fredag 23 mars 2018

Experts Live 2018

I very happy to announce that I will be speaking at Experts Live in Prauge this fall.

Go to the Experts Live webpage and sign up 😊 https://www.expertslive.eu/

Hope to meet you there

#Communitypower


fredag 16 mars 2018

Unhandled Exception: System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x800706BE)


Don’t you just love those really simple error codes that DPM can provide you 😊

Today I bumped into a little challenge that I thought I would like to share with the community. Doing a standard verification process of a DPM servers actual recovery points I noticed that there where something fishy going on with a protected data source.

For some reason the data source was not able to create a recovery point and just synchronized a few MB of data and then just…gave up. In the Windows Application log it stated that the protected data source has lost its disk from this error alert.




Since the data source was also archived to an Azure recovery services vault I felt that it would be better to recreate the local backup and after that trigger a new online job for that data source.

After deleting the protected data source, but retaining the online recovery points so the archiving wouldn’t get lost, I recreated the data source. Everything looked awesome and after fetching a new cup of coffee I went back to my screen an noticed that the DPM console has chrashed…no good.

Doing some investigation in the log I found a classic event….*drum whirl*…Event ID 999. For those of you that are not familiar with this event this is a generic event that could describe almost anything so it REALLY important to read the actual logged data within the event.


Still a bit of a challenge when the DPMDB are referring to objects that are not there….hmm…there is only one way of solving this. Make the DPMDB consistent with the protected workloads via the DPMSYNC command.

Running the DPMSYNC -SYNC from the DPM management shell started out great…until that command TOTALLY crashed…*sigh*… If the DPMSYNC fails the DPM console will not be able to access the DPMDB since the DPMDB will be in a “interesting” state.

So the current status was that the DPM servers database ended non-operational and the access to the DPM console was smoked…but…there is always a way! Since Disaster Recovery is always a nice feature to have I simple restored a earlier version of the DPMDB. If you don’t have a DPM-DPM-DR setup made I highly recommend you to get started with that!

After restoring the DPMDB the DPMSYNC -SYNC command worked fine however all storage became unavailable….will this never end!!!!????

Never fear…Hedblom is here! By using the switch -ReallocateReplica (yes it works on DPM 2016 also…) I got all the replicas back in place and finished the restore process by running the DPMSYNC -SYNC again…now I was back on track! I could access the DPM console and make small adjustments to the MBS storage pool. All data that was archived to Azure was still accessible (GREAT JOB MICROSOFT!!!) and after performing a Consistency Check for the protected workloads my client now was back with ZERO data loss.


I hope this could give some answers or support if anyone in the community ends up in the same situation I did 😊

fredag 9 mars 2018

Upgrading 2016 -> 1801

I had a few who has been meeting some challenges after upgrading to DPM 1801 regarding DPMDB protection.

When performing an upgrade of System Center Data Protection Manager, the old DPMDB is transformed into the 1801 configuration. What actually happens is that the upgrade process will add a “GUID look alike” sequence of characters after the DPMDB name.



The challenges that people has notified is that their DPMDB protection (in a DPM-DPM-DR perspective) has started to fail. The reason is that after the upgrade and the new name of the DPMDB the GUID will change and therefore the possibility to continue protecting the DPMDB.

To solve this you simple modify your protection group hosting the protection of the DPMDB and be very sure that you hit the refresh button at the bottom of the guide so you will see the DPMDB with the new name. Select the new DPMDB and click through the Wizard.

fredag 2 mars 2018

Moving the DPM filters between users DPM 1801

Creating filters within the DPM console is a great way to manage visibility when it comes to present current status of jobs within DPM.

Filters is also user specifics so there is no way to create a single “filter repository” that all users can leverage…or…there is always a way 😊

The secret recipe is the local roaming profiles of users located in the “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager” catalogue.

When you create filters within DPM a small XML file is created that is called JobsFilters.XML. Copying this to other users makes it possible to distribute administrative filters to other DPM administrators within the organization.

fredag 16 februari 2018

MVP Summit coming up -> Community power 😊

Within two weeks I’m of to Redmond to meet up with my MVP peers from all over the world and also the great people at Microsoft to discuss Microsoft visions, roadmaps and…. provide community feedback! 

I have already scheduled a few meetings with the Product Group managers with the intention to discuss and provide feedback and here is YOUR chance to also provide feedback.

If you have any thoughts on DPM, Azure Backup, Azure Backup, ASR or other feedback on Microsoft products please send me an email to Robert.hedblom@outlook.com and I will personally deliver YOUR thoughts and feedback 😊

onsdag 14 februari 2018

2W with TrueSec

I got the great pleasure to deliver a Second Wednesday session regarding host-based backups with my friend Mikel that works at TrueSec Infra.

The session is in Swedish and you can watch it here


fredag 9 februari 2018

What's new in System Center 1801?

Bala Rajagopalan wrote a great article of what is new for System Center 1801 and I can highly recommend this article.

For DPM 1801 the biggest takeaway is the ability to backup and restore Vmware virtual machines. All features that was released within DPM 2016 will also be available within DPM 1801 that now applies to the Semi-Annual Channel for releses.

DPM 2016 features:
  • Modern Backup Storage 
  • Resilient change tracking (RCT)
  • Continued protection during cluster aware updates
  • Shielded VM Backups
  • Hyper-V with Storage Spaces Direct
  • Hyper-V with ReFS SOFS Cluster
  • Upgrading a DPM production server to 2016 doesn't require a reboot

fredag 19 januari 2018

MMS 2018

I’m very happy to announce that I’m heading back as a speaker for MMS 2017 in Minneapolis. This is one of my favorite conferences since the boundaries between me as a speaker and the attendees are gone.

The community feeling for MMS is fantastic and this year I will deliver six sessions and do community meetup Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the entire conference.

I will deliver session together with Steve Buchanan, Cameron Fuller, Dieter Wijckmans and John Joyner.

Join us for this awesome conference and be part of a wonderful community!!


