DPM 2007 Service Pack 1

by Shijaz Abdulla on 21.12.2008 at 21:27

Service Pack 1 for System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 is now available for download.

Some of the improvements that have been included with this release:

  • Protection for Hyper-V virtualized environments (subject to Hyper-V hotfix)
  • Enhanced protection for SQL Server 2008 (supports mirroring, and simultaneous backup of multiple databases within same instance)
  • Protection of indexes in SharePoint Server 2007/WSS 3.0
  • Support for Exchange Server 2007 SCR (Standby Continuous Replication)
  • Local data source protection
  • Cross-forest protection for customers with multiple Active Directory forests
  • Support for protecting Windows XP and Windows Vista clients
  • Ability to work with third party vaulting

More information and download links are available here.

PS: I’m back!

Protecting SharePoint with DPM

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.11.2008 at 12:47

The protected computer prerequisites document lists some of the things you need to have in place before you can protect a SharePoint farm with DPM. I soon learnt that the list was not, lets say, exhaustive – and I learnt it the hard way… Disappointed

So here I present some things that I learnt along the way:

  • The SQL instance name on the production SharePoint farm and the recovery SharePoint farm should be EXACTLY the same.
  • The Windows, SharePoint and SQL Server patch levels should be same between recovery and production farms. When I say EXACT, I mean EXACT, right down to the last hotfix you applied.
  • The latest version for the DPM remote agent should be downloaded and applied to recovery and production servers concerned.
  • If you enabled SharePoint Enterprise features in the production farm, make sure it’s enabled on the recovery farm as well
  • Use the same system account that you used on the production farm on the recovery farm as well.
  • On the recovery server, run DComCnfg and navigate to Component Services > Computer > My Computer >DCOM Config. Check the Properties > Identity of WssCmdletsWrapper. It should be configured to run with the same farm admin account that you used on production.
  • On the recovery server, the farm admin account should be a member of the following local groups on the server:
    Administrators
    IIS_WPG
    All groups starting with WSS_
  • Make sure network connectivity is perfect between DPM, recovery farm and production farm servers. Near perfect wont do.
  • Run ConfigureSharepoint.exe on the recovery server and make sure you save the farm admin password there.
  • All features, language packs and templates that exist on the production farm should exist on recovery farm as well.
  • On recovery farm, all Sharepoint services, Application pool on IIS, SQL VSS service, etc should be using the farm admin account.

It took me two long cases with PSS to get mine working. Good luck! Thumbs-up

When DPM 2007 email alerts don’t work…

by Shijaz Abdulla on 19.11.2008 at 12:11

If you’ve configured DPM 2007 to send email notifications for critical alerts, warnings or informational messages, and you do not receive the email alerts, even though the ‘Send Test Email’ works fine, try this:

  • Enter the username simply in the format username. Do NOT use DOMAINusername or username@domain

image

If you are entering multiple recipients for sending notifications on the Notifications tab, make sure you separate them with commas (,) and not semicolons (;). If you enter semicolons by mistake you get an error that the FROM address is invalid.

Co-locating backup data on a single tape in DPM 2007

by Shijaz Abdulla on 12.08.2008 at 07:38

If you need to optimally use your backup tapes by storing multiple backups on the same tape, you need to turn on the Media Co-location feature in Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007. By default, DPM 2007 uses a single tape for each backup operation and does not use that tape again till it is expired, marked as free or erased.

In order to enable Media Co-location, you need to install the DPM 2007 Feature pack and then issue the following command in the DPM Shell:

Set-DPMGlobalProperty -DpmServer <DPM Server Name> -OptimizeTapeUsage $true

Please note that this command will not work unless you have the DPM 2007 Feature Pack installed. To verify that co-location was indeed enabled, check the Management > Libraries tab.

image

An important point to note is that, even with co-location enabled, DPM will not store two different backups from the same protection group into a single tape. The co-location feature only allows co-locating data from multiple protection groups with the same retention ranges in a tape till it is full.

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DPM 2007 error 31008 when creating Protection Group

by Shijaz Abdulla on 01.07.2008 at 16:58

I was trying to create a protection group in System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 to protect SharePoint Server 2007.

I followed the protected computer prerequisites documentation and made sure the following were done:

  1. Installed KB940349 on the SharePoint front end server.
  2. Installed KB941422 – Update for WSUS 3.0. After installing this KB, I had to run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard.
  3. Start the VSS Writer service on the WSS server as per this article.
  4. Make sure the back end SQL Servers are running SQL Server 2005 with Service Pack 2.

I followed all these steps as per the prerequisites document. However, I still got the following error:

image

This item cannot be protected because some prerequisite software is missing. Ensure that all prerequisite software is installed and then protect this item (ID: 31008). Click Help to view the list of prerequisite software for the selected item.

The problem was solved when KB940349 was installed on the backend SQL Server as well. All servers were restarted after installing this update. Then I went to the Management tab on the DPM 2007 console and selected Refresh Information from the Actions pane.

On returning to the Create Protection Group wizard, the error was gone.

