torsdag 28 mars 2019

MMS 2019



MMS 2019 is around the corner and this year I’m looking forward to deliver four sessions regarding Azure, Disaster Recovery and pushing backup strategies to the cloud.
MMS is one of my favorite conference since its rather small and the attendees are not afraid to ask questions. During this year you can (as always) meet up at any “Ask the experts” or just grab me when you see me 😊

The sessions I’m delivering this year are:
  • The Road to Azure (AKA – Ditching all of your on-prem crap)
  • Avoid the Apocalypse with a Disaster Recovery plan that works!
  • Pushing your Backup Strategy to the Cloud – What to expect and what to Gain
  • AMA – Come ask the Microsoft DC/Azure Management Team and MVP’s Anything

I have the great pleasure to co-present with Cameron Fuller (MVP), John Joyner (MVP) and Dieter Wijckmans (MVP)


See you @ MMS 2019!!










onsdag 20 mars 2019

DPM 2019 upgrade considerations


During the MVP week at Microsoft HQ in Redmond we have had discussions with the product group regarding what DPM 2019 can back up.

As many of you have already noticed on the official Microsoft webpage DPM 2019 only support Windows Server 2016 as the “oldest” version. The reason for this is due to the fact that Microsoft only provide support for the applications that resides within the mainstream support.

So before you download the ISO and start your upgrade-frenzy be very sure that you don’t miss out on any of the information regarding supported applications for backups.

fredag 15 mars 2019

SAC is no more….


As the release of System Center 2019 Microsoft also updated the information regarding the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) is being discontinued and the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) will be around. This don’t however apply to System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) that will have three yearly releases.

What does this actually mean? Well, to be honest it will be no difference since Microsoft provides an upgrade path from SAC versions (1801, 1807) so you will be able to upgrade your 1807 DPM server to 2019.

There are some considerations that must be covered regarding supported versions before you make any upgrade to DPM. I will try to write a blogpost explaining this a bit more thoroughly.

torsdag 14 mars 2019

Whats is new for DPM 2019

Microsoft has just relesed the information regarding the availability of DPM 2019 and the list of what the 2019 version contains has grown which is always a great pleasure!
  • Windows Server 2019 support
  • SQL 2017 support as DPM database
  • Support for newer workloads backups
  • Faster backups with Tiered storage using SSDs
  • Support for Central Monitoring
  • VMware backup to tape
  • VMWare parallel backups
More detailed information regarding all above mentioned features can be read at the official Microsoft webpage:

fredag 8 mars 2019

Experts Live Interview


Had a great experience beeing intervied regarding my sessions and also the concept regarding Backup, Restore and Disaster Recovery functions based on Azure technology.




fredag 15 februari 2019

MVP summit comming up!!


I’m heading over to Microsoft HQ in Redmond this march to attend the MVP summit but also provide YOUR feedback to the Product Group.

If you have any ideas, thoughts or information that you want me to provide to team please don’t hesitate to send me an email !

Looking forward to your emails 😊

torsdag 31 januari 2019

Breaking down IT Silos interview


Me and John Joyner was interviewed during MMS 2018 regarding our  “IT silos” session where we should proof of what needs to be done to eliminate IT silos and also showed examples how to leverage Microsoft and Azure technologies.

The interview can be viewed here:


https://insights.adaptiva.com/2019/e3-podcast-breaking-down-it-silos/

fredag 21 december 2018

MABS V3 release notes


Since there is people asking for the location for the release notes regarding MABS V3 I have included that link below:


Enjoy!

fredag 14 december 2018

Backup is failing after upgrade MABS v2 -> MABS v3

Recently a client upgraded their MABS (Microsoft Azure Backup Server) V2 to V3 with the result of DAG backups started to failing.

Within the release notes for the MABS V3 its stated that this could happen. To fix this issue you run the following SQL query from the SQL Server Management Studio:

IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects
    WHERE id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap]')
    AND OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsUserTable') = 1)
    DROP TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap]
    GO

    CREATE TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap] (
        [DatasourceId]          [GUID]          NOT NULL,
        [ActiveNode]            [nvarchar](256) NULL,
        [IsGCed]                [bit]           NOT NULL
        ) ON [PRIMARY]
    GO

    ALTER TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap] ADD
CONSTRAINT [pk__tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap__DatasourceId] PRIMARY KEY NONCLUSTERED
    (
        [DatasourceId]
    )  ON [PRIMARY],

CONSTRAINT [DF_tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap_IsGCed] DEFAULT
    (
        0
    ) FOR [IsGCed]
GO

fredag 7 december 2018

System Center Data Protection Manager 2019


Microsoft shared their roadmap during Ignite regarding what the product group was aiming for regarding the 2019 release of DPM.

