Early look: DPM BaaS in Azure Pack

I am very excited about something new with Data Protection Manager (DPM) that I was able to announce during my Enterprise Backup session @ Microsoft Ignite (http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq). It is DPM Backup As A Service (BaaS). I wanted to blog about it with even more information about this new functionality in DPM.

Well what is DPM BaaS? In a nutshell it is Backup as a Service in Azure Pack powered by Data Protection Manager. This is a new resource provider built by the DPM team. It lights up the functionality for tenants to protect VM’s in Azure Pack. Here is a screenshot of what the new BaaS in Azure Pack looks like for a tenant:

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DPM has always had a role in the Microsoft Private Cloud story. This role has been on the backend through backing up the Private Cloud fabric components that power Private Cloud (Windows Server, Hyper-V, System Center). The following image is the framework of Microsoft Private Cloud:

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DPM has also been used for protection of front end tenant workloads such as websites, SQL databases and virtual machines. However protecting tenant workloads had no visibility or control by the tenants themselves. This story changes with the introduction of BaaS for Azure Pack giving the control for tenants to choose if they want to protect their virtual machines from their cloud!

NOTE: As of now BaaS for Azure Pack can only protect virtual machines in tenant clouds. If you would like to see BaaS extended to protect other areas of the Private Cloud such as SQL databases or websites feel free to reach out to me.

Now let’s pick apart this new DPM BaaS to gain a better understanding of it in the rest of this post.

DPM BaaS in Azure Pack Architecture

So what do you need for this new BaaS? The following components make up BaaS:

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You can deploy many DPM servers for scale as your Private Cloud grows. The rest of the components are standard with a Private Cloud so if you already have Azure Pack running you simply need to add DPM and the DPM BaaS Resource Provider.

As previously stated BaaS only protects virtual machines. A DPM agent needs to be installed to Hyper-V hosts. The BaaS in Azure Pack does not do this for you. The DPM agent will not be required inside VM’s. The agent will be installed on Hyper-V hosts only.

Admin Perspective

Now let’s take a look at what can and admin do with BaaS. NOTE: The BaaS is still under development so some of these features may change. If you have any feedback about the features and functionality you would like to see feel free to contact me. Let’s explore the BaaS admin perspective through a series of screenshots.

Here is a shot of the VM Backup within the Azure Pack admin site. Here is where you would register the resource provider with SPF, you could also add a DPM server, or create a server group. Note that you still need to deploy your DPM servers before you can add them to BaaS. BaaS will not deploy the DPM servers for you.

A server group allows you to logically group DPM servers and then add DPM servers to the group and you can set settings based on a group and then add this to a plan for a tenant. An admin of the Resource Provider will set the Protection Group policy settings that will be used for all subscriptions to a particular plan.

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The next two screenshots show creating a new group.

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This screenshot shows the registration of a DPM server. Notice you have the ability to add the DPM server to a group. Adding the DPM server to a group is optional.

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The next three screenshots give you an idea of what settings you can set for a group. These settings will help you apply limits to the tenant that will be assigned this group via a plan. Notice that some of the settings will look familiar to what you see in DPM when setting up a Protection Group.

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This final screenshot is of the Usage & Metering within for the Resource Provider. The cool thing about this is we do not have a dashboard like this in DPM. This monitoring can be scoped per VM or All Up of the BaaS Resource Provider. Here is what you can see as the part of this monitoring:

  • Retention Days
  • Number of Restore Points
  • Size used

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Tenant Perspective

So we walked through what and administrator can do in the BaaS let’s look at the tenants perspective. Here is what a tenant can do with BaaS?

Ability to add a VM under protection. This essentially adds the VM to a DPM protection group on the backend. If a Protection Group does not exist for this tenant’s subscription yet one will be created.

Ability to back up a protected VM. This creates a Recovery Point in DPM on the backend. An admin of the BaaS resource provider has the option to allow this or not allow this to tenants.

Ability to restore a protected VM. This will restore a VM from a Recovery Point in DPM on the backend. Self-service restore of a deleted VM that is protected is out of scope as DPM doesn’t have VMM information (cloud, etc.) to correctly reassign it to a tenant. However an administrator with direct access to DPM could still go and restore the VM.

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Ability to remove a VM’s protection. The protection group for the tenant subscription will be created when the first VM is protected and destroyed when the last VM is removed.

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For more information:

My Microsoft Ignite session on this:

http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq

Download the DPM BaaS Resource Provider:

Coming Soon!!!

