We recently completed a project to move over 300 servers from our old backup infrastructure to a brand new disk-based DPM 2007 solution. We have been very pleased with DPM 2007 thus far, but are finding that it required a fair amount of hand holding in the mornings to kick off failed jobs, increase disk allocations, and perform consistency checks. Unfortunately, the DPM console can only be loaded on the DPM server itself, and it cannot connect to a remote DPM server. That means logging in via RDP to each DPM server and addressing the alerts. After a few weeks of doing this by hand, we added them to our SCOM 2007 server which helped consolidate the alerts to a single interface, but we found we could not modify disk allocations via SCOM.
So I sat down and hashed out DPM Daily Maintenance Script. This powershell script will query the database for alerts and addresses the four most common. Replica disk and Recovery Point Volume threshold exceeded, Replica is inconsistent, and Recovery Point creation failed. The script takes 4 optional parameters:
replicaIncreaseRatio – Percentage of existing replica disk size to increase (ie. 1.1 increases by 10%. This is the default if nothing is specified)
scIncreaseRatio – Percentage of existing recovery point volume size to increase (ie. 1.1 increases by 10%. This is the default if nothing is specified)
replicaIncreaseSize – Fixed value to increase replica disk (ie. 1GB)
scIncreaseSize – Fixed value to increase recovery point volume (ie. 1GB)
The script will first query the database for alerts, and then sorts them alphabetically and by alert type. This means that if a replica became inconsistent because the replica disk threshold was exceeded or if a recovery point creation failed because the recovery point volume threshold was exceeded, the script will increase the size of the volume before re-running the job. Also, for replica disks, the script will actually query the original datasource and resize the replica disk to the current workload’s size plus the ratio or fixed amount specified in the script. This ensures that the replica disk is extended to the proper amount during the first pass in cases where a large amount of data is added to the workload.
We have been running this scripts on 6 DPM servers for about 6 weeks now and I have to say they have virtually eliminated the daily maintenance (I was on vacation for 2 weeks during that time and DPM happily hummed along without any intervention, self-healing twice per day). We still use SCOM to monitor the alerts and are manually checking for replicas that are constantly becoming inconsistent or recovery point creations that are consistently failing and addressing those by hand. We have setup a scheduled task that runs twice per day using the following command line:
C:\Windows\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe -PSConsoleFile “C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\bin\dpmshell.psc1” -command “.’C:\admin\DailyMaintenance.ps1′” >> C:\admin\DailyMaintenance.log
There are a few 3rd party products that can help with these same alerts, and Microsoft is working on making our lives easier with DPM v3, but in the meantime, this should take some of the burden off of the sys admins.