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DPM forums: A great resource

10:59 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Last few months I’m spending quite some time on the Data Protection Manager forums. There are a few reasons why I like to spend some time over there.

  1. I like to assist people who have issues with their DPM environments.  Why? I have no idea but I just like it.  Maybe it is because I also get a lot of help from these forums for other products but it is just something I like.  That, and probably the point system that brings out the competitor in me :-)
  2. Learning.  I like to read posts made by others and the possible resolutions that are posted.  When I have no clue about what can be the problem but the answer is still resolved, it can help me in the future when I should encounter the same problem.  It will also allow me to help others when they encounter that problem now that I have a solution
  3. Approaches.  Many users are posting questions about possible configurations they would like in their environment.  Although many can be seen as “Why would you want to do that”, there are many others where I say “Hey, that’s a great idea”.  And even those where I doubt, it still reminds me that every environment is unique and that business requirements sometimes can be hard to meet.

 

Now what about the support you get there.  No, it is not always the best support you can imagine.  Don’t forget that on these forums the helping people are volunteers and some Microsoft people.  Also don’t forget that it is pretty hard to troubleshoot issues when you don’t have the entire information, network architecture, log files and so on with you.  I remember a post that took on for days of troubleshooting while the actual issue was so stupid, that another pair of eyes on that server would have solved the issue within minutes.  But still, the answer came after a while.  If you however expect a resolution, and you need it fast, then you better contact your partner or place a Microsoft support call.

Who is who on these forums? And who is giving the responses.

Well, that could be about everybody who has a live-id (and who doesn’t).  Firstly, you have a few MSFT people who moderate the forums and who help.  People such as Praveen D [MSFT] and Mike J are really helpful over there and are doing a great job.  I assume that this is something additional they do in their work and that it is not their main work so considering that, nice job.

Secondly, you have the “other” people.  People like myself who are not Microsoft employees and who like to help others.  For DPM, I’m thinking about Robert Hedblom, Alex Smits and Taylorbox.  But I’m sure I’m forgetting a few others and the list of helping people has grown a lot lately, something I really like. (My apologies for those who I have forgotten)

Besides the Microsoft moderated forums, there are also others who like to share a forum themselves with the community.  One of these guys is David Allen who hosts a forum on SCDPMOnline.org and does a great job over there in answering people’s issues.  (And don’t forget the fact that he has one of the best DPM blogs)

So if you are having problems, make sure to stop by the DPM forums (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en/category/dpm) or by SCDPMOnline.org 

From time to time, I will be using the information found in the forums to write a post, such as the next one.  Why? Basically because it is good information and I can find it myself again :-) and it might be easier for others to find a solution on blogs then on forums.

One final remark.

Users who ask a question on the forum, should always give feedback when they got a response.  Now many questions remain “open” because they have never received feedback from the person with the problem.  This helps others that have this issue.  When they find the forum post, and see that it resolved the issue with the user that had it, they will be more certain to try the resolution in their environments.

It doesn’t take much time to answer, and you can always be notified when somebody responds.

Cheers,

Mike

Another fine new blog?

7:54 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just discovered (by accident) a new blog about DPM.  The name of the blog is DPMCallBack and can be found here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpmcallback/

The first post is already a good one so I’m hoping for more :-)

The post describes the questions that you will get when you have issues with your DPM installation.  Whenever you want to open a case for DPM, it is good to have these questions answered in advance, it will save you some time 😉

Here is a copy of the questions:

• Is this a fresh installation of DPM using the RTM bits or was this an upgrade from a previous version or from Beta?

• When did the problem first start? You can select the Monitoring tab and review the Alerts/Jobs for details.

• Has it ever worked as expected?

• What changes (if any) were made just prior to the failures?

• Can you reproduce the problem? If so can you please provide the exact steps?

• Are other protected data sources experiencing the same problem?

• Is the error specific to one type of data source? Example, Exchange jobs fail but SQL and SharePoint are successful.

• What is the application version that is experiencing the problem? Example, SQL 2005, SQL 2008, Exchange 2007…etc.

• Is the protected data source running on a standalone server, domain controller or a cluster?

• Is the system that is experiencing the problem in the same domain as the DPM server?

• Do other protected data sources reside on the same machine? Are they also failing?

