System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 Documentation

Some documentation has been published by Microsoft for DPM 2010:

Wonder why I post this stuff?  Because I can find it more easily on my blog than I can on the net.  I really do use my blog as my personal notebook.

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Writing of Mastering Hyper-V Deployment Nearing Completion

I’ve just submitted the last of my content to Sybex for Mastering Hyper-V Deployment.  It’s been a long and tough road.  Early work started on the project in February.  I’ve been doing my normal day job and trying to squeeze in chapters in a rush schedule.  I’ve been working during the morning commute, at lunchtime, the evening commute, into the night, and at weekends.  My co-author is close to finishing his chapters on schedule.  I’ve been doing the first of the reviews as we’ve moved through the project.  I’m probably already a third of the way through the copy edits (2nd set of reviews).  After that comes the final set (I hope) of layout edits.  And then off it goes to the printers for release in November.  I can’t wait!

My Hyper-V Presentations at PubForum Frankfurt 2010

I’m exhausted.  I’ve done 2 presentations this week at Pubforum, one after the other with a quick break.  3 hours of me talking.  Phew – those poor people who had to listen to me!

I’ve posted both presentations.  As usual, they are only my cue cards.  Most of the content is me speaking or answering questions.

This is the 2 hour class that I presented:

And this is the one hour class that I presented:
 
 
 

MMS 2010 Keynote: Server Management

I’m tuning into the live webcast of today’s (there’s another tomorrow) Microsoft Management Summit 2010 keynote featuring server management.  I’ll be doing my best to blog about new stuff as it happens.

System Center Service Manager 2010 is announced as RTM.  Sorry dudes!  YEARS of work (and rework) and I thought you’d get more of a launch than that.

Jeez, an hour later and I’ve not got much more to report.  There’s a lot of talk about cloud (nothing new) and a lot of talk about old concepts (using System Center to do more, and more engineering rather than operations).

EDIT: Someone on Twitter counted the number of times “cloud” was mentioned.  The final count was 83.  Cloud OD.

The next generation of System Center data center is based on lessons from Azure and Bing.  Edwin Yuen hits the stage.  Now we’re cooking!

VMM v.Next

It looks quite different!  It has the cleaner v.Next interface rather than the Outlook 2007 one we are used to.  Server application virtualization, SQL models and MSDeploy (IIS) packages live in the library.  The template model is evolved to a service template spanning multiple servers or tiers.  We see a demo of a 3 tier application.  You can drop OS templates (that we know) and “Server App-V”/MSDeploy packages which we can drop into the model.  You can say that you want X numbers of server in a tier in the model.  You can tier your storage to standard or high performance.  So you’ve got X variations of servers made from a few Server App-V images and OS templates. 

Seriously – I could use this right now.  I have recurring deployments that I could model like this.

You can integrate with WSUS and perform a patching compliance report based on the VHD in the library!  You can then remediate this image in the library.  Now – VMM knows which VMM managed VM’s need to be updated!  You don’t need to patch the running VM OS.   You can <Update Service>, to replace the running OS, while keeping the Server App-V package.

Operations Manager & Azure

How you can monitor Azure and on-premises for seamless application monitoring using OpsMgr 2007 R2.  We see a distributed application containing traditional monitored items (including databases and web watchers) and an Azure presence.  OpsMgr integrates into Azure using a soon-to-be-released (“later this year sometime”) management pack to gather performance information.  A task is there to add new web role instances in Azure.  Nice and simple! 

Deployment of more Azure instances is based on real (synthetic transaction monitoring) measured performance data.  Expansion (or withdrawal) of new instances can be easily done through the same monitoring interface based in your site.

That’s the end.  Really only had good content in the last 22 minutes of a 82 minute keynote.  A quite short post compared to what I would do at an MS Ireland event lasting the same time (see last week for a 3 hour session).

SCE 2010 and DPM 2010 RTM

Data Protection Manager 2010 and System Center Essentials 2010 were both announced as being released to manufacturing today.

DPM is MS’s backup solution and is the one that has the ability to backup a Hyper-V CSV.  The catch is that it puts the CSV into redirected IO mode.  Thus the preference is to use a storage provider with a supported VSS provider.  That allows you to safely backup running VM’s and maintain database consistency when recovered  -> VSS runs all the way through the stack.  You can even recover single files!

SCE 2010 is the all-in-one package that has the best of ConfigMgr, OpsMgr and now with VMM so you can manage W2008 R2 Hyper-V.  This makes it the ideal systems management solution for small-medium companies.

So … What Exactly Am I Writing?

You can tell I’m pretty busy because my usual high rate of blogging has dropped significantly in the last month.  Apologies for that.  The blogging has become writing.  I am involved in 2 book projects.  I’ve just seen on Twitter that details on one of those has just gone public.  I actually just saw the tweet seconds after I sent off a chapter I just finished.

