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Rapid Recovery 6.0.2 - User Guide

*** Legend Introduction to Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery Understanding the Rapid Recovery Core Console Working with repositories Managing Rapid Recovery Core settings Using custom groups Working with encryption keys Protecting machines using the Rapid Recovery Core Working with Microsoft Exchange and SQL Servers Protecting server clusters Exporting protected data to virtual machines Managing protected machines Understanding replication Managing events Generating and viewing reports Restoring data Understanding bare metal restore for Windows machines Retention and archiving Managing cloud accounts Working with Linux machines Understanding the Local Mount Utility Central Management Console Understanding the Rapid Recovery Command Line Management utility Understanding the Rapid Recovery PowerShell module
Prerequisites for using PowerShell Working with commands and cmdlets Rapid Recovery PowerShell module cmdlets Localization Qualifiers
Extending Rapid Recovery jobs using scripting Rapid Recovery APIs Glossary

Configuring machine settings

Once you have added machines for protection