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Netbackup SAN MEDIA Server to back up exchange multiple passive node fail

Created: 16 May 2013 | 3 comments
@omit's picture

Hi,

 

I have a Exchange 2010 DAG with 3 node, 1 active and 2 passive. Each of the exchange server is a NBU 7.1 SAN Media Server, in which in a normal backup, it can backup only it's own data. I wish to backup the passive node onto a tape library

However, wheneven a backup job for the Exchange DAG is being done, the 2nd passive node always fail with errors pertaining to communication betweeen server.

Does SAN MEDIA Server cannot be use on a passive backup of a 3 node exchange DAG?

Thanks 

Operating Systems:

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RLeon's picture

Most DAG I came across don't really have strictly "passive" nodes because all nodes store both active and passive dbs.

But if your passive nodes only have passive dbs and no active dbs, then this technote will solve your problem:
http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH69539

Please note that it skipped alot about setting up an App Cluster (Virtual Storage Unit). You can refer to the Nbu HA guide to find out what it is, why it is needed in this case and how to set it up properly.

You will notice that the technote talks about doing this with Exchange 2007 CCR, but not 2010 DAG. I can confirm that this method works in 2010 DAG (since CCR and DAG essentially work the same way), but unless the technote talks specifically about doing the same with a DAG, it cannot be considered officially supported by Symantec.

 

 

Please note that for App Cluster to work properly, you will need shared backup storage such as with the SAN Media Servers having shared access to the same tape library, or to the same shared CIFS AdvancedDisk disk pool.

This is actually another dilemma. With direct-to-tape backups you cannot do Exchange GRT, nor can you do it with CIFS based disk storage, not officially.

For this reason, and various other issues trying to do SAN based LAN-Free type backups with Exchange DAG, I recommend simply implementing client-side-deduplication for the nodes.

@omit's picture

Hi ,

Current environment do not have a fix active passive node. At any one time, there would be 1 active and 2 passive. We will not able to determine when the active will become passive and visa versa. 

 

How do i proceed with setting up exchange SAN backup with 3 node active passive passive environment?

Any help or direction is greatly appricated.

RLeon's picture

How do i proceed with setting up exchange SAN backup with 3 node active passive passive environment?

The technote referenced in my first post is the only available solution. However, it is not a perfect solution due to the following issues (I'm just repeating what's already said...):

1. Not officially supported for use with Exchange 2010 DAG.

2. Requires a node to only contain passive DBs. If the node suddenly has an active db (which could happen in a DAG), then this configuration is broken.

3. If the active and passive roles are changed between the nodes (which you said could happen in your environment), then the App Cluster (Virtual Storage Unit) cluster resource will need to be manually changed by the Exchange cluster admin to follow the passive node. Otherwise, backups could occur over the LAN, or worst, fail to run if the SAN Media Server nodes uses the Enterprise Client license instead of the Enterprise Server license (I.e., full fledged Media Server).

4. GRT (Granular Recovery Technology) is not supported. Restoring a single mail or mailbox will not be possible. Entire mailbox dbs will have to be restored.