This is the list that the PG is trying to accomplish:

  • Support for new versions of SQL Server and Windows Server – DPM 2019 will support new releases like Windows Server 2019 and SQL Server 2017
  • VMware to tape Backup – DPM will get support for backing up VMware VMs to tapes for long-term retention
  • Modern Backup Storage – There are a couple of improvements how DPM handles the Modern Backup Storage using ReFS. These should enhance the reliability and performance of backup storage
  • More flexibility to recovering from Azure – Even if you lose your local DPM database, you can now still restore workloads from Azure
  • Enhanced Reporting and Monitoring – Integration of DPM servers connected to Azure Backup, Azure Log Analytics or PowerBI

If you have any thoughts regarding what's included send an email and I will forward it to the Product Group :)

mÄndag 26 november 2018

Microsoft Azure Backup Server V3 is released!!

The following features are included in this update for Azure Backup Server v3.

Backup storage migration

By using volume-to-volume migration in MABS v3, you can move your backups on-premises for more optimized storage management. You can also move your data source to a different volume if a volume is near capacity and cannot be extended.

Prevent unexpected data loss

Assigning wrong volumes for backup storage can cause critical data loss. MABS v3 lets you disable such volumes by using Windows PowerShell. All volumes and mount points, except System Volumes, are available for MABS storage.

Custom size allocation

Modern Backup Storage (MBS) optimizes storage consumption by using storage when it is necessary. After you configure MABS for protection, it calculates the size of data that is being backed up. When multiple data are backed up together, this calculation can take a while. By using MABS v3, you can configure MABS to accept the storage volume size as default, instead of calculating the size of each file and folders that's being backed up.

Optimized CC for RCT VMs


MABS v3 optimizes network and storage consumption by transferring only the changed data during any Consistency Checks for RCT (the native change tracking in Hyper-V) VMs.

VMware VM protection improvements


VMware VM backup was in Preview mode in Windows Server 2016 that has MABS v2 installed. By using MABS v3, this is supported in production mode. MABS v3 will include support for vCenter/vSphere and ESX/ESXi licensed version 6.5, 6.0, and 5.5.

TLS 1.2 support


TLS 1.2 is a secure method of communication that is recommended by Microsoft. For MABS, TLS 1.2 is applicable for protecting workloads to cloud.

SQL Server 2017 support


MABS v3 can be installed together with Microsoft SQL Server 2017. You can either upgrade your SQL Server from SQL Server 2016 to SQL Server 2017 or use a fresh instance of SQL Server 2017 as an MABS database. By using v3, you can seamlessly back up the SQL Server 2017 workload.

Windows Server 2019 support


MABS v3 can be installed on Windows Server 2019. You can upgrade your system to Windows Server 2019 either before you upgrade or install MABs v3 or a later version.


Issues that are fixed

________________________________________
This update fixes the following issues:
No billing for protected collocated VMWare data sources in MABS v2.
MAB server crashes while sending billing information for a clustered data source.
Indefinite looping of RCT VM consistency check jobs because of I/O errors.
When you create a protection group, MABS displays a warning message about exceeding data limits. This issue occurs even for small data sources when you are protecting Hyper-V virtual machines.
The MABS UI stops responding after it starts if there are many recovery points for data sources.
Hyper-V backups fail because of checkpoint time-outs on the Hyper-V server.
MABS console crashes when the nightly pruning job runs for a long time.
MABS status report does not display client/laptop recovery points.
Consistency checks for Hyper-V VMs transfers more data than the size of the VMs.
When you try to recover files and folders from Azure, some items that have a path length longer than 256 characters in the online recovery point are not visible in the UI.
The UI stops responding for several minutes when a consistency check job is triggered.
Severity is lowered from “Critical” to “Informational” for the alert that is raised when an online backup fails because new disk backups are present since the last online backup.
BMR and System State data source backups consume more storage when you use Modern Backup Storage.
Alternate synchronization jobs for files and folders on a deduped volume raise failed file alerts incorrectly.  Failed files log links in failed file alerts do not show the failed files.

fredag 2 november 2018

DPM / MABS console crashes error 917


Lately I faced a challenge at one of my clients where the DPM console crashed constantly. Going through the error logs I noticed that the storage procedure was causing the error and needed to contact Microsoft support since we are not able to alter that content of the DPMDB without jeopardizing the supported scenario.

The following script was run as a SQL query from SQL Management Studio and afterwards we was able to delete protected objects without the console crashing.

