DPM 2012 R2 - Exchange 2013 on Hyper-V 2012 R2- Agent level backup of Complete Server vs VM level backup RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi -

    Environment is DPM 2012 R2, Exchange 2013 DAG (2 server VMs on running in Windows 2012 R2 VM, hosts are Windows 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role)

    I have an existing Exchange DAG Protection Group backing up as follows:

    EXISTING DAG Protection group backup job settings (Agent level backup inside the VMs for both DAG members). This job backs up ONLY the exchange database (no volumes, system state or BMR):

    Short term recovery: 15 Days, 30 minutes synchronization

    Performance Optimization: Compression disabled, Consistency check: Automatic, Express Full Backup – 12:30 PM, 8:30 PM everyday

    Which of the following two alternatives to backup the rest of the server would be preferred? The above job will stay in place.

    ALTERNATIVE A - Backup rest of VM at the Hyper-V host
    Add a registry key to the Exchange VM and reboot:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Virtualization\VssRequestor Set Value to 1 for NO TRUNCATE
    Create a new Protection Group backing up the entire VM from the Hyper-v Host with no exclusions
    It is hoped that this backup will not interfere with the above existing Exchange DAG job or corrupt the database

    ALTERNATIVE B - Backup rest of VM with the agent in the Exchange VM
    Create a new PG that backs up all volumes on the VM, as well as System State and BMR
    Would I need to exclude any Exchange edb or log files or is DPM smart enough to not interfere with these

    Neither A nor B would do an Express Full at the same time as the Existing DAG job.


    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 10:43 PM

All replies

  • Hello!

    If you want less work without having the need to install more agents you should go for Alternative A.

    When backing up applications that run inside the a virtual machine, you must install the DPM agent inside the guest. The guest will then appear as a physical server for you to expand and select the Exchange database to protect.

    Since both Hyper-V and Exchange backups will cause logs to be truncated, you must add the registry key below inside the Exchange server so that Hyper-V backups will not truncate logs and allow DPM to backup exchange properly.

    Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Virtualization\VssRequestor 
    Name: BackupType 
    Type: REG_DWORD 
    Value: 1

    In case of a disaster then "Alternative A" will be most likely be the fastest option, personally I use "Alternative A" when backing up virtual machines.

    There should be no interfering issues with the Exchange DAG jobs, below you can find a good page that describes how the Exchange writer in Exchange 2013 works:

    Best regards,

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    • Proposed as answer by Leon Laude Friday, February 15, 2019 9:07 AM
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 11:13 PM
  • Leon, thanks for your input. In my case the DPM agent is already on the VM and functioning as it is backing up the DAG databases (only).

    That being said, it sounds like you still vote for backing up the remaining volumes and System State on the Exchange VMs by adding the VssRequestor key and performing a DPM backup of the entire VM?

    My Exchange guy was leading towards the full Agent based backup of the VM. I think I prefer your suggestion - it sounds easier to recover. Doing it with the registry key in place on the VM (and rebooting it of course) means the two jobs won't be in conflict and I don't think I would need to worry about excluding the Exchange edb and log files by backing it up at the host level.

    Thursday, January 24, 2019 3:18 AM
  • Both methods work just as fine, I usually try to go for the simple way by backing up the whole VM, with VMs it’s quick and easy and for the IT department it’s easy manageable.

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    Thursday, January 24, 2019 6:32 AM
  • I would also definitely recommend "Alternative A" if required. I would recover the whole VM only if both Exchange Servers fails. In situations when only one of the Exchange Servers fails I would use RecoverServer mode to restore your Exchange Server.

    And of course test your restore procedure. 

    Microsoft Certified Professional

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    • Edited by Matej Klemencic Thursday, January 24, 2019 7:40 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Leon Laude Friday, February 15, 2019 9:07 AM
    Thursday, January 24, 2019 7:39 AM
  • Hi,

    Just checking if the replies above answers your question or could be helpful?

    Blog: LinkedIn:

    Sunday, January 27, 2019 1:16 PM