Tag Archives: data protector

Data Protector: Exchange 2010 database recovery from copy session fails

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

The recovery of an Exchange mailbox using a recovery database is usually no big deal. Simply restore the database, create a recovery database and recover the mailbox or items from the mailbox. Sometimes you have the luck that the customer has licensed the Data Protector Exchange 2010 Granular Recovery for Exchange (GRE). This was unfortunately not true in my case. Okay, so let’s do it the old way. The needed tape was available in the library and luckily it was a full backup. So I quickly added a disk to the VM and started the recovery of the database to a temporary location. At this point, the disaster took its course…

Constraints

This isn’t a general problem of Data Protector, it’s a bug. The following constraints met in my case:

  • Recovery source is a copy session (e.g. post-backup object copy to tape)
  • Data Protector 7.03
  • Microsoft Exchange 2010 SP2
  • Recovery to temporary location

This is the output of “omnidb -session 2014/08/01-6 -detail” for the wanted session. As you can see, this is a copy of session 2014/08/01-3, which was without protection and therefore was removed by Data Protector.

When trying to recover the DB to a temporary location, I ran into this error:

The session I tried to recover was 2014/08/01-06, the session that was chosen by Data Protector for recovery was 2014/08/01-03. To make the long story short: You can fix it with a site specific path for Data Protector 7.03. Log a call at the HP Support and ask for SSPNT700_038. Plase note that you need a valid HP Software Support contract to get this patch! The patch delivers fixes for the three defects QCCR2A51280, QCCR2A53555 and QCCR2A46724. The patch is delivered as a ZIP file and contains binaries and libraries which has to be installed on the Cell Manager and the Exchange server. The patch contains files for Windows on x64, HP-UX 11.23, 11.31 on IA64, HP-UX 11.23, 11.31 on PA RISC and Linux on x64. When running Data Protector on Windows, you have to replace the following files:

On the Exchange server

e2010_bar.exe
PSHAPI.dll
vssbar.exe

On the Data Protector Cell Manager

asm.exe
bsm.exe
csm.exe
dbsm.exe
libob2eadm.dll
libob2ecdb.dll
libob2ecmn.dll
libob2emmdb.dll
mmd.exe
msm.exe
rsm.exe

You have to stop the Data Protector services on the Cell Manager and the Data Protector Inet service on the Exchange server before you can replace the files. Make a backup of the files before you replace them. After the file replacement start the services and try the restore again. In my case the restore didn’t worked after applying the patch: It failed with the same error. I opened a case at HP and after a few day I got the notice, that lab engineering was involved in the case. Short after that notice, the support sent me two files (QCCR2A54842_TM1) that I had to replace on the Data Protector Cell Manager (libob2ecdb.dll & libob2ecmn.dll). Both files were part of SSPNT700_038, so you can interprete this as a patch for a patch. ;) This patch did the trick and the restore was successful. The root cause was, that a database query returns the wrong session for the recovery. So if you face the same problems, ask HP for the site-specific patch. If the problem remains, ask for QCCR2A54842_TM1.

Configuring HP StoreOnce VSA and HP Data Protector for HP StoreOnce Catalyst

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

HP StoreOnce Catalyst is an enterprise-wide deduplication algorithm which is used in HP StoreOnce appliances, HP StoreOnce VSA and HP Data Protector. With StoreOnce Catalyst, deduplicated data can be moved between Catalyst capable devices without the need to rehydrate the data. Think about the backup in your remote location. You can move the deduplicated data to your central StoreOnce appliance in your HQ without rehydrating the data. This saves bandwidth and time. Or think about source-side deduplication, which means that a server deduplicates the data during the backup and sends the deduplicated data to the backup device. This saves bandwidth and increases the performance (with the downside of more cpu load on the server…).

I would like to show you how you can configure StoreOnce Catalyst with StoreOnce VSA and HP Data Protector. Catalyst is a licensable feature for the StoreOnce appliances, but it’s included in the StoreOnce VSA.

Configuration of a Catalyst store

The creation of a Catalyst store is quite easy. After you have logged in into the StoreOnce VSA, choose “StoreOnce Catalyst” > “Stores” from the left menu. Then click the “Create” button on the upper right.

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Select a descriptive name and click “Create”

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That’s it. Your first StoreOnce Catalyst store.