• Is the target machine for which you’re experiencing the issue on the same LAN as the DPM server or over a WAN?

• What is the error message and ID in the Details pane? If possible, please copy/paste this or provide a screenshot.

 

Cheers

Mike

Cool new post: DPM licensing explained

5:44 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Great post from Jason Buffington: DPM Licensing explained, make sure to check it out!

http://blogs.technet.com/b/jbuff/archive/2010/06/23/dpm-2010-licensing-info.aspx

Cheers,

Mike

New important Knowledgebase: DPM encountered a retryable VSS error

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey Guys,

Fresh from the DPM blog: http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/archive/2010/04/14/new-dpm-solution-dpm-encountered-a-retryable-vss-error-when-trying-to-protect-a-hyper-v-vm-that-has-forefront-tmg-2010-installed.aspx

Whenever you have the following error:

Recovery point creation jobs for Microsoft Hyper-V \Backup Using Saved State\W2K8-R2 on protected_VM have been failing. The number of failed recovery point creation jobs = 1.

If the datasource protected is SharePoint, then click on the Error Details to view the list of databases for which recovery point creation failed. (ID 3114)

DPM encountered a retryable VSS error. (ID 30112 Details: VssError: The writer experienced a transient error. If the backup process is retried, the error may not reoccur.
(0x800423F3))

Then check out it out @ http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=981948

Watch out, it is not a hotfix, but a workaround!

Cheers

Mike

Backup VMWare virtual machines

6:02 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

A question that is asked a lot, so I thought I write about it.  Can VMWare virtual machines be protected by DPM 2010 (and also with DPM 2007 by the way :-))?  The answer is YES. How cool is that?

Here is a how-to:

To achieve this, we need VDR backup.  In the current version (1.0.2) the backup repository must be in an ‘inactive’ state when it is copied to tape.  When is it in an active state? When the following conditions are met:

  • Performing a backup

  • Performing a restore

  • During housing keeping tasks such as integrity checks or pruning of old backup restore points

Because of that, we need to make sure that the VDR is in an inactive state before copying the data to tape, or with other words, shut down the VDR application.

This guide also assumes that you have already configured your VDR appliance and that the backups are scheduled and running.

Before I get to that, I’ll first explain what the prerequisites are on the DPM protected server!  What does this mean?  It has to be done on the server that holds the backup disk for the virtual machines.

image

So far the prerequisites.  Now it is time to create all the scripts to do the job.

Number on:

Create a bat file called ShutdownVDR.bat (as example, the name is free to chose)

In this example, all scripts will be placed under c:\dpmscripts

Type the folliowing in the bat file (note! This must be on 1 line…)

%systemdirectory%\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe -PSConsoleFile “%programfiles%\VMware\Infrastructure\VSphere PowerCLI\vim.psc1” -Command <scriptname>

Or, in my example:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe -PSConsoleFile “C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\VSphere PowerCLI\vim.psc1” -Command C:\DPMScripts\ShutdownVDR.ps1

The thorough reader has already seen that there is a .ps1 script that needs to be created… Here it is:

Connect-VIServer -Server <vCenterIPAddress> -Protocol https -User <adminUsername> -Password <password> shutdown-vmguest <VDRApplianceName> -Confirm:$False Disconnect-VIServer -Confirm:$False

or again according to my example

Connect-VIServer -Server 192.168.1.15 -Protocol https -User svc_user -Password VerYDiffICultPasswd shutdown-vmguest MP-VDR01 -Confirm:$False Disconnect-VIServer -Confirm:$False

Enough? No, we now have our shutdown of VDR in place, now it is time to create the startup.

StartupVDR.bat

%systemdirectory%\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe -PSConsoleFile “%programfiles%\VMware\Infrastructure\VSphere PowerCLI\vim.psc1” -Command <scriptname>

StartupVDR.ps1

Connect-VIServer -Server <vCenterIPAddress> -Protocol https -User <adminUsername> -Password <password> Start-VM <VDRApplianceName> Disconnect-VIServer -Confirm:$False

Configure the protected server

Now you need to configure the protected server so that it will execute pre and post scripts when it needs to perform a backup.

