Exchange 2007 passive node Information Store service

Hello,
I currently have a 2 node Exchange 2007 CCR cluster.  It's been working fine for about a year now with the Information Store service on the passive node turned off and set to "Manual".  

I am using an off-site backup solution (Evault) that I'm trying to configure to backup Exchange 2007 from the passive node (as recommended by Microsoft).  In working with their support, they metioned that the Information Store service on the passive node should be started.  This doesn't make much sense to me, and from what I remember, goes against Microsoft's recommendation that Information Store services should not be running concurrently on a cluster.

Does anybody have any info in this?  Should the service be running on both nodes at the same time?  Is there a Microsoft article explaining this?

Thank you
mcascioAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
Is this a VSS aware backup solution. If yes then there should be no problem to configure this backup soution on passive node.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
Yes, I believe it is VSS aware.  Here is an error message generated:

12-Apr 01:30 EXVS-F-8559 All databases in the backup selection are dismounted. The backup will fail.
12-Apr 01:30 BKUP-I-4115 no files selected from $EXCHANGEVSS$:\.\*.*
12-Apr 01:30 BKUP-I-4115 no files selected from $CAT$:\C\Program Files\EVault Software\Agent\{server name}\*.*
12-Apr 01:30 BKUP-E-4706 job will be forced to fail
12-Apr 01:30 BKUP-F-4110 job failed to complete

However, the database are NOT dismounted.  I was on their website researching this error and it mentioned that it means it cannot connect to the Information Store.  Again, that service is off and set to manual and I don't think it should be started on the passive node, but I could be wrong.
0
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
Yes you need to start Information store service on passive node, also make sure exchange replication service is running. check below MS article specially log truncation section
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998870(EXCHG.80).aspx
0
Determine the Perfect Price for Your IT Services

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden with our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Download your free eBook now!

mcascioAuthor Commented:
thanks for the article.  However, if I'm reading that correctly, it mentions that the Replication service on the passive node contacts the Information Store service on the active node.  Which is what I'd expect.  I'm wondering why the Information Store service would need to be started on the passive node.

We use Backup Exec for our onsite backups and it can back up from the passive copy without needing to start the Information Store on the passive node.  This is what makes me hesitant to start the service on the passive node.  

anybody else have any feedback on the Information Store service running concurrently on both active and passive nodes of a CCR cluster?
0
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
Backup exec is not a VSS aware solution thats why. if you read log truncation section again it is clearly mentioning that you need to start information store service on passive node if you need to take backup on passive node.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
Perhaps you can explain "VSS aware" to me, as I've found this article from Backup Exec's tech docs:

When creating a backup, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery alerts the Volume Shadow Copy Service that a backup is about to be created. VSS then communicates this information to the VSS-aware databases and puts them into a quiesced (sleep) state. While in the quiesced state, the database continues to write to transaction logs while it is being backed up. Once the databases are quiesced, Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery takes the snapshot. VSS is then notified that the snapshot is completed and the databases are awakened and the transaction logs are transferred back to the database. Backup Exec System Recovery then stops the VSS service. Meanwhile, the backup is created. The databases are only quiesced for the snapshot, and are active for the rest of the image creation.

I'm not trying to be a pain, but obviously I don't want to start a service that hasn't been running unless I am convinced I absolutely need to.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
Also, in my Exchange 2007 job in Backup Exec, I've used the "Perform consistency check when using the VSS snapshot provider" option.  
0
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
oh you were talking about Symantec backup exec. I have confused it with the default backup utility. as per the text mentioned by you it seems that it is VSS aware but i dont understand what do you mean by onsite backups?
As per MS  "in CCR if the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is not running, you cannot make backups from the passive node. Running the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is required so that backups can be coordinated and the database header can be updated."
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
do you happen to have that link from MS regarding the backups from the passive node?  I was trying to find something like that myself.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
this is from the article you posted above:

"The database header modifications resulting from the backup are then made by the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service on the active storage group. This action generates a log record, which through continuous replication is copied to the passive node."

the database header mods are made by the service on the ACTIVE node.  
0
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
I dont think you are reading it correctly, please read it again.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
I've resolved the problem.

I created a new job and did a resynch in the backup application.  It's able to backup from the passive node without the services being started.  Then, I just redirect the restore to the RSG on the active node.

This only reinforces my belief that sometimes it's good not to listen to 3rd party vendors!
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
The infomation i provided is as per the question asked,  Ms article is clearly quoting this "if the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is not running, you cannot make backups from the passive node. Running the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is required so that backups can be coordinated and the database header can be updated." which is the answer of this question. the solution you have metioned might not work in all situation thus cannot be accepted as resolution.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
Your answer was incorrect for my problem.  I didn't start the Information Store service on the passive node, and it's still backing up without a problem.  If it doesn't work for others, then I hope they find a solution like I did.

With that being said, I didn't award any points because your solution was not the one I used.
0
Khurram Ullah KhanCommented:
Hi quomodo,
the requestor has asked following question which i have provided the answer.

Mcascio question:
"Does anybody have any info in this?  Should the service be running on both nodes at the same time?  Is there a Microsoft article explaining this?"
My answer,

Ms article is clearly quoting this "if the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is not running, you cannot make backups from the passive node. Running the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service is required so that backups can be coordinated and the database header can be updated." which is the answer of this question

Following is the MS link for this
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998870(EXCHG.80).aspx
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
Man, give it up.  The Information Store service DOES NOT need to be running on the passive node.  You can spin it any which way you want, but I have verified that it does not.
0
mcascioAuthor Commented:
I have no objections that the Information Store service needs to be started on the ACTIVE node, but that wasn't my question.

Read this quote from your article:
 As soon as you start a backup of a passive storage group, the Microsoft Exchange Replication service contacts the Microsoft Exchange Information Store service that controls the active group and tells it that a backup is about to start.

Note, it mentions ACTIVE node.

My backups are running perfectly for the last two days with the passive node Information Store STOPPED and in manual mode.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Exchange

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.