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Create a StoreOnce device in HP Data Protector

Now you have to create a backup-2-disk device in HP Data Protector. I used a Data Protector 8.10 on a Windows 2008 R2 server. Open the Data Protector GUI and add a new device.

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Enter a descriptive name and select “Backup To Disk” as device type. Interface type has to be set to “StoreOnce Backup system”.

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Enter the ip address or the FQDN in the field “Deduplication System”. Select the store you’ve created in the StoreOnce VSA GUI.

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When you enable the checkbox “Source-side deduplication”, a windows opens.

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This checkbox lets you create a implicit gateway. An implicit gateway is used for source-side deduplication. Using source-side deduplication allows you to deduplicate data BEFORE it is sent to the media agent or backup device. To use source-side deduplication you have to install a Data Protector media agent on each server, that should be able to do source-side deduplication.

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An implicit gateway is optional. An explicit gateway is a must. An explicit gateway can to deduplication (server-side deduplication) or can only transfer the data to the backup device (target-site deduplication). In order to create a gateway for server-side deduplication, select a server with a media agent from the drop-down menu and click “add”.

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Again a windows pops up.

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Switch to the “Settings” tab and click “Advanced”.

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Enable the checkbox “Server-side deduplication” and click “OK”.

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Click “Check”. “Server-side deduplication” should say “Yes” and “Status” OK. Click “Next”

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Click “Next”.

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You can confirm the message about backup size quote. Simply click “OK”.

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Click “Finish”. Switch into the properties of your newly created StoreOnce VSA Backup-2-Disk device.

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We will now add a second explicit gateway which is used for target side deduplication. This means, that this media agent does nothing with the data. It simply forwards it to the StoreOnce VSA, which does the deduplication. Select a server from the drop-down menu and click “Add”.

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Switch to the “Settings” tab.

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Click “Advanced”

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The checkbox for server-side deduplication must not be enabled. This is the default setting. An explicit gateway does usually target-side deduplication. Server-side deduplication has to be enabled. Click “OK”.

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Click “Check”. You can see, that one media agent has server-side deduplication enabled, and the other media agent not.

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That’s it. Now you can use source-side deduplication, server-side deduplication and target-side deduplication. This is possible, because StoreOnce Catalyst is included in the Data Protector disk and media agent.

Creation of a backup job

If you create a new backup job, you can enable the “Source-side deduplication” checkbox.

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If you do so, you only can select the source-side gateway! A source-side gateway has two downsides: No object copies are possible and you have to install a media agent on each server, that should use source-side deduplication.

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If you leave this checkbox unchecked, you can select one of the explicit gateways (I highlighted the last added explicit gateway, which is configured for target-side deduplication. Server-side deduplication is done by the server, that was selected during the creation of the explicit gateway. Target-side deduplication is done by the backup device itself.

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Summary

A StoreOnce Catalyst store is quickly created, no big deal. The device creation in Data Protector is a bit tricky, but as soon as you have understood the difference between source-, server- and target-side deduplication, it’s easy to implement and to use. And the results are awesome! Grab a evaluation copy of HP Data Protector and HP StoreOnce VSA from HP and try it in your lab.

Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part III

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

In part I of this series I showed you the download and the deployment of the HP StoreOnce VSA. Part II showed you the configuration of two libraries and the connection of the backup server to this two tape libraries. Part III of this series covers the configuration of devices and meda pools in HP Data Protector 8.1. This article will not show the installation of HP Data Protector 8.1.

Device configuration

The first step is to configure the devices. Select “Devices & Media” from the drop-down menu and right-click “Devices”. Select “Autoconfigure Devices…”.

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The wizard shows all clients of the cell, that have a media agent (MA) installed. In my example only the backup server has a MA installed. Enable the checkbox and click “Next”.

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Data Protector now discovers the devices, that are attached to the server with the MA. There are two different views: “Group by Devices” shows the devices on top and the MA, that can use the device, as leafs. “Group by Hosts” likewise, but starting point is the host, not the device. I unchecked “Automatically configure MultiPath devices”, because the libraries are only attached to one host. Theoretically you can connect the library to more than one host (device sharing). Click “Finish”.

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Now you have two tape libraries. The naming is confusing, so check the SCSI ID in the device properties and the iSCSI initiator. Usually the first presented library is the first device on the SCSI bus. It might be useful to enable the checkbox “Automatically discover changed SCSI address”.

