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DPM 2010 disaster recovery plan (if everything is lost) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I currently have a single DPM 2010 server protecting our environment (small bussiness in a single site). Buying a secondary DPM is not an option.

    I've read http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399388.aspx and even http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb808991.aspx, but would appreciate some additional information/reasurance.

    In case of a disaster and our entire site fails/burns/is flooded I want to make sure I understand the way DPM works and have a proper disaster recovery plan. I currently backup disk to disk and also to tape. The tapes and a copy of the DPM DB file are frequently taken offline to a secure location (encryption isn't used at the moment).

    The vast majority of our servers run on a two node Hyper-V cluster, there's also a physical DC, a physical DPM and a couple server of lesser importance. Host based backup is used for all VMs in the cluster, including SQL, Exchange - these do not have additional agents. I'd recover entire VMs/servers and can live with loosing a day without major problems. BMR and Initial Store is selected for both nodes of the Hyper-V cluster (I currently don't include C: volume, but can if so instructed).

    In case all of our servers are gone (including DC, DPM, both nodes of the Hyper-V cluster...) how can I recover the data from tapes. The tapes do of course include a backup of all our servers. As I understand it, I'd first need to rebuild our DC, but how...if there's no DPM. Should I have a Full Server backup using Windows Server Backup of the DC and take that offsite with the tapes and DPM DB?

    Even if I buy new hardware/servers, for starters one for a physical DC, one for DPM, two for the Hyper-V cluster (does BMR work only on the exact same model of hardware that was used before the disaster?) and get a DC up and running (successfully restore the system state/AD) and have a recent (not the latest) backup of the DPM database what's the exact process?

    Set up a DPM server using the same OS, give it the same computername (a Reset Account should be used first), install DPM, attach a tape library (does it have to be the same model that was used before the disaster), run DpmSync –restoredb –dbloc <DPMDB file location>. Then what?

    What exact process needs to be followed so I can recover the data from tapes? If the tapes include the very latest backups, but the DPM DB is older, what can be recovered? And vice versa?

    Many thanks for all the help you can provide.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011 11:57 AM

Answers

  • Hello,

    Your statement of "I don't know if it's my lack of DPM understanding but I'm still not 100% clear on what I need to have to recover our entire environment." is a hard question to answer as a full assessment of "How to backup\recover your entire environment" can be better determined via onsite consultant visit if you are unsure yourself.  Microsoft consulting may be what you need.  


    All things being equal I suggest this.

    1.) Install a DPM server with plenty of storage.
    2.) Create your protection groups for critical servers.
    3.) Configure the protection groups to perform a BMR for your critical servers.
    4.) Configure your protection groups to perform long term to tape.
    5.) Install a remote DPM server as a secondary.  Have the secondary DPM server backup the Primary for redundancy.

    Let's assume the whole site experiences a disaster and every server being backed up including the Primary DPM server is non serviceable.

    1.) We do have the BMR backups to tape.
    2.) We do have a secondary copy of recovery points also on the Secondary DPM server.
    3.) If needed even though the tape backups were made by the Primary DPM server which is now destroyed, we can still import those tapes into the Secondary DPM server to retrieve the date.

    How do we recover though with the system state and\or BMR? These videos walk you through this process:
    System State: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bb0b5339-445b-4298-8705-350f13227b93
    BMR: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bec0b1c6-d1fd-41f0-b4bc-df5791dfc68d

    If you have a backup of the Primary DPM server, do you need to re-install the DPM server at the site with the same name?<----Only if you want to use the backed up DPM database.  If not, then you can give it any name you want. 

    Do you need the storage pool and/or DPMDB if all you want is to recovery data from the tapes?<----You can import the tapes into any DPM server. You can install a DPM server without a storage pool and still import the tapes that were made by another DPM server.

    Thanks
    Shane

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:05 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    "In case all of our servers are gone (including DC, DPM, both nodes of the Hyper-V cluster...) how can I recover the data from tapes."<----You can import the tapes into any DPM server to retrieve the data.

    "In case all of our servers are gone (including DC, DPM, both nodes of the Hyper-V cluster...) how can I recover the data from tapes. The tapes do of course include a backup of all our servers. As I understand it, I'd first need to rebuild our DC, but how...if there's no DPM." <------ If you have taken a BMR of the DC\Servers then you can perform a BMR restore.
    BMR: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bec0b1c6-d1fd-41f0-b4bc-df5791dfc68d

    "Even if I buy new hardware/servers, for starters one for a physical DC, one for DPM, two for the Hyper-V cluster (does BMR work only on the exact same model of hardware that was used before the disaster?) and get a DC up and running (successfully restore the system state/AD) and have a recent (not the latest) backup of the DPM database what's the exact process":
    Yes a BMR to different hardware may work but be mindful that if you have a BMR of specific drivers and try to apply that driver to a different hardware you can also run into failures. Example: you have specific drivers for a raid controller and you try to apply those drivers to a different make\model raid then I would not expect it to work.