Before executing anything please take note of two things:
  1. Backup your DPMDB or MABS DB before executing any SQL script
  2. You run the script on your own risk


IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects

    WHERE id = OBJECT_ID(N'[dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap]')
    AND OBJECTPROPERTY(id, N'IsUserTable') = 1)
    DROP TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap]
    GO
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap] (
        [DatasourceId]          [GUID]          NOT NULL,
        [ActiveNode]            [nvarchar](256) NULL,
        [IsGCed]                [bit]           NOT NULL
        ) ON [PRIMARY]
    GO
ALTER TABLE [dbo].[tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap] ADD
CONSTRAINT [pk__tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap__DatasourceId] PRIMARY KEY NONCLUSTERED
    (
        [DatasourceId]
    )  ON [PRIMARY],
CONSTRAINT [DF_tbl_PRM_DatasourceLastActiveServerMap_IsGCed] DEFAULT
    (
        0
    ) FOR [IsGCed]

GO


tisdag 23 oktober 2018

Update Rollup 6

Microsoft just released the Update Rollup 6 for DPM and with that comes the following fixes:
  • Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) missing during mount or unmount operations
  • VHD mount or unmount takes a long time to finish
  • Data Protection Manager performance is decreased because of multiple update agent jobs
  • Data Protection Manager console crashes while recovering data from online recovery points
  • Data Protection Manager crashes when you move protected clients to another disk
  • Data Protection Manager System State and Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) fails intermittently for multiple servers
  • Indefinite looping occurs for consistency check jobs for Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) on a virtual machine (VM) because of I/O errors
  • Update Rollup 5 for Data Protection Manager 2016 cannot enumerate SQL Server 2017 Availability Group databases for protection
  • Data Protection Manager 2016 Update Rollup Agent causes a restart of the protected server
A fresh installation of the Update Rollup Agent could cause a restart of the protected server.

You can download Update Rollup 6 here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4456327/update-rollup-6-for-system-center-2016-data-protection-manager

fredag 12 oktober 2018

Heavy memory usage in ReFS on Windows Server 2016


For them of you who experiencing problems with ReFS I found that this article gave me some answer and if it can make someone elses life easier than I’m happy to share!


In this article Microsoft presents a way to alter the registry for Windows Server 2016 to make ReFS not becoming unresponsive.

fredag 10 augusti 2018

Experts Live in Prague




It is with great pleasure I can announce that I have been a selected speaker for the Experts Live conference in Prague this October. I will be happy to meet up with the community and hear your thoughts and deliver two sessions:

  • Real-world Restores that will Rock your world!
  • Soup to Nuts of Azure Site Recovery
 Hope to see you all in Prague 😊

tisdag 7 augusti 2018

1807 is here!


Microsoft released the version 1807 for DPM and with that comes a nice list of fixes that the productgroup has fixed:
  • Data Protection Manager status reports do not include client or laptop recovery points
  • Hyper-V backups are unsuccessful because of checkpoint time-outs on the Hyper-V server
  • Primary Data Protection Manager jobs are unsuccessful because of ongoing recovery point creation by the secondary Data Protection Manager server
  • The Data Protection Manager console crashes when the nightly pruning job runs for a long time
  • When you create or modify a protection group, you receive a warning message about exceeding data limits even for smaller data sources when you protect Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs)
  • Data Protection Manager consistency checks of Hyper-V VMs transfer data that is greater than the actual size of the VM files
  • The Data Protection Manager UI hangs after it starts if there are many recovery points for data sources
  • Data Protection Manager updates are unsuccessful when Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 is enabled
Keep in mind that you ALWAYS make a backup of the DPM/MABS DB before you upgrade!

To obtain the upgrade go here

fredag 20 juli 2018

ReFS volume using DPM becomes unresponsive


In the case you notice that the ReFS volume for DPM backup storage becomes unresponsive and stalls the entire backup solution Microsoft has provided a fix within July 18 cumulative update (KB4035951) that contains three tunable values that you set in the registry.Important: Before you follow these steps, make sure that you have read and implemented the three registry parameters as described in KB article 4016173. If these don't adequately address any issues that you encounter, do not disable these registry parameters. These parameters and the ones described in this section do not overlap functionally, so they can be used together.This update describes additional registry parameters that help address the latency issues described in the "Symptoms" section. These parameters can be used in any combination. Warning: Serious problems might occur if you change the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require you to reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be resolved. Change the registry at your own risk.
Important
  • A restart is required for these parameter changes to take effect.
  • These parameters must be set consistently on every node of a failover cluster.

