Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery is the planning for and creation of policies and procedures related to the resumption or continuation of an organization's functions following a catastrophic event. The term is most frequently used in relation to failure of networks, but DR preparations also include other business systems and personnel considerations.

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Backups and Disaster RecoveryIn this post, we’ll look at strategies for backups and disaster recovery.
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by:Mihai Corbuleac
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People should trust cloud with their businesses especially because its seems that Cloud is here to stay. Recently I read some interesting facts & figures and this industry is growing faster than expected.
Many businesses neglect disaster recovery and treat it as an after-thought. I can tell you first hand that data will be lost, hard drives die, servers will be hacked, and careless (or malicious) employees can ruin your data.
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We have come a long way with backup and data protection — from backing up to floppies, external drives, CDs, Blu-ray, flash drives, SSD drives, and now to the cloud.
A Bare Metal Image backup allows for the restore of an entire system to a similar or dissimilar hardware. They are highly useful for migrations and disaster recovery. Bare Metal Image backups support Full and Incremental backups. Differential backups are not supported.
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VM backups can be lost due to a number of reasons: accidental backup deletion, backup file corruption, disk failure, lost or stolen hardware, malicious attack, or due to some other undesired and unpredicted event. Thus, having more than one copy of your business-critical VM backups...
First I will try to share a design of a Veeam Backup Infrastructure without Direct NFS Access backup.

Note: Direct NFS Access backup transport mechanism is only available in Veeam v9

In above I try to design the Veeam Backup flow between iSCSI vs NFS.

In this case we did not had the proper configuration so that Direct NFS Access backup transport mechanism could work.

In this case we have a Veeam Backup Server and a Veeam Backup proxy.

Actual Veeam Backup Infrastructure:

192.100.27.x is iSCSI subnet - vLAN 56
192.128.23.x is the NFS Subnet vLAN 55

192.168.6.x(vLAN 25) is Management subnet. Used by Veeam Backup Server, vCenter and most of our ESXi hosts. But we still have some ESXi hosts that use our old management subnet 192.168.68.x
This is why we build a new Proxy with this subnet 192.68.68.x(vLAN 29)

Veeam Server I have(physical server):

1 interface(is 2 with NIC Teaming) for 192.168.6.x for Management Network.
1 Interface(also 2 with NIC Teaming) for 192.168.27.x using iSCSI initiator for the iSCSI connections.

Veeam Proxy(Virtual Machine):
1 interface with 192.168.68.x (vLAN 29) for Management Network.

This was the initial configuration and where Veeam Backup Server and Proxy never use the Direct NFS Access backup transport mechanism. All backups were running always with the option [nbd] for network block device (or network) mode, [hotadd] for virtual appliance mode.

Future Veeam Backup Infrastructure:
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Author Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
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Mounting NFS in a Windows Server is outside of Veeam. Is not Veeam related task.

This is just adding/mounting a NFS Share into a Windows Server. That you should configure in your NAS and then mount in the Windows. Then you can use as a Veeam Backup Repository
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Author Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
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I did also change both Designs, hope now have a better quality.
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From Coral's  "So You Want To Play With Computers" Series

What follows is a tweaked reprint from 2005/06. This is a True Story. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. While this deals with a fairly simple, text file recovery, disk editors (hex editors) are Advanced Tools, and can do some amazing, and dangerous stuff. They give you "byte level access" to EVERYTHING written on your disk. You can do anything from fixing bad sector links, repairing bad file headers, to rebuilding Partition Tables, to tweaking programming code "on the fly".

If you mess up the wrong thing, you can count on reformatting your drive and rebuilding your OS from scratch. Don't say I didn't warn you.

On with the story...

It had been pointed out to me that I use a lot of slang, so.... for over a week, I had been putting together a glossary. After FINALLY getting most of what I could think of in it, I spent a couple of hours arranging and making pretty all the words and definitions I had just been jamming into a text file, as I thought of them.

Fight Night

As it was starting to get into the wee hours of the morning, and things had been going very nicely. I thought I would call it quits for the night. Oh, what the heck! I still had a half a cup of coffee left, so I figured I would just quickly run it through my new spell checker.

Pressed Control-Alt-F12. The little sweetheart popped right up and went through that text file like it …
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Expert Comment

by:Ravi Agrawal
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Very nice and a funny way to write up.
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Author Comment

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; )     Thanks.
Throughout my career I’ve read many articles and performed due diligence on recovering VM’s that broke on the XenServer platform. From my experience and perspective it seems to be an ample amount of confusion as to a good base method to start with.  While there are many routes to recovery there isn’t any “Step One” way to accomplish this.  

I hope to explain a process that I have used many times with success.  The first step is to create a new disk, attach it to a new VM and instantiate the disk image on physical storage.  The simplistic way of doing this is to use VDI-create.  All commands given below are run from the XenServer command line interface.  VDI-create also accept the following parameters.

The first is name-label. This parameter is a readable name for the disk.

      ( name-label=name for the VDI )

The second parameter is type. This Setting sets the type of VDI to create.

      ( type=system | user | suspend | crashdump )

The third parameter is SR. This is the reference of the Storage Repository where the VM's data will be stored.

      ( VDI-create sr-uuid=UUID of the SR where you want to create the VDI )

The Fourth and final parameter is Virtual-size.  This sets the size of the virtual disk in bytes.  Break out your calculator.

      ( virtual-size=size of virtual disk )

      ( vdi-create sr-uuid=UUID of the SR name-label=name of the VDI type=system | user | suspend | crashdump virtual-size=size of virtual disk  )

VDI-create cause the XenServer …

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Thank you so much for this tutorial.