Go and signup before its sold out https://mmsmoa.com/

fredag 12 januari 2018

Build Numbers for DPM

Just bumped into this great site where you can find the build numbers of your DPM servers. This is very useful information since the KB articles for the build are also provided.

fredag 24 november 2017

DPM 2016 UR4


This article describes improvements and issues that are fixed in Update Rollup 4 for Microsoft System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager. This article also contains the installation instructions for this update. See more information about this update.

Note Existing Data Protection Manager to Windows Azure customers should upgrade to the latest agent (version 2.0.9085.0 or a later version). If the latest agent is not installed, online backups may fail.


Features


Backup storage migration

With this update installed, you can now migrate your backup storage between volumes. This enables you to optimize storage usage, as you can choose to move and store data sources on volumes that are best suited to optimize performance. You can also migrate data sources when a volume is filled with backups and can't be extended.

Volume exclusion

DPM 2016 with Modern Backup Storage accepts volumes to store backups, and formats the selected volumes to ReFS. While DPM excludes system volumes in the list of volumes that are available to be formatted, additional volumes can be configured to be excluded from the list based on drive letter or mountpoint path. This avoids accidental selection of these volumes as backup volumes.

Support for TLS 1.2

TLS 1.2 is a secure method of communication that is recommended by Microsoft. For DPM, TLS 1.2 is applicable for certificate-based authentication and protecting workloads to cloud.

For more information about how to set up, configure, and run your environment with TLS 1.2, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

4051111 TLS 1.2 Protocol Support Deployment Guide for System Center 2016

Custom size allocation

When you create a Protection Group to back up files and folders, size calculation can take a long time if the folders contain many files. You can changing a registry key to instruct DPM to accept the volume size as default instead of calculating the size of each file, thereby saving time.

Optimized CC for RCT VMs

Optimized consistency check for Hyper-V RCT based VM backup eliminates the storage bloat caused by CC operation of RCT VM and also improves the performance of this operation.


Improvements and issues that are fixed

BMR and System State data source backups consume more storage when you use Modern Backup Storage.
When you configure Tape Library sharing, SetSharedDpmDatabase.exe command crashes when SQL 2012 is used as the DPM database.
If a disk backup is in progress, tape backup jobs of the data source may fail.
Alternate synchronization jobs for files and folders on a deduped volume raise failed files alerts incorrectly. Failed files log links in failed files alerts doesn't show the failed files.
If many data sources are protected by the primary DPM server, enabling protection from the secondary DPM server may fail and return error 36.
When you try to recover files and folders from Azure, some items in the online recovery point are not visible in the user interface when the item has a path length longer than 256 characters.
Console crashes occure while enabling protection of a file share that is protected by a primary DPM server from a secondary DPM server.
The user interface stops responding for several minutes when triggering a Consistency check job.
Severity of the alert that is raised when an online backup fails due to new disk backups present since the last online backup is lowered from “Critical” to “Informational.”


How to obtain Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager


Update packages for Data Protection Manager are available from Microsoft Update or by manual download.
Microsoft Update

To obtain and install an update package from Microsoft Update, follow these steps on a computer that has a Data Protection Manager component installed:
Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
In Control Panel, double-click Windows Update.
In the Windows Update window, click Check Online for updates from Microsoft Update.
Click Important updates are available.
Select the Update Rollup package, and then click OK.
Click Install updates to install the update package.
Manual download

Go to the following website to manually download the update package from the Microsoft Update Catalog:

Download the Data Protection Manager update package now.

For information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services

Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.


Installation instructions for Data Protection Manager


To install this update for Data Protection Manager, follow these steps:
Before you install this update, make a backup of the Data Protection Manager database.
Install this rollup package on the server that's running System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager. To do this, run Microsoft Update on the server.
In the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console, update the protection agents. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Update the protection agents from the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console
Open the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console.
Click the Management tab, and then click the Agents tab.
In the Protected Computer list, select a computer, and then click Update in the Action pane.
Click Yes, and then click Update Agents.


Method 2: Update the protection agents on the protected servers
Obtain the update protection agent package from the following directory on the System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager server.


The installation packages are as follows:


For x86-based updates: i386\1033\DPMProtectionAgent_KB4043316.msp


For x64-based updates: amd64\1033\DPMProtectionAgent_KB4043316_AMD64.msp
Run the appropriate DPMProtectionAgent.msp package on each protected server, depending on the architecture of the agent.
Open the Data Protection Manager Administrator Console on the System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager server.
Click the Management tab, and then click the Agents tab. Select the protected server, update the information, and then verify that the agent version number is 5.0.342.0.

tisdag 21 november 2017

Mandatory Update for the MARS agent

Microsoft just released the information that you must update your MARS agent with the new released version 2.0.9099.0 since it contains a bunch of fixes.

Download the MARS agent and update your DPM, Azure Backup Server MARS agents.

The entire article can be accessed here

fredag 27 oktober 2017

TechDays 2017 – A blast!

Just got back from TechDays 2017 and as always it was a great pleasure meeting up with the community, Microsoft and my MVP peers.

The best part of delivering sessions is (as always) the talks you have after with the attendees. I’m grateful for this opportunity and looking forward to next year!


tisdag 24 oktober 2017

Migration between MBS disks

Modern Backup Storage, or MBS, doesn’t just provide better performance and resiliency, from UR4 Microsoft made it possible to migrate your VHD files from one ReFS volume to another. This is done per protected datasource but can easily be automated using PowerShell.

This is a feature that the community has longed for a long time so its GREAT (😊) that Microsoft could make that possible!

You can either migrate your DPM storage via GUI or PowerShell. To be able to move the storage you need to associate another volume first to the DPM 2016 UR4 server.

If you want to migrate using PowerShell its done via three simple steps:

1. Make the Protection Group modifiable

2. Get the data source you wish to migrate and the volumes you wish to migrate to

3. Modify the disk allocation for the datasource and save the new Protection Group configuration



$pg = Get-DPMProtectionGroup

$mpg = Get-DPMModifiableProtectionGroup $pg[0]



$ds = Get-DPMDatasource $mpg

$vols = Get-DPMDiskStorage -Volumes



Set-DPMDatasourceDiskAllocation -ProtectionGroup $mpg -Datasource $ds[0] -TargetStorage $vols[0] -MigrateDatasourceDataFromDPM

Set-ProtectionGroup $mpg


If you don’t want to use PowerShell you can simply click the data source you want to migrate and from the Data Source Operations part in the DPM console choose Move Disk Storage. You can also right-click the data source and perform the same operations.


fredag 20 oktober 2017

DPM 2016 UR3...or?


