If you are running DPM 2006 SP1 and encounter error 2043, "insufficient shadow copy space", the alert details refer you to Knowledge Base (KB) article 922510. The product team is working to publish that KB article as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here are the instructions for resolving the issue:
In DPM 2006, when the amount of space required for shadow copies exceeded the allocated space, all shadow copies could be deleted without notification to the user. DPM SP1 will ensure that at least the latest shadow copy is retained and generate an alert to increase the disk allocation for shadow copies.
However, DPM will stop protection of the affected protection group member, and you must manually change the disk allocations and create a new shadow copy of the affected protection group member to continue protection.
To continue protection of the affected protection group member
vssadmin create shadow /For=<<REPLICA point Mount>>
c:\Program Files\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\Volumes\Replica\FileServerName\E-1ed88a75-1b71-11da-b87c-806e6f6e6963\ReplicaDir\Test
c:\Program Files\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\Volumes\Replica\FileServerName\E-1ed88a75-1b71-11da-b87c-806e6f6e6963
We got a wonderful email from a customer who is trying out the beta 1 release of DPM V2. He is using V2 to protect clustered SQL Server 2005 databases; his file servers and Exchange Server servers are still using their existing tape backup only.
Recently, a major SAN problem caused corruption on all of those servers. The result? Here's what he wrote to us:
"The File server and the Exchange servers were not being protected and took most of the weekend to recover due to recalling tapes etc. The SQL cluster was being protected by DPM V2 and the corrupt database took 5 minutes to recover from the last snapshot. This was also done by someone who had not really used DPM before."
Quick successful recovery of an 8GB SQL database in the real world, not a test lab...I find that very cool!
Today I got a lesson on "cluster-aware" and "not cluster-aware". With my new-found understanding, let's look at the versions of DPM and how they work with server clusters.
The eagerly awaited Service Pack 1 to DPM 2006 is now available for download. Important: if you are running a pre-release version of SP1, you should uninstall the pre-release SP1 before you install this final version.
For details on the fixes and improvements packaged in SP1, take a look at What's New in DPM SP1?.
I am embarrassed that I didn't know this until a recent (and very passionate) internal email discussion on customer support brought it up, but if I didn't know...maybe you didn't either?
I've never called or emailed Microsoft for help with my home computer because I thought there was always a cost. (Well, plus because I felt I should be able to figure out any problem myself -- I work there after all!) So I've probably spent many hours troubleshooting issues that the support experts could have handled much more quickly. I'll bet that the support option was mentioned in the product documentation or on the box as well, and I'm guilty of not reading it. I should probably retitle this, "The Hubris of Working at Microsoft".
Did you notice the reference in the DPM V2 Product Information FAQ to support for Continuous Cluster Replication (CCR)? I knew it was an Exchange 2007 feature but not much else, and had to do some poking around. I found a great blog post about CCR back in July and clipped it so I could share it when the time came that I could start talking about V2.
For a great explanation of CCR and how it works, take a look at Exchange 2007 Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) by Scott Schnoll. Enjoy!
You are invited to join us for a webcast about the next version of Data Protection Manager (DPM V2, as we fondly call it). This is a great opportunity to hear about V2's features and improvements, see some cool stuff, and pin down DPM's technical product manager, Jason, with your sharp questions.
The webcast will take place online Friday, October 27, at 12:30 PM Eastern Time. For more information, see the webcast event details.
Arlindo has posted a great walk-through (with screenshots!) of the Beta 1 installation process.
We provide installation instructions in the Deployment Guide that you can download with the Beta 1 product at Microsoft Connect, but if you're not at the download point yet yourself, this gives you an excellent overview of the procedure!
If you try to install DPM V2 Beta 1 on a server that does not belong to a domain, the installation will fail. Join the server to a domain first, then install.
(This only applies to the Beta 1 release.)
It's official, they're announcing it today: DPM V2 Beta1 is out!
A few of the new features in DPM V2:
If you haven't already signed up for this beta, go to https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=822&wa=wsignin1.0 to apply. (The link will take you first to a login page. After you log in, the correct page will open.)
If you already signed up, you can download DPM V2 Beta1 at https://connect.microsoft.com/Downloads/Downloads.aspx?SiteID=205.
This evening, trying to assemble a pressure-mounted baby gate for my dog, I picked up several tips and tricks for writing really bad instructions that I just have to share for everyone's edification:
Over the years, I think I've replaced just about everything inside my desktops except the motherboard. But I've never even peeked inside my laptop. Somehow I absorbed the edict that only "authorized technicians" could touch one.
I had this extra memory though.
And a great set of instructions. This is an excellent example of good technical writing made great by the generous inclusion of clear photographs.
Josh Ledgard's description of getting a hotfix online is fascinating to me because I've frequently come across those KB articles that seem to speak directly to my problem, and then turn coy with "To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix."