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Switch to the “General” tab and rename the library. You also have to enable the “Virtual Tape Library” checkbox. This checkbox tells Data Protector, that this device is part of a VTL and it’s licensed by capacity. If you license the usable capacity of a StoreOnce appliance or VSA with Data Protector “Advanced Backup to Disk” licenses, you can create as much devices as the StoreOnce appliance or VSA support. You don’t have to license drives! This is a huge benefit, because you can create a library for each server. This ensures LAN-free backup and optimal deduplication results.

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Rename the drives.

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Switch to the “Settings” tab and click “Advanced”.

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Set the “Concurrency” to 1. This ensures that only one data stream can write to the device. This disables multiplexing! But because you can create multiple libraries with multiple drives, you can use multistreaming. In this case each Disk Agent (DA) writes to a single device and a single (virtual) tape media.

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Switch to the “Sizes” tab and set the block size from 256 kB to 512 kB. This provides the best deduplication and performance balance. Click “OK”.

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Enable the two checkboxes in the “Device Policy” section. Click “Apply”.

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Because we changed the block size to 512 kB, we need to adjust the “MaxTransferLength” value of the iSCSI initiator.

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Change the “MaxTransferLength” from 40000 to 80000. 0x40000 is 262144 in decimal. So you need to double the value.

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The device configuration is finished. Now we need to configure the media pools.

Media pool configuration

Each library need their own tape media pool. In the “Devices & Media” section right-click the “Add Media Pool…” und “Media > Pools”.

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Enter a name and select the appropiate media type.

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Make sure, that the media in this pool are not ppendable! This is especially then useful, if you use the replication feature between StoreOnce appliances or VSA. For best effort, set the pool to “Non Appendable”. Leave the other options untouched.

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Click “Finish”.

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You will notice, that the media in the library are marked with a questionmark. Don’t format the tapes! Proceed with the next step.

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Open a Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\ProgramData\OmniBack\Config\Server\Options. Make a backup of the “global” file. Open the file and search for “InitOnLoosePolicy”. Set this value to 1. Save the file and restart the Server. This restart is also necessary, because of the registry change we made earlier. This setting makes it possible, that Data Protector can format media as needed. Usually Data Protector will reuse media after the data on the tape has expired. The “InitOnLoosePolicy” option in combination with a library, that has enough slots (you can’t vault media in a VTL…) and non appendable pools ensures, that the minimal possible number of tapes is used and that the StoreOnce housekeeping makes a good job.

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Right-click “Slots” on the library and start a “Barcode Scan”.

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After the rescan, Data Protector will show a barcode label for each tape. Each tape is detected as “Blank”. Please remember: Don’t format the tapes!

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Moment of truth

Now it’s time to test our backup with a job. I created a simple job, that makes a filesystem backup of my backup server. I use only one drive, because the server has only a single disk.

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Select the drive(s), that should be used for the job and make sure, that the job uses the correct media pool.

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To make a long story short: I ran multiple full backups to the library and got a dedup ratio of 7:1. Depending on the type of data and the number of backups the value can be lower or higher.

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Final words

This is only a very simple example for a solution based on HP StoreOnce VSA and HP Data Protector. I hope I could show you some key points that have to be observed. If you use a StoreOnce appliance or VSA, you have to align your backup concept to this. Otherwise you may not get the expected results. I would like to recommend these three articles, which were published on the HP Technical Support Services Blog:

DPTIPS: Multiplexing, Multistreaming, Multi … What?
DPTIPS: Device Block Size Challenges
DPTIPS: 1 way to ensure uninspired StoreOnce VTL performance and 7 ways not to

Some of my thoughts are based on these articles.

Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part II

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

In part I of this series I showed you the download and the deployment of the HP StoreOnce VSA. But without further configuration, it’s only a VM that has 4 vCPUs, 16 GB memory and ~ 1,5 TB of disk space. Pretty much for a VM that can’t do anything for you. ;)

Creating a library

Open a browser and open the StoreOnce Management Console.

Username: Admin
Password: admin

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First of all I recommend to disable the “Auto Create” option. If you leave this option enabled, a VTL will automatically created when an iSCSI initiator connects to the StoreOnce VSA. Click on “VTL” in the navigator pane, click “Edit”, uncheck the box and click “Update”.

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Click on “Libraries” and then click “Create” on the upper right.

