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Synchronization is not available on the DPM Protection Group RRS feed

  • Question

  • Synchronization is not available as a choice on the SharePoint protection group. Express Full Backup is the only option.

    The only member of the Protection Group is the SharePoint 2016 farm. All the SharePoint databases were set to Full Recovery mode. The Service Application databases were being backed up separately as SQL databases, but that was removed from DPM in case it was causing a conflict. The Express Full Backups are working fine otherwise.

    This is a new SharePoint farm, the environment is:

    • DPM 2016 running on Windows 2016 Server
    • SharePoint 2016 running on Windows 2016 Server
    • SQL 2016 running on Windows 2016 Server

    My understanding is that DPM should be able to do 15 minute synchronizations on the SharePoint Content Databases.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!


    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 8:12 PM

Answers

  • Microsoft Support is now saying that Incremental backups for the SharePoint Farm in DPM 2016 is not supported.

    However the documentation on Microsoft Docs state this:

    • "In Select short-term goals specify how you want to back up to short-term storage on disk. In Retention range you specify how long you want to keep the data on disk. In Synchronization frequency you specify how often you want to run an incremental backup to disk."

    After working with Microsoft Support for a few weeks I was pointed to a different document that says incremental backups are not supported:

    • "Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Virtual Server do not support incremental backup. Recovery points are created for each express full backup only."

    So it appears the only option is to use Express Full Backups.

    • Marked as answer by David Crosby Monday, March 4, 2019 3:48 PM
    Monday, March 4, 2019 3:48 PM

All replies

  • Hello David!

    Have you installed the DPM agent on every SharePoint server in the farm?

    Note: If you have multiple Web Front End (WFE) servers you only need to install it on one (1) WFE server.

    Also make sure you have installed the DPM agent on the server that is hosting the SharePoint SQL.

    Best regards,
    Leon


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    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:16 PM
  • Thanks for your  reply!

    There is only a single WFE server, so it's only installed on that one, plus the SQL Server.


    • Edited by David Crosby Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:19 PM
    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:18 PM
  • Have you followed the guide on the official documentation page on how to configure the SharePoint farm backup?

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/dpm/back-up-sharepoint?view=sc-dpm-2016#configure-backup


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    Wednesday, January 9, 2019 10:32 PM
  • Yes, Thanks for your reply.

    I followed that exact procedure. As I said backups are working, it's just the synchronization that's not working. If the procedure you mentioned wasn't followed, the backups would not be working at all.

    Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:14 PM
  • Have you tried removing the SharePoint databases from the protection group, then perform a Refresh on the SharePoint host hosting the databases when modifying the protection group and then try re-adding them?

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    Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:27 PM
  • I did everything except the "Refresh" - could you elaborate on what you mean by Refres…?
    Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:44 PM
  • Sorry, so when you either modify or create a protection group, you will start off by selecting the group members that you want to protect, select the host that has the SharePoint databases and on the bottom of the screen there will be a Refresh button.


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    Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:48 PM
  • Yes, we did refresh as you noted - there was no change, still no synchronization.

    So this other post indicates there could be a bug:  Enabling SharePoint protection and then switching to SQL DB protection... causes incremental updates to fail.

    We did a similar process:  Enabled SharePoint protection and then added SQL DB protection for the service applications.

    Also, I examined the Protection Group Datasource object with PowerShell and it has a parameter: "SupportsIncremental" set to "False". 

    Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:26 PM
  • Okay, that's a good find indeed, do you have any support agreement with Microsoft so that you could open up a ticket?

    I wanted to check one more thing, is your SharePoint database a standalone or clustered (mirror) ?


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    Thursday, January 10, 2019 11:30 PM
  • We were hoping to avoid paying to start an incident with Microsoft, given that it's likely some simple but obscure switch or setting somewhere - but that may be the last resort.

    The database is just standalone - no mirror or cluster.

    Do you by chance have a system with working SharePoint synchronization where you could check the "SupportsIncremental" parameter as a comparison?

    This is the script I used to check:

    $dpmServer = "DPMProd05"
    Connect-DPMServer -DPMServerName "DPMProd05"
    $pGroup = Get-DPMProtectionGroup -DPMServerName $dpmServer
    $spConfigDatasource = Get-Datasource | Where-Object {$_.ObjectType -eq "SharePoint Farm"} 
    $spConfigDatasource | Select *
    Write-Host ("Supports Incremental: $($spConfigDatasource.SupportsIncremental)")
    $spConfigDatasource.SupportsIncremental

    Thanks for your reply!


    Friday, January 11, 2019 6:07 PM
  • Hi,

    Sorry for the late reply! Unfortunately I don't have any SharePoint in my lab environments, otherwise I would have checked this.

    Your issue could indeed indicate to the bug you provided in the other older post, though I would find it strange if this has not fixed by now.


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    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:17 PM
  • I've patched everything to the latest available patches on both SharePoint and DPM, with no success. Also re-ran the DPM provisioning on the SharePoint WFE. I can't think of any other steps to try that might reset whatever bit got toggled somewhere down in the dark corners of DPM.

    It seems like an issue on the DPM DB server. Is there a way to tell whether the SQL jobs are scheduled, and failing - vs not scheduled at all? That might help to identify the source of the issue.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:18 PM
  • All DPM jobs can be found in the SQL agent’s job list, you can see them in the SQL Management Studio although they will look cryptic.