Microsoft just released the UR 3 for System Center 2016 but as many if you have noticed there is no update for DPM 2016 within this release.

The reason is that there is no fixes made from the DPM team yet that can be released. This doesn’t mean that they have given up, got that question via email from a concerned user. Features and fixes will be released within the UR 4 release.


For more information regarding the UR3 update can be found here

fredag 6 oktober 2017

Direct download link for the MARS agent

I’ve got a lot of questions about how to get a hold of the latest MARS agent from Microsoft in an easy manner.

The best part of this is that Microsoft has provided a direct link to the latest MARS agent build that works like a charm. You can access the latest version of the MARS agent using the link below.

http://aka.ms/azurebackup_agent

fredag 22 september 2017

How to disable the timeout value for the MARS agent


DPM and Azure integration via the MARS is a great feature since we can ship production data to an Azure Recovery Services Vault and be able to restore that either via the DPM console or PowerShell.

I noticed that there is a timeout value that could be interesting for the community to take part of. As I mentioned in my earlier blogpost regardingOptimized VS. Unoptimized Online jobs the MARS agent needs to verify the data integrity and all check all the files that resids within Azure and the DPM diskpool. Running an Unoptimized job will take a very long time and in some cases the timeout value of the job will be there canceling the job.

To avoid this you are able to adjust the following registry value:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows Azure Backup\DbgSettings\DisableThreadTimeout REG_DWORD=1

This will disable to timeout for the MARS agent and the online job till finish successfully and you can after that go back to run optimized online jobs

fredag 15 september 2017

Optimized VS. Unoptimized online jobs

Recently I noticed an “interesting” thing that I would like to share with the community. When a DPM or Azure Backup Server archive data to Azure its known that the initial online job will take some time to finish since it will ship all the data to Azure from the on-premises server.

All the data that is replicated to Azure after the initial online job will run in an optimized state. This means that only the changed data will be shipped to Azure from your DPM or Azure Backup Server and it will be finished quite fast depending on the actual data churn.

If that online job fails the MARS Agent will lose track of what is shipped to your Azure Recovery Services Vault and needs to verify the data and the history that resides within the Azure Recovery Services Vault to be sure what data has changed from the last archived Recovery Point provided to Azure.

This is a very time-consuming job and it can take over 100 hours to complete, just had a client that had an online job running for forever and looking at the job history in the DPM console the last Online job had failed. This means that the DPM or Azure Backup Server needs to perform an Unoptimized online job.

I hope this article sorts out some question marks for you 😊

fredag 8 september 2017

Provide feedback...Microsoft will listen


The intention of this blog article is to update those who may be new in this community 😊

You are ALWAYS welcome to send me a direct email @ Robert.hedblom@outlook.com but there is also other ways to provide feedback to Microsoft and the Product Group for DPM, Azure Backup and Azure Backup Server.

At this feedback site you are available to post your thoughts and also vote on other community members feedback. And guess what…the Product Group really reads this feedback and takes it into considerations.




fredag 1 september 2017

Cannot backup data sources – Volsnap error 39

This week I bumped into a new challenge that I thought I would like to share with the community. A customer reached out to me regarding an error that they couldn’t backup a drive of a server. The D drive was simple not able to be backed up. I looked into the problem and noticed a Volsnap error in the System Log of the DPM server.

The error stated that when DPM tries to create a snapshot of the drive there’s no Shadow Copy Storage available on the drive that DPM protects.



This can easily be solved by using VSSADMIN. Open an elevated commad prompt and use the syntax

Vssadmin add shadowstorage /For=D: /on=D: /maxsize=unbounded 

What VSSADMIN will do is to create a new Shadow Copy Storage for DPM to use.

fredag 25 augusti 2017

Experts Live 2017 – Berlin


Experts Live 2017 is over and it was (as always) a blast meeting up with the community, deliver sessions and be part of the “Ask The Experts”.

Together with my fellow MVP Janaka Rangama we delivered a Business Continuity session describing how to enable Business Continuity using ASR.


If you want to get your hands on the slide-desk just pop me an email 😊

fredag 18 augusti 2017

Ignite...here I come 😊



It’s with a big pleasure I’m writing this blog post today, I just got my session accepted for Ignite in Orlando!

I will deliver a Business Continuity session that will go through how you can use the Microsoft portfolio, both on-prem and Azure, to accomplish a true Business Continuity approach for your business.

During the week I will schedule a bunch of meetings with my peers and other Product Group Managers so if you have any feedback from the community pleases feel free to provide that to me @ Robert.hedblom@outlook.com

fredag 11 augusti 2017

Release Notes for System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) Technical Preview 1711

For those of us that tries the 1711 preview version Microsoft released a great article regarding how to determine if the server that you installs or update the DPM agent will restart or not.

For those of us that plays around with 1711 its great info 😊

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/system-center/dpm/dpm-release-notes-1711?view=sc-dpm-1711

Size do matter…

Archiving to Azure is a great feature that Microsoft made possible a while back. With new technology also comes new challenges, one is when an online job stops working and how to troubleshoot that.

When DPM 2012 R2 creates a Online Recovery point its important that the Replica and the Recovery Point volume within the DPM disk pool is more than 3 GB in size. If not you will get the error ID 100034.



The way to solve this is really simple. Just increase the size of your Protected Item within the Protection Group and increase the size to more than 3GB and then rerun your Online job.

fredag 4 augusti 2017

TechDays 2017

Just got word that I’m about to deliver my “Business Continuity & Azure” session at TechDays in Stockholm that will take place between the 25th – 26th of October.

Really looking forward to present this topic and describe how you can leverage Azure as a public cloud to gain Continuity in your datacenter 😊

Looking forward to see you in the audience!!

#COMMUNITYPOWER

fredag 28 juli 2017

DPM MMC consoe won’t open


A while back i bumped into a problem with a DPM console that all of a sudden started to crash. The situation was only affected for one user and not other DPM administrators so the first conclusion was that this is user-specifics.

