Verify Bios Mode/Boot Environment Mode in Windows 2008

Typical way is to run msinfo32 and from the start menu but most of the time the information was not there.

Here is the other way round.

1. Check this file : C:\Windows\Panther\setupact.log

2.Launch Control panel - Administrative tools - Computer management
Check Disk management tab. You should have EFI Encrypted partition (around 100mb). Also, when you right-click your HDD, on the Volumes tab you should see GPT partitioning, (not legacy MBR).

The GPT is part of UEFI package

Redirect Avamar System State Backup to another Drives

On Windows 2003 AVAMAR client uses the NTBackup Utility to create a backup of the system state, it stores this backup in var in the avamar client install directory (C:\Program Files\avs\var\).  If the space on that drive is limited you can set an attribute systemstatefile with a value of the full path to store the back up –

To modify the location for just one client individually:

1. Log on the Windows client 
2. Go to the AVAMAR_INSTALL_PATH\avs\var directory 
3. Create a file named avtar.cmd 
4. Edit this avtar.cmd file with notepad and add the parameter as given below: 


For example, 
-- systemstatefile="D:\Avamar_BKF\systemstate.bkf"
Notes: You must now include this location as part of the dataset of the File System backup

Calculate the size of f_cache and p_cache for AVAMAR

Formulas to help determine the correct size of your f_cache and p_cache for AVAMAR backups

AVAMAR F_cache And P_cache Formulas

f_cache = N * 40MB

N = Millions of Files

So for 3 million files:

f_cache = 3 * 40MB = 120MB

p_cache = DB Size in GB/Average Chunk * 20MB

Average Chunk Sizes-
Exchange DB: 16
Microsoft SQL DB: 24

For a 100GB Microsoft SQL DB:
p_cache = 20/24 * 20MB
p_cache = 83.3MB

Add Persistent Route on Windows Server

Login to Windows as administrator or you will get below error when executing the route add command:

The requested operation requires elevation.
Route add command:
C:\> route -p add mask metric 1

This writes the persistent route to the following Windows Registry key as a string value (REG_SZ):


Avamar retention Type

There are two types of Avamar retention settings. 

Basic retention settings specify a fixed expiration date.
Advanced retention settings specify the number of daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly backups to keep.

Basic retention settings
Retention Period: Allows you to specify how long will the backup from the backup taken.

End Date: Specify based on date (When its going to be expired)

No end data: Backups never expire.

Advanced retention settings
Allows you to define how long to keep backups based on how they are tagged. Backup jobs can be tagged as daily (D), weekly (W), monthly (M) and yearly (Y). 

Every backup job is a daily job and is marked with a "D". 

If a backup was made on a Sunday, it is tagged with a "W" to signify it is a weekly. 

The very first backup job of the month is marked as an "M" which stands for monthly. 

The very first backup job of the year is marked with a "Y" for yearly. 

Tags can be combined for backup jobs to create layers of retention. The first backup job of any system is tagged as "DWMY". Jobs made on a Sunday are tagged "DW", while the first backup of the month is marked "DM" if it is not on a Sunday, which is then tagged with a "DWM".

For purposes of assigning advanced retention types, each day begins at 00:00:01 GMT, each week begins on Sunday, each month begins on the first calendar day of that month and each year begins on January 1.

Notes:You cannot apply advanced retention settings to on-demand backups. On-demand backups can occur at any time, and are therefore inherently asynchronous—the system cannot tag them as daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

EMC Avamar 7 new features

Version 7 of the Avamar backup software adds new features in three main areas. These areas, in order of interest to me personally, are:
  • VMware
  • Isilon
  • Data Domain

AVAMAR : Restarting MCS

What is Avamar MCS

The Management Console Server (MCS) provides centralized administration (scheduling, monitoring, and management) for the Avamar server. The MCS also runs the server-side processes used by the Avamar Administrator graphical management console which is serviced by JAVA.  When you start the Avamar GUI you are interacting with the MCS



The MCS interacts with the client avagent to start backup and recovery. Avamar agents are platform-specific software processes that run on the client and communicate with the Management Console Server (MCS) and any plug-ins installed on
that client. The MCS contacts the client’s avagent process and starts an avtar to perform a backup or recovery. 