Option 1:
This option disables cached pins, which were a major cause of the large active working set.
Specify the indicated values in the following subkey:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Value Name:  RefsDisableCachedPins
  • Set RefsDisableCachedPins = 1
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD

Option 2:
This option adds a heuristic to ReFS checkpointing logic, which causes ReFS to checkpoint when the delete queue reach a certain size. IOs are stuck on ReFS because the checkpoint logic would get stuck processing a large delete queue.Specify the indicated values in the following subkey:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Value Name: RefsProcessedDeleteQueueEntryCountThreshold
  • Set RefsProcessedDeleteQueueEntryCountThreshold = 2048
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD
Note: Setting RefsProcessedDeleteQueueEntryThreshold to lower values causes ReFS to checkpoint more frequently. Set the value to 2048, then reduce the value to 1024, then 512.Option 3:
Large duplicate extents calls introduce latency into the system, as other operations will have to wait until these long-running operations are complete. This option reduces the size of the duplicate extents call.
  • Note: DPM will set this registry key change as the default value as part of UR4, which will release within August 2017.
Specify the indicated values in the following subkey:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\Configuration\DiskStorage
  • Value Name: DuplicateExtentBatchSizeinMB
  • Set DuplicateExtentBatchSizeinMB = 100. (Default is 2000 [2GB]. Any value from 1 - 4095 is accepted).
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD

Option 4:
This option extends the TimeOutValue.Specify the indicated values in the following subkey:
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Disk
  • Value Name: TimeOutValue
  • Set TimeOutValue (in seconds) = 0x78
  • Value Type: REG_DWORD
Note: The default value for TimeOutValue is 0x41 (65 decimal). 0x78 translates to 120 decimal.x
How to set the tunable parameters
Tunable parameters

fredag 13 juli 2018

Upgrading from LTSC to SAC


As you may have understood its possible to upgrade your System Center family from LTSC to SAC but lately I have got a lot of emails with questions regarding going back to LTSC from SAC.

The intention of this blogpost is to make it perfectly clear that when you choose to upgrade from LTSC to SAC there is no way you can go back. Keep that in mind folks. 

söndag 1 juli 2018

MVP renewal 2018



It’s with great pleasure that I can announce that Microsoft has chosen to give me the MVP reward in the Cloud and Datacenter Management category for the eight year in a row which I’m very humble and grateful for.

I will continue to do what I do to assist the community and also be part of supporting Microsoft.


fredag 1 juni 2018

Disable the timeout value for Online jobs (MARS)


In some scenarios it would be a good idea to change the timeout value for the MARS agent that resides on both DPM or MABS servers. This can be done by changing the following registry key.

This will actually stop the MARS agent from cancel the job due to a time out.

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Azure Backup\DbgSettings\DisableThreadTimeout REG_DWORD=1

fredag 18 maj 2018

Optimized vs. Unoptimized online jobs


Sometimes you find your DPM or MABS server running their online jobs and it takes forever to finish. It can go on for hours and sometimes days, the big question I get about this is why...

As we all know DPM and MABS can loose track of a protected data source and when that happens the protected data sources journal information is not passed on to DPM or MABS. This is an example of what can causes the replica to be inconsistent.

The same goes with the online jobs, the scenario differentiates a bit though. In the scenario of an online job being canceled it should (in the best of worlds 😊) not trigger an unoptimized online job. But if the online job was terminated unexpectedly due to a restart and loose track it must verify all the data that resides within the Recovery Services Vault in comparison to the DPM or MABS server.

This can take a very long time but the most important part here is to let the job finish or it will never be able to continue archiving your data further down the road. According to Microsoft there have been situations where the unoptimized online job has taken over 300 hours to finish…something to keep in mind.  

fredag 4 maj 2018

MMS 2018 coming up!


Heading over to the MMS conference this year to meet the community in person and deliver six individual sessions with the focus of Azure and a touch of System Center. I will be presenting the following sessions:


  • To SCOM or Not to SCOM
  • Better, Stronger, Faster - Your Business Apps in Azure
  • A World Without IT Silos and Proper Management Focus...Let's Go
  • Soup to Nuts of Azure Site Recovery
  • You are the next backup guy “tap on the back” good luck!
  • Business Continuity and the Microsoft Cloud

I’m excited to meet up with all the attendees and the great people of MMS once again 😊




fredag 20 april 2018

Defender exclusions using PowerShell


When installing System Center Data Protection Manager or Azure Backup Server it always comes down to the facts of excluding the real-time protection of Defender so it may not interfere with the backup/restore process of either MABS or DPM.