    "Set up a DPM server using the same OS, give it the same computername (a Reset Account should be used first), install DPM, attach a tape library (does it have to be the same model that was used before the disaster), run DpmSync –restoredb –dbloc <DPMDB file location>. Then what?"<----more idepth steps than that.

    If your storage pool is also lost then you have lost your recovery points and replica. Assuming that your storage pool is not damaged:

    a.) The server name has to be the same, there is no getting around that as the DPM server name is too ingrained in the SQL database.
    b.) Install the DPM application on the server.
    c.) Install the same patch version of the DPM binaries as DPM backup. Example: If the latest DPM backup was DPM 2010 7707, then you will have to bring this new DPM server up to that version with the 7707 patch.
    d.) Present the storage pool from the old server to the this newly created DPM server so that it may be seen in disk management.
    e.) perform a dpmsync -restore.
    f.) Perform a dpmsync -sync
    g.) all of your replicas will be inconsistent but your recovery points should be there for retrieval. You can always perform a restore to a network share if needed.

    Note: You do not have to restore the DPM database on a new machine in order to access data on a tape. You can install a new DPM serve with a new database for DPM and import the tapes.


    Thanks
    Shane

    • Proposed as answer by ShaneB. _ Tuesday, May 3, 2011 3:34 PM
    Tuesday, May 3, 2011 2:59 PM
  • Hi Shane, thank you so much for taking the time and reply to my numerous questions. I have some follow-ups, please reply as time allows.

    »You can import the tapes into any DPM server to retrieve the data.« <---- Any DPM server? I was under the assumption that it has to be in the same domain as the previous server? So I'd need to have a DC up and running before that? If that is the case, I can't rely on DPM alone (taking into account I only have a single one, in one site). I need to first have a way to backup our DC independantly (Full backup with WSB) from DPM?

    »If you have taken a BMR of the DC\Servers then you can perform a BMR restore.
    BMR: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bec0b1c6-d1fd-41f0-b4bc-df5791dfc68d«
    <----- OK, I might mention I only have a BMR of our Hyper-V cluster nodes. Other servers not part of the Hyper-V cluster are not protected by DPM in any shape or form. Also should I include volume C: (system, boot partition) for good measure?

    »Yes a BMR to different hardware may work but be mindful that if you have a BMR of specific drivers and try to apply that driver to a different hardware you can also run into failures. Example: you have specific drivers for a raid controller and you try to apply those drivers to a different make\model raid then I would not expect it to work.« <---- OK, all clear.

    »more idepth steps than that. If your storage pool is also lost then you have lost your recovery points and replica. Assuming that your storage pool is not damaged:

    a.) The server name has to be the same, there is no getting around that as the DPM server name is too ingrained in the SQL database.
    b.) Install the DPM application on the server.
    c.) Install the same patch version of the DPM binaries as DPM backup. Example: If the latest DPM backup was DPM 2010 7707, then you will have to bring this new DPM server up to that version with the 7707 patch.
    d.) Present the storage pool from the old server to the this newly created DPM server so that it may be seen in disk management.
    e.) perform a dpmsync -restore.
    f.) Perform a dpmsync -sync
    g.) all of your replicas will be inconsistent but your recovery points should be there for retrieval. You can always perform a restore to a network share if needed.

    Note: You do not have to restore the DPM database on a new machine in order to access data on a tape. You can install a new DPM serve with a new database for DPM and import the tapes.«
    <---- I'm preparing a recovery plan under the assumption that not a single piece of hardware survives the disaster (servers, tape libraries, storage array, storage pool, the site itself is gone).

    All I have is my offsite backup which from my current understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) must contain:

    -          A Full backup of our FSMO holder DC which was created with Windows Server Backup – I'd need the same hardware/RAID controller to recover it. If that hardware is not available I'd need to restore the system state only.

    -          A backup of the DPM server database – can be recovered to any hardware as long as the server name is the same.

    -          A tape that contains a BMR of our Hyper-V cluster nodes and another tape that contains all the VMs that resided on the cluster. – I'd again need the same hardware for the Hyper-V nodes. In worst case I can create a new cluster and recover to that, does that work? Does the cluster need to have the same name or anything else so DPM can recover the tape content to it?