I have made some changes on configurations on mcserver.xml files /usr/local/avamar/var/mc/server_data/prefs/mcserver.xml and after the changes i'll need to restart MCS to make sure it takes affect.

As usual, you will need to login as ADMIN, or in my case i login as root and then change to Admin ID

admin@utility-01:~/>:su - admin
admin@utility-01:~/>:ssh-agent bash
admin@utility-01:~/>: ssh-add ~admin/.ssh/admin_key
STOP MCS (Its always suggested that you run dpnctl status first before stopping the MCS to check any services is down)
admin@utility-01:~/>: dpnctl stop mcs
dpnctl: INFO: Shutting down MCS...
dpnctl: INFO: MCS shut down.
After MCS Stopped, check the status
admin@utility-01:~/>: dpnctl status
dpnctl: INFO: gsan status: up
dpnctl: INFO: MCS status: down.
dpnctl: INFO: EMS status: up.
dpnctl: INFO: Backup scheduler status: down.
dpnctl: INFO: dtlt status: up.
dpnctl: INFO: Maintenance windows scheduler status: enabled.
dpnctl: INFO: [see log file "/usr/local/avamar/var/log/dpnctl.log"]

Start back MCS

admin@utility-01:~/>: dpnctl start mcs
dpnctl: INFO: Starting MCS...
dpnctl: INFO: To monitor progress, run in another window: tail -f /tmp/dpnctl-mcs-start-output-4109
dpnctl: INFO: MCS started.
Checked again the status
admin@utility-01:~/>: dpnctl status
dpnctl: INFO: gsan status: up
dpnctl: INFO: MCS status: up.
dpnctl: INFO: EMS status: up.
dpnctl: INFO: Backup scheduler status: down.
dpnctl: INFO: dtlt status: up.
dpnctl: INFO: Maintenance windows scheduler status: enabled.
During the start back MCS , there's a line shows to tail one file to monitor the progress. Here is the files, it will show you verbose
root@utility-01:~/#: tail -f /tmp/dpnctl-mcs-start-output-4109
check.mcs                        passed
=== PASS === check.mcs PASSED OVERALL (prestart)
Starting Administrator Server at: Thu Oct 11 14:51:00 SGT 2012
Starting Administrator Server...
2012-10-11 14:51:22.988:INFO::Logging to STDERR via org.mortbay.log.StdErrLog
2012-10-11 14:51:23.065:INFO::jetty-6.1.23
2012-10-11 14:51:23.100:INFO::Extract lib/axis2.war to /usr/local/avamar/var/mc/server_tmp/Jetty_0_0_0_0_9443_axis2.war____.w8a9ms/webapp
2012-10-11 14:51:26.267:INFO::Started SslSocketConnector@
Administrator Server started.
INFO: Starting Data Domain SNMP Manager....
INFO: Connecting to MCS Server: at port: 7778...
INFO: Successfully connected to MCS Server: at port: 7778.
INFO: No trap listeners were started, Data Domain SNMP Manager didn't start.
Sometime, in older version of Avamar when you stopped MCS it will stop the maintanencice and schedule, to start it back run this command:
dpnctl start maint

dpnctsl start sched

Netbackup: oprd returned abnormal status (96)

It started when i got this message on of the the media server:

Mar 11, 2012 2:55:55 PM - awaiting resource mediaserver013_tld2. Waiting for resources.           Reason: Tape media server is not active, Media server:  mediaserver013 ,           Robot Type(Number): TLD(2), Media ID: N/A, Drive Name: N/A,           Volume Pool: LTO2, Storage Unit:  mediaserver013 _tld2, Drive Scan Host: N/A,           Disk Pool: N/A, Disk Volume: N/A 

Further check on media server it self, reveal this error:

root@ mediaserver013 /usr/openv/volmgr/bin/vmoprcmd -doprd returned abnormal status (96)IPC Error: Daemon may not be running
What i did to resolve this:

One media server, stop NBU services
root@ mediaserver013  # /usr/openv/netbackup/bin/goodies/netbackup stop