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Deploy & Configure DPM Enhanced Reporting

A while back I posted about the enhanced reporting for DPM here: http://www.buchatech.com/2014/11/dpm-2012-r2-reporting-improvements/ I wanted to create another blog post on how to deploy and configure the new enhanced reporting for Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2012 R2 and as a follow up to my Enterprise Backup session @ Microsoft Ignite (http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq). Here is a diagram of the new DPM reporting framework:

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This new reporting for DPM is a part of Operations Manager (SCOM). SCOM can monitor your DPM server/s so it only made sense to build this new reporting framework in SCOM. Data from your DPM server/s is brought over to SCOM through the monitoring and placed in SCOM’s data ware house database. This data is then accessed via a new set of DPM SQL views and served up to the reports.

Following is a breakdown of what you need to get the new reporting framework put in place and configured.

What do you need?

  • Need SCOM 2012 R2 deployed w/ DW working.
  • DPM management packs must be imported to SCOM and central console must be deployed.
  • DPM 2012 R2 and Central console must be on UR5.
  • Must configure SLA’s on your DPM servers using Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA CMDLet to get SLA data in reports. More on this later.
  • The FileServices MP is a pre-req of the DedupReporter MP.

You must be careful about how you install/upgrade the DPM central console and management packs on SCOM as you can run into problems if you do not pay attention. I have had to re-deploy a SCOM server once in a lab to get this to work. Here is the order I follow and have had the best success with:

How to deploy the reporting?

1st: Import RTM 4.2.1126 MP’s in SCOM (You may already have these loaded. They are DPM 2012 R2 RTM MP’s and are named:

         – Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Discovery.MP

         – Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Library.MP

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2nd: Install Central console (This is DPM 2012 R2 RTM)

You will find this on the DPM media

 

3rd: Apply UR5 to your DPM server/s.

For a list of DPM version build numbers and download links visit:

         – http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/4058.list-of-build-numbers-for-system-center-data-protection-manager-dpm.aspx

          – UR5 is version 4.2.1292.0. UR5 with the latest hotfix is version 4.2.1297.0.

4th: Apply UR5 to Central console.

NOTE: When updating the DPM Central Console be sure to run the correct .exe.

See the following screenshot that highlights the correct one for the Central Console.

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5th: On your SCOM server import the new DPM management packs version 4.2.1276 MP’s. These will automatically upgraded the RTM DPM 4.2.1126 MPs.

         – The System Center Management Packs for Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 Reporting, DedupReporter, Discovery and Monitoring can be downloaded from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45525.

           NOTE: With the new DPM MP’s there are two additional MP’s that were not part of the DPM RTM MP’s. There is the    Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.2012.Reporting.mp which is required for the new reporting and there is the Microsoft.SystemCenter.DataProtectionManager.DedupReporter.mp that is optional if you want to get reporting around de-duplication on your DPM servers.Here is a screenshot of importing the new DPM MP’s and the File Services MP:

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After you import the new DPM MP’s you should have the following management packs loaded in your SCOM:

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In SCOM if you navigate to the Reporting workspace you will have System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager Reporting. Here you will find the DPM Executive Summary Report.

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The following screenshot is what the DPM Executive Summary Report looks like.

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6th (Optional): Configure SLA’s on your DPM server/s using Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA CMDLet to get SLA data in reports. This has to be done on each DPM server per each protection group that you want to receive SLA reporting on. The steps to do this are:

Launch the DPM Management Shell. Run Get-ProtectionGroup -DPMServerName YOURDPMSERVERNAMEHERE to get a list of Protection Groups.

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Run Get-DPMProtectionGroup | where {$_.Name –ieq ‘Exchange Mailbox Databases’} | Set-DPMProtectionGroupSLA –SLAInHours 24 to set the SLA on a protection group.

That is it. Now you have set an SLA for your protection group. The SLA is defined in hours. DPM will check the SLA once a day and an event is written to the DPM backup event in the event log.

That’s all for the setup and configuration. Stay tuned for a post on how to build out custom reporting in the enhanced reporting framework in the near future.

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Enterprise Backup Session @ Ignite

I will be presenting with some good friends Microsoft PFE Islam Gomaa and System Center MVP Robert Hedblom @ Microsoft Ignite next Tuesday, May 5th 05:00PM – 06:15PM.

The session is Enterprise Backup: Custom Reporting, BAAS and Real-World Deployments in Data Protection Manager. Here is what we will cover in the session:

This session covers the recently released enterprise-grade reporting framework in Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager for IT admins to build custom reports and dashboards for monitoring and managing their entire backup operation. It also will cover offline backup to Azure and will highlight real-world deployment best practices for protecting applications in a hybrid environment using Microsoft Azure Backup.