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Enter a name for the new library. You can choose between different emulation types. I selected a MSL2024 with two LTO-5 drives. The iSCSI initiator name is the IQN of my Data Protector backup server. Enter the IQN of the server, which should connect to the VTL. Some words to the “right” design: I recommend to create a library for each type of data, e.g. a library for Exchange, one for fileservices, one for SQL etc. This ensures better dedup results.

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I also created a second library for Exchange backups.

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Now it’s time to connect the libraries to our backup server. I used the iSCSI initiator from Microsoft, which is included in Windows Server 2008 R2. Enter the ip address of the StoreOnce VSA and click “Quick Connect…”

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Select each entry and lick “Connect”.

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No you should see the devices in the Windows Device Manager. If you have two libraries with two drives, you should see six entries: Two media changer and four drives.

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At this point is the configuration of the StoreOnce VSA finished. The next part covers the configuration of the libraries and media pools in HP Data Protector 8.1.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have further questions or notes.

Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part I

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

The HP StoreOnce VSA is a virtual storage appliance, that is designed for backups between 1 TB and 10 TB and it’s based on HPs StoreOnce technology. I wrote a short overview about the HP StoreOnce VSA some weeks ago. Take a look at this blog posting if you are not familiar with HP StoreOnce VSA. This article is focuses on the deployment of the HP StoreOnce VSA in a VMware vSphere environment. A second and third blog post covers the configuration of the HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector.

Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part I
Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part II
Deploying HP StoreOnce VSA with HP Data Protector – Part III

Get the software

HP offers a 60-day free trial license for the HP StoreOnce VSA and HP StoreVirtual VSA. Just follow this link. You need a HP Passport account to download the software. When you follow the link, you will get to the download page. Click “Receive for Free”.

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Now you need to login with your HP Passport account. If you have no account, please create an account.

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Acknowledge, that you have read the accept the software and license termins for this order. Click “Next”.

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You need to download two files: One ISO with th StoreOnce VSA and the HP StoreOnce Enterprise Manager. You can choose between the standard, browser-based download, and the HP Download Manager. I usually choose the browser-based download.

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This is the second file you need to download. You can download both files at the same time. You don’t have to wait until the first download has finished. After the first download has started, simply click the second file and click “Download”.

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Proceed further after the downloads are finished.

Deploy the StoreOnce VSA

There are two ways to deploy a StoreOnce VSA:

  • using the OVF
  • using StoreOnce Enterprise Manager (SEM)

I will show you the way using the OVF. The cause for this is the behaviour of the SEM, that checks the required space before the deployment. If there is not enough space in the datastore, SEM will refuse the deployment. Deploying an OVF isn’t a big deal. I used the vSphere Client (not the Web Client).

Start the wizard and browse to the OVF. Click “Next”.

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Click “Next”.

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Enter a name for the VM and select the datacenter.

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Select the cluster, into which the VSA should be deployed.

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Because I use vApps, I selected the vApp used for my backup tests. If you use resource pools, select the desired resource pool.

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Select the datastore for the StoreOnce VSA. Please note, that the VSA will use ~ 500 GB when thick provisioned.

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Due to the space requirements, I decided to use thin-provisioned disks.

I got an email from Anshul Nagor (StoreOnce/ Storage R&D Lab, HP Bangalore). Anshul wrote that HP recommends to use thin-provisioning for the system disk. The system disk holds the OS and the software. No data will be written to it. The next release of the VSA will have a smaller system disk.
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I have a dedicated port group for iSCSI. My backup server has also a NIC attached to this port group.

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Check the summary and start the deployment. Don’t power on the VM!

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The VSA needs an additional disk for the data. The disk must have at least a capacity of 1 TB. Otherwise the instant-on licence is not applied and the StoreOnce services will not start. Due to the space requirements, I decided to use thin-provisioned disks. This is not recommended for production use.

I’d like to thank Anshul Nagori, Patrick Osborne and Calvin Zito for helping to solve a problem, that only existed because I didn’t had read carefully enough.
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Now you can power on the VSA. The VSA will run a couple of scripts. When you see the message “Services are up – activating the instant-on license” everything’s fine.

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If you have DHCP available, the VSA will try to get a IP via DHCP. If you don’t have a DHCP server available, you can use “net set wizard” to start the network configuration wizard.