    The following link should be helpful in this case:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4456295/how-to-troubleshoot-scheduled-backup-job-failures-in-dpm-2012-and-late


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    Tuesday, January 22, 2019 5:48 PM
  • Hi,

    Just checking in to see if you have any update on your issue?


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    Sunday, January 27, 2019 1:17 PM
  • I've verified that the problem is the jobs aren't being created, which makes sense, because the option to set the frequency isn't available when the protection group is first created.

    So the issue is already present during the PG creation. That would point back to the "SupportsIncremental" bit being set to "False" on the PG:

    $pGroup = Get-DPMProtectionGroup -DPMServerName $dpmServer
    $spConfigDatasource = Get-Datasource | Where-Object {$_.ObjectType -eq "SharePoint Farm"} 

    Monday, January 28, 2019 2:56 PM
  • Good find, this is an interesting case.

    If I understood correctly your DPM database is running on a remote SQL server?

    Is your SQL Server Agent set to start Automatically? I would check to see if there are any errors related to the SQL Server Agent on the server hosting the DPM database.


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    Monday, January 28, 2019 3:11 PM
  • The DPM SQL server is on the same server hosting DPM.

    SQL Server Agent is set to start automatically. There are no errors, and other backup jobs are running normally - including the daily Express Full Backup of the SharePoint farm.

    There's also a Protection Group for a file server share that does have the "Synchronization Frequency" settings option available - it's set to "15 min" intervals, and is working normally.



    Monday, January 28, 2019 4:15 PM
  • Did you try adding the SharePoint servers to a protection group that is fully working as a test?

    Running out of ideas actually, you could always try performing everything in the DPM Shell to see if there's any difference.


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    Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:07 PM
  • Yes, tried that. At this point we've opened a support incident.


    Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:33 PM
  • Let’s hope that they will be able to solve this, let us know how it goes!

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    Wednesday, January 30, 2019 10:37 PM
  • Hi Folks,

    I'm an associate of David and have been working with him on this issue.  We started a Microsoft Support incident with a week ago and the most recent response we've had from them was this:
    "As per our discussion:

    The incremental backups of the SharePoint Farms are not supported in the DPM.

    Only Express Full Backups of the SharePoint Farms can be taken using the DPM.

    However if you want, you can take multiple Express Full Backups of the SharePoint Farms in a day.

    Please find the below article that states that all SharePoint backups are express full only.

    https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/c4d748f4-e2bb-4799-94ed-8a1c81da75f9/sharepoint-backup-frequency

    Very disappointing.

    My response was:
     
    "I’m an associate of David’s monitoring this issue.
    Your assertion that ”incremental backups of the SharePoint Farms are not supported in the DPM.” Is incorrect.
    The documentation you refer to is for DPM 2012 not DPM 2016.
    Please see this documentation for DPM 2016 https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/dpm/back-up-sharepoint?view=sc-dpm-1807 and search for “incremental”
    You will find step 6 in SharePoint backup to DPM states: “In Select short-term goals specify how you want to back up to short-term storage on disk. In Retention range you specify how long you want to keep the data on disk. In Synchronization frequency you specify how often you want to run an incremental backup to disk. If you don't want to set a back up interval you can check Just before a recovery point so that DPM will run an express full backup just before each recovery point is scheduled.”

    Additionally in this 2015 Technet post, https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/4767ff8f-adff-43dd-89a4-30f14a9bda2c/dpm-not-scheduling-incremental-backups-following-recovery-model-change?forum=dpmsqlbackup,  responded to by Mike Jacquet, he states that “This is a known issue if you originally protected the databases using SharePoint protection, then switch to SQL DB protection” and “If you want to pursue this immediately, you can visit the following web site to open a support incident. The charge to your Credit Card will not be processed until your case is resolved and closed, since it appears to be a code code defect in the DPM then we wave all charges.
    http://support.microsoft.com/select/Default.aspx?target=assistance
    In the Quick product finder, enter:
    System Center 2012 R2 then select System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager
    In the next screen, chose the option that applies.
    Ask the DPM support engineer to reference Content ID: 2814138 to help fix the issue”
    As you can see incremental backups for SharePoint has been supported for SharePoint since DPM2012R2.
    What we would like you to do at this point is to stop wasting our time and refer this issue to a higher tier support engineer."

    Does anyone have any additional documentation stating DPM2016 backs up SP2016 on an incremental level.

    Thanks,

    Ivan





    • Edited by Ivan Polk Thursday, February 7, 2019 6:46 PM
    Thursday, February 7, 2019 6:45 PM
  • Microsoft Support is now saying that Incremental backups for the SharePoint Farm in DPM 2016 is not supported.

    However the documentation on Microsoft Docs state this:

    • "In Select short-term goals specify how you want to back up to short-term storage on disk. In Retention range you specify how long you want to keep the data on disk. In Synchronization frequency you specify how often you want to run an incremental backup to disk."

    After working with Microsoft Support for a few weeks I was pointed to a different document that says incremental backups are not supported:

    • "Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Virtual Server do not support incremental backup. Recovery points are created for each express full backup only."

    So it appears the only option is to use Express Full Backups.

    • Marked as answer by David Crosby Monday, March 4, 2019 3:48 PM
    Monday, March 4, 2019 3:48 PM
  • Thanks for sharing this information with the Community David, it's really appreciated!

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    Monday, March 4, 2019 3:59 PM