Words and Software

Technical writing/user assistance in Microsoft.Azure Intelligent Systems Service (ISS). (old: Data Protection Manager and Operations Manager)

June, 2007

  • Finding VSS-aware apps on your server

    Did you catch the webcast on protecting Virtual Server with DPM? I watched the replay this afternoon and learned a new trick from Allen Stewart (who gives a really excellent presentation, btw).

    How to identify VSS-aware apps on Windows Server 2003: at a command prompt, type vssadmin list writers. He mentions it in the context of explaining how VSS writers works. Of course I immediately had to pause and try it - found 10 writers on my server. I don't often have a need to look for VSS writers ("not often" = "never") but hey, I got to learn something new!

  • DPM 2007: protecting Virtual Server

    Another interesting webcast coming up that you won't want to miss: "Microsoft Virtual Server and Data Protection Manager Install and Configure Walk-through". Register at the events website. The presentation will also be available for replay later, but try to make it to the live version so you can get your questions answered!

    For your calendar: Thursday, June 21, 8:00 A.M. Pacific (US & Canada)

    By the way, if you received notification of this webcast by email from Connect, the date in the email (6/20) is incorrect -- the correct date is 6/21.

  • DPM 2007: compatible tape libraries

    As you may know, DPM 2007 adds support for tape to DPM 2006's disk-based protection. So with DPM 2007, you can configure protection disk-to-disk, disk-to-tape, or disk-to-disk-to-tape. But an important question you'll have is, will DPM work with my existing tape library? Or, what tape library should I get to work with DPM?

    For your answer, take a look at the list of tape libraries that have been tested and found compatible with DPM so far. Keep in mind that just because a tape library is not listed there, it does not mean that it is not compatible--only that it has not yet been tested.

  • Have Zune, need video

    I have my first Zune (annoying music warning: turn down volume before clicking that link). I didn't think it was something I would use and planned to give it to my daughter, but surprise! When I charged it and started playing with it, I really liked it. Now, the music aspect is no big deal for me - I was fine with my simple little mp3 player. It's the video part that I find especially cool.

    So, I went hunting for music videos so I could enjoy my favorites on the Zune. There are plenty of sites where I can pay for and download a song; surely music videos for a Zune can be purchased and downloaded the same way, right?

    But if they can, I can't find them. Plenty of p2p portals, many claiming to be legal, but I'm not convinced and would rather not go that route. I just want to choose a music video, pay for it, and download it from a regular old capitalistic mainstream provider, like I do song purchases. I didn't think they'd be so hard to find. Have you seen one anywhere?

  • "Jericho" returns!

    This doesn't fit any of the topics I usually write about here, but I'm so tickled that this is my way of shouting it out: CBS is giving "Jericho" another chance!

    If you didn't watch "Jericho" when it first began, or perhaps just caught an episode midway through the season, the fuss fans made when it wasn't renewed for the fall might seem over the top. But it really was one of the most intelligent, discussion-provoking shows I've watched in a long time.

    How would modern people manage if suddenly all society's structures and laws and systems became nonexistent? If it was just you and your neighbors, basically cut off from the rest of the world - how would you all act? What choices would you make? What aspects of human character would be revealed?

    If you didn't watch "Jericho" before, give it a chance next season - it's worth it!

  • Upgrading WSS 2.0 to 3.0, & DPM

    Stefan Gossner posts about running PRESCAN.EXE against a Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 2.0 database before upgrading it to WSS 3.0, and also provides a link to download the tool so you can run it ahead of time.

    What does this have to do with DPM? Well, if you're using DPM 2007 Beta 2, you can protect WSS 2.0 databases as SQL Server databases. However, if you upgrade WSS 2.0 to WSS 3.0, you need to reconfigure protection of the data as Windows SharePoint Services data.

    The procedure (which is also documented in the DPM 2007 Operations Guide, in the chapter "Managing Protected Servers Running Windows SharePoint Services", available in the download section of the Connect site) is as follows:

    1. Create a recovery point of the WSS 2.0 data that is protected as a SQL Server database.
    2. Stop protection of the data, choosing the Retain replica option.
    3. Upgrade the server running Windows SharePoint Services.
    4. Add the upgraded Windows SharePoint Services farm to a protection group by selecting it as a Windows SharePoint Services data source.
      Data in the retained replica remains available for recovery, but it is not associated with the upgraded Windows SharePoint Services farm.
  • DPM 2007 Beta 2 and laptop protection

    One of the features we added to DPM 2007 is protection of desktop computers (those running Windows XP Professional SP2 or any edition of Vista except Home). But we also say in our documentation, "DPM does not support file protection on laptops...", and that has raised a few questions.

    Technically, can you install the DPM protection agent on a laptop running XP or Vista? Yes. Technically, can you select data on the laptop with that agent as a protection group member? Yes.

    Why isn't it supported then? Let me quote Karandeep from our newsgroup:

    "You can install the DPM agent and protect it but you need to watch the following:
    1. The notebook/laptop is connected to the domain and is on the network often enough for it to get backed up.
    2. The bandwidth available between the DPM server and the notebook is sufficient to complete a backup (unreliable wireless connections are not recommended).
    3. You'll see a lot of noise about failed backups in case the notebooks are not "well connected".
    Based on these considerations, we don't recommend backing up machines which are not frequently connected to the network i.e. laptops/notebooks."
  • DPM 2007 Beta 2: documentation

    Where is the information I'm looking for?

    During the beta 2 release of DPM 2007, the product documentation is available in the Downloads section of the Connect site. Links to DPM 2007 documentation won't be accurate until the DPM 2007 TechCenter becomes available, which will be during the public release of DPM 2007 (if not sooner!).

    Although the links are not accurate, the cross-references should be -- so if you have a reference to "Disaster Recovery" in the DPM 2007 Operations Guide, for example, then you would look for the information you're seeking in the "Disaster Recovery" chapter in the Operations Guide that you downloaded from Connect.

    Links that point to information outside of the DPM 2007 documentation, such as a Knowledge Base (KB) article, should work.

    Is the content complete?

    No. With the beta 2 release of DPM 2007, we provided a "snapshot" of the DPM 2007 documentation that is in development. The content has been technically reviewed; however, some topics are not completely written yet, and some topics are still blank. If you have a question that is not answered by the documentation, please post on the DPM newsgroup so that we can get you an answer as soon as possible.
  • DPM 2007 Beta 2 released

    It's here! The beta 2 release of DPM 2007 is now available on the Connect site - grab it and let us know what you think!

    32-bit download

    64-bit download