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Considerations for Backing Up Virtual Machines on CSV with the System VSS Provider

July 10, 2010 1 comment

If your SAN vendor does not have hardware VSS providers, you can use software snapshots to back up your virtual machines.

We recommend that virtual machines deployed on CSV should be backed up serially.

There are two aspects to serialization of backup jobs in a CSV environment:

  • Serializing virtual machine backups on a per node basis.
  • Serializing virtual machine backups on a per CSV LUN basis.

Enabling Per Node Serialization

Create the following registry key on the DPM server:

Key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\2.0\Configuration\MaxAllowedParallelBackups
Value Microsoft Hyper-V
Data 1
Type DWORD

This ensures that only one backup job will run at a time on a Hyper-V host.

Enabling Per CSV LUN Serialization

This form of serialization limits the number of virtual machine backups happening on a single CSV LUN. This is done by creating a DataSourceGroups.xml file and placing it in the DPM server at %PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config. This file provides DPM with information about the CSV virtual machine deployment configuration/distribution on the various CSV LUN so as to serialize the backups that happen per CSV LUN.

A DSConfig.ps1 script (below) creates the DataSourceGroups.xml file by listing all the virtual machines running on CSV in groups. Each group has the list of all virtual machines hosted on one CSV LUN. DPM permits only one backup from one such group at a time.

# DSConfig.ps1

$infoText = "This script will generate the DatasourceGroups.xml file in the current path. Once this file is created merge it with the same file name under %programfiles%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config directory on the DPM server. Read the documentation for more details."
echo $infoText

$header = "<?xml version=`"1.0`" encoding=`"utf-16`"?> `n <DatasourceGroup xmlns:xsi=`"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance`" xmlns:xsd=`"http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema`" xmlns=`"http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/dls/GroupDatasourceByDisk.xsd`">"
$footer = "</DatasourceGroup>"

import-module -name FailoverClusters

$dir = [guid]::NewGuid()
md $dir

$cluster = get-Cluster
$FQDN = $cluster.Name + "." + $cluster.Domain
$res = get-clusterresource | where-object { $_.ResourceType.Name -eq "Virtual Machine Configuration"}
foreach ($r in $res)
{
$VmObj = Get-ClusterParameter -inputobject $r | where {$_.Name -eq "VmStoreRootPath"} # Identifies the CSV volume on which the VM is hosted.
$VmName = Get-ClusterParameter -inputobject $r | where {$_.Name -eq "VmId"}
$vol = $vmobj.Value.Split("\")[2] # $vol will return to us the Volume<number> of the CSV on which the VM resides.
$line = "<Datasource DatasourceName=`"" + $VmName.Value +"`"" + " ProtectedServerName=`"" + $r.OwnerGroup.Name + "."+ $FQDN +"`"" + " WriterId=`"66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de`" />"
echo $line >> $dir\$vol # File VolumeX will contain entries for all VMs hosted on CSV VolumeX
}

echo $header > DataSourceGroups.xml
$filelist = dir $dir\Volume*
$GroupEndString = "</Group>"
foreach ($file in $filelist)
{
   $GroupBeginString = "<Group GroupName=`"" + $file.Name + "-" + $FQDN + "`">" # Group name is kept VolumeX itself
   echo $GroupBeginString >> DataSourceGroups.xml
   type $file >> DataSourceGroups.xml # Consolidating groups pertaining to all the volumes. 
   echo $GroupEndString >> DataSourceGroups.xml
}

Remove-Item -Force -Recurse $dir

echo $footer >> DataSourceGroups.xml

Procedure to Create the DataSourceGroups.xml File and Serialize the Backup Jobs

  1. Generate the DataSourceGroups.xml file by running the DSConfig.ps1 script on any one node of a cluster containing CSV. For more information about how to generate the file, see Procedure to Generate the DataSourceGroups.xml File on a CSV Cluster.
  2. Repeat step 1 for every cluster that is protected by a DPM server.
  3. Merge all such DataSourceGroups.xml files into a single file on the DPM server. You can skip this step and copy the file directly to %PROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config if the DPM server is protecting only one cluster. For more information about merging the files, see Procedure to Merge the DataSourceGroups.xml Files from All CSV Clusters.
  4. If a protection group has already been created for the virtual machines, perform the steps in the Modify Protection Group Wizard. If a protection group has not been created, create a new protection group and the job serialization described above will take effect.

The DataSourceGroups.xml file needs to be updated only when virtual machines are added, deleted, or modified in the cluster and protection is configured for them.

Regenerate the DataSourceGroups.xml file from the CSV cluster and update the DataSourceGroups.xml file by replacing the existing groups for that cluster with the new groups.

