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Backup – Restore – DR strategy in a Fast changing World #Data #Management

The world of data is moving and changing a lot with new IT technologies coming up like leaves on a tree.
Data is everywhere, on Servers, workstations, BYOD Devices in the Cloud but how do you keep your data save and protected for your business today and in the future? There are a lot of reasons why you should Backup your data :

  • One of your employees accidentally deleted important files for example.
  • Your data got compromised by a virus.
  • Your Server crashed
  • You have to save your data for a period of time by Law
  •  And there will be more reasons why you should do backup…………….

A lot of Enterprise organizations are moving to the Cloud with workloads for the Business, but how is your Backup and Disaster Recovery managed today? A lot of data transitions are made but what if your Backup and Disaster Recovery solution is out dated or reaching end of Life? You can have a lot of Questions like :

  • What data should I backup?
  • Should I just upgrade the Backup Solution?
  • How can I make my Data Management Backup -DR Solution Cheaper and ready for the future?
  • How can I make my new Backup-DR Solution independent? ( Vendor Lockin)

And there will be more questions when you are in this scenario where you have to renew your Backup – DR Solution.
Here we have the following Great Backup Solution from 2014 :

Offsite Microsoft DPM Backup Solution since 2014

Here we have 3 System Center Data Protection Manager Backup Pods with a Tape library and One DPM pod connected with a Microsoft Azure Backup Vault in the Cloud. You do the Security updates and the Rollups for Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 to keep the Solution save and running.

Long Time Protection to Tape

DPM 2012 Server with direct attached Storage for Short time protection

The four DPM Backup Pods have the same Storage configuration for short time protection with a retention time of 15 days. After that Longtime protection is needed with Backup to tape and Backup to Microsoft Azure Backup Vault.
Since 2014 the Backup data is depending on these solution configurations.

Tape Management cost a lot of time and money

The fourth DPM Backup pod got a Azure Backup Vault in the Cloud to save Tape Management time.

DPM Backup to Microsoft Azure Cloud Backup Vault.

So this is the Start of the Journey to a New Data Management Backup – DR Solution transformation. The next Couple of weeks I will search for the different scenarios and solutions on the Internet and talk with the Community looking for Best Practices. I will do Polls on Social Media and a Serie of blogposts for the Data Management Backup – DR Solution to keep the business continuity.

Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions

Will it be a Cloud Backup – DR Solution?
Will it be a Hybrid Cloud Backup – DR Solution?
Everything in One Management Console?
Or More then One Backup -DR Solution for the right Job?

We will see what the journey will bring us based on Best Practices  😉


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#Microsoft SQL Always-On Cluster vs #SQL Managed Instance in #Azure

SQL Always-On Cluster in Azure

Before we start with building this SQL Always-On Cluster we already have some Azure SDK Components Active in the Azure Subscription to work with:

  • Virtual Network VNET-001 is already installed
  • Subnet-SQL and Subnet-Domaincontrollers
  • Network Security Groups (NSG) with the right rules active
  • Two domain controllers
  • Azure Keyvault ( for disk Encryption)

We deployed three Virtual Machines in an Availability Set :

  • Primary SQL Node VM01
  • Secondary SQL Node VM02
  • Witness Server

The deployment was with ARM Template :

VM Deployment

Copy and paste the JSON in your template editor like Visual Studio Code for Example or in the Azure Portal Template builder.

Visual Studio Code

Azure Portal Template

Read more how to deploy ARM Templates via Microsoft Azure Portal here

You also can create a Private or Public Repository on GitHub and store your ARM Templates there in a Library.

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Learn new skills by completing fun, realistic projects in your very own GitHub repository. Get advice and helpful feedback from our friendly Learning Lab bot.

Create a SQL Server 2014 Always On Availability Group in an existing Azure VNET and an existing Active Directory instance via GitHub :

https://github.com/Azure/azure-quickstart-templates/tree/master/sql-server-2014-alwayson-existing-vnet-and-ad

Configure Always On Availability Group in Azure VM manually :

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/windows/sql/virtual-machines-windows-portal-sql-availability-group-tutorial

Important Tip :

Don’t forget to get the right connectivity between Azure Load Balancer and the SQL Always-On Listener :

## Get the Cluster Resource Information:
Clear-Host
Get-ClusterResource `
| Where-Object {$_.ResourceType.Name -like “IP Address”} `
| Get-ClusterParameter `
| Where-Object {($_.Name -like “Network”) -or ($_.Name -like “Address”) -or ($_.Name -like “ProbePort”) -or ($_.Name -like “SubnetMask”)}

#############################################################

## Set Cluster Parameters:
$ClusterNetworkName = “Cluster Network 1” # the cluster network name (Use Get-ClusterNetwork on Windows Server 2012 of higher to find the name)
$IPResourceName = “IPlistener” # the IP Address resource name
$ListenerILBIP = “10.x.x.x” # the IP Address of the Internal Load Balancer (ILB). This is the static IP address for the load balancer you configured in the Azure portal.
[int]$ListenerProbePort = 80

Import-Module FailoverClusters

Get-ClusterResource $IPResourceName | Set-ClusterParameter -Multiple @{“Address”=”$ListenerILBIP”;”ProbePort”=$ListenerProbePort;”SubnetMask”=”255.255.255.255″;”Network”=”$ClusterNetworkName”;”EnableDhcp”=0}

############################################################

Before you start with your SQL workloads from On-premises Datacenter on Microsoft Azure, have a look if PaaS Azure SQL Managed Instances is something for your Organization with all the benefits.

What is Microsoft Azure SQL Managed Instance?

Managed instance is a new deployment option of Azure SQL Database, providing near 100% compatibility with the latest SQL Server on-premises (Enterprise Edition) Database Engine, providing a native virtual network (VNet) implementation that addresses common security concerns, and a business model favorable for on-premises SQL Server customers. The managed instance deployment model allows existing SQL Server customers to lift and shift their on-premises applications to the cloud with minimal application and database changes. At the same time, the managed instance deployment option preserves all PaaS capabilities (automatic patching and version updates, automated backups, high-availability ), that drastically reduces management overhead and TCO.

Read here more on Microsoft Docs about Azure SQL Services

Conclusion :

When you have a lot of SQL workloads and want to go to Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, analyze your existing workloads well and have a look first at Microsoft Azure SQL Managed Instances. With this Azure PaaS Service, you don’t have to manage the Complete Infrastructure like in a SQL Always-On Cluster (IaaS).

Have a good look at the requirements and Microsoft Data Migration Services can help you out.

SQL Server instance migration to Azure SQL Database managed instance