DPM (and other System Center products) creates a version of the MMC in the user profile. If this version is damaged or corrupt you will get an error stating

“MMC cannot open the file… This may be because the file does not excist, is not an MMC console, or was created by a later version of MMC. This may also be because you do not have sufficient rights to the file.”

To resolve this you simple need to delete the version file of the MMC. This file is located @ “:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MMC\Microsoft System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager.msc” and restart the console and you are back on track.

fredag 21 juli 2017

Error 948

Recently I got many questions regarding the same error so I choose to write a blogpost about it. A few of you has reached out to me and asked what to do when the DPM service is inaccessible and you end up with Error ID 948.


The reason why this error could occur is due to DPM not being able to access the DPMDB. The reason why is endless and this is DPM’s way of saying that the communication to the DPMDB is lost.

The way to fix this is however simple! Open the DPM Management Shell and run the DPMSYNC command with the switch -SYNC. This will verify the DPMDB with the protected objects and make “adjustments” so you will be able to access your DPM server again. When the command is done you can access your DPM console (meaning that the DPMDB is now accessible) and ALL of your protected items will be in the same state….Replica Inconsistent. 

Simply run a Consistency Check on your protected items and you will soon be back on track!

fredag 7 juli 2017

Experts Live 2017

The Swedish summer starts of great, just got chosen to be a speaker at Experts Live in Berlin the 23rd – 25th of August.

During the conference I will as usual sit down with the community members and talk regarding your thoughts and share my knowledge for the good of the community.

I will deliver two sessions. The first one is an Breakout session that I will do together with my fellow MVP Janaka Rangama, we will talk about how to provide Disaster Recovery Strategies based on the Microsoft Azure platform leveraging Azure Site Recovery and other System Center solutions.

The second session is an Ask-The-Experts where we hope that as many of you can attend to sit down and discuss Disaster Recovery 😊

Hope to see you all in Berlin!

lördag 1 juli 2017

MVP renewal 2017 - 2018

Thank you Microsoft for giving me the great honors of being a MVP for yet another year. I’m deeply moved and proud of being part of this elite program of fantastic people that I get to collaborate and provide the community voice regarding Backup, Restore, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

I will try my very best to continue to provide and be the community voice and share my experience.

😀


tisdag 23 maj 2017

Update Rollup 13 for SCDPM 2012 R2

Microsoft has just released Update Rollup 13 for DPM 2012 R2 and with that comes three fixed issues:

Issues that are fixed

  • Individual file location recovery (ILR) for VMWare VMs fails for the latest scheduled recovery point
  • After the upgrade to Update Rollup 12, backup agent upgrades and installations fail on Windows 7 clients
  • While synchronizing a deduped volume, alternate synchronizations raise an alert that synchronization of a few files failed, which is resolved for the subsequent synchronization


mÄndag 10 april 2017

Update Rollup 2 for SCDPM 2016

Microsoft has just released Update Rollup 2 for DPM 2016 and with that comes two announcements and seven fixed issues:

Announcing backups of SQL Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2016

After you install this update, you can seamlessly back up your SQL Server 2016 and SharePoint Server 2016 workloads.


Announcing enhanced security for backups

This update includes the following improvements to security features of Azure Backup. These improvements provide greater resilience and recoverability from adversarial attacks on your important business data.

Retention of deleted backup data
Azure Backup can now be configured to keep, for 14 days from the day of deletion, any backup data that is deleted because of adversarial attacks. This makes it easier to recover your data after an attack.

Minimum retention range
Minimum retention range checks make sure that more than one recovery point is available after an attack.

Azure Portal-based authentication
Azure Backup can now be configured to request Azure Portal-based authentication for important operations that affect backup and recovery of your organization’s data.

Security alerts and notifications
You can set Azure Backup to receive security alerts and notifications when you run important operations that affect your data-protection plan. This lets you keep a close watch on any intrusive operations that are made by unauthorized personnel.

Note To access these features, make sure that your computer or server is registered to an Azure Recovery Services vault.


Issues that are fixed in this update rollup

  • When the length of the file path is long, file names aren't displayed on the Recovery tab
  • Backup of VMs with RCT fails after CCs
  • BMR backups for Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 fail
  • Backups fail with an error stating that the VHD that contains the replica or a snapshot of the replica could not be mounted or unmounted
  • Data Protection Manager crashes while migrating workloads from or to Modern Backup Storage
  • Auto-protection of SQL Server databases is enabled for backups to Azure in addition to disk backups
  • VM backup from the DPM server fails and generates the following error message:
The replica of Microsoft Hyper-V on is not consistent with the protected data source.
DPM has detected changes in file locations or volume configurations of protected objects since the data source was configured for protection. (ID30135)

Download UR2 for DPM 2016 here

fredag 24 februari 2017

Midwest Managment Summit 2017

I’m very happy to announce that I will be presenting at the MMS (Midwest Management Summit) 2017 in Minneapolis at the Radisson Blu in Mall of America.


I will present five sessions that you can find more information about here

The sessions I will present is:

I will have the great pleasure to co-present with some close friends:
I really hope to see you at the MMS 2017 since this is a great community conference with the possibility to hang out and talk about a lot of cool Microsoft technologies and get some answers to your questions!

I'll see you there!

torsdag 16 februari 2017

System Center Data Protection Manager 2016, Best Design Practices

The purpose of this blog article is to inspire and inform you as a reader what you should consider before you start implementing System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 as the restore-feature within your datacenter.
Throughout the years, I have noticed a lot of different designs that hasn’t played out well. So hopefully readers of this article will avoid any of those pitfalls that either leads to reinstalling System Data Protection Manager or realizing that you are not able to do that restore scenario that you first thought of.
Having sorted out those questions I can assure you that the road to a successful DPM implementation based on the BaaS concept will be closer at hand for sure.


