Saturday, June 23, 2012

Exchange 2010 Management Shell will not open.

I recently had a problem on a customer site that had dag in another DR site.So the DR site had one cas/hub server and 2 mailbox servers.

Powershell is crucial for DAG as everything done in the exchange management console is essentially sending through powershell commands.So when I was opening up the exchange management shell i was getting this error.

"Connecting to remote server failed with the following error message: The WinRM client cannot process the request. It cannot determine the content type of the HTTP response from the destination computer. The content type is absent or invalid. For more information, see the about_Remote_Troubleshooting Help topic."

So when i connected to exchange management shell the error message above would display and then the management shell would connect to the cas/hub server.So if I wanted to run any DAG related powershell commands I couldnt because the cas/hub servers didnt have the mailbox role. So i did a lot of research on the internet and tried everything like:

  • Running winrm quickconfig
  • Adding in the winrm iis listener feature
  • Checking iis bindings

I then came across a blog posting whereby adding and removing the wsman and kerbauth modules in the powershell site in iis.So when i clicked on add-module I got the error displayed in the image below.

So to fix it I copied the webconfig file from another mailbox server that had the exchange management shell working fine and replaced the webconfig file on the troublesome mailbox servers and the powershell worked fine.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Using Hardware VSS writers with DPM

I blogged previously on setting up Dell Equal Logic Hardware VSS writers with DPM. I find setting up HP application aware snapshot manager with Lefthand Storage Area Networks much much easier. And once setup , you can forget about it and have the comfort that your virtual environment is safely backed up.

So I will start by a step by step guide on how I recently set this up and what worked for me.

Install the HP Application aware snapshot manager version and then enter the credentials for the saniq management group. In the image below there are 2 sans a p4300 and p4500

Then test the credentials

Then Delete the %Programfiles%\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config\DataSourceGroups.xml file from the DPM server.

Add this dword value to the dpm server with a value of 2

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Data Protection Manager\2.0\Configuration\MaxAllowedParallelBackups

I then create a protection group for hyper-v virtual machines and create a protection group per clustered shared volumes.Another thing which i have found to work quite well is to have all virtual machines on 1 clustered shared volume to be managed by one node and then the other clustered shared volume will be managed by another node.So when the scheduled DPM protection group runs it speaks to the hardware vss writer which then speaks to the lefthand san which takes a snapshot.You can use System Center Virtual Machine Manager to migrate storage if required.

If you take a look at the management group within San IQ , You will see the snapshot being created and deleted when the protection group completes it's backup.Also during a scheduled protection group's backup if you look in the monitoring tab and jobs in progress you will notice excellent throughput on the running backup job.

Always make sure you have enough space on your Lefthand sans for snapshots.

And the end result is healthy protection groups.