Like Josh, I don't want to call anybody. But I've always wondered why some things are downloadable and others are rationed out by PSS. Josh gives the answer in the comment thread:
The root of this comes from a policy that went into place when some windows users downloaded some bad hotfixes and that caused a lot of complaints that we needed to be clearer about what's been really well tested and what was just published as a hot fix. However, today, I don't beleive that our developer customers really need this form of babysitting as long as we make it clear that a hotfix is not as well tested as a service pack.
Your organization might be large enough that the keys to the Active Directory schema are closely held by select administrators. And as a result, when you want to enable end-user recovery for your DPM servers, you have to ask those administrators to run DPMADSchemaExtension.exe for you.
They come back to you, concerned because the tool requires the name of the DPM server -- and you have several. What's going on?
What we didn't make clear enough in our documentation is that, although the schema need only be extended once, you still must enable each DPM server individually -- whether through the DPM Administrator Console (if you have permissions to extend the schema) or by running DPMADSchemaExtension.exe. Either method authorizes end-user recovery for that DPM server.
So, you run DPMADSchemaExtension.exe and enter the name of the first DPM server. Schema is extended, and that server is authorized. Run it again and enter the name of the second DPM server. The schema has already been extended, so nothing more happens on that aspect, and the second DPM server is now authorized.
To quote from Data Protection Manager 2006 Schema Extensions:
The DPMADSchemaExtension tool performs the following tasks to support end-user recovery:Extends the schemaCreates a container (MS-ShareMapConfiguration)Grants the DPM server permissions to change the contents of the containerAdds mappings between source shares and shares on the replicas
It's a bit frustrating to spend my days concentrating on writing for the beta of the next version of DPM, yet not being able to say anything about it here. It makes perfect sense, of course -- not mentioning features or functions prematurely. After all, if I wrote that we were thinking of having V2 generate an alert whenever a file is deleted from a server and a zillion companies cancelled their plans to order V2 because they (rightfully) consider that a terrible plan...or that V2 would perform on-the-fly defrag of each protected server, and somebody made their business plans counting on the availability of that feature...then V2 didn't generate an alert and didn't defrag server volumes -- well, you see the problem. So, I can't talk about V2 yet. (Just for the record, V2 is not generating an alert for each deleted file or performing on-the-fly defrag while backing up data...I made those up.)
So, let's talk about prototyping instead, just because the User Interface Engineering blog posted an excellent collection of resources yesterday. I wrote a bit about our usability testing last year (has it been that long already?). We used a prototype then, although it was a bit more sophisticated than the paper prototypes mentioned in this article. Although there are great arguments for paper prototyping based on costs and time and efficiency, I think the emotional one is key. As the author explains:
"Modifying a paper prototype is much less painful than for the developers than modifying an actual product. With a real product, because of the substantial amount of work they've put in, the team has an emotional investment in the status quo and will naturally tend to "defend" their design. Even when the team clearly understands the need for changes, it's tough to throw away all that hard work. In contrast, because paper prototypes are so easy to create and modify, there is less invested effort to defend. As a result, development teams become more flexible and willing to try new ideas."
When I read Jeff Alexander's announcement of a new TechNet search engine, my mouse practically leaped to click the link - a better way to search TechNet is something we've all wished for.
I went there. I tried it. I was impressed. The default is the TechNet tab, and it gave me great relevant results. Then I clicked the KnowledgeBase tab and that was full of relevant links. Then I clicked the TechNet Blogs tab and went whoa!
I'm constantly using search at work to locate information on TechNet on other products that I might need to reference when writing about DPM, and this is going to be such a time-saver. Try it!
A recent email from an escalation engineer in England (excuse the alliteration) described a scenario that I think is a great example for understanding data recovery and maximum data loss in DPM. With his permission, let me quote the scenario for you:
Assume an important data file on a protected server that is changing several times an hour.Assume standard synchronisation schedule of once an hour (assume on the hour).Assume standard shadow copy schedule of 3 times a day (08:00, 12:00, 18:00).Scenario 1:
At 13:05 the important data gets corrupted and needs to be recovered.
At that point, the latest data recovery copy available is the 12:00 shadow copy
OR the 13:00 replica. However, to restore from the replica, the administrator would need to force an immediate shadow copy and use that. Administrators who don't fully understand this risk missing being aware of the 13:00 copy and are likely to restore the less up-to-date 12:00 version.
Scenario 2:At 13:55 the important data gets corrupted,
but this isn't noticed till 14:05.In this case the latest 14:00 replica is 'bad' as it is a replica of the corrupted data. Hence in this case, the administrator MUST use the 12:00 shadow copy and not the 14:00 replica (or any 14:05 forced shadow copy).
If the forced 14:05 shadow copy is mistakenly restored, then of course as soon as it is noticed that this is also corrupt they can restore from the 12:00 shadow copy. However, their backup is approximately 2 hours out of date compared to what they possibly expected when the system quotes "Maximum data loss: 1 hour".
The moral of this is that it is important that the administrator understands these concepts and is able to determine which is actually the latest valid backup copy of their data they have, and how old it is, whenever they need to do a restore.