I kindly ask you to complement it with this parallelism: on NTFS sometime some hdd' bad sectors "in the right place", might make to disappear one entire partition.

Really good (paid) data recovery programs will scan that drive and many times they will, not only find the missing partition, but also the entire tree with both directories and folders names and allow to get the data back.

Now translate this breakage to an Citrix XenServer where e.g. on one single 1TB drive, are installed both XenServer (first 4GB more or less + swap) and where the rest of the 1TB drive has been assigned as SR. Well, on that SR is e.g. one single VM guest.

I have one situation where I find the first partition, the Citrix linux partition and tree, but the rest of the disk is seen as raw space.

Using one of those capable data recovery program (able to support linux filesystems), what do you expect to find/search for?
Should that software to support/recognize LVM/LVM2? And what if none of them supports LVM/LVM2?
(BTW, Citrix uses LVM or LVM2?

Thank you for hinting


Author Comment

by:Larrymey Hawkins
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Is the VHD file accessible across the SR? If so can it be mounted by another vm?
IF so re mount in a new vm and run recovery software across the mounted drive as you would on any normal server.

If not the external recovery I have have ran has been with Kernel Linux which Works on LVM and LVM2.


Alternatively I have also used  Knoppix 5.1 LiveCD and ran the standard Raid and volume recovery procedures,  

command dd to extract the first part of the partition and write it to a text file

Create the file /etc/lvm/backup/VolGroup00:

vi /etc/lvm/backup/VolGroup00

Re write config data.

start LVM

/etc/init.d/lvm start

Read in the volume

Backing up data is essential for any office small or large. Most think that a simple USB drive will suffice. Even the USB drives themselves display words like backup.  

Most novices will ask themselves the question “Will this work for my business also?” More often than not it won’t.

Now hold on IT crowd - before you chime in - let me explain. In this article I am specifically speaking about small to medium size business and let’s face it the average substandard made USB drive just won’t do for many reasons.
Single drive failure is one reason and data corruption being another.  This is caused by repeatedly plugging in a USB drive and not properly dismounting. That’s where the NAS (NSS) comes into play. It has dual drives running a raid as to prevent hard drive failure on the backup device its self also USB drives go to sleep and the wake function is not as reliable as the wake function on a proper NAS device.  

The USB drive you have had for years may work, but you have to ask yourself, is the single drive installed worn and do you want to trust your one and only backup to a single drive.  

You should have a server no matter how small on at least a raid 1 (mirroring) to protect against HD failure and data corruption to start with; then, have some sort of NAS device or a USB device that has multiple drives to protect even further.  

This is what we call layered redundancy.  It is common in the IT industry to do this to virtually make the chances of data …
One of the frustrating downsides to using third party RAID hardware is the frequent lack of native driver support in the standard OS.  During install, Windows prompts for third party storage drivers from CD or USB so it is straightforward, but it can be problematic if you need to restore a backup that resides on a RAID drive, or the system drive you are restoring to is a RAID drive. In either case, Windows needs the driver to see the drive.

Norton Ghost 14 includes a stock boot recovery CD, based on Windows Vista, and during the process it does not prompt for the admin to load a custom storage driver. You need to create a custom recovery CD with the third party storage driver included.

In this case, I am using a 3ware 4-channel SATA RAID controller. I have the driver on a CD.

Run Norton Ghost:

1) Before you start, if you are running 64-bit Windows, then copy your third party RAID driver from CD to somewhere on the hard drive. You must copy the 32-bit driver for building the boot CD (see explanation in step 4).

2) From Tasks select Create Recovery Disk..

3) Norton will ask for a Source Location, it wants the Symantec Recovery Disk (your Norton Ghost CD).

4) Insert the Norton CD into the drive and browse to the drive letter. Click Next.

5) Drivers to Include: Norton Ghost 14 Recovery Disk is based on 32-bit Windows Vista. If your target system is also 32-bit, then this screen should show the drivers installed on the system.


Expert Comment

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For a nice open source alternative to Ghost try Clonezilla's LiveCD.  It's Linux based and the Linux kernel includes a lot more drivers stock than Ghost or other Windows PE based solutions. Downside is you can't create the images while the system is running.  Image creation must also be done from boot to the Clonezilla CD.
In this CloudClass Webinar, Quest CTO Mike Dillon gives an overview of the steps involved in building a dynamic disaster recovery plan. Through case studies and an examination of software/hardware tools for monitoring and testing, you'll gain a better understanding of where you are, where you want to be and how to get there with your disaster recovery plan. You'll learn more about:

Business objectives and drivers of a disaster recovery plan
Compliancy regulations to determine appropriate level of preparedness
Steps to determine if your current disaster recovery plans are adequate
How to generate a report of your disaster recovery strengths and loopholes
Testing and remediation
A high-quality version of this video is available for download  (it's a 70 MB file, so it may take awhile--requires gotomeeting codec and Windows Media 9). For worksheets, additional assistance or more information about Experts Exchange, please contact our customer support team.

About the Presenter:

Mike Dillon brings over 18 years of engineering and security experience to his role as the Chief Technology Officer for Quest. As CTO, Dillon leads the technology strategy development and planning for the company. He also serves as chief consultant and director for Professional Services, overseeing a team of consultants, engineers, and project managers. Dillon created and developed the Quest Application and Management Service Providers platforms that are ongoing today.


Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery is the planning for and creation of policies and procedures related to the resumption or continuation of an organization's functions following a catastrophic event. The term is most frequently used in relation to failure of networks, but DR preparations also include other business systems and personnel considerations.