I always use PowerShell to script an automation regarding this and its more convenient and quicker to do it this way rather than manually.There are some main criteria that you must exclude on a DPM or MABS server, those are:

  • Default actions
  • File extensions
  • Paths
  • Processes

When and if a DPM or MABS server finds a malicious code, it should by default remove it rather than anything else. To set that option via PowerShell you simply run the following PowerShell code:

Set-MpPreference -LowThreatDefaultAction Remove
Set-MpPreference -ModerateThreatDefaultAction Remove
Set-MpPreference -HighThreatDefaultAction Remove
Set-MpPreference -SevereThreatDefaultAction Remove


The file extensions that I always exclude from the realtime scanning is the .mdf and .ldf files using the following syntax:

Add-MpPreference -ExclusionExtension .mdf
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionExtension .ldf


I also exclude the following paths:
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\bin
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\Temp\MTA
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\Temp
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\Volumes\ShadowCopy
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\Volumes
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath D:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\DPM\DPM\XSD
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath E:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL13.DPM\MSSQL\DATA
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionPath X:\


Where the last part is the processes:
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess dpmra.exe
Add-MpPreference -ExclusionProcess csc.exe


With this base you are able to create a decent PowerShell script of your own altering the paths and the volume letters.







fredag 6 april 2018

SAC vs. LTSC


Microsoft announced a while back that they will start to release their software in a so-called Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) and Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).

The intention of SAC is to have two release of the System Center software per year making it possible for clients to get the new functions and features more quickly to the users. This is a great step enabling the possibility to get on track with faster supported software scenarios.

One this that is important is that Semi-Annual Channel will only be available for client who has software assurance.

The Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) will still be around and service releases of major System Center releases.

fredag 23 mars 2018

Experts Live 2018

I very happy to announce that I will be speaking at Experts Live in Prauge this fall.

Go to the Experts Live webpage and sign up 😊 https://www.expertslive.eu/

Hope to meet you there

#Communitypower


fredag 16 mars 2018

Unhandled Exception: System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x800706BE)


Don’t you just love those really simple error codes that DPM can provide you 😊

Today I bumped into a little challenge that I thought I would like to share with the community. Doing a standard verification process of a DPM servers actual recovery points I noticed that there where something fishy going on with a protected data source.

For some reason the data source was not able to create a recovery point and just synchronized a few MB of data and then just…gave up. In the Windows Application log it stated that the protected data source has lost its disk from this error alert.




Since the data source was also archived to an Azure recovery services vault I felt that it would be better to recreate the local backup and after that trigger a new online job for that data source.

After deleting the protected data source, but retaining the online recovery points so the archiving wouldn’t get lost, I recreated the data source. Everything looked awesome and after fetching a new cup of coffee I went back to my screen an noticed that the DPM console has chrashed…no good.

Doing some investigation in the log I found a classic event….*drum whirl*…Event ID 999. For those of you that are not familiar with this event this is a generic event that could describe almost anything so it REALLY important to read the actual logged data within the event.


Still a bit of a challenge when the DPMDB are referring to objects that are not there….hmm…there is only one way of solving this. Make the DPMDB consistent with the protected workloads via the DPMSYNC command.

Running the DPMSYNC -SYNC from the DPM management shell started out great…until that command TOTALLY crashed…*sigh*… If the DPMSYNC fails the DPM console will not be able to access the DPMDB since the DPMDB will be in a “interesting” state.

So the current status was that the DPM servers database ended non-operational and the access to the DPM console was smoked…but…there is always a way! Since Disaster Recovery is always a nice feature to have I simple restored a earlier version of the DPMDB. If you don’t have a DPM-DPM-DR setup made I highly recommend you to get started with that!

After restoring the DPMDB the DPMSYNC -SYNC command worked fine however all storage became unavailable….will this never end!!!!????

Never fear…Hedblom is here! By using the switch -ReallocateReplica (yes it works on DPM 2016 also…) I got all the replicas back in place and finished the restore process by running the DPMSYNC -SYNC again…now I was back on track! I could access the DPM console and make small adjustments to the MBS storage pool. All data that was archived to Azure was still accessible (GREAT JOB MICROSOFT!!!) and after performing a Consistency Check for the protected workloads my client now was back with ZERO data loss.


I hope this could give some answers or support if anyone in the community ends up in the same situation I did 😊

fredag 9 mars 2018

Upgrading 2016 -> 1801

I had a few who has been meeting some challenges after upgrading to DPM 1801 regarding DPMDB protection.

When performing an upgrade of System Center Data Protection Manager, the old DPMDB is transformed into the 1801 configuration. What actually happens is that the upgrade process will add a “GUID look alike” sequence of characters after the DPMDB name.



The challenges that people has notified is that their DPMDB protection (in a DPM-DPM-DR perspective) has started to fail. The reason is that after the upgrade and the new name of the DPMDB the GUID will change and therefore the possibility to continue protecting the DPMDB.

To solve this you simple modify your protection group hosting the protection of the DPMDB and be very sure that you hit the refresh button at the bottom of the guide so you will see the DPMDB with the new name. Select the new DPMDB and click through the Wizard.

fredag 2 mars 2018

Moving the DPM filters between users DPM 1801

Creating filters within the DPM console is a great way to manage visibility when it comes to present current status of jobs within DPM.

Filters is also user specifics so there is no way to create a single “filter repository” that all users can leverage…or…there is always a way 😊

The secret recipe is the local roaming profiles of users located in the “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager” catalogue.