     

    Also could you provide some additional information regarding:  »What exact process needs to be followed so I can recover the data from tapes? If the tapes include the very latest backups, but the DPM DB is older, what can be recovered? And vice versa?«

    I'd greatly appreciate your or anyone elses assistance so I gain a better understanding and in the end have a proper backup/disaster plan in place.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011 5:54 PM
  • Hello,

    "All I have is my offsite backup which from my current understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) must contain:
    - A Full backup of our FSMO holder DC which was created with Windows Server Backup – I'd need the same hardware/RAID controller to recover it. If that hardware is not available I'd need to restore the system state only."<---------It can work but can also run into problem due to driver diffences.  The key point here is proper testing of a BMR restore in a test lab with your specified hardware.

    "-
    A backup of the DPM server database – can be recovered to any hardware as long as the server name is the same."<--------If the storage pool is lost then so is the recovery points. Suggest you implement DPM Primary\Secondary protection.

    "- A tape that contains a BMR of our Hyper-V cluster nodes and another tape that contains all the VMs that resided on the cluster. – I'd again need the same hardware for the Hyper-V nodes. In worst case I can create a new cluster and recover to that, does that work? Does the cluster need to have the same name or anything else so DPM can recover the tape content to it?

    Also could you provide some additional information regarding: »What exact process needs to be followed so I can recover the data from tapes? If the tapes include the very latest backups, but the DPM DB is older, what can be recovered? And vice versa?«<--------- http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399049.aspx  An imported tape contains content that was created by another DPM server. When you add an imported tape to the tape library, you must recatalog the tape to identify the contents of the tape. During the recatalog operation, DPM reads from the tape and adds information about the data that it contains to the database. After recatalog completes, you can recover data from the tape by selecting a recovery point from the data on the tape.  

    Thanks
    Shane

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011 8:48 PM
  • Hi, thanks again for your assistance. I don't know if it's my lack of DPM understanding but I'm still not 100% clear on what I need to have to recover our entire environment.

    I'll be making a system state backup of our DC using WSB and carry that offsite. So I can first recover our DC/AD. Once that is installed I'd install a new DPM server (using the same name, if that is even needed in this case) and just import the tapes and recover all the data. Is this all correct and everything that is needed?

    Do I even need a storage pool and/or the DPM DB if all I want is to recover data from tapes?

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 7:34 AM
  • Hello,

    Your statement of "I don't know if it's my lack of DPM understanding but I'm still not 100% clear on what I need to have to recover our entire environment." is a hard question to answer as a full assessment of "How to backup\recover your entire environment" can be better determined via onsite consultant visit if you are unsure yourself.  Microsoft consulting may be what you need.  


    All things being equal I suggest this.

    1.) Install a DPM server with plenty of storage.
    2.) Create your protection groups for critical servers.
    3.) Configure the protection groups to perform a BMR for your critical servers.
    4.) Configure your protection groups to perform long term to tape.
    5.) Install a remote DPM server as a secondary.  Have the secondary DPM server backup the Primary for redundancy.

    Let's assume the whole site experiences a disaster and every server being backed up including the Primary DPM server is non serviceable.

    1.) We do have the BMR backups to tape.
    2.) We do have a secondary copy of recovery points also on the Secondary DPM server.
    3.) If needed even though the tape backups were made by the Primary DPM server which is now destroyed, we can still import those tapes into the Secondary DPM server to retrieve the date.

    How do we recover though with the system state and\or BMR? These videos walk you through this process:
    System State: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bb0b5339-445b-4298-8705-350f13227b93
    BMR: http://www.microsoft.com/showcase/en/us/details/bec0b1c6-d1fd-41f0-b4bc-df5791dfc68d

    If you have a backup of the Primary DPM server, do you need to re-install the DPM server at the site with the same name?<----Only if you want to use the backed up DPM database.  If not, then you can give it any name you want. 

    Do you need the storage pool and/or DPMDB if all you want is to recovery data from the tapes?<----You can import the tapes into any DPM server. You can install a DPM server without a storage pool and still import the tapes that were made by another DPM server.

    Thanks
    Shane

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:05 PM
  • Thank you once again, I think I have quite a bit of information now.

    From 5 of our points, the first 4 are taken care of and working great. I don't have the approval of buying an additional server/DPM license and there's curretnly only one site/location.

    I understand the process of recovering BMR and/or system state.

    It appears that all I need to get our entire site up and running is a full server WSB of our DC, and tapes from our DPM server which contain the backup of our Hyper-V cluster, I already have all of this.

     

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:24 PM
  • Can I just add a question that I think is also worth considering for the DR scenario proposed.

    Considering that there is a single DPM Server and tape library and that there will always be some tapes in the DPM Library at any point in time. What happens if you lose the server room with the only DPM server and tape library including the tapes that are in the library? How are you supposed to manage the potential loss of data on those tapes that could be vital to bringing your environment back?

    Thanks, Stu.

    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:58 AM