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Microsoft’s internal use of SCDPM 2010

1:53 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft released a case study about System Center Data Protection Manager 2010.  The customer in this case study is Microsoft’s own internal IT.  This is a very interesting case study as Microsoft is a very large organizations, with divisions worldwide, many datacenter and lot’s of data to protect (3.5 petabytes!!!!).  But as with any other case study, it is an interesting read but it doesn’t give you any technical details or information on how they did the work.

Another SCDPM MVP and good friend of my Yegor mentioned on his blog last week that Microsoft has released two more documents around the case-study.  I downloaded those and found out that they are actually containing great information for everybody that is tasked with a new setup of SCDPM or a migration from 2007 to 2010.

A must read:

Protecting Server Data with System Center Data Protection Manager 2010: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26659

Managing Data Back Up at Microsoft with Data Protection Manager 2010: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5898

Cheers

Mike

From the Forums: Could not enumerate Exchange

8:50 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Here’s a strange case that has been discussed on the great DPM forums.

A user reported that he could not enumerate the Exchange server when he was creating a protection group for Exchange Server using the DPM wizard.

These are the errors he got:

DPM could not enumerate application component Microsoft Exchange Server\Microsoft Information Store\xxx\17a465cc-90ca-4abd-927f-9aed49f33b5e on protected computer xxx. (ID: 964)
Please make sure that writer is in good state.

DPM could not enumerate application component Microsoft Exchange Server\Microsoft Information Store\xxx\17a465cc-90ca-4abd-927f-9aed49f33b5e\File on protected computer xxx. (ID: 964)
Please make sure that writer is in good state.

DPM could not enumerate application component Microsoft Exchange Server\Microsoft Information Store\xxx\17a465cc-90ca-4abd-927f-9aed49f33b5e\Logs on protected computer xxx. (ID: 964)
Please make sure that writer is in good state.

We let him do all the usual stuff but it didn’t solved anything.

Until today, nothing was found to solve this case, and there were many more reporting this issue.  But today, a user named Frans Molenaar found a solution.  Although it sounds like a very strange solution which has nothing to do with the issue, I decided to test it out in my sandbox and come to the conclusion that it actually indeed solved the case.

So here goes:

First: Check on the exchange server if the following powershell scripts exist:

In  %ExchangeInstallPath%\bin you need to find the following scripts:

  • CommonConnectFunctions.ps1
  • CommonConnectFunctions.strings.psd1
  • Connect-ExchangeServer-help.xml
  • ConnectFunctions.ps1
  • ConnectFunctions.strings.psd1
  • RemoteExchange.ps1
  • RemoteExchange.strings.psd1

Second: Check the following registry keys if they exist:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns]
@=””

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.E2010]
“CustomPSSnapInType”=”Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.AdminPSSnapIn”
“ApplicationBase”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin”
“AssemblyName”=”Microsoft.Exchange.PowerShell.Configuration, Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″
“Description”=”Admin Tasks for the Exchange Server”
“ModuleName”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin\\Microsoft.Exchange.PowerShell.Configuration.dll”
“PowerShellVersion”=”1.0″
“Vendor”=”Microsoft Corporation”
“Version”=”14.0.0.0″

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.Setup]
“CustomPSSnapInType”=”Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.SetupPSSnapIn”
“ApplicationBase”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin”
“AssemblyName”=”Microsoft.Exchange.PowerShell.Configuration, Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″
“Description”=”Setup Tasks for the Exchange Server”
“ModuleName”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin\\Microsoft.Exchange.PowerShell.configuration.dll”
“PowerShellVersion”=”1.0″
“Vendor”=”Microsoft”
“Version”=”14.0.0.0″

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellSnapIns\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Powershell.Support]
“CustomPSSnapInType”=”Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Powershell.Support.SupportPSSnapIn”
“ApplicationBase”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin”
“AssemblyName”=”Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Powershell.Support, Version=14.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35″
“Description”=”Support Tasks for the Exchange Server”
“ModuleName”=”C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft\\Exchange Server\\V14\\bin\\Microsoft.Exchange.Management.Powershell.Support.dll”
“PowerShellVersion”=”1.0″
“Vendor”=”Microsoft Corporation”
“Version”=”14.0.0.0″

If this is not the case, then copy the registry keys from another exchange server and after that, it works.