Enterprise Backup Event

We also will have announcement about something new with DPM in the Microsoft Private cloud story!

For more info on the session check out:

http://meme.ms/d5gpbrq

and

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Webinar: Understand what it takes for a successful Private Cloud project

Learn what you can do to ensure a successful Private Cloud project. Attend one of my webinars this week. Details about the webinars include:

-“Service Management’s role in the Private Cloud“- hosted by Microsoft MVP Steve Buchanan. The webinars will be co-hosted by Savision’s co-founder and VP of Product Management, Dennis Rietvink.

 

SMRoleInPrivateCloudWebinar

 

During these webinars you will find out the right tools that IT professionals and management need to provide clean and mature processes that will enable them to become more agile and move down the path of realizing the benefits of Private Cloud. The webinars will also define the Private Cloud, the layers of the Private Cloud, and those layers within which service management operates.

The webinars will be held on two different dates, so register now for the one that will be more convenient for you:

Register for the US webinar: Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 | 2 PM EST / 8PM CET
Register for the EU webinar: Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | 9 AM EST / 3 PM CET

P.S. If you still haven’t, download the Service Management’s role in the Private Cloud whitepaper here.

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Provide feedback to Microsoft (Azure Back-up & DPM)

Do you use DPM and or Azure back-up? Now you can provide feedback about these products directly to the Microsoft product group. The product group has added DPM and Azure back-up on user voice feedback forum on Azure. They watch this forum and now is a great time to get your requests and feedback in. … Read more

DPM 2012 R2 Reporting Improvements

A while back I released a custom DPM report that could be loaded in SSRS. This report is community based and only offered reporting on one DPM server at a time. It was however an improvement over the out of the box DPM reporting. More about the custom DPM report here: http://www.buchatech.com/2014/04/free-dpm-backup-summary-report/ . Finally Microsoft has taken the step to improve the out of the box reporting within DPM. Hats off to the DPM team for stepping up and taking steps to improve this. Recently at TechEd Europe new DPM reporting was announced. It is not available as of now but is coming soon.

The video covering this can be found here starting at 19:43:

Cloud Integrated Data Protection with System Center Data Protection Manager and Microsoft Azure Backup

http://channel9.msdn.com/events/TechEd/Europe/2014/CDP-B334

In this blog post I will take a look at what is coming. As you can see there is some success SLA reporting, protected data source overview on specific workloads such as Exchange, SharePoint and SQL, duration summary in hours, top backup failure reasons, bandwidth, and transfer data, and even data around deduplication! The new reporting will be surfaced in SCOM. This is what the report will look like.

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With the new reporting you can chose to use what is their out of the box or extend this further without any coding. This reporting framework will cover all of your DPM servers because it is surfaced in SCOM. The new reporting leverages the SCOM management pack and the DPM management pack. All of your DPM servers are aggregated up through SCOM and therefore will show up in reports. Below are two diagrams one that breaks down the new reporting framework and one that covers the new reporting architecture:

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To enable the reporting you will need to first have the two DPM management packs loaded in your SCOM deployment. Your DPM servers need to be discovered. You then will need to add a third DPM reporting management pack. The following screenshot shows the new DPM Reporting management pack for SCOM.

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After the new management pack is loaded the some new DPM views are added within the SCOM DW database as seen in the following screenshot. Note that the new reporting has not been released and therefore we may see more changes to the views. The new report can be accessed and used or you can build your own report based on the views using a tool like report builder.

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The new reporting is estimated to be public in January as a part of the next update rollup. Thanks DPM team for making improvements such as this to DPM. If you have specific requests or feedback about what you want to see in DPM reporting feel free to email me.

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New UR’s for SC 2012 R2 & SP1, Updated Exchange 13 MP & more

Wow another exciting day for Microsoft and specifically System Center! Microsoft is moving at a fast pace and doing some cool things. There were several announcements today. These included: Update Rollup 4 for System Center 2012 R2 http://aka.ms/yktkfk App Controller is not included in this. I am not surprised by this. Configuration Manager and Orchestrator … Read more

DPM 2012 R2 Upgrade unable to connect SSRS. ID: 33431

I recently had to help someone do a DPM upgrade from DPM 2012 SP1 UR3 to DPM 2012 R2. I am a fan of starting fresh when I can but in this case we had no choice but to do an upgrade. We had to first upgrade SQL 2008 R2 to SQL 2012. After upgrading to SQL 2012 and trying to run the DPM upgrade we got the following error regarding SSRS:

“DPM Setup is unable to connect to the specified instance of SQL Server Reporting Service. (ID: 33431)”

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What is happening is that the DPM installer is trying to access the 2008 R2 SSRS even though it no longer exists as SQL has been upgraded to 2012. I manually removed the left over SQL 2008 components and rebooted but this did not help. The DPM installer uses WMI to get information about the SSRS installation during the install, so in order to fix this I had to go into WMI and remove the SQL 2008 references. Here are the steps:

Open the WMI tool:

From the Run window type: wbemtest

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In the namespace type the following:

\\NAMEOFYOURDPMSERVERGOESHERE\root\Microsoft\SqlServer\ReportServer\RS_NAMEOFYOURSQLINSTANCEGOESHERE

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You will now be connected. Click on Query.