The start, building the restore scenario

The most important part when it comes to backup has always been, and will always be one thing, restore. This should always be your major and primary focus in any design regardless of technology.
Having a prober recovery-plan will provide you with an optimal backup design and strategy that will meet the company need for recovery. However, this is just the thing that the majority of companies misses out on. Building the restore scenario first will provide you a more optimal design when it comes to, for example, the number of DPM servers needed, time for recovery point creations and also archiving/long-term protection and more. The best way to get started with this strategy is to identifying two things:

  • Infrastructural Services
  • Business Services

Your Infrastructural Services is for example your Active Directory meanwhile your Business Services could be your CRM solution that consumes the Infrastructural Services that builds-up the Business Services. The initial step in building a true restore scenario is to breakdown all the Infrastructural Services that cooperates to deliver the Business Services. What Windows Servers are involved? Does the Business Services use SQL Server and is there any IIS also dependent for a successful delivery of the Business Service from an end-user perspective and so on.
Having a detailed breakdown of a Business Service will also help you identify and understand how you could consume Azure services like Azure Site Recovery and others IaaS, PaaS or SaaS services in the most optimal way for your restore-process of the Business Service.


Virtual vs. physical DPM servers

This is a very common discussion, even today, where people tend to keep the physical concept for the DPM servers instead of virtualizing them. The most important part when it comes to providing restore concepts for a company is being able to simply scale and provide more resources to your BaaS (Backup-as-a-Service) service that you provide and deliver for your company regardless of the company size.
This is a simple task when you adapt a virtual concept for your DPM servers where you are able to provide a deployment plan for new DPM servers that will be associated with your BaaS.
The most important take-away; if you haven’t virtualized your DPM servers yet and thinking of deploying DPM 2016, Microsoft highly recommend you to virtualize them using Hyper-V to achieve the possibility of providing scale. 


DPM disk setup

To get the most out of your DPM servers, both form a performance perspective but also from a disaster recovery perspective (restoring the DPM server itself), you should use the following disk setup.

  • OS disc                  (your %systemdrive%)
  • Program disc      (Where you install all software)
  • DPMDB disc        (dedicated disk for the DPMDB)
  • Azure Scratch     (A disc dedicated for the MARS agents scratch catalogue)
  • Recovery disc     (A dedicated disc dedicated for the prestaging procedure for the MARS agent)

All discs should be in the VHDX format and the dedicated DPMDB disc should be fixed in size due to performance; all other discs could be dynamic discs.


SQL Server installation

There are some key points when it comes to delivering an optimal SQL Server installation for System Center Data Protection Manager 2016. The importance of having dedicated service-accounts for your DPM server is a must but also the fact of using the correct collation of your SQL instance hosting the DPMDB. The only collation you should use are SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS
All other collations are unsupported, so keep in mind to use the right one or you end up reinstalling your DPM servers from the beginning.
Also, remember to setup the amount of memory your SQL Server should consume. This should be set accordingly to the number of GB you have, spare at least 4-6 GB of RAM for the operating system. The SQL memory configuration is defined in the SQL instance that hosts the DPMDB.
Having a poor or wrong setup or configuration will give you a negative impression of DPM. Keep in mind that the SQL Server is the engine behind it all; If its configured poorly the engine will perform badly, simple as that.


Antivirus exclusions DPM and the MARS agent

The most common performance challenges there is regarding DPM is the fact of not setting up the real-time protection on the antivirus software correctly. If you don’t configure the exceptions for catalogues and services, you will end up with possibly corrupted data.
For System Center Data Protection Manager you should exclude the following catalogues that resides within the DPM installation catalogue:
  • XSD
  • Temp\MTA
  • Bin

The following process should be excluded from real-time scanning:
  • CSC.EXE
  • DPMRA.EXE

For the DPM servers that has the MARS agent installed and pushing data to Azure it's important to exclude the following catalogues:
  •  Microsoft Azure Recovery Agent\Bin
  • Scratch folder

The following processes must be excluded from real-time scanning:
  • CBEngine.exe
  • CSC.EXE (Goes for both DPM and the MARS agent)


Not having the correct exclusions will end up with your local antivirus scanning your DPM disk pool or the or scratch area for example.
However, there is one more thing you should keep in mind. In the case where your antivirus software does find a threat you shouldn’t quarantine it (which is the most common policy), you should have it deleted by default.


Protection Group Designs

This is one of my favorite topics from the field. I have seen a lot of interesting designs when it comes to designing Protection Groups throughout the years and here is some of my thoughts that has played out very well for a large number of companies.
The first thing to keep in mind is the Protection Group name. The best staring point is to build your Protection Groups designs according to your Business Services RTO, RLO and SLA (if any). The Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) is the definition if how fast you should be able to be back-on-track with your Business Service. System Center Data Protection Manager can either synchronize your data changes every fifteen minutes for workloads like SQL, Exchange and File. For other workloads like SharePoint, Hyper-V etc., DPM can make Recovery Points every thirty minutes. So, having a clear understanding of your Business Services and your Infrastructural Services are crucial since the Protection Group is where you set the actual backup strategy or plan that should correspond to your restore plans.
Regarding naming of Protection Groups there are a few tips that could hopefully inspire some DPM administrators. To get a decent start you should consider using the following naming convention for your Protection Groups:
  • Workload + “number of recovery points per day or week” + time + SYNC info + Azure + time

An example for a Protection Group having this naming convention would be:
  • File (1RP/d 01:00PM | 6h Sync | Azure 01:00 AM)

In some cases, you could also provide the retention range for your on-prem disc and also Azure to make it even more clear. An example would be:
  • File (1RP/d 01:00PM 30 days|No Sync|Azure 01:AM 180 days)

In this latter example, you get a clear understanding of what kind of members should be associated with this Protection Group but most importantly your restore capabilities. Let’s break it down shall we. The members of this Protection Group are for the File workload. Everyday a recovery point is made 01:00 PM that has a Retention Policy that states that the data should be available for 30 days on-prem meaning in the DPM disk pool. There is no extra synchronization made for the members of this Protection Group and all protection data will be sent to Azure 01:00 PM where it will be stored 180 days back in time.


