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cmoody
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Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by cmoody » Jun 09, 2011 3:58 pm

SureBackup is nice. Helps take away some of the concerns of backup and restore. Being able to create your own custom scripts to test if an application is responding via network is great. A couple of things still need to be done manually. Testing interoperability between applications, such as SharePoint with SQL, is also important. Here are some ideas:

1. Allow VMs to be put in a particular order within the SureBackup job. Some applications rely on other applications to be operational in order for services to start properly and for errors not to occur in the event log.
2. Have thee SureBackup job remain running for a set period of time. This would allow an administrator to do some manual testing of inter-application functionality. For instance, one may need to test SharePoint. SharePoint is useless without SQL. By being able to open up the SharePoint server and access SharePoint sites, one would be able to confirm that SharePonit and SQL are functioning properly. The job should not run forever though. Having the job shutdown after a given number of hours would prevent issues that might arise with backups as well as with the next SureBackup schedule. The job would also shutdown the application group instead of keeping the application group running after the job completes.

Thanks,

Charles

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 09, 2011 5:44 pm

Hi Charles,
cmoody wrote:Allow VMs to be put in a particular order within the SureBackup job. Some applications rely on other applications to be operational in order for services to start properly and for errors not to occur in the event log.
Could you please tell why Application Group does not work for you in this scenario? What is your current SureBackup job configuration?
cmoody wrote:By being able to open up the SharePoint server and access SharePoint sites, one would be able to confirm that SharePonit and SQL are functioning properly. The job should not run forever though.
Have you considered doing these verification checks automatically?

We've got a really useful blog post that describes how to set this up, please take a look: Automate recovery verification of VM backups with Veeam SureBackup

Also you may want to create dedicated application group for your applications. In other words just create a SureBackup job with this application group only, select the "Keep VM running" checkbox, and schedule the job with the required period.

Hope this helps.

cmoody
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by cmoody » Jun 09, 2011 10:49 pm

Could you please tell why Application Group does not work for you in this scenario? What is your current SureBackup job configuration?
The application group does work. I have put all the VMs in an application group so that the VMs would come up in a paticular order. At this point, I'm religning on the Application Group and how it is configured and wondering why then have the SureBackup Job specify a VM?
Have you considered doing these verification checks automatically?
Yes - but the scripts are executed from the Veeam backup server. If I could inject a script into a VM that targets another VM that would be great! For example: Just because I can access LDAP, DNS, DHCP, and MS Global Catalog Server ports over the network from the Veeam backup server, does not mean that Active Directory is functioning properly and able to authenticate a user. In fact there is an article (http://www.veeam.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7311) that identifies DNS and Active directory is not functioning properly. SureBackup succeeds because the ports are open, but if you try to do an nslookup, use Active Directory Users and Computers or authenticate to the domain controller shows that it truely is not operational. You can telnet to 53 and 389, but again that just identifies that the service has the port open but is not necessarily functioning. Second example: The SureBackup job confirmed that port 80 and 443 was functioning on my web server (SharePoint). However, when I logged into the server and launched SharePoint Central Administrator it would timeout displaying a blank page. I did this test on purpose - Veeam backup server did it's job and confirmed that it could access the ports identifying that IIS was running but does not show that servers in an Application Group have true dependency on each other.

If I "Keep the Application Group running after job completes", what happens after the next backup and next scheduled SureBackup job? Will SureBackup tear down the old job and build a new one with the more recent backups? Also, I don't think it would be good to keep it running as I can see it impacting resources during a backup.

Part of DRCOOP, at least for me, is also confirming that applications function properly when restored besides being able to confirm that the data is "there". This includes an application being able to operate based on other applications it is dependent upon (ie: SharePoint dependent on SQL dependent on AD).

What SureBackup does is great! The fact that I can easily create a job to test backups of specific VMs goes along way. Just thought I would share some ideas. ;)

Thanks,

Charles

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 10, 2011 8:17 am

cmoody wrote:If I "Keep the Application Group running after job completes", what happens after the next backup and next scheduled SureBackup job? Will SureBackup tear down the old job and build a new one with the more recent backups?
Here is an existing topic that should answer your question: Virtual Lab without Surebackup Job

Thanks again for the feedback and the use case described, much appreciated.

tsightler
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by tsightler » Jun 10, 2011 1:21 pm

cmoody wrote: Yes - but the scripts are executed from the Veeam backup server. If I could inject a script into a VM that targets another VM that would be great!
Why can't you do this now? Certainly you can execute a Powershell script that executes remote commands on another host, to start additional tests running on the VM's within the virtual lab.

cmoody
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by cmoody » Jun 10, 2011 4:10 pm

Vitaliy S - Thanks for the link. Most helpful. I never did let the Application Group keep running. I would stop it before I went home because of what I read in the "Veeam Backup & Replication 5.0 | User Guide, p125". I feared it impacting backups since, I believed, it would remain running.

TSightler - I am no PowerShell guru ;) So to start, I would need to create a script that test authentication from SQL to AD and SharePoint to AD. Also, a script that executes SharePoint to confirm that Central Administrator and each website is functioning and accessible from https, which confirms that SharePoint -> SQL is functioning. A script on the Veeam backup server kicks it all off.

Thanks

tsightler
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Re: Feature Request - SureBackup

Post by tsightler » Jun 10, 2011 9:19 pm

No doubt it's a lot of scripting, but once created, it saves the effort of doing the testing manually, but I was mainly pointing out that it's already possible to run scripts on the remote hosts. We do this now with several of our Linux systems, having Surebackup run local scripts which then execute remote scripts on the Linux hosts via SSH to test local services, verify databases, etc. Powershell has similar remote capabilities, but I'll admit I'm not a powershell guru either (although I'm working on it and becoming more comfortable in the environment every day).

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