Stop PBX Exchange on media server
root@ mediaserver013 # /opt/VRTSpbx/bin/vxpbx_exchanged stop

Run nbrbutil command on Master server to reset any allocation on that media server
root@ masterserver#/usr/openv/netbackup/bin/admincmd/nbrbutil -resetMediaServer mediaserver013 

Start PBX Exchange on media server
root@ mediaserver013 # /opt/VRTSpbx/bin/vxpbx_exchanged start

Start NBU services on media server
root@ mediaserver013  # /usr/openv/netbackup/bin/goodies/netbackup start

Types of Backup

This explanations from Acronis is easy to understand for beginners:

RPO and RTO- a worked example

This information i read in Wikipedia (here's the link  ) , im in the midst of designing and writing a proposal for a small organizations for their backup and DR solutions.  In DR scenario, two most important things you must remember is RTO & RPO.  Below is the explanations from wiki page:

The above figure is an example of how RPO and RTO might pan out in a practical situation. Tape is used for backup in this example. The tapes are sent offsite once per day at around the same time, but this timing is not fully guaranteed. The offsiting operation does happen to occur at roughly the same time of day in the chart above. The daily backup offsiting tasks in this example are as follows:
  • A set of backups are made to tape, possibly via a disk staging area? The synchronisation point for each set of backups is late in the backup operation in this example as several large databases have to be backed up and all of them are required for a Synchronisation Point (this is typical of such systems).
  • After that the tapes have to be ejected, collated, and catalogued as they are boxed. It is often the case that offsiting operations are batched across a wide spectrum of systems at a data centre; generally the backups for all services have to wait for the very last one to be created and boxed before they can be sent to the loading bay for transport.
  • Pickups by offsite data repositories are expensive. Generally a daily pickup with a reasonably priced contract will have only an approximate time for pickup and will be predicated on the data centre being ready with the tapes when the van turns up- extra pickups will be generally too expensive to contemplate on a regular basis so a data centre must build contingency time into the preparation period before the pickup is due to occur.
All of which must be done before the pickup- and all of which must be included in the RPO calculation because the synchronisation point being sent offsite depends on backups that were started very near to the start of these activities. So: a recovered service, after a restore from one of these daily backups, will be very likely to start up as at the end of the online day perhaps 13 or so hours or more, before the restored tapes were driven away from the Production data centre.
Against this background, suppose that a Major Incident occurs just before an offsiting pick up (worst case) and as always the assumption is "total site loss, instantly"- so the prepared backups never leave the site. In this case the RPO is set to 48 hours- only twice the normal offsiting cycle. As it happens, on this occasion pickups have been regular for a while and you might make the mistake of thinking that because two offsiting operations have occurred within the RPO period noted above, you have two sets of tapes you might be able to use and still be within the RPO. This is not the case- the earlier set of tapes will produce a recovered service as at a recovery point that is much older than it needs to be to meet the 48 hour RPO. In this example perhaps 12 or 13 hours over that time. In this example, consider the effect of the latest set of offsited tapes being rendered useless by a critically defective tape in the set (perhaps a 5-10% chance?)- as you can see by the example above, you can now NOT meet the RPO at all. Tape capacity is increasing all the time- fewer tapes mean that individual tape defects damage more backed up data.
To complete the picture, the RTO is noted above too. In this case the service was recovered well before the RTO limit was hit. It is however interesting to contemplate the fact that in this example the RTO does NOT start just after the Major Incident. In this example, as often there is in reality, there is seemingly too much delay. A quick decision to go to invocation of the ITSC Plan is always the best decision; in principle... The rule in setting an RTO should be that the RTO is the longest period of time the business can do without the IT Service in question. On the back of this appropriately economic decisions must be taken at the design stage about how the IT Service is built and run. It must be allowed however that some time has to be spent in making the decision to invoke the ITSC Plan, this decision time is an unknown variable- remember too there are often quite large sums of money spent immediately the decision to invoke is taken- staff being called in for extended periods of 24 hour working cover and large fees charged by some recovery service providers. In the example, there is the almost inevitable fudge that the RTO is set to the maximum time the business can do without the service whilst knowing full well that there is very likely to be a period of decision making before it.