Replace your tapes, use Azure since it really works…

There are many companies that has now started their journey to using Azure instead of tapes for their long-term retention. In many Business Cases I have made, Azure is far most the most optimal and cost effective solution when it comes to long-term retention for System Center Data Protection Manager protected workloads.
More than 50% of the cases; using Azure will cut the cost in half even for those companies that uses TaaS (Tape-as-a-Service) solutions or VTL.

One important fact to point out is the possibility to restore data from a Recovery Service Vault that is shared between DPM servers. Let’s say that you have two or more DPM servers associated with the same Recovery Services Vault. If one DPM server fail you are still able to restore the data that the DPM server pushed to Azure by adding the Azure Passphrase generated in the MARS setup. This could be done via the Add External DPM feature from the Recovery pane in DPM. This means one simple thing, as long as you have your protected data in Azure, you will always be able to restore it.

tisdag 7 februari 2017

Update Rollup 12 for SCDPM 2012 R2

Microsoft has just released Update Rollup 12 for DPM 2012 R2 and with that comes two announcements and nine fixed issues:

Announcing enhanced security for backups

This update includes the following improvements to security features of Azure Backup. These improvements provide increased resilience and recoverability from adversarial attacks on your important business data.

Retention of deleted backup data
Azure Backup can now be configured to keep, for 14 days from the day of deletion, any backup data that is deleted because of adversarial attacks. This makes it easier to recovery our data after an attack.

Minimum retention range
Minimum retention range checks help to make sure that more than one recovery point is available after an attack.

Azure Portal-based authentication
Azure Backup can now be configured to request Azure Portal-based authentication for important operations that affect backup and recovery of your organization’s data.

Security alerts and notifications
You can set Azure Backup to receive security alerts and notifications when you run important operations that affect your data-protection plan. This enables you to keep a close watch on intrusive operations that are made by unauthorized personnel.

Note: To access these features, make sure that your computer or server is registered to an Azure Recovery Services vault.

Issues that are fixed in this update rollup
  • DPM-A recoveries fail with error ID 3111 because of issues in the file catalog
  • DPM Client icon is displayed as a red "X" in the notification area on Clients that have the Anniversary update installed
  • DPM Client crashes when the Client is upgraded to Windows 10 Anniversary Update
  • Agent backups fail on 32-bit servers after Update Rollup 11 is installed
  • DPM crashes when you try to enable VMware protection to a vCenter server that was already being protected by DPM
  • DPM is unable to backup VMs with characters in other languages in the VMWare VM name
  • Azure backups and restores fail when the data source contains files such as thumbs.db
  • DPM Server crashes while recovering from online backups with a long file-path
  • Auto-protection of SQL Server databases is enabled for backups to Azure in addition to disk backups


torsdag 13 oktober 2016

Update Rollup 1 for SCDPM 2016

Microsoft has just released Update Rollup 1 for DPM 2016 and with that comes two announcements:


Announcing Modern DPM Storage


After you install this update, you can store backups by using Modern DPM Storage technology. Using Resilient File System (ReFS) block-cloning technology to store incremental backups, System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager significantly improves storage usage and performance. Here are some benefits:

  • 30-40 percent savings in storage
  • Backups that are 70 percent faster with Modern DPM Storage
  • Ability to configure workloads for storage on certain volumes
  • Backup storage inline with the production data source 


Announcing RCT based Hyper-V VM backups


System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager uses RCT based change tracking, by using Windows Server 2016. This makes backups more reliable, scalable, and improves backup performance. System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager also enables you to do the following:

  • Meet backup SLAs during cluster operating system rolling upgrade
  • Seamlessly protect and recover Shielded VMs
  • Protect VMs stored on Storage Spaces Direct
  • Protect VMs stored on ReFS-based SOFS clusters

Download UR1 for DPM 2016 here

mÄndag 26 september 2016

DPM 2016 available for download

Microsoft has been working very hard to finally finalize the code for System Center 2016 and with that DPM 2016. This new version of DPM comes with a bunch of new features that you probably will enjoy, the main focus from the DPM team is to provide you a backup & restore software that meets your company need but also provide supported scenarios for all the new versions of the applications the Microsoft is continually releasing.

You will find the ISO images available on your MSDN subscription so download it and get started using System Center Data Protection Manager 2016!

Download 180 days EVAL here

fredag 23 september 2016

VMware Protection

During the last Ignite 2015 Microsoft announced that DPM will be able to backup and most important, be able to do restore of Vmware. Within the UR 11 just released Microsoft kept their promised and provided an agentless solution for the Vmware protection.

All protected virtual servers within the DPM protection will also be able to leverage the cloud integrated long-term protection via an Azure Backup Vault.

In short-terms, DPM will be able to auto-protect new deployed server that is provisioned via vCenter. This is due to the fact that vCenter lets you organize your virtual machines in VM folders.
In the scenario where protected virtual servers are load balanced in the Vmware environment, DPM will keep track and continue to protect those VM’s.

For more information regarding this new feature that Microsoft provided in UR 11 please read the following TechNet article https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt742099(sc.12).aspx


fredag 9 september 2016

Update Rollup 11

This update rollup adds backup and recovery support for VMware server 5.5 and 6.0. Create protection groups, manage policies, and protect and recover VMware VMs with the user interface or new PowerShell cmdlets. This update is available through Microsoft Update or by manual download. UR 11 includes these features:
  • Agentless backup: DPM provides doesn't require an agent on the VMware server. You can use the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN), and login credentials to authenticate the VMware server with DPM.
  • Cloud-integrated backup: DPM protects workloads to both disk and cloud. DPM's backup and recovery workflow helps you manage long-term retention and offsite backup.
  • Folder-level auto-protection: vCenter lets you organize your VMs in VM folders. DPM detects these folders and enables you to protect VMs at the folder level. Once you have turned on folder-level auto-protection, DPM protects the VMs in that folder and its sub-folders, and any new VMs added to the folder or sub-folders.
  • DPM can recover individual files and folders from a Windows Server VM.

fredag 5 augusti 2016

Hyper-V backups keeps failing 0x800423F4


A few days ago I bumped into an interesting error where the backup of some virtual machines that where managed via System Center Virtual Machine Manager or SCVMM kept failing and never could create a Recovery Point. The backup job ended with the same error code that was ID 30111 or 0x800423F4.