When you create filters within DPM a small XML file is created that is called JobsFilters.XML. Copying this to other users makes it possible to distribute administrative filters to other DPM administrators within the organization.

fredag 16 februari 2018

MVP Summit coming up -> Community power 😊

Within two weeks I’m of to Redmond to meet up with my MVP peers from all over the world and also the great people at Microsoft to discuss Microsoft visions, roadmaps and…. provide community feedback! 

I have already scheduled a few meetings with the Product Group managers with the intention to discuss and provide feedback and here is YOUR chance to also provide feedback.

If you have any thoughts on DPM, Azure Backup, Azure Backup, ASR or other feedback on Microsoft products please send me an email to Robert.hedblom@outlook.com and I will personally deliver YOUR thoughts and feedback 😊

onsdag 14 februari 2018

2W with TrueSec

I got the great pleasure to deliver a Second Wednesday session regarding host-based backups with my friend Mikel that works at TrueSec Infra.

The session is in Swedish and you can watch it here


fredag 9 februari 2018

What's new in System Center 1801?

Bala Rajagopalan wrote a great article of what is new for System Center 1801 and I can highly recommend this article.

For DPM 1801 the biggest takeaway is the ability to backup and restore Vmware virtual machines. All features that was released within DPM 2016 will also be available within DPM 1801 that now applies to the Semi-Annual Channel for releses.

DPM 2016 features:
  • Modern Backup Storage 
  • Resilient change tracking (RCT)
  • Continued protection during cluster aware updates
  • Shielded VM Backups
  • Hyper-V with Storage Spaces Direct
  • Hyper-V with ReFS SOFS Cluster
  • Upgrading a DPM production server to 2016 doesn't require a reboot

fredag 19 januari 2018

MMS 2018

I’m very happy to announce that I’m heading back as a speaker for MMS 2017 in Minneapolis. This is one of my favorite conferences since the boundaries between me as a speaker and the attendees are gone.

The community feeling for MMS is fantastic and this year I will deliver six sessions and do community meetup Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the entire conference.

I will deliver session together with Steve Buchanan, Cameron Fuller, Dieter Wijckmans and John Joyner.

Join us for this awesome conference and be part of a wonderful community!!


Go and signup before its sold out https://mmsmoa.com/

fredag 12 januari 2018

Build Numbers for DPM

Just bumped into this great site where you can find the build numbers of your DPM servers. This is very useful information since the KB articles for the build are also provided.

fredag 24 november 2017

DPM 2016 UR4


This article describes improvements and issues that are fixed in Update Rollup 4 for Microsoft System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager. This article also contains the installation instructions for this update. See more information about this update.

Note Existing Data Protection Manager to Windows Azure customers should upgrade to the latest agent (version 2.0.9085.0 or a later version). If the latest agent is not installed, online backups may fail.


Features


Backup storage migration

With this update installed, you can now migrate your backup storage between volumes. This enables you to optimize storage usage, as you can choose to move and store data sources on volumes that are best suited to optimize performance. You can also migrate data sources when a volume is filled with backups and can't be extended.

Volume exclusion

DPM 2016 with Modern Backup Storage accepts volumes to store backups, and formats the selected volumes to ReFS. While DPM excludes system volumes in the list of volumes that are available to be formatted, additional volumes can be configured to be excluded from the list based on drive letter or mountpoint path. This avoids accidental selection of these volumes as backup volumes.

Support for TLS 1.2

TLS 1.2 is a secure method of communication that is recommended by Microsoft. For DPM, TLS 1.2 is applicable for certificate-based authentication and protecting workloads to cloud.

For more information about how to set up, configure, and run your environment with TLS 1.2, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

4051111 TLS 1.2 Protocol Support Deployment Guide for System Center 2016

Custom size allocation

When you create a Protection Group to back up files and folders, size calculation can take a long time if the folders contain many files. You can changing a registry key to instruct DPM to accept the volume size as default instead of calculating the size of each file, thereby saving time.

Optimized CC for RCT VMs

Optimized consistency check for Hyper-V RCT based VM backup eliminates the storage bloat caused by CC operation of RCT VM and also improves the performance of this operation.


Improvements and issues that are fixed

BMR and System State data source backups consume more storage when you use Modern Backup Storage.
When you configure Tape Library sharing, SetSharedDpmDatabase.exe command crashes when SQL 2012 is used as the DPM database.
If a disk backup is in progress, tape backup jobs of the data source may fail.
Alternate synchronization jobs for files and folders on a deduped volume raise failed files alerts incorrectly. Failed files log links in failed files alerts doesn't show the failed files.
If many data sources are protected by the primary DPM server, enabling protection from the secondary DPM server may fail and return error 36.
When you try to recover files and folders from Azure, some items in the online recovery point are not visible in the user interface when the item has a path length longer than 256 characters.
Console crashes occure while enabling protection of a file share that is protected by a primary DPM server from a secondary DPM server.
The user interface stops responding for several minutes when triggering a Consistency check job.
Severity of the alert that is raised when an online backup fails due to new disk backups present since the last online backup is lowered from “Critical” to “Informational.”


