Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How to use Hardware VSS Writers with DPM 2010

Hardware VSS Snapshots are a really cool integration feature with Microsoft DPM and once up and running they work really well. They also provide the most efficient method for backing up Clustered Shared Volumes.

When a Hardware VSS Writer initiates a Snapshot – It is normally very quick , DPM then backs up the snapshot and not the live Clustered Shared Volume. When Cluster Shared Volumes are being backed up performance can decrease.

I have not seen any step by step guides or blogs on how to do this , So I thought I would post a step by step guide not only for my own records but too hopefully help someone trying to implement hardware vss writers
with DPM.

Here is a complete list of tested Hardware VSS Writers with DPM , Their setup would be very similar to setup I described below. Most Hardware VSS Writers require a license from the Manufacturer.

You can view the Document HERE

A special thanks to Mark Doyle from He helped me out with this one.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Office 365 Cutover Install

I completed an Office 365 install today and wanted to point out a few things which may help people along.

When using the office 365 mail migration program the server you are migrating from must have a trusted cert.The server I worked on today was an SBS2003 server with a self signed cert , So i just got a 30 day trial verisign cert and that did the trick.To ensure the migration tool will work you need to get all green ticks when running the Exchange Remote Connectivity Analayzer for auto discover.

Sometimes Lync wont connect even though the Office 365 Connector wizard has completed and stated the Lync setup was complete. You can manually enter the external lync server via options. The server I needed to connect to from Dublin was

There are also some updates for Lync Clients

Lync 2010 (32-bit) (7577.256) – Download – KB2496325
Lync 2010 (64-bit) (7577.256) – Download – KB2496325

Once the Office 365 Connector has completed it will display - Additional Manual Steps required to configure Outlook.So you need to create a CNAME called "autodiscover" and point it to ""
I opened up contol panel / mail / profiles then delete the existing profile and then press apply then create a new profile with exactly the same name and allow autodiscover to find your server the reason for recreating a profile with the same name is to preserve the user's NK2 File.

What is my Outlook Web App address. Lets say my domain name was then my Outlook Web App Address would be

What server do I connect to for smart phones??

You can go the Mobile Phone Setup Wizard

Finding My Server Name

To determine your server name, use the following steps:
Sign in to your account using Outlook Web App.
After you sign in, click the drop-down arrow next to the Help question mark, and then click About.
Find the server name listed under External POP setting or Internal POP setting. If your server name is in the format, then your Exchange ActiveSync server name is If your server name includes your organization’s name, for example,, then your server name is the same as your Outlook Web App server name, without the /owa. For example, if the address you use to access Outlook Web App is, your Exchange ActiveSync server name is

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quest Migration Assessment Tool

Quest Migration Assessment

This is cool software from Quest which is free!!! It helps you asses readiness for migration to cloud based email solutions

Sharepoint Online Storage

SharePoint Online allocates an initial 10 GB of storage plus 500 MB for each user. This storage is pooled and available for allocation across multiple site collections. For example, an organization of 1,000 users by default would have a base of 510,000 MB (510 GB) of storage.

In addition, users can purchase more SharePoint Online storage in GB increments charged monthly, currently $2.50USD/GB/month.

Site Storage Quotas
The SharePoint Online service administrator can set the storage limits for site collections and sites created by users. The minimum storage allocated to a new site collection is 24 megabytes (MB). The maximum storage available for any site collection is up to 100 gigabytes (GB).

The maximum SharePoint Online storage available to a single company’s tenancy is 5 terabytes (TB).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Force DPM Tapes to become free. Even with data within retention!

I was recently working on a DPM 2010 Install and needed to force tapes that had data on them that was within a retention policy period to be free as I needed to do an urgent backup onto these LTO 5 Tapes.

DPM doesn't allow you to mark tapes as infinitely over writable, even if you put in 0 days or weeks it will always default back to 1.

So here is a cool powershell script from Microsoft. So visit HERE paste the script into notepad and save as ForceFree.ps1 and copy it into the DPM Bin Folder. And run this command ForceFree.ps1 -DPMServerName -LibraryName -TapeLocation

The tape libary I was using was a "Hewlett Packard 1/8 G2 Autoloader (x64based)" So I entered this info into the command switch when running the force.ps1 powershell script but kept getting an error message saying " Cannot find tape libary Hewlett Packard 1/8 Autoloader (x64based).

So the fix for this is really simple ,

So as per image above on the right hand side , click on Rename Libary. In my case I renamed the libary to LTO5 and then re-ran my powershell script with the new tape libary and it worked fine and I was able to use the tapes to backup data.

Also don't forget to enable quick erase via regedit for tapes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DPM 2007 - DPM2010 Upgrade

Here is a great blog post on DPM2007 - 2010 Upgrade

However I would also use dpmbackup tool.

You can find this in C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\DPM\bin

So open a command prompt with elevated privlages and set your current directory to the bin folder in DPM then run dpmbackup -db

But where does the backup go?

You can find it in \Program Files\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\DPM\Volumes\ShadowCopy\Database Backups and it will be named DPMDB.bak

So if the upgrade goes wrong at least you have your DPM Database backed up!

So an inplace upgrade really is quite simple.If you have not killed the DPMRA executable you will be prompted to do so during the upgrade.

Once the upgrade is complete , Reboot the server and then apply the March 2011 Dpm Rollup which you can download HERE

Upgrade all protected machine's agents and ensure communication is ok with all agents and thats it!