my personal blog about systemcenter

Archive for March, 2013

 

If there is no acceptance for data loss or service interruption (note2) you are most likely looking at Synchronous replication with Metro Cluster from NetApp or something up that alley , this is typically followed with a high hardware cost but if the requirement is there so is the funding.

Data Replication is a small part of disaster recovery planning (note3) , replicating VM’s can help speed up the recovery time so instead of having to restore from tape or the local d2d device , so just adding Hyper-V replica to the party does not solve everything

Replication can also be handled at the application , so Exchange and SQL both have ways of helping out with ensuring data

Hyper-V Replica gives everyone else than the top tier a out of the box method to enable replication on all or selected Virtual Machines hosted on Hyper-V V3.0

 

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Hyper-V replica don’t have any requirements other than a IP stack and a Hyper-V server to replicate to  , so we can have a shiny SAN on the primary location and a stack if 7200’s on the 2nd location for replication target  , this will still give possibility to start up critical VM’s until we run out of IO.

But in these times it can be hard to get funding for IO that sits around doing nothing so a replication to slow drives beats no replication any day.

(note1) that can live with data loss from the last sync to the point in time where the primary storage system went down.

(note2) there is always a risk

(note3) read http://workinghardinit.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/a-reality-check-on-disaster-recovery-business-continuity/ , and repeat after me data replication is a very minor part of disaster recovery

 

Sometimes two great product can annoy each other in this case Data Protection Manager and Hyper-V Replica.

 

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After enabling Hyper-V replica we saw a spike in replica volume around 8pm , and that happened to be the same time we do system protection backup with Data Protection Manager.

 

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And on each guest we have the WindowsImageBackup that is being generated each time the systemstate backup is run, this is “only” on servers that have the agent installed , the servers where we “only” do VM backup this issue does not occur

 

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On the VM’s create a new vhdx and assign a standard drive we use R: on our images

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On the VM’s edit psdatasourceconfig.xml

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and edit the FilesToProtect to R:\WindowsImageBackup\*

and while you are at it move the swap file to the R: also

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And on the Hyper-V Replica settings verify that the new file is excluded from replication.

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And we try to name the drive so people know not to keep their xmas shopping list on the drive

So its time to check why the images deployed didn’t have the drive assigned in the template and to edit the orchestrator job that edit the psdatasourceconfig.xml to change to the new assigned drive.

 

Its that time a year again a clean install of the servers in our combined playground and demo enviroment , ripped out 5 old servers and added 4 new ones saving 20kw hours a day and with our power cost its adds up to 150ish euro a month.

The enviroment currently is mixed playground and customer facing demo enviroment this is mainly due to resource constrains and with new servers version hopefully presented at build its not getting any easier to fit , so more servers are on their way

 

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Part one is the basic hyper-v enviroment , next is vmware and xen adding up with 6 servers dedicated to hypervisors.

Part two is Data Protection Manager 2012 SP1 running in a phsycial box to protect the enviroment

There are 2 other servers reserved for Virtual Machine Manager bare metal deployment everything else will be virtual.

Part three is “just” the remaining systemcenter parts , with focus om VMM/Service Manager and Operations Manager , and the integration glue with Orchestrator , Config Manager will follow for patching and protection but since i need to do a windows-noob.com from end to end to deploy it its a nice to have at some point in time.

Part four is Direct Access , PKI , Remote Desktop Services

Part five is everything else Smiley

 

This post will cover the basics getting the integration up and running further post will cover the integration deeper , the CRUNCH setup of the jobs handling the deduplication and tape rotation is for a later part

 

BridgeStor is trying solve a few of the major pains with Data Protection Manager.

 

Snapshot limit

Data Protection Manager uses VSS for file based workloads limiting snapshots to 64 for short term backups , so if you want to keep more than 64 snapshots you need to setup additional DPM server to protect the first one unless you go to tape.

Storage Allocation

Data Protection manager uses a lot of storage there is no support for deduplication so there is a large need for spindles

So how does BridgeStor solve this

Bridgestor have released their Crunch for Data Protection Manager http://bridgestor.com/English/Solutions/Microsoft_DPM_2012.html

BridgeSTOR DPM

Picture and Spec from http://bridgestor.com/English/Products/CRUNCH_for_DPM.html

Scale

A single CRUNCH for DPM Virtual Appliance can manage 12 “containers” of physical storage capacity, each of which can be up to 4 TB in size (total of 48 TB of physical capacity).

The Crunch is a virtual appliance installed on Hyper-V , its running CentOS and is presenting itself as a tape drive enabling support for both DPM 2010 and 2012.

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Create a new VM

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For testing 8 gig should be “enough” recommended is 32 gig for production or 8 gig combined with a SSD for deduplication work

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Add the Crunch VHD provided from bridgestore as the boot volume

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For testing I added just one scsi drive for storage, from a support point of view passthough disk are the only supported option

 

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Start the VM and enter the menu

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Enter the Crunch Configuration

 

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Setup networking

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and initialize storage

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after initial configuration boot to crunch

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and the Crunch Appliance is now ready for action

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First step is to configure the Virtual Tape , according the documentation it should be a little larger than the biggest protection group in DPM , again this if the first test so a part2 of the post will adjust findings.

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and setup a container for storing the data

 

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On the DPM server start the iscsi initiator

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and connect to the bridgestore appliance

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This will present itself as a HP tape drive , the drive needs to be downloaded from HP as its not part of the trial from bridgestor

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Download the HP Storage Tape Drivers

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And install

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And we now have a driver for the crunch device

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Setup a protection group

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And just a simple recovery goal

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And start the long term job

next is the CRUNCH magic.

 

IBM with their recent firmware upgrade to the StorWize V7000 have updated SMI-S Support so we now can integrate Virtual Machine Manager 2012 with the StorWize V7000

IBM 6.4.1.3 is what I tested the integration with.

This is a test so users created have full access to the storwize further testing is needed Smile

 

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I created a adminstrator user in the Storwize console with password only

 

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On the in virtual machine manager under fabric , add resource add storage devices

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Use the SMI-S CIMXML provider and create a run as account to use

 

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Adding the array

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Assign a classification to the storage pools on the system if its not empty

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Go Go Gadget

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And we can see the VMM jobs adding the Storage pools and Array

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And under Fabric – Storage we now have our array and lun’s

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On the host level create a new cluster disk and covert it to CSV

 

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It looks like the SMI-S integration foces the LUN to fixed need to test further if there is support for thin provisioning

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The LUN is now assigned to the cluster

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and the LUN is now visible in the cluster , need to play with scripting to ensure LUN names as consistent but for the purpose of blog it was to see that it worked and it does Smile