How to obtain Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager


Update packages for Data Protection Manager are available from Microsoft Update or by manual download.
Microsoft Update

To obtain and install an update package from Microsoft Update, follow these steps on a computer that has a Data Protection Manager component installed:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
In Control Panel, double-click Windows Update.
In the Windows Update window, click Check Online for updates from Microsoft Update.
Click Important updates are available.
Select the Update Rollup package, and then click OK.
Click Install updates to install the update package.
Manual download

Go to the following website to manually download the update package from the Microsoft Update Catalog:

Download the Data Protection Manager update package now.

For information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services

Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.


Installation instructions for Data Protection Manager


To install this update for Data Protection Manager, follow these steps:
Before you install this update, make a backup of the Data Protection Manager database.
Install this rollup package on the server that's running System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager. To do this, run Microsoft Update on the server.
In the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console, update the protection agents. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Update the protection agents from the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console
Open the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console.
Click the Management tab, and then click the Agents tab.
In the Protected Computer list, select a computer, and then click Update in the Action pane.
Click Yes, and then click Update Agents.


Method 2: Update the protection agents on the protected servers
Obtain the update protection agent package from the following directory on the System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager server.


The installation packages are as follows:


For x86-based updates: i386\1033\DPMProtectionAgent_KB4043316.msp


For x64-based updates: amd64\1033\DPMProtectionAgent_KB4043316_AMD64.msp
Run the appropriate DPMProtectionAgent.msp package on each protected server, depending on the architecture of the agent.
Open the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console on the System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager server.
Click the Management tab, and then click the Agents tab. Select the protected server, update the information, and then verify that the agent version number is 5.0.342.0.

tisdag 21 november 2017

Mandatory Update for the MARS agent

Microsoft just released the information that you must update your MARS agent with the new released version 2.0.9099.0 since it contains a bunch of fixes.

Download the MARS agent and update your DPM, Azure Backup Server MARS agents.

The entire article can be accessed here

fredag 27 oktober 2017

TechDays 2017 – A blast!

Just got back from TechDays 2017 and as always it was a great pleasure meeting up with the community, Microsoft and my MVP peers.

The best part of delivering sessions is (as always) the talks you have after with the attendees. I’m grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to next year!


tisdag 24 oktober 2017

Migration between MBS disks

Modern Backup Storage, or MBS, doesn’t just provide better performance and resiliency, from UR4 Microsoft made it possible to migrate your VHD files from one ReFS volume to another. This is done per protected datasource but can easily be automated using PowerShell.

This is a feature that the community has longed for a long time so its GREAT (😊) that Microsoft could make that possible!

You can either migrate your DPM storage via GUI or PowerShell. To be able to move the storage you need to associate another volume first to the DPM 2016 UR4 server.

If you want to migrate using PowerShell its done via three simple steps:

1. Make the Protection Group modifiable

2. Get the data source you wish to migrate and the volumes you wish to migrate to

3. Modify the disk allocation for the datasource and save the new Protection Group configuration



$pg = Get-DPMProtectionGroup

$mpg = Get-DPMModifiableProtectionGroup $pg[0]



$ds = Get-DPMDatasource $mpg

$vols = Get-DPMDiskStorage -Volumes



Set-DPMDatasourceDiskAllocation -ProtectionGroup $mpg -Datasource $ds[0] -TargetStorage $vols[0] -MigrateDatasourceDataFromDPM

Set-ProtectionGroup $mpg


If you don’t want to use PowerShell you can simply click the data source you want to migrate and from the Data Source Operations part in the DPM console choose Move Disk Storage. You can also right-click the data source and perform the same operations.


fredag 20 oktober 2017

DPM 2016 UR3...or?


Microsoft just released the UR 3 for System Center 2016 but as many if you have noticed there is no update for DPM 2016 within this release.

The reason is that there is no fixes made from the DPM team yet that can be released. This doesn’t mean that they have given up, got that question via email from a concerned user. Features and fixes will be released within the UR 4 release.


For more information regarding the UR3 update can be found here

fredag 6 oktober 2017

Direct download link for the MARS agent

I’ve got a lot of questions about how to get a hold of the latest MARS agent from Microsoft in an easy manner.

