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full volume vs. application backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • Application data is stored as files on volumes just like regular files but they are handled specially. (Think about Hyper-V VM data sources: it mostly backs up the VHD's and some other files and knows to treat them specially). If I back up my applications on a server as application data sources, and also all the volumes, then application data will be stored twice, which is a huge waste. I believe DPM can't optimize (deduplicate) the same files between different data sources (1). If I only back up the volumes, I will still have all the data, but it will be more difficult to restore application-specific data only (item-level restore) (2). If I back up the volumes and exclude the physical application data files from them, and back up the application data as such, I'm afraid that bare metal recovery will be more difficult or maybe impossible (3). The question applies to all kinds of applications (Exchange with its physical database files, Hyper-V with its physical VHD files, SQL with its physical MDF/LDF files). So which road to take then?

    1: Or maybe it can?

    2: But not impossible? Can I still access all the files in the volume backup set or restore the entire volume to a VM or something and get the item-level stuff I want from there?

    3: Maybe I can do a bare metal Windows install with Exchange/Hyper-V/SQL from the volume backup without the data files, naturally these software will be dead without them and this is the problematic part, but I might be able to do an application level restore from there if they are not completely dead.



    • Edited by fejesjoco Sunday, October 9, 2011 6:51 PM
    Sunday, October 9, 2011 6:40 PM

Answers

  • Regarding BMR, by default it will only take your system state and systemdrive. All other drives must be managed within the same or another protection group.

    So, let clear this.

    If you have one PG that manages your BMR (system state, and your system drive) you could have a second protection group protecting your applications and a third protection group protecting the your volumes but exclude the mdf and ldf files for SQL.


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    • Marked as answer by fejesjoco Tuesday, October 11, 2011 7:31 AM
    Monday, October 10, 2011 7:50 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi fejesoco,

    Regarding the application backup of Microsoft workloads it's true that they are threated like files. But most importaint DPM will use specific VSS'es for backing up your for example Exchange or SQL enviroment.

    If you have for example a protection group protecting the D: volume where your SQL databases resides and you also have another protection group that manages your SQL databases as an SQL workload your databases will be protected "double". To avoid this you must exclude the file types or the catalouge.

     


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Monday, October 10, 2011 6:31 AM
    Moderator
  • "To avoid this you must exclude the file types or the catalouge"

    That is exactly my question, if it's safe to exclude the files that are protected as applications. Will I be able to do a bare metal recovery of a Windows server with SQL server/Hyper-V/Exchange if the data files are excluded and restore the data files in a second step? Won't these programs "die" and cause the recovery to fail if the data files are not present in the volume PG, only an application PG?

    Monday, October 10, 2011 11:32 AM
  • Regarding BMR, by default it will only take your system state and systemdrive. All other drives must be managed within the same or another protection group.

    So, let clear this.

    If you have one PG that manages your BMR (system state, and your system drive) you could have a second protection group protecting your applications and a third protection group protecting the your volumes but exclude the mdf and ldf files for SQL.


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    • Marked as answer by fejesjoco Tuesday, October 11, 2011 7:31 AM
    Monday, October 10, 2011 7:50 PM
    Moderator