As always when it comes to troubleshooting DPM (I should write a blogpost regarding this…) is to verify the dependent technology that DPM “integrates” with when it comes to deliver the backup or restore job for the protected Data Sources.

Since all VSS’s was reporting Healthy I moved on the trouble shooting to VMM itself. When DPM makes a backup of a virtual machine it verifies the internal VSS’s present in the virtual OS before it makes a snapshot of the virtual machine.

In this case in VMM I right clicked the server in production that I couldn’t get a backup of and choose properties. In the properties for the virtual machine I choose the “Hardware Configuration” and under “Advanced” in the scroll list I choose the “Integration Services”.



I unchecked the “Backup (volume snapshot)” and saved the configuration to the VM. When that job was done I re-enabled the “Backup (volume snapshot)” again.

After I initialized the “Integration Service” for Backup I was able to get the backups up and running again.

Never underestimate the power of re-initializing an “Integration Service”.

fredag 24 juni 2016

Session @ Ignite 2016


Got the question if I could consider delivering a session at Ignite in Atlanta later this year, the answer was for sure yes!

I will be delivering a Business Continuity focused session with the aspect of clarifying the concept of HOW you can adapt Microsoft technology within or for your Business Continuity concept. Also I will clarify what Business Continuity is and how you can get started with it when you come back home from Ignite.

I hope to see you at my session and on other great sessions @Ignite J

tisdag 24 maj 2016

Update Rollup 10

Microsoft has just released the Update Rollup 10 and with that a great deal of optimiztion! 
The following list of issues (listed i KB3143871)has been fixed in this update rollup:

  •  If you try to exclude a page file for a VM running on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 server, DPM may still continue to back up the page file
  •  DPM provides an Active Directory schema extension tool to make required changes to Active Directory for DPM End-User Recovery. However, you may the tool may not work on System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager 
  • If you try to protect a SharePoint content database that has Always On enabled, and there is a failover of the database, you may notice that new sites, lists, and items are not displayed on the Recovery tab. This applies only to new items that are created after failover. Additionally, the issue is automatically resolved after failback
  •  If you run Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, or a later version, and then try to do item level recovery for a Hyper-V VM, you may receive the following error message when you click the VHDX file on the Recovery tab: "DPM Cannot browse the contents of the virtual machine on the protected computer DPMServerName
  •  The DPM Console crashes when you try to open any of the six built-in DPM reports
  • Optimized item level recovery doesn't work for a SharePoint farm. This causes the full farm data to be copied to the staging server that's running Microsoft SQL Server
  •  The DPM UI crashes when you try to recover online recovery points by using another DPM server that is registered to the same backup vault as the original server
  •  The Get-DPMJob cmdlet does not provide any information about recovery jobs that are performed through the external DPM server
  • This update revises the message of error code 33504 to add details about the issue and steps to resolve the issue
  • If you try to protect Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 while you create a protection group, the server that's running Exchange Server is displayed as "Exchange 2013 Database" instead of "Exchange 2016 Database
  • If you use the DPM Central console, and you receive an EvalShareInquiryAlert (3123) alert on DPM, the alert is still displayed as active in System Center Operations Manager even though the issue is resolved on DPM
  • DPM crashes when you try to configure SMTP settings
  • If you try to stop protection of a data source in which the FQDN contains more than 64 characters, the DPM service crashes

fredag 8 april 2016

Sessoins @ MMS

Got the email saying the nice community conference in Minneapolis called Midwest Management Summit or MMS wanted me as one of their speakers. I will be delivering three sessions this year (or maybe more...will see)
  • Business Continuity using Microsoft Solutions
  • Be a Hero od be fired. Backup and restore strategy
  • Tearing down IT Silos
I will be around the conference the whole week and really looking forward connecting with new community members and also old friends.

Looking forward to meet up in Minneapolis!



fredag 1 april 2016

News in DPM 2016

Hopefully around this years Ignite Microsoft will release the new version of DPM 2016. With that release comes not just an updated version of the actual code but also a few nice additions regarding new supported scenarios from Microsoft.

The following features are new features within DPM 2016:
  • Mixed-Mode Cluster protection
  • Support for StorageSpacesDirect
  • Support for Resilient Change Tracking (RCT)
  • Virtual TPM

fredag 18 mars 2016

Can’t make any Recovery Points, volsnap error 39


The DPM software is dependent on the VSS architecture which of course is nothing new. But when it comes to troubleshoot DPM many seems to forget that the initial steps in troubleshooting DPM starts with having a healthy setup of VSS’s present in the affected operating system.

Also its recommended that you verify the System log on the server that you try to protect. In one scenario that I bumped into regarding issues with DPM creating new Recovery Points the local System log was filled with volsnap errors with event ID 39.
In this particular situation the associated VSS area has lost its association to the shadow copy area and therefor cannot create any new Recovery Points.
So how did I soleve it? Well, you need to create a new unbounded shadowcopy area. This is done via this simple set of instrucitnos:
  1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt.
  2. If you D drive is not getting any Recovery Points done this is what you type is: “Vssadmin add shadowstorage /For=D: /on=D: /maxsize=unbounded
  3. You can now create a Recovery Point again in DPM

fredag 4 mars 2016

DPM console wont open...

Last week I ran into a strange error when I tried to open a DPM console. All of the sudden I got an error saying “MMC cannot open the file . This may be because the file does not excist, is not an MMC console, or was created by a later version of MMC. This may also be because you do not have sufficient rights to the file.”

So to solve this we need to get deep down in the user profiles. What is really happening behind the scenes? Every time the DPM server console opens the file “Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager” that is located in the Roaming AppData catalogue of your profile is verified. If that file is corrupt or faulty it needs to be reinitialized.

This is done via the simple trick of deleting the file and restarting the DPM server console.

The file location is “C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\MMC” and keep in mind to view “Hidden Items” otherwise the AppData catalogue will not show up.  

fredag 19 februari 2016

Error opening the DPM console ID948

Now and then I bump into scenarios where people can’t seem to open their DPM console. DPM throws an error saying “Unable to connect” and with that an error ID that is 948.
This error ID says that a connection can’t be made since the DPM servers database (DPMDB) is no longer within sync.