To test this, I exported some of the registry keys, removed them and tried the DPM wizard.  I got exactly the error as described in the thread.  After imorting the keys again, everything worked as a charm.

If you have this similar issue, then check these things out

For the complete thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dpmexchbackup/thread/25ef304c-b9b5-47b6-a65d-17967ab0ad62/

And thank you Frans Molenaar for finding this solution

Cheers,

Mike

DPM 2010 Hyper-V Protection: Cluster networks for CSV redirected access

1:01 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Another great KB is launched…

This is all about that you can “kill” your network by protecting your hyper-v virtual machines on a CSV, by using a software VSS providor.

This has been discussed on the forums for many many times, and now, we finally have a clear, explained reason, and some workarounds and solutions

A must read KB if you want to protect VM’s

http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2010/12/09/system-center-data-protection-manager-2010-hyper-v-protection-configuring-cluster-networks-for-csv-redirected-access.aspx

or

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;2473194

Cheers,

Mike 

DPM and the case of EFS

7:59 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

A question that has come to the forums many times… How does DPM handle files that are encrypted with EFS.

Although most of us kind of knew how it worked at the back, it was never a proven statement.  Now, there is finally a KB that explains it quite well.

When you are protecting files that are encrypted, this is what happens:

– If a file has not changed since the last sync, DPM will not transfer any data. 
 
– If a file has changed and is not encrypted with EFS, DPM transfers only the changed blocks of a file.
 
– If a file has changed and the file is protected with EFS, DPM will transfer the entire file.
So now we know it for sure 😉
Make sure that you keep this in mind when planning your PG’s.  This could lead to a significant increase in transferred data so plan well.
Cheers,
Mike

DPM SQL Management Studio: Evaluation has expired

6:22 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

On the forums, we got a notification from a user that he got the following error when trying to open the SQL Management Studio from DPM.

clip_image002

I had asked him to check if it was a licensed version and so it was.  This intrigued me and I decided to check a few things.  On my test environment, I received the exact same notification although DPM and SQL were still running.  Because my test environment was an upgrade from beta to RC to eval, I figured that it had to do something with the upgrade, and the fact that the first instances of SQL were installed with evaluation versions.

So I decided to ask for the help of the MVP’s and very soon (actually from minute one :-)) I received answer from Kenneth Van Surksum, Artem Pronichkin and Denny Cherry with possible solutions.

Apparently, there are two versions of this problem.

1. Only the SQL Management Studio has expired.  This is the problem when you did the upgrade path from the Beta 1 because that was still with SQL 2008 evaluation without SP1, and this was fixed in SP1.  To fix it now, you can follow KB 971268 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971268/en-us)

 

2. The second issue is that SQL itself has also expired, which strangely leads that DPM continue to work, until the first time that you need to restart the SQL server or restart the server itself (everybody needs to patch right :-)) This is discussed in KB 2020443 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2020443)

So in the end, if you are facing or the Management Studio expiration, or after a restart the the SQL instance doesn’t start, then work with the solutions and it will be fixed

Thanks for the assistance guys

Cheers,

Mike

From the forums: DPM is unable to enumerate Virtual SSP Writer on computer [computer name]. (ID: 3005)

4:38 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

This is an interesting one that I found on the forums.  Normally, when you get this error message, this is the advice that I give:

1. Is the SPWriter service running on the WFE servers?

2. If they are running, use the following to register the writer: (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc287616(office.12).aspx)

Or in short: stsadm -o registerwsswriter if you don’t want to go trough the article

3. Do a vssadmin list writers to see if there are errors with the vss writers

4. Run the configuresharepoint again with a farm administrator account

5. Try again

 

But in this case, and in a few other cases, it didn’t seemed to resolve the issue.  So the problem had to be somewhere else.  Since the issue couldn’t be helped with the assistance of the forum guys, a call was opened with Microsoft.

Unfortunately, the DPM guys couldn’t solve it either.  Therefore, the sharepoint guys had to assist, and in this joint venture, they found the solution:

Here is the quote of the administrator with the problem

Basically, the error was related to the inability to enumerate all resources defined in the farm’s configuration.  What the actual issue was turned out to be a missing database for one of the search services that was configured.