The best part of this is that Microsoft has provided a direct link to the latest MARS agent build that works like a charm. You can access the latest version of the MARS agent using the link below.

http://aka.ms/azurebackup_agent

fredag 22 september 2017

How to disable the timeout value for the MARS agent


DPM and Azure integration via the MARS is a great feature since we can ship production data to an Azure Recovery Services Vault and be able to restore that either via the DPM console or PowerShell.

I noticed that there is a timeout value that could be interesting for the community to take part of. As I mentioned in my earlier blogpost regardingOptimized VS. Unoptimized Online jobs the MARS agent needs to verify the data integrity and all check all the files that resids within Azure and the DPM diskpool. Running an Unoptimized job will take a very long time and in some cases the timeout value of the job will be there canceling the job.

To avoid this you are able to adjust the following registry value:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Azure Backup\DbgSettings\DisableThreadTimeout REG_DWORD=1

This will disable to timeout for the MARS agent and the online job till finish successfully and you can after that go back to run optimized online jobs

fredag 15 september 2017

Optimized VS. Unoptimized online jobs

Recently I noticed an “interesting” thing that I would like to share with the community. When a DPM or Azure Backup Server archive data to Azure its known that the initial online job will take some time to finish since it will ship all the data to Azure from the on-premises server.

All the data that is replicated to Azure after the initial online job will run in an optimized state. This means that only the changed data will be shipped to Azure from your DPM or Azure Backup Server and it will be finished quite fast depending on the actual data churn.

If that online job fails the MARS Agent will lose track of what is shipped to your Azure Recovery Services Vault and needs to verify the data and the history that resides within the Azure Recovery Services Vault to be sure what data has changed from the last archived Recovery Point provided to Azure.

This is a very time-consuming job and it can take over 100 hours to complete, just had a client that had an online job running for forever and looking at the job history in the DPM console the last Online job had failed. This means that the DPM or Azure Backup Server needs to perform an Unoptimized online job.

I hope this article sorts out some question marks for you 😊

fredag 8 september 2017

Provide feedback...Microsoft will listen


The intention of this blog article is to update those who may be new in this community 😊

You are ALWAYS welcome to send me a direct email @ Robert.hedblom@outlook.com but there is also other ways to provide feedback to Microsoft and the Product Group for DPM, Azure Backup and Azure Backup Server.

At this feedback site you are available to post your thoughts and also vote on other community members feedback. And guess what…the Product Group really reads this feedback and takes it into considerations.




fredag 1 september 2017

Cannot backup data sources – Volsnap error 39

This week I bumped into a new challenge that I thought I would like to share with the community. A customer reached out to me regarding an error that they couldn’t backup a drive of a server. The D drive was simple not able to be backed up. I looked into the problem and noticed a Volsnap error in the System Log of the DPM server.

The error stated that when DPM tries to create a snapshot of the drive there’s no Shadow Copy Storage available on the drive that DPM protects.



This can easily be solved by using VSSADMIN. Open an elevated commad prompt and use the syntax

Vssadmin add shadowstorage /For=D: /on=D: /maxsize=unbounded 

What VSSADMIN will do is to create a new Shadow Copy Storage for DPM to use.

fredag 25 augusti 2017

Experts Live 2017 – Berlin


Experts Live 2017 is over and it was (as always) a blast meeting up with the community, deliver sessions and be part of the “Ask The Experts”.

Together with my fellow MVP Janaka Rangama we delivered a Business Continuity session describing how to enable Business Continuity using ASR.


If you want to get your hands on the slide-desk just pop me an email 😊

fredag 18 augusti 2017

Ignite...here I come 😊



It’s with a big pleasure I’m writing this blog post today, I just got my session accepted for Ignite in Orlando!

I will deliver a Business Continuity session that will go through how you can use the Microsoft portfolio, both on-prem and Azure, to accomplish a true Business Continuity approach for your business.

During the week I will schedule a bunch of meetings with my peers and other Product Group Managers so if you have any feedback from the community pleases feel free to provide that to me @ Robert.hedblom@outlook.com

fredag 11 augusti 2017

Release Notes for System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) Technical Preview 1711

For those of us that tries the 1711 preview version Microsoft released a great article regarding how to determine if the server that you installs or update the DPM agent will restart or not.

For those of us that plays around with 1711 its great info 😊

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/dpm/dpm-release-notes-1711?view=sc-dpm-1711

Size do matter…

Archiving to Azure is a great feature that Microsoft made possible a while back. With new technology also comes new challenges, one is when an online job stops working and how to troubleshoot that.

When DPM 2012 R2 creates a Online Recovery point its important that the Replica and the Recovery Point volume within the DPM disk pool is more than 3 GB in size. If not you will get the error ID 100034.



The way to solve this is really simple. Just increase the size of your Protected Item within the Protection Group and increase the size to more than 3GB and then rerun your Online job.