I'm on the new version of Outlook Web Access (OWA) now, which I've been looking forward to ever since I read about some of the new features in Beta 1 on You Had Me At Ehlo (in my opinion, one of the best blog names ever). There were no burps or stumbles in the move over, at least not on my end. But there are a few things I'll have to get used to. One of them is the grouping of emails in the Inbox -- can't seem to get rid of it like I can in Outlook. But what I think is a true oddity is the date in the email list. Take a look at a sample from my Inbox:
I've sort of figured out the rules.
What I haven't figured out, not even sort of, is the thinking behind all of that!
If you've used DPM at all, you're familiar with the process of starting protection of data:
What has happened for several of our customers is that they've tried adding new members to the group or making changes to the protection group settings before step 2 above is complete. So just a reminder - until replica creation is complete, you can't make changes to the protection group. As soon as replica creation is complete, you can add members and change settings all you want!
I can't remember the last time I was this excited by a software program.
I will go to all sorts of lengths to avoid opening a .pdf file -- the experience is just too slow, and it basically renders my computer useless while the opening is going on. Then there's the tortoise-pace of navigating through it. No, anything but a .pdf, please!
Maybe that's the key to customer excitement -- how much pain they were in before you came along...
I was browsing the U3 software to see if I could find a good calendaring app, and came across Foxit for U3. Free download, nothing to lose, so I installed it and then double-clicked on a 343 page .pdf on my desktop. It opened instantly.
I gaped, I admit it. It was a jaw-dropping experience. I grabbed a coworker from the hall so she could witness it herself.
Even better was that when I did a search, I found that there is also a Foxit Reader that I could install on my regular computer, rather than the U3.
I don't have to hate .pdfs anymore. Foxit rocks!
Blake Handler has a great collection of Microsoft resources on his blog - I especially appreciate the troubleshooting section, myself. I couldn't get there a few weeks ago, and I think it might have had to do with Microsoft's changes to the MSN Spaces...
Today Microsoft converted MSN Spaces to Windows Live Spaces and hopefully this latest url (bhandler.spaces.live.com) will be permanent!
Matthew Stibbe's review of the Bullfighter add-on for Word and PowerPoint intrigued me enough to try it. It's a quick and easy install that adds a toolbar to the applications.
I decided to test it against my most recent doc, What's New in Data Protection Manager SP1. (If you're participating in the SP1 beta, you can download it from the Connect website.) I clicked Bull Index on the toolbar and got my results:
"Bull Index: 91Diagnosis: Congratulations - you rely upon standard words to explain concepts. Most concepts will be clear and understood. Keep clean."
(Bullfighter dinged me for "Knowledge Base", but since I was referring to articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, I couldn't very well not use the words.)
The Flesch score wasn't as good, only a 38:
"Diagnosis: Teetering on the edge of unclear. The overall meaning remains discernible, but it becomes possible to lose oneself in corollary thoughts, which may be worth exploration, but which can also detract from the core point of the written article."
Bullfighter's diagnosis there seems to be trying to teach through nonexample!
Next time I'll try it against more complicated documents and see if it's helpful.
I think that content at Microsoft has gotten better over the years at providing examples. Examples are a good thing. What we still tend to overlook are nonexamples.
Nonexamples can be as effective, or even more effective, for learning. They provide an extra dimension that adds depth to a concept. Granted, they might be rather obvious in some circumstances...
"A protection group member is a data source within a protection group. For example, you add volume D:\ on server FS01 to a protection group, so volume D:\ is a protection group member. You did not add volume F:\ to a protection group, so volume F:\ is not a protection group member."
That concept just didn't need a nonexample to make its point. How scheduled consistency checks work did, and it worked itself neatly into the middle of the example:
"For example, on Sunday, you modify your protection group options to schedule a daily consistency check. From Sunday to Wednesday, data protection jobs are successfully completed and all replicas are successfully synchronized. Even though a daily consistency check is scheduled, it does not run because all replicas are consistent. Then, on Thursday, a large number of new files are copied to a protected file server and the synchronization log on the file server runs out of space. The next regular synchronization fails, DPM generates a "replica is inconsistent" alert, and the affected replicas are marked as inconsistent. Because you have scheduled a consistency check, DPM performs the consistency check at the scheduled time and repairs the replicas."
An example of making a point by using only nonexamples is Some Basic Guidelines on Writing Well at Miss Snark's.
In a a recent post, The Old New Thing made reference to terminology errors, citing the system tray as an example.
"One of the most common errors is to refer to the Taskbar Notification Area as the "tray" or the "system tray". This has never been correct."
We recently had several vigorous discussions in our groups about various terms that our product would use. What-will-we-call-this-thing is a fun and interesting exercise, but it's not a science. Bottom line is trying to find a term that will work for the users.
If the users fix on terms that aren't "official", like "system tray", it could be that the official term isn't a good one...maybe we should get crazywild and change "Taskbar Notification Area" to "system tray". Nobody would notice because they always called it that.
Vista is trying to compromise by using the official term but gently acknowledging that it isn't popular: "The notification area is on the taskbar and is sometimes referred to as the system tray."