A similar internal MS bug was found that referenced issues with the Search services.  This led us to look at restarting our Search services on all of the servers in the farm.  Even though all of the search services were "running", one of them would not restart and asked to reprovide the credentials and database names, etc.  Before I submitted the restart, I verified on the SQL Server that the database that was referenced, did not exist !  You may ask, "How was SharePoint stating that the service was running if indeed it was not?"  I’m not sure, but after restarting the particular search service, the database was recreated and the VSS enumeration by DPM worked!

So a possible solution (one that worked for me) is to restart all of your search services and ensure that all ‘referenced’ databases actually exist.

So in the end, it was not a problem with DPM but with the Sharepoint config.  Since I found this interesting (a sharepoint farm that worked, but had issues after all :-)) I decided to search a bit more for this issue.  It seems that it happens quite a lot after an inplace upgrade of sharepoint.

So if you ever get this error, the first 5 steps don’t work for you, then make sure that you check out if the databases exist

Forum Source: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dpmsharepointbackup/thread/1c456575-5272-4af8-84b0-4c3729265582/

Cheers,

Mike

Remote install of DPM 2010 agents

8:57 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

It is a fact… From time to time, DPM won’t install the agent through the GUI.  And yes, most of the time, then you need to install it manually.  In the larger environments, we use different methods for our DPM agent deployments, but in the smaller ones, the infrastructure for doing that just isn’t there. 

Hans De Leenheer, which is a colleague of mine does quite some DPM implementations with smaller companies as part of a larger projects.  As he likes the words “a good admin is a lazy admin” (which is something I share with him :-)) he decided to create a small procedure to install the agents on servers remotely.  Now he doesn’t need to RDP to each server.

The procedure can be found here:

http://hansdeleenheer.blogspot.com/2010/08/remote-install-of-dpm-2010-agents.html

Thanks Hans,

Enjoy

Mike

From the forums: Manual agent installation on a DC or RODC

7:59 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

As promised in previous post, here is already an interesting topic.

Many people seem to be having issues with installing an agent on a domain controller (DC) or on a read-only domain controller (RODC).  Whether it is through the automatic install or the manual install, sometimes it doesn’t work.  This can be due to various reasons, one of them being the DC or RODC secured more properly.

Below you can find a method for deploying an agent on a DC or RODC when you encounter this.  The method comes from Praveen D [MSFT]

1. Create and populate the following security groups on Primary domain controller: (Where $PSNAME is the name of RODC on which you are planning to install agent)
    a. Create DPMRADCOMTRUSTEDMACHINES$PSNAME  and add DPM server as a member
    b. Create DPMRADMTRUSTEDMACHINES$PSNAME and add DPM server as a member
    c. Add DPM server as a member of Builtin\Distributed com users group
2. Ensure that above changes are replicated on to RODC
3. Install agent on RODC
4. Grant launch and activate permissions for DPM server on DPM RA service by doing the following:
    a. Run "dcomcnfg"
    b. Expand Component Services ->  Expand Computers -> Expand My Computer -> Expand DCOM Config
    c. Right click DPM RA Service and select Properties
    d. Under ‘General’, "Authentication Level – Default"
    e. Under ‘Location’, only "Run application on this computer" should be checked
    f. Under Security, verify that the "Launch and Activation Permissions" (select > "Edit") include the machine account for the DPM Server and Allow
    j. Click OK
5. Copy setagentcfg.exe, traceprovider.dll and LKRhDPM.dll from "c:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\setup" on DPM server and place them in "c:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\setup" on RODC.
6. Run "setagentcfg.exe a DPMRA domain\DPMserver"  on RODC using an elevated command prompt. (Run setagentcfg.exe from the location above i.e c:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\setup)
7. If  a firewall is enabled on RODC run the following commands:
    a. netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="@FirewallAPI.dll,-29502" new enable=yes
    b. netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="@FirewallAPI.dll,-34251" new enable=yes
    c. netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=dpmra dir=in program="%PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\bin\DPMRA.exe" profile=Any action=allow
    d. netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=DPMRA_DCOM_135 dir=in action=allow protocol=TCP localport=135 profile=Any
8. Attach agent on DPM server, now you are ready to protect the RODC.

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

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