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Put in the following query:

SELECT * FROM __NAMESPACE

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You will then see two entries for SSRS that DPM is trying to access. You will see one for v10 and one for v11.

v10 is for SQL server 2008 R2 and v11 is for SQL 2012. We want the DPM installer to connect to SSRS on SQL 2012.

Click the Apply button in the query window and you will see the results.

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Highlight v10 and click the Delete button. Now click Close and click Exit to close out the WMI tool.

Now run the DPM 2012 R2 upgrade again and it should go through without any issues.

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Microsoft Private & Public Cloud Poster

On August 1st Microsoft released a new Cloud Ecosystem poster. Microsoft has a great Public and Private cloud story. With Microsoft technologies On-premises and public Azure and other Microsoft public cloud technologies such as Intune are really tied together. Microsoft Private and Public cloud consist of Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and … Read more

SysCTR 2012 R2 UR2 – SCSM fixes, DPM SRV 03 support, & new SCOM DB Widgets

Microsoft has release UR2 for System Center 2012 R2. There are many good fixes for the System Center products in this release.

For Service Manager a good amount of console issues are resolved including the annoying FullAdapter error. Here is the list:

  • Assume that users have both SMTP and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) endpoints. When you send email messages to these users from the Service Manager console, Service Manager uses the Lync SIP endpoint as the email address.
  • After you select the Service Requests with Service Level Warning feature, an error occurs about one hour later.
  • After you select the Assigned to me view, a FullAdapter exception occurs about one hour later.
  • When the Service Manager console runs in maximized mode, you encounter one or more of the following issues:When you run PowerShell workflows at the same time, the results are displayed as successful. Actually, the workflows fail.
    • You experience slow performance in the console, and the console consumes excessive CPU resources.
    • Context menus in the console are not displayed as expected, and instead it is displayed at the upper-right hand corner of the main window.
    • Scroll bars for the work items preview pane do not display when you run in full-screen mode. Even if the scroll bars display, they are still inactive and you cannot move the slider.
    • Certain forms or wizards do not display appropriately. Specifically, only the left navigation pane displays and the right area is blank.
    • When you create or edit on a User Prompts page in a request offering, the page is not displayed appropriately.
    • When you scroll on an open work item or a configuration item form, the scrolling does not work. In this case, you can have the mouse held over the scroll bar for scrolling.
  • When a user tries to open an already opened attachment from a work item form, an exception is thrown.
  • After you mark a release record as Closed, the attachment and associated details cannot be retrieved.
  • When you create service requests from Request Offerings, it takes a long time to display the request offerings form.
  • When you try to use a service request template, the console crashes.
  • When you try to create a service request, a NullReferenceException exception is thrown and the console crashes.
  • The Service Manager console shows a generic Microsoft SQL exception instead of the detailed Data Collision exception when you run in a non-English environment.

The DPM update includes support for Windows 2003 Servers. This from the KB article:

DPM 2012 R2 now supports backup and recovery of Windows 2003 servers. In Update Rollup 2, you can now protect Windows Server 2003 by using DPM 2012 R2. The following workloads are also supported in Windows Server 2003:

Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2

Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007

Other highlights are:  SQL AlwaysOn with Clustering now supported and the ability to schedule backup and CC jobs defined by time windows on individual protection groups. There also are a number of issues that are resolved.

Some highlights from the Operations Manager UR 2 are:

Service Level Objectives (SLO) dashboard load times will be more consistent. When member of a member of a custom Operator role views load slow. This is resolved. There also has been updates to the Unix and Linux monitoring and SQL issues resolved. Something else to note that is new with this SCOM UR is new widgets for the dashboards. Very exciting! Here is a blog specifically about this http://blogs.technet.com/b/momteam/archive/2014/04/24/new-widgets-and-dashboard.aspx and a wiki article http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/24133.operations-manager-dashboard-widgets.aspx with details on them. Here are screenshots of some of the widgets:

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NewSCOmWidget2  NewSCOmWidget3

UR downloads and full details can be found here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2932881

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