Unable to use a DR file within the SDR environment that is older than the automatic number of sets displayed

Unable to use a DR file within the SDR environment that is older than the automatic number of sets displayed

Article: 100032890
Last Published: 2016-08-22
Ratings: 0 0
Product(s): Backup Exec

Problem

The Backup Exec Simplified Disaster Recovery (SDR) process maintains only a set number of point in time backup sets as suitable for disaster recovery operations (the default and minimum is 3). If copies of older .DR files have been maintained by the Backup Administrator then it is difficult to understand how they can be used within the SDR environment. 

Cause

Since Backup Exec 2010 R3 was replaced by newer versions of Backup Exec (2012, 2014 and 15) , the behaviour of SDR (when compared with Intelligent Disaster Recover/IDR) was changed to:
  • use the catalogs and BEDB  as the providers of DR information for Remote SDR (where the media server still exists and a remote server is being recovered) 
  • use .DR files as the providers of DR information for local SDR 
  • maintain the records of multiple DR sets in each .DR file (instead of maintaining separate .DR files for each DR set)
  • limit the number of DR sets maintained for SDR, against both .DR file content and catalog/BEDB content, to a default of 3 (the default can be adjusted and is also the minimum, see related articles)
Typically DR operations  are used to retrieve a recent good backup of a server, which means the above changes should not be an issue as 3 DR sets should cover for a problem with the most recent set whilst still allowing recovery of up to 2 recent but older sets as protection for any such problems.
It is not recommended to completely recover a system from too long ago, as this might introduce losses of more recent data or cause issues within Active Directory, the recommended practice for older data is to identify the specific data and individually restore that specific data using standard restore processes and not a DR process.  
 

Solution

Consider increasing  the number of DR sets retained for SDR above the default of 3 (see related articles), however note that as this affects the size of the .DR files, and can cause performance and stability issues, then the setting should not be increased to too large a value and should therefore be kept close to the default value. 

If older .DR files, that were created by SDR, have been copied and the backup sets are still available then the following steps (which assume you already have a working bootable SDR disk) should allow a recovery for NAS drives, or locally attached USB, Tape or SAN devices.
  1. If the backup sets are on Tape, SAN disk, USB disk (or USB attached removable disk/RDX) that can be moved to the remote system then attach this storage to that system first (Note: the copied .DR files can be added into a subfolder within the same disk storage to simplify access) 
  2. Boot up the remote server from the SDR disk
  3. If intending to recover from a network accessible share, inside the SDR Recovery Console, click the Network Tab (down the left side) and choose Start My Networking Services. It is recommended to then choose Network Settings and manually specify an IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS servers (although in some environments DHCP may handle this)
  4. If intending to recover from a network accessible share, click the Utilities Tab and choose Start Command Prompt. Use this window to do some ping tests to confirm network connectivity to the Backup Exec Server and/or the server/NAS device holding the B2D data. (note: this step is just for validation and may not be necessary 
  5. If intending to recover from a network accessible share, go to the Network Tab again and choose Map Network Drive. Use this to connect to network locations holding the .DR file and the B2D data (if not already enabled a share may need creating for the B2D location to achieve this). Then return to the command prompt and use DOS commands (change drive, CD and DIR) ,  to make sure that access is possible to expected files via the mapping.
  6. Click the Recovery Tab and choose Recover this Computer
  7. Select The data is located on devices locally attached to this computer (choosing the other option does not allow the use of specific .DR files)
  8. Within the screen showing the .DR files that were available at the time the SDR disk was created, click the Browse button to load a different .DR file. This can be from a USB disk attached prior to the boot or from a mapped network location (which you can find by expanding This PC and Network locations within the dialog)
  9. After returning to the screen listing the available .DR files, select the required .DR file and click Next to choose the required Backup Set in the drop down.
  10. If necessary, use the displayed list of media to confirm if any media is missing from the storage location 
  11. Click Next
  12. In the Which Storage Device screen (assuming it has not automatically detected the storage) click the Browse button to go to the mapped  drive or access locally connected storage devices (tape, USB disk, etc) in a similar manner to that used to open the .DR file.
  13. Continue though the SDR wizard to complete the restore. 

Notes/Limitations:
  • The above process converts a remote SDR Environment into a local SDR Environment  and thus allows the specifying of specific .DR files, the remote SDR process itself (selecting The data is located on devices attached to a remote Backup Exec server) is limited to the specific, more recent, sets.
  • The above method can only be used for disk based (B2D sets) in shares and disk or tape devices that can be moved to the server being restored, DR sets held in a Deduplication Storage Folder or in tape and disk devices available only to the remote Backup Exec server cannot use this method and are therefore limited to the most recent DR sets.  
  • The method can be used with a DR site where either the performance is limited or there is no access to the network storage owning the DR sets at the production site (as long as the storage device or the content of the storage device can be moved to the DR site)
  • If copies of the .DR files were not taken then the method cannot used as backup job activities make rolling changes to the .DR files and do not maintain copies.
  • Manual DR processes, from all storage types, where the OS is installed with same name and IP address before installing the Backup Exec Remote Agent and creating restore jobs for the various required resources will still be available as long as the backup sets themselves have not expired or been overwritten. 
  • The above process was written from a Backup Exec 15 configuration, slight differences may exist for SDR configurations against other Backup Exec versions.
  • DR files created with the older IDR process (Backup Exec 2010 R3 and earlier) cannot be used with  the SDR disk.
  • Access to SAN drives and tape device may need additional HBA (SCSI/FC) controller drivers and tape device drivers to be added into the SDR image and will only be supported if WinPE compatible drivers are available for the devices in question. 
  • Troubleshooting how to get SAN attached devices OR locally attached tape devices working within the SDR environment is outside the scope of this particular article.


 

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