To solve this error you must get the DPMDB in sync again, this is made via the DPM CMDLET called DPMSYNC.

Open an elevated administrative version of the DPM Management Shell and run the  following command: “DPMSYNC -SYNC”. After a while the command has finished and you are now able to logon to your console again.


You could need to run a “Consistencey Check” on all your protected workloads datasources to get also the protection in sync. 

torsdag 11 februari 2016

Update Rollup 9

Update Rollup 9 released and with that some optimixation of the product.
This update rollup fixes the bugs that are listed in KB 3112306. It also includes the following features:
  • DPM now automatically repairs DPM filter corruption without requiring a consistency check.
    When there is DPM filter corruption, DPM automatically repairs the corruption by triggering a synchronization job within 15 minutes of the previous sync/backup job failure. (DPM does this instead of running a consistency check.)
  • In the DPM UI, the Offline/Online tags have been removed from Hyper-V VM names.
  • If you already upgraded to DPM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6 or a later version, you will not have to restart the production server when you install this update.
This update is available through Microsoft Update or by manual download. You can download the package and find installation instructions and information about agent updates in KB 3112306.

fredag 29 januari 2016

Community feedback – got any ideas?

Have any ideas regarding how DPM can be improved? Please share them with me so I can provide the feedback direct to Microsoft Product Group for DPM.


Summarize your thoughts or festures/functions that you would like to see in DPM and send them to robert.hedblom@outlook.com

fredag 15 januari 2016

Online Recovery Points keep failing

A time ago Microsoft introduced the great feature to provide a long-term protection using a Backup Vault in Azure to replace onprem tape solutions.

In the scenario where DPM starts to protect datasources within a workload that has a Recovery Point volume that is smaller than 3 GB the Online Recovery job will constantly fail with the error ID 100034.




To solve this you must increase the size of the Recovery Point and Replica Volumes to 3 GB each. After this is done your Online Recovery Point jobs will start to function again.


This is done via the “Modify Disk Allocation” function that you access by right-clicking either a Protection Group or a singel Datasource that is a member of the Protection Group.


fredag 1 januari 2016

MVP award




Once again I’m moved and deeply honored. For the sixth time in a row I’m presented with the MVP award from Microsoft.

Hard dedication and hard work always pays of, I will do my best to continue to provide the communities voices to Microsoft and Microsoft voice to the communities.  

2016 will be a blast =)

tisdag 27 oktober 2015

Update Rollup 8

Microsoft has just released the Update Rollup 8 that contains some bugfixes.

  • The DPM Agent crashes intermittently during a backup
  • If you are trying to recover data from an imported tape, DPM may crash with a "Connection to the DPM service has been lost" error
  • If you try to back up a SharePoint site that uses SQL Always On as a content database, SQL logs are not truncated as expected
  • You cannot verify tape library compatibility for tapes that use RSMCompatmode settings such as IBM 35xx, 2900, and so on
  • If you have multiple SharePoint farms hosted on the same SQL cluster with different instances but the same database names, DPM cannot back up the correct SharePoint farm content
  • If you run Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, and you have already configured online protection for one or more protection groups, trying to change the protection group populates the default DPM settings for the "Select long-term goals" wizard instead of the previous configured values
  • When you try to protect a SQL failover cluster, the Data Protection Manager UI crashes for every backup or synchronization operation
  • If you install Update Rollup 7 for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2, self-service recovery for SQL databases may not work, and you receive the following error message:

This update rollup fixes bugs listed in KB 3086084. It's available through Microsoft Update or by manual download.

onsdag 29 juli 2015

Update Rollup 7

Update Rollup 7 has been relesed! With this Update Rollup comes the ability to share Backup Vaults in Azure via the "Add External DPM" feature!


This update rollup fix includes:
  • Bugs listed in KB 3065246.
  • Increased support for DPM backup to Azure. We’ve added:
    • The ability to recover data to any DPM server that's registered in an Azure Backup vault. If two or more servers are registered in a vault and you back up data to Azure then any of those registered DPM servers can recover data from the vault. To use this feature after installing Update 7 you can enable the setting Add External DPM on the Recovery tab in the DPM console. Specify vault credentials. note that credentials are only valid for two days. If they've expired you'll need to download new credentials from the vault. Select the DPM server whose data needs to be recovered, and provide the encryption password. You can close the dialog after the server appears. Then you can recover the data by browsing the recovery points. To return to the local DPM data view click Clear external DPM.
      Note that if you want to use this feature for existing backed up DPM you'll need to wait at least a day to obtain the DPM protection group related metadata for upload to Azure (this occurs for the first time during the nightly job).
  • Support for protection and backup of data on client computers running Windows 10. You back up in the same way you did with client computers running earlier versions of Windows.
This update is available through Microsoft Update or by manual download. You can download the package and find installation instructions and information about agent updates in KB 3065246.

fredag 22 maj 2015

Ignite session

I had the great pleasure delivering the session Enterprise Backup: Custom Reporting, BAAS and Read-World Deployments in Data Protection Manager together with Steve Buchanan and Islam Gomaa at Ignite.

If you weren’t able to attend the session live nor Ignite here is the link so you can watch the session on-demand.



I would like to dedicate my gratitude to the Product Group team for DPM/Azure/System Center that made this session possible. 

onsdag 20 maj 2015

Update Rollup 6

Update Rollup 6 for DPM 2012R2 has been relesed and with that some good fixes! 
This update rollup fix includes:
  • Bugs listed in KB 3030574.
  • Support for using SQL Server 2014 as the DPM database. Support for protecting SQL Server 2012 was introduced in Update 4. Now, in Update 6 you can configure a SQL Server running SQL 2012 as your database. You'll need to install Update 6 and then configure DPM to use SQL Server 2014.
  • If you're backing up DPM to Azure you can now select to keep online backed up data when deleting a protection group. When you delete a protection group you can choose whether to preserve backed up data in Azure or on a local disk. You can always browse the retained data, together with other recovery points, from the server on the Recovery tab.
This update is available through Microsoft Update or by manual download. You can download the package and find installation instructions and information about agent updates in KB 3030574.