Procedure to Generate the DataSourceGroups.xml File on a CSV Cluster

  1. Copy the DSConfig.ps1 file to any one node of a CSV cluster.
  2. Run this script in an elevated Windows PowerShell window and locate the DataSourceGroups.xml file generated in the same folder C:\MyFolder\>DSConfig.ps1
  3. This script will generate the DataSourceGroups.xml file in the current path. After this file is created, copy it to the %programfiles%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config directory on the DPM server.
  4. You can verify the groupings by opening the XML file that is generated. The following is the expected format:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
    <DatasourceGroup xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/dls/GroupDatasourceByDisk.xsd">
    <Group GroupName="Group1">
    <Datasource DatasourceName="EA24071A-7B7B-42CF-AB1D-BBAE49F50632" ProtectedServerName="SCVMM VM-Vol7-03 Resources.CSVSCALE.SCALEDPM01.LAB" WriterId="66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de" />
    </Group>
    </DatasourceGroup>
    

Procedure to Merge the DataSourceGroups.xml Files from All CSV Clusters

noteNote
You can skip this step if the DPM server is protecting only one CSV cluster. The generated DataSourceGroups.xml file can be used directly on the DPM server.
  1. Copy any one of the DataSourceGroups.xml files that was generated to the DPM server under the location %Programfiles%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config.
  2. Open the file to edit it.
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-16"?>
    <DatasourceGroup xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance" xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/2003/dls/GroupDatasourceByDisk.xsd">
    <Group GroupName="Group1">
    <Datasource DatasourceName="EA24071A-7B7B-42CF-AB1D-BBAE49F50632" ProtectedServerName="SCVMM VM-Vol7-03 Resources.CSVSCALE.SCALEDPM01.LAB" WriterId="66841cd4-6ded-4f4b-8f17-fd23f8ddc3de" />
    </Group>
    </DatasourceGroup>
  3. Copy the <Group> tags from all the DataSourceGroup.xml files generated and add the text between the <DataSourceGroup> tags. The DataSourceGroups.xml file will now contain one <header> tag, one <DataSourceGroup> tag, and <Group> tags from all CSV clusters.
  4. Close the DataSourceGroups.xml file on the DPM server. It is now ready to use.

Microsoft Looks to Third-Parties to Extend DPM 2010

June 22, 2010 2 comments

Source

It’s a big week for Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2010 … even though it’s a month or more away from general availability.  At the Microsoft Management Summit this week, DPM 2010 was released to manufacturing, and i365 and Iron Mountain both made DPM 2010-related announcements that extend its capabilities.

Microsoft continues to make strides since joining the disk-based backup and recovery space with DPM 2006, adding features that have increased its appeal to Microsoft-centric buyers.  Among other things, DPM 2010 promises to:

  • Increase scale.  A single DPM server can protect 100 production servers (up from 30-40) and 80 TB of data, 1000 Windows clients, 2000 SQL databases, 40 TB Exchange databases, and 25 TB SharePoint farms.
  • Provide a single agent for all Microsoft workloads, including support for Windows 7, MOSS 2010, Exchange 2010, and SAP running on a SQL server.
  • Support Hyper-V on Windows 2008 r2, including support for LiveMigration scenarios with cluster-shared volumes, recovery of .VHDs to an alternate host, and VM-level backup with either VM-level or file-level recovery.
  • Protect connected or disconnected Windows clients with continuous backup (backup is performed locally until a connection/synchronization is possible), allowing data to be recovered locally and enabling end-user self-service restore.
  • Enable SharePoint farm-level protection with document-level restore, eliminating the need for a SharePoint recovery farm.
  • Replicate a DPM server off site to third-party cloud providers, such as Iron Mountain or i365.

Iron Mountain and Microsoft previously teamed up to deliver a cloud storage option for DPM 2007 customers over a year ago, allowing users to extend their data protection strategies with cloud-based copies for DR.  This week, Iron Mountain announced support for DPM 2010 and enhancements to Iron Mountain CloudRecovery—beefing up its scalability, streamlining DPM-CloudRecovery integration, and altering its licensing/pricing model to provide greater cost efficiency and predictability to subscribers.

i365 is partnering with Microsoft in a slightly different way. i365 is delivering an all-in-one hardware-software-cloud solution: Evault for System Center Data Protection Manager (EDPM).  The Dell server ships with both Microsoft DPM and Evault backup software accessed via a single user interface and with a unified policy engine.  Why both?  Since DPM is limited to protecting Microsoft’s operating system, hypervisor, and applications, EDPM allows Microsoft to address a wider audience—including Linux, UNIX, NetWare, IBM i, VMware, and Oracle users.  Optionally, the EDPM storage can be replicated to the i365 cloud—creating a more economically-feasible DR copy for mid-market and small enterprise companies.

Missing from Microsoft’s DPM 2010 strategy is any statement that the company will leverage its own cloud service capabilities in Windows Azure.  Will DPM be offered as software as a service (SaaS)?  Will Windows Azure cloud storage be used for DPM 2010 DR copies?  Stay tuned.

Windows 2008 Hyper-V R2 Update for DPM 2010

Hyper-V R2 Update for DPM 2010

Install those two Updates on Hyper-V R2 server:

KB975354 A Hyper-V rollup package dealing with parallel backups on same cluster shared volumes and VM’s hosted by different servers; Avoiding data truncation as a result of simultaneous backup of VM from host and from within virtual machine; properly restoring a VM with snapshots to another location

KB975921 You may be unable to perform certain disk-related operations after an exception when a hardware provider tries to create a snapshot in Windows Server 2008 R2 or Win 7.

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