Arcserve UDP update 2

It’s been a busy time at Arcserve for me, travelling around a lot and spreading the word around of Arcserve’s capabilities. It is always great to see, that people are surprised of what UDP can do today.

A few weeks ago, update 2 was released for UDP and I think it has some great enhancements and new features in it. In this post, I will highlight a few of the new enhancements and features.

Azure Virtual Standby

First off, UDP update 2 provides new capabilities into Azure;

  • Direct Virtual Standby to Azure (for Windows based protected nodes, physical and virtual)
  • Instant Virtual Machine to Azure for Linux based protected nodes

In the regions, I work for at Arcserve, we see a lot of companies looking into Azure whether this is for production resources or to use as a disaster recovery location. With the new features UDP has it becomes pretty simple to use Azure as disaster recovery option.  I will explain the Virtual standby in this post a bit more;

For VSB into azure you don’t need a RPS server inside Azure itself, the only thing you will need are the resources. VSB will be configured as part of a plan (to read more about VSB please check out my post here)

  • The plan backups a node (physical and/or virtual), it can be a VMware machine, it can be a physical server, it can be virtual machine on AHV using an agent.
  • The VSB task will upload and convert the machine to an Azure VHD including the recovery points (stored as snapshots in Azure)
  • Once uploaded, the monitor server will check the source (and the VSB) node, if it goes down, you will get alerted and can start the VSB from the UDP Console.

Before you use VSB to Azure there are few pre-requisites in Azure;

To prepare your account information you will need the following;

  • Create an Azure Active Directory application registration. Get the Application ID and this will used be as Client ID
  • Generate an authentication key for this application. It will be used as Client Secret Key
  • Get the Tenant ID, which is the ID of the Azure Active Directory in which you created the application registration
  • Assign Contributor role to the application through Subscription Access Control (IAM)
  • Get your Azure Subscription ID

Next you will need to prepare the Azure resources;

  • Resource Group
  • Storage Account
  • Virtual Network and Subnet
  • Network Security Group (make sure you open ports 8014 + 8015 inbound)

I prepared my resources my creating a resource group and add a temporary virtual machine which I deleted after the resources where created.

Once you got this you can start creating the VSB into Azure.

To use virtual standby to Azure, one adds a new virtual standby task to a plan and select Azure as virtualization type.

To add an azure compute account click Add next to the account name;

Add the requested info that you have created under the pre-requisites.

Once done add the resource group and region. For monitoring server you can use the RPS or a proxy server.

The next step is to configure the VM;

Set a prefix and number of snapshots you want to keep (I just use one for demo purposes)

Rest us to add the other details, which are the resources created as part of the pre-requisites.

Once this done, you can start the plan and a virtual standby is created into Azure;

(Note, I am using a home broadband connection so my upload performance is pretty, well what can I say  ….)

Once replicated, you can start the VSB by selecting the node in the resource screen and click the standby action

Select the snapshot (recovery points) and click power on VM

Click Yes to Power On

In Azure you will see that a VM is created called UDPVM_nodename (as I created the prefix UDPVM setting in my plan)

after a few seconds I am able to connect to my server and login

As you can see it is pretty easy to setup a DR scenario into Azure using UDP.

Host Based Agentless backup enhancements and new features

Hyper-V auto protect

With update 2 UDP can now automatically protect virtual machines in Hyper-V. UDP had this already for VMware virtual machines (folders, tags, cluster etc). You can now add container objects in Hyper-V into an agentless plan to auto protect new virtual machines. The following objects can be used;

  • Hyper-V Cluster
  • Hyper-V Host
  • Storage location (CSV, local volumes or SMB)

Please note, that if a VM is removed from a container it is no longer protected unless you added this VM into another plan.

Exclude virtual disk

Another nice new enhancement is that is now possible to exclude virtual disks from backup for both Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines

Select the configure button under Virtual Disk Exclusion,

And select the disks that you want to exclude for backup.

Select storage policy when restoring VM

One enhancement I really like is the ability to select the VMware storage policy when restoring a virtual machine, not only you can select the storage policy but also what virtual disk type you would like to use.

This feature is especially handy for restoring encrypted virtual machines by specifying the encryption policy.

Dashboard Enhancements

With Update 2, the dashboard will show you the Last Task Status instead of Last Backup Status. This is very useful to see if anything went wrong and you can easily see what task had an issue;

You can also sort on the task itself

Another change is for the RTO report, it is no longer the donut view as it changed to an chart now. This will make it easier to see which nodes complied (or not of course) to the SLA profiles. This report is also clickable, so if a node failed one of the policies you can click on the policy to see what node failed.

Message ID and Event IDs

The last enhancement I will mention today is the Message ID and Event ID. Arcserve overhauled this a bit in order to support 3rd party monitoring tools.

You could already enable Event ID on the RPS server to collect the events, however prior to update 2, the message ID where very bare. With update 2 there is lot more depth into this.

There are 3 types of IDs

  • 10k series – all ID’s in the 10k series are errors
  • 20k series – all ID’s in the 20k series are warnings
  • 30k series – all ID’s in the 30k series are informational

So first of all, to enable event ID’s on your RPS server

Open a CMD prompt on your RPS server and go to the path;

C:\Program Files\Arcserve\Unified Data Protection\Engine\BIN

To enable the logs we will be using the CmdUtil.exe tool

You can get a help by typing

CmdUtil /evtlog /?

To enable errors, warnings and informational ID’s type in the following;

Cmdutil /evtlog /reg /ewi

Once done you can see all the messages in the event viewer from when you enabled this;

Arcserve created an overview of the messages in the documentation online which can be found here

There are a lot more enhancements and new functionality which you can find in the release notes:

I would like to thank my colleague Carl Green (@carlosgreenos) for providing me input on the Azure part of this blog. Thanks geeza 🙂

That is it for today



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