Username: Admin
Password: admin

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I captured the output of the wizard:

At the end the network configuration is applied and you should see this message:

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Now you should be able to access the web interface of the VSA. Use a browser and try to access https://<ip address>. Congratulations! Now you have 60 days to play with your brand new HP StoreOnce VSA. Part II of this series covers the configuration of the VSA. Part III covers the steps to use the StoreOnce VSA in combination with HP Data Protector 8.1.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have further questions or notes.

HP Data Protector: Backup of DMZ servers

This posting is ~6 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

Sometimes it’s necessary to backup system, that are behind a firewall. A good example for this are servers in a DMZ. When using HP Data Protector there are some things to know and consider, before you can backup systems behind a firewall. Lets start with some basics.

The components

Cell Manager: The Cell Manager (CM) is the backup server itself. It controls the whole enviroments, stores the licenses, clients, media, devices, backup specifications etc.

Backup specification: A backup specification describes WHAT has to be backuped and WHERE it should be written..

Backup Session Manager: The Backup Session Manager (BSM) starts MA and DA, controls the session and stores meta data to the DB.

Disk Agent: The Disk Agent (DA) is the backup client itself. It’s used to read or write data from or to the server, and send the data to the Media Agent (MA).

Media Agent: The Media Agent (MA) reads or writes data from or to a backup device. The data is sent or received by a DA. The MA can be installed on every server, that has a backup device (tape or disk) attached.

HP Data Protector Session Flow

The different components of HP Data Protector act with each other. The BSM is started on the HP Data Protector Cell Manager and it reads the backup specification. Then the BSM starts the DA and MA. The control data is exchanged between DA, MA and BSM. The actual backup data travels from the DA to the MA, and in case of a restore from the MA to the DA.

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Typically the MA is running in the same hosts as the BSM (which is started on the Cell Manager). But you can also use different servers for the CM/ BSM and the MA. Think about a virtualized HP Data Protector Cell Manager and a physical host, that has a tape library connected. If your BSM and MA are behind a firewall (from the DA perspective), you have to get the control data and the data flow through the firewall. For this, ports must be opened on the firewall.

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The requirements

One of the most important things in a HP Data Protector enviroment is DNS! Most errors I see are DNS related. This leads to the requirement, that there has to be a functional name resolution between Cell Manager, MA and DA. Before you proceed further, please check the name resolution. Please note that ping isn’t a qualified tool to test the name resolution! You should use nslookup or dig for this. The next step is to define port ranges that are used for the communication between BSM, MA and DA. Because HP Data Protector is a top notch backup product, you have to change the omnirc file with your favorite editor. Yes, even if you have a windows based Cell Manager. The omnirc file is located in:

Operating SystemPath
Windows < 2008C:\Program Files\Omniback\omnirc
Windows > 2008C:\ProgramData\Omniback\omnirc
Linux/ UNIX/opt/omni/.omnirc

You have to add the OB2PORTRANGESPEC parameter, which limits the amount of ports that are used for communication between the different components. Then you have to open this port ranges in you firewall. The ports will picked randomly from the range. The complete parameter looks like this:

 xSM is used to define the ports that are used by Backup Session Manager (BSM), Restore Session Manager (RSM) and Database Session Manager (DBSM). For each session manager one port is used. You can define specific ranges for each session manager by replacing the x with B, R or DB. For example:

If the option “Reconnect broken connections” is enabled, each DA needs a connection to a xSM. DA to BSM when taking a backup, DA to RSM when doing a restore and DA to DBSM for IDB backup. So the xSM parameter limits the amount of concurrent sessions of your Cell Manager. Choose this wisely… Because the data flows directly from the DA to the MA, each DA needs a connection to a MA. With the above specified port range, you could have 11 concurrent connections from a DA to a MA. If the server you want to backup, runs an application like Oracle, Exchange or MS SQL, then you need additional connections to the Cell Manager, to be precise, the Cell Request Server (CRS). The port range for this connections are defined with the CRS part of the OB2PORTRANGESPEC parameter. If the MA runs in a different host then the Cell Manager, you have to add the xMA part of the OB2PORTRANGESPEC in the omnirc file on the server with the MA. After you changed the omnirc file you have to restart the HP Data Protector services.

The used port ranges in a clear table:

SourceTargetLocationTCP Source Port RangeTCP Destination Port Range
Cell ManagerDADMZ1024 – 655365555
DAMALAN1024 – 6553619000-19010
DAxSMLAN1024 – 6553620000-20250
DACRSLAN1024 – 6553618000-18005

I hope this article has helped to understand the functioning of HP Data Protector.