Recovering a single Exchange 2007 mailbox using DPM 2007

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.05.2008 at 16:25

In this post, I explain how you can use System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (hereafter DPM) to recover a single Exchange Server 2007 mailbox to a Recovery Storage Group (hereafter RSG) and ‘merge’ the restore with the actual mailbox.

On our production environment, we have Exchange Server 2007 SP1 SCC running on a Windows Server 2008 failover cluster.

Before continuing, make sure you have created a Recovery Storage Group on your Exchange 2007 mailbox server for the mailbox database that you want to restore to. This can be done via GUI (Toolbox > Database Recovery Management) or via Powershell.

new-storagegroup -Server <Server_Name> -LogFolderPath path_to_Logfiles> -Name <RSG_Name> -SystemFolderPath <Database_Path> -Recovery

On the DPM server, click on the Recovery tab, and navigate through the hierarchy and locate the storage group that contains the mailbox that you want to recover. Double clicking on the mailbox database, shows a list of mailboxes. Right click on the mailbox  you want to restore and click Recover. You can also select a date and time of the recovery point from which you would like to restore.

DPMrecovery1

In the Recovery Wizard, review the recovery information click Next and select the recovery type. Click browse to select your mailbox server. You will have to manually type the Storage Group Name (specify your Recovery Storage Group name here) and your Database Name (the mailbox database name inside your RSG). DPMrecovery2

Click Next, review the options and begin the restoration process.

DPMrecovery3

Once the recovery process is complete, go back to the Exchange 2007 mailbox server. Open Exchange Management Console –> Toolbox –> Database Recovery Management.

Mount the Mailbox database that you just restored in the Recovery Storage Group. This shouldn’t require more explanation.

DPMrecovery4

After mounting the database, come back to the above menu and select Merge or copy mailbox contents.

DPMrecovery6

Select the mailbox database that contains the mailbox you want to recover and click Gather Merge information. On the next screen, review the merge options and click Perform pre-merge tasks.

DPMrecovery9

Select your mailbox and click Perform Merge actions. Once the process completes, review the result.

DPMrecovery10

The restored mailbox on the RSG database is now merged with the production database.

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Data Protection Manager 2007 with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 – Part 2

by Shijaz Abdulla on 07.05.2008 at 10:38

See also: Data Protection Manager 2007 with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 – Part 1

I’ve just managed to get Data Protection Manager 2007 to protect my production Exchange Server 2007 SP1 mailbox servers running in a Single Copy Cluster (SCC) configuration on Windows Server 2008.

The configuration process is fairly simple. Once I have installed the DPM agents on all cluster nodes, I created a protection group for my SCC cluster as follows:

dpm1

Since I will not be using a tape drive, I just chose a short-term recovery goal to back up to a storage device. You can choose to have a synchronization done every 15 minutes so that you will be able to restore your database to the latest 15 minute recovery point and then automatically apply the any logs remaining on your production servers.

It’s also important to configure your Express Full backup at least once a day. This also takes care of truncating the committed transaction log files, which tend to grow over time and fill up disk space on your log drives.

DPM2

See also: Recovering a single Exchange 2007 mailbox using DPM 2007

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Data Protection Manager 2007 with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 – Part 1

by Shijaz Abdulla on 06.05.2008 at 19:09

There are a few things to keep in mind while installing Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.

One thing worth noting is that Data Protection Manager 2007 (‘DPM’ from now on) does not support being installed on Windows Server 2008 at the time of this writing. You will need to prepare a Windows Server 2003 machine. I’m using a Windows Server 2003 x64 Enterprise Edition with Service Pack 2 for this purpose.

Another important thing if you are installing DPM to protect Exchange Server 2007 SP1 running on Windows Server 2008 – you need a DPM hotfix to be installed for it to work correctly. The hotfix is KB950082 and it’s available from Microsoft Product Support. At the time of this writing, this hotfix has not been released in a rollup yet, but I’ve been told that it is a supported hotfix.

I installed this hotfix on my DPM server and successfully pushed the DPM agent on all nodes of my Exchange Server 2007 Single Copy Cluster running on Windows Server 2008 Failover clustering.

DPM2007

More updates on my adventures with DPM will follow. 🙂

Exchange Server 2007 SP1 on Windows Server 2008

by Shijaz Abdulla on 05.05.2008 at 17:11

I’ve managed to pull up a two node Exchange Server 2007 SP1 Single Copy Cluster (SCC) running on Windows Server 2008 failover cluster. Moved in a few mailboxes (mostly belonging to my colleagues, who have so graciously consented to being guinea pigs.. um err.. volunteers for this project). 🙂 So far so good, there weren’t any major surprises.

Until when I started thinking about Backup.

Here’s the shocker for those of you who don’t know: Windows Server Backup (the all-new ‘NTBACKUP’ that ships with Windows Server 2008) does not support backing up Exchange Server 2007 mailbox stores!


Other major backup vendors like Veritas/Symantec Netbackup do not support Windows Server 2008 yet. Well, what can you do whilst you wait for the vendors to come up with Windows Server 2008 support?

You can use System Center Data Protection Manager 2007! I am currently evaluating this possibility, and will post my experiences on this blog.

***Lighten your load. Store, Backup and Access Important Files Online using ElephantDrive – Free Trial.***