Dec 23, 2010

Can Microsoft DPM Backup a SQL Failover Cluster in an Untrusted Domain? Hell No!

So here is a scenario I have been working on at work for the last day or so. I have set up two sets of failover SQL server Clusters. Four servers total. If you don’t know why someone would do that, it is for high availability. If one of the SQL servers goes offline, it will fail over to the second node in the cluster, and nobody is the wiser. It’s a good thing to do so you can do maintenance during business hours without interruptions, and just to generally cover your bases so you don’t get woken up in the middle of the night due to an outage.

My company’s network is set up kind of weird. I manage multiple domains. This is because I also manage a hosting environment for clients. We backup our servers currently with Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2010 (DPM). Everything has been great with it until now. You see, since I just setup the failover clusters in the hosting environment, I wanted to add them to DPM to back them up. The DPM server is joined to a different domain, so I had to manually install the DPM agents on each of the failover nodes. Here is where I noticed an issue.

DPM could see that each node was a part of a failover cluster, but under the cluster I had no options to back up anything! WTF?!? Well it turns out, this type of setup is not supported by Microsoft. Check it out. In fact, there are a lot of things NOT supported in untrusted networks, or in workgroups setups. Check them out:


Click The Image To Enlarge

My workaround for this situation is to simply use SQL maintenance tasks to backup SQL on these clusters to flat bak files, and just back those up with DPM. It’s not ideal, but it beats a sharp stick in the eye. If these clusters were in the same domain as the DPM server, it wouldn’t be an issue at all. Damn it Microsoft! Why is it that companies like Symantec can make a better backup product than you for your software? You guys should be the ones that know the best way to backup your stuff! I hope this is fixed in the next release!

[Via Technet]

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