Earlier this year I proposed an idea for a Windows Server 2008 R2 virtualization book to Wiley Publishing/Sybex.  It took quite a bit of work to tune the proposal.  It requires an understanding of the subject matter, the audience, and ideas on how it can be marketed.  You could think that a brief overview on the subject matter would be enough.  But no, the publisher needs much more detail.  You pretty much have to provide a detailed project plan for every heading (3 levels deep), page estimates and time estimates.  The proposal evolved over the weeks and eventually went through a couple of reviews.  I then got the news: an ISBN number was assigned and contracts were on the way – I was going to be a lead author on my own book for the very first time!!!!  I did get drunk that night – I think.

The deadlines are very tight.  I was considering seeking help.  My contact in Sybex advised that I outsource some of the chapters to a co-author.  I knew the person I wanted to bring in.  Wilbour Craddock is a technical specialist in the partner team with Microsoft Ireland.  Will (Irish folks will know him as the crazy Canadian who is always wearing shorts) is also a former SBS MVP.  His job has him spending a lot of time working with Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center, making him a perfect co-author to work with on this project.  Thankfully, Will agreed to hop on board the crazy train of book writing.

Another MVP (I won’t say who yet because I don’t have permission to name him) is the technical editor under the employment of Sybex.  He’s an ace at this stuff and will make sure everything we do is up to scratch.

The book is called Mastering Hyper-V Deployment.  I won’t go into the details of it yet.  But you can bet that it is based on our collective experience and knowledge of the product set involved in a Hyper-V deployment.  I saw a gap in the market and figured I could probably write (or a good chunk of) the book to fill it.  The estimated release is in November 19th of this year.  That means we need to finish writing in July.  It has started to appear on some sites for pre-order.

I’m two chapters in a the moment.  I’m really pushing my hardware at home to its limits and am “this close” to buying more.  Will is ahead of schedule and has one chapter nearly done.

I am also working on another book project as a co-author for a friend’s book.  It’s another on-subject book that is turning out to be a good experience.  I’ve one chapter done on that and am 50% through the other.  I’ll talk more about that when the time is right.

As you may have read in my previous posts about my chapters in Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2, the original draft edit is just the very start of the process.  There are numerous technical, language, layout and copy edits for each and every chapter.  It’s a lot of work but it’s a great experience.  And I can’t wait for the buzz to see my name as the lead author of a book in a book shop.  I had to really try when I saw Mastering Windows Server 2008 R2 in Barnes & Noble over in Belleview WA back in February.

Data Protection Manager 2010 Webcast

I joined this late due to a phone conference.

This is a System Center Influencers briefing on Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010.

The Aims

  • Single supported solution for Microsoft workloads
  • Single agent, no workload licensing
  • Enterprise scalability in the 2010 release

New Workload Additions

  • Cluster Shared Volume
  • Exchange 2010
  • SharePoint 2010

It supports OS’s going back to XP SP2.

Features

  • Self-service end user restore from Explorer or Office
  • Self-service DBA restrore from within SQL
  • Auto protection of new databases
  • Protect 1000’s of databases per DPM server
  • Recover 2005 DB’s to SQL 2008
  • Auto protection of new content databases in SharePoint farms
  • Protect the farm, restore the document
  • Optimizations for the new and many Exchange architectures

Hyper-V

  • CSV support
  • Item level recovery from within a VHD
  • Alternate host recovery

Client Protection

  • 1000 clients per DPM server
  • “User data only”.  Don’t protect the entire machine.
  • Uses VSS in Vista and Windows 7
  • Policy allows you to protect specific folders, so there’s no end user set up.
  • User can restore from local VSS while offline, or DPM while online.
  • While offline, the PC continues to make VSS copies and will sync them to DPM when it is online again.
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Microsoft Whitepaper: How To Protect Hyper-V with DPM 2010

Microsoft has a white paper on how to backup and restore Hyper-V using System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 (currently in RC stage, might be RTM announced at MMS).  It includes:

  • Protection for Live Migration scenarios, including Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV)
  • Item level recovery (ILR) for restoring individual items from a host-based backup of a VM
  • Restoring VMs to different Hyper-V hosts than where they were backed up

I was chatting with Hans Vredevoort 2 days ago about DPM 2010.  He’s been working with it quite a lot and has some good contacts on the product.  He says you need to be very careful about how you schedule backups of VM’s on CSV and that the devil is in the details.  Read the paper once, twice and again.

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Automatically Protect New VM’s on DPM 2010 and On Secondary Server

Microsoft has published some scripts via a blog to accomplish two things when backing up VM’s at the host level:

  1. Detect when new VM’s are created and back them up.
  2. Also replicate those backups to a secondary DPM server when using DPM2DPM4DR
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Data Protection Manager 2010 Release Candidate

Microsoft released the RC (pre-RTM) of System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010, Microsoft’s backup solution.  As I mentioned last week, DPM 2010 includes lots of new features to simplify backups using Microsoft’s solution.  That would be the one criticism of the MS solution; 3rd party solutions seem to make it easier for the admin.

The thing that Hyper-V administrators will be eager to get their hands on when it RTM’s is the ability to backup VM’s at the host level when the VM’s are stored on a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV).

There is a MS webcast video on DPM 2010 here.  You can download the release candidate from Connect.

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