many data changes there are on average a day, it will remain an estimate.  You can however choose to let the auto-grow option on so that it will automatically grows the volume.  (DPM admins, don’t forget to review the great disk utilization reports weekly :-))

Note that the co-location option is not selectable.  This is because co-location is not supported for Sharepoint protection.

image

Choose when you want to create the initial replica.  This is preferred to do outside the working hours if you are having a large farm that is used intensively.

image

Here you have the option to do an automatic consistency check when the replica isn’t consistent anymore or to do it on a daily base on a fixed hour.  My advice, if possible, do it automatically whenever it is inconsistent but if the load is too heavy on your production sharepoint servers, then schedule it on a daily base after working hours or at the most convenient time.

image

Finally the summary

image

Ok.  In our next post, we will show you how you can do an item-level recovery.

Cheers,

Mike

Sharepoint 2010 protection in DPM 2010: Part 1

4:42 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

This post will the first of three about sharepoint protection.

Part 1 will be about the preparation to protect a sharepoint farm and some background information what DPM can do with your sharepoint farm.

Part 2 will be about creating a protection group for the sharepoint farm and some explanation on how it works

Part 3 will be an example of how you can do level-item restore and what is necessary to achieve this.

 

Background information

So what can we protect with DPM 2010?  Here’s the list

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010
  • Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • Windows SharePoint Services version 3.0
  • Windows SharePoint Services version 2.0

So what can we do?  We can do a farm protection with one-click, there is the possibility of automatically protecting new content databases.  We can do a recovery of an entire farm, an entier Database, a Site Collection, a Site and an Item. 

Please note that this Site and Item level recovery only works with Sharepoint 2010 without a recovery farm.

Oke, sound all good, time to prepare my environment for Sharepoint protection.

 

Preparing the Sharepoint environment

First is first, in my labo environment, I only had one server running everything from sharepoint, the front-end IIS, the Sharepoint 2010 application and the SQL server.  It ran on a windows server 2008 R2 and was the latest beta available on the connect site.

I started with deploying an agent to the sharepoint server.  After that is done, you need to configure something extra on the sharepoint box. So here goes:

Open a command prompt as administrator and go to the DPM agent installation bin folder(default: %programfiles%\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\bin)

image

Run the command ConfigureSharepoint.exe –enableSharepointProtection

This will enable the protection of the sharepoint farm.  It will enable the WSSCmdletsWrapper DCOM object and the WSS VSS writer.  As you can see in the screenshot, it will ask you for a username and password.  This needs to be the (or a) farm administrator account.

image

After that, we are going to run another command: ConfigureSharepoint.exe EnableSPSearchProtection

This will enable the protection of the Search provider.  Again, you need to enter the username and password for a sharepoint administrator.

image

Oke, now let’s have a better look at the command.

 

 

 

Syntax:
ConfigureSharePoint.exe [-EnableSharePointProtection] | [-EnableSPSearchProtection] | [-ResolveAllSqlAliases] | [-SetTempPath <Path>]

Requirement:
This command should be run as a local administrator. For Windows 2008 onwards, ensure that this command is run from an elevated command prompt.

Parameters:
-EnableSharePointProtection
Enables the protection of SharePoint farm. It registers the WSSCmdletsWrapper DCOM object and enables the WSS VSS writer. When prompted to enter user name and password, enter the credentials of the SharePoint farm administrator.

-EnableSPSearchProtection
Enables the protection of WSS 3.0 Search and MOSS 2007 SSP. It registers the WSSCmdletsWrapper DCOM object. When prompted to enter user name and password, enter the credentials of the SharePoint farm administrator.

-ResolveAllSqlAliases
This option can be run only after running -EnableSharePointProtection or -EnableSPSearchProtection on the server. It provides information about all the SQL aliases reported by the WSS VSS writer and resolves them to the corresponding SQL Server instance names. If a SharePoint database is mirrored and configured with SQL alias then the corresponding mirror’s SQL Server instance name is displayed as well. This option also reports all the SQL aliases that cannot be resolved to any SQL Server.

-SetTempPath <Path>
Sets the environment variable TEMP and TMP to the specified path

 

The good observer 😉 has seen that you can run the parameters all at once so that you don’t need to give the username and password twice.

One important note… The farm administrator account doesn’t need to be local administrator on the Web Front End.  This was a requirement for DPM 2007.  From the moment you do perform the command, DPM 2010 will give the following permissions to the sharepoint farm administrator:

  • Read and Execute to all DPM directories.
  • Read, Execute and Write (all) access on Temp directory in the DPM directory.
  • Read permissions to the DPM hive in the registry.

That’s it for now, next post will be the creation of a protection group

Cheers,

Mike

How to manually install an agent and attach it to the DPM server

6:54 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

I’m receiving sometimes the question about manual installation of DPM agents.  Sometimes this is because off using deployment tools, other times it is because of firewall restrictions on the server.

The DPM agent installer from the console works great but when it needs to be done manual, it just needs to be done manual.

So for this, here is a small example on how to achieve this.

 

In this example, I will install the agent manually on the server, but it is perfectly possible to do this with SCCM or SCE or MDT.

 

First we need to find the agent installer sources

image

Depending on which version you need, choose it.  In this case it was a 64-bit server.

image

image

When the agent installation is complete, we need to run following command

image

The command is: SetDpmServer.exe –dpmServerName <name server>

Note that when the DPM server is in another domain, use the FQDN

image

As you can see, the DPM command is now configuring a few items

After that, you need to go to the console and choose to install agents

image

But instead of choosing the option Install Agents you need to choose Attach Agents and then depending on your situation: Computers on Active Directory Domain or Computers in Workgroup or Untrusted Domain

In my case, it is Computers on Active Directory Domain

image

In this window you need to choose your servers.  This can be one server but multiple at the same time is also possible.

image

Give the correct credentials

image

A review, press Attach to start the task

image

And quickly after, you will get the notification that it is a success.

That’s it.

But what if you want to do the command part on the server to be protected automatically?

This can be achieved by using parameters in your installation package for SCCM, MDT or SCE

USAGE:
DpmAgentInstaller.exe [/q] [<DPM server name>]

[<DPM server name>]
The name of the DPM server to be used for protecting this computer. Specify this parameter if the DPM server is known. If you are installing the DPM protection agent as a part of an image, skip this parameter. You can set the DPM server later using the SetDpmServer.exe tool.
[/q]
Performs a silent install.

So using the following command in your package should solve your problem here: DpmAgentInstaller.exe /q <DPMServerName>

So is this something you would want to use or not?  In my opinion, every windows server that you deploy should receive an agent.  Why?  Because you never know when you need to backup that server.  With DPM it is very easy to set the agent for a server as disabled.  It won’t use any license so that won’t cause a problem.

Just my 2 cents

Cheers,

Mike