You do this by editing the Scriptingconfig.xml file on that protected server.  This can be found under the agent installation directory (%programfiles%\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\Scripting\)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<ScriptConfiguration xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/dls/ScriptingConfig.xsd">

<DatasourceScriptConfig DataSourceName="<DataSource>">

<PreBackupScript><path>\<Script></PreBackupScript>

<PostBackupScript><path>\<Script></PostBackupScript>

<TimeOut>15 </DatasourceScriptConfig>

</ScriptConfiguration>

Change the path\script to the correct values.  In my case it is c:\dpmscripts\shutdownVDR.bat for prebackup and c:\dpmscripts\startupVDR.bat for postbackup

Now just create a protection group that protects the specific drive and off you go…

With a lot of thanks to my colleague Arne Peleman.

Enjoy

Cheers,

Mike

New hotfix rollup package for DPM 2007

8:02 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

A new hotfix rollup package is out for DPM 2007.

You can find the details here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979970

And the download can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=775e1a23-825f-450a-9d71-6b8c951ea748

The hotfix resolves following issues:

  • You may experience a crash in the Data Protection Manager engine when you run a tape job from a protected server.
  • When you use the Data Protection Manager Management Console to browse Microsoft SharePoint Server recovery points or when you back up a SharePoint point to tape from disk, you receive the following error message:

    PrmDatasetDatasourceMismatchForArchiveOfSC (=30132)

  • A SharePoint recovery point in a secondary Data Protection Manager has a different set of datasets than the corresponding recovery point in the primary Data Protection Manager.
  • Alerts for standby continuous replication (SCR) servers are not displayed in Microsoft Operations Manager.
  • Default disk allocations may grow unexpectedly for system state protection.
  • When you restore a SharePoint site that contains a WEB host header to an alternate location, the site is restored to the default site.
  • Shared Services Provider (SSP) database protection is blocked when one or more SSP names begin with the same SSP name.
  • The server is slow, and time-out errors may occur, when you run a backup-to-tape job.
  • Data Protection Manager-owned tapes are marked as unrecognized.
  • Data Protection Manager cannot retrieve SharePoint catalog information. Therefore, item-level recovery is not possible for some content databases. Additionally, you may receive the following error code:

    3103

  • You receive the following protection agent error code when bulk tape jobs cannot be completed successfully:

    0x80990C27

  • You may experience a Data Protection Manager engine crash during backup to tape.
  • The Data Protection Manager Management Console does not display recovery points before the year 2010 in some scenarios.
  •  

    As usual, the hotfix contains all previous hotfix rollups.

    Make sure you read the knowledgebase article well because after the hotfix, there could be an issue

    Also make sure you have the correct prerequisites (SP1 and KB962975)

     

    During the installation, make sure that you select Manually restart the selected servers because it is not necessary to restart the servers

    Cheers,

    Mike

    System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: Important Hotfix Rollup Package

    9:30 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

    Hey All,

    Microsoft has released a hotfix rollup package for SCDPM 2007 SP1.  This package resolves a lot of issues with this product:

    Issue 1
    If you enable library sharing, you cannot delete a protection group, and you receive the following error message:

    Cannot promote the transaction to a distributed transaction because there is an active save point in this transaction.

    Issue 2
    The SharePoint backup process fails if DPM 2007 cannot back up a content database. If you install this update, the SharePoint backup process will finish. However, an alert will be raised if DPM 2007 cannot back up a content database.

    Issue 3
    DPM 2007 jobs randomly fail. In the administrator console, you see error code 0x800706BA if you check the detailed information about the failed job.

    Issue 4
    DPM 2007 does not delete directories that are no longer being protected from the replica volume.

    Issue 5
    When you restore a Microsoft SharePoint site that is configured to use a host header, the incorrect SharePoint site is restored.

    Issue 6
    DPM 2007 performs a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) full backup. Because the transaction logs are deleted when the DPM 2007 backup job is completed, this backup may interfere with other applications that are backing up transactional applications such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Exchange.
    After you install this update rollup, you can configure DPM 2007 to perform VSS copy backup. This means that the application transaction logs will not be deleted when the DPM 2007 backup job is finished.

    Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    322756 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

    To configure DPM 2007 to perform VSS copy backup, add the following CopyBackupEnabled registry value under the following registry subkey:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Agent\2.0

    Registry value: CopyBackupEnabled
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value Data: 1

    Issue 7
    Reconciling a VSS shadow copy causes the DPM 2007 service to crash.

    Issue 8
    The DPM 2007 service crashes if a tape backup job is canceled during the CheckConcurrencyBlock operation.

    Issue 9
    The Pruneshadowcopies.ps1 script cannot delete expired recovery points.

    Issue 10
    If a parent backup job of a SharePoint farm fails, but the child backup succeeds, the DPM 2007 service crashes.
    This hotfix also includes the following previously released rollups for Data Protection Manager 2007 Service Pack 1:

    961502 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961502/ ) A replica may be listed as inconsistent after you install System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 on a computer that is running an x64-based version of Windows Server 2003

    963102 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/963102/ ) Description of the hotfix rollup package for System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: February 16, 2009

    968579 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/968579/ ) Description of the hotfix rollup package for System Center Data Protection Manager 2007: April 14, 2009

    Make sure you install this one on all of your DPM installations:

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;970867

    Cheers,

    Mike

    Installation of DPM 2007 Sp1 went fine but did require a consistency check

    10:05 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

    This post is written by Ilse Van Criekinge from Pro-Exchange.be

    Being anxious to get my hands on Service Pack 1 for System Center Data Protection Manager 2007, I was very happy to see it is available for download now @ Microsoft. After reading the installation guidelines, I went ahead and updated my test environment.
    Since I have one DPM server, and I’m running running the SQL DPMDB instance on the Data Protection Manager 2007 server itself, I only needed to download and run the DataProtectionManager2007-KB959605.exe on the DPM server.

    After double-clicking the exe file, the installation of Visual C++ Redistributable is launched.

     

     

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    image

     

    After finishing the installation of this Visual C++ redistributable, the setup of service pack 1 really kicks off:

    image

     

    image

     

    Setup does warn you that any jobs in progress or the ones that will start during the installation process will fail. The installation procedure will also backup the DPM database. The warning that the process may take several hours can be ignored by me since I’m only using this DPM server to backup my Exchange environment.
    I accept the License agreement:

     

    image

    And start the installation:

     

    image

    To finish the update process I will need to restart the DPM server, as stated clearly when the installation of Service Pack is done:

     

    image

    image

    After rebooting the DPM Server, it is clear that I don’t have any other choice than to update the agents on my protected Exchange servers as well.

    image

    DPM warns you that updating the agent may cause the need to schedule a consistency check after the upgrade:

    image

    image

    image

    image

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    And DPM shows that the agent status is now ok:

    image

     

    But a look at the protection group soon reveals that a consistency check is needed:

     

    image

     

    Which I manually initiated immediately:

     

    image

     

    And after a few minutes of waiting, everything worked out fine:

    image

     

    image

     

    So, installation went fine (even though rebooting both the DPM server and the protected Exchange server was required), and I had to perform a consistency check after updating the agents, but everything looks good now :-) Time to test the protecting of a SCR target now, but that’s for a next post 😉
    Please note, we have been forced to disable the ability to post comments, due to comment spammers. If you have a comment about this post or any other, don’t hesitate to send me a mail @ ilse.vancriekinge[@]pro-exchange.be
    – Ilse

     

    This post is written by Ilse Van Criekinge from Pro-Exchange.be

    IPD Guides: Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1

    9:37 pm in Uncategorized by evilbart

    Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides-Release Announcement: Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1

    The Infrastructure Planning and Design team has released a new guide, Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 SP1.
    Looking to protect your organization’s data but not quite sure how to do this? This guide leads the reader through the process of planning a Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 SP1 infrastructure. Work through the infrastructure design process in a logical, sequential order. This guide enables the reader to quickly identify what types of data will be protected, what the recovery goals are, and the protection strategy to achieve those goals. Other benefits of using this guide include best practice design guidance from the product group and an optimized infrastructure to best meet the business requirements.

    Download the guide

     

    Grtz,

    Alexandre Verkinderen

    http://scug.be/blogs

    Prerequisites and Known Issues with Hyper-V Protection

    9:17 am in Uncategorized by evilbart

    SP1 for dataprotection 2007 is now available, but if there are some prerequisites and known issues with Hyper-V protection:

     

    Prerequisites:

    Before protecting Hyper-V virtual machines with DPM, ensure that the following updates are installed on the target Hyper-V server:

    • The customer should be running Hyper-V RTM. The corresponding Windows update is KB950050 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=132735). HyperV Manager version should be 6.0.6001.18016.
    • Install the following updates:
      • KB951308 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=132733) on each cluster node for cluster deployment.
        Increased functionality and virtual machine control in the Windows Server 2008 Failover Cluster Management console for the Hyper-V role.
      • KB959962 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=136583) on the Hyper-V host and the guest virtual machines. This update for Hyper-V writer is required for backing up Hyper-V VMs with DPM.
        Dd347840.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gifNote
        KB959962 is scheduled to release in January 2009, it enables online protection of Hyper-V guest machines. Until the update is available, virtual machines can be protected by configuring them for offline backup within each machines’ Integration Components service settings. Open the Settings window for the virtual machine and select Integration Services in the left pane. Clear the check box for Backup (volume snapshot) service and click OK. If you have set the DWORD AllowOffline registry key under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Agent make sure the value is not zero (0).

         

         

      • KB960038 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=136584) on all Hyper-V hosts. This update for Windows Server 2008 fixes a crash of the Hyper-V host server which you may experience when backups are made using Hyper-V writer.
    • The version of Integration Components running inside the VM should be the same as the version of Hyper-V on the host. For Hyper-V RTM it is 6.0.6001.18016.
      You can confirm this in the Device Manager inside the guest VM. Under System Devices in Device Manager, right-click on the entry Hyper-V Volume Shadow Copy and choose Properties. Check the version under the Driver tab. If the version does not match, insert the integration services disk by choosing the option under the Action menu in the VM console. Install the integration components and reboot the VM.

    Known Issues:

    Issue

    Symptoms

    Cause

    Workaround

    Solution

    Recommendation

    Hyper-V server stops working when DPM runs backups on the server.

    You may experience a Stop 0x7E when you backup a server that has the Hyper-V role installed.

    This is a problem in the volsnap.sys driver when interacting with the Hyper-V VSS writer.

    N/A

    Download and install KB960038 on the Hyper-V host to solve this problem.

    We recommend that you deploy this in the next available downtime window on the Hyper-V host.

    Backup of Hyper-V virtual machine fails

    Hyper-V virtual machine backups (backups using child partition) fail with following error for multiple volume virtual machines: DPM encountered a retryable VSS error. (ID 30112 Details: Unknown error (0x800423f3) (0x800423F3)).
    On the Hyper-V host in the event log: VMMS Event log contains following entry:
    Failed to revert to VSS snapshot on one or more virtual hard disks of the virtual machine ‘%1′. (Virtual machine ID %2).

    .

    Perform an offline backup of the virtual machine.

    Download and install KB959962 on the Hyper-V host to solve this problem.

    We recommend that you install this update on all Hyper-V hosts protected by DPM.

    Recovery of Hyper-V virtual machine fails

    The Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service stops when you are restoring a virtual machine.

    This issue can occur if the virtual machine is configured to use a legacy network adapter.

    Restart the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service.

    Download and install KB959962 on the Hyper-V host to solve this problem. Then recover the data to an alternate location.

    We recommend that you deploy this update on all Hyper-V hosts protected by DPM.

    Backup of the Hyper-V virtual machine fails

    Hyper-V VSS writer is in a bad state and does not identify itself to VSS anymore. The VSS application writer or the VSS provider is in a bad state. Either it was already in a bad state or it entered a bad state during the current operation (ID 30111 Details: Unknown error (0x80042319) (0x80042319)). Please check that the Event Service and the VSS service are running, and check for errors associated with these services in the Application Event Log on the server hyper01.contoso.com. Please allow 10 minutes for VSS to repair itself and then retry the operation.

    This is a problem in the Hyper-V writer in Windows Server 2008.

    To get the writer back to a stable state, restart the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management service. Perform offline backups of the virtual machines to prevent the writer from going into a bad state.

    Download and install KB959962 on the Hyper-V host to solve this problem.

    We recommend that you deploy this update on all Hyper-V hosts protected by DPM.

     

    Grtz,

    Alexandre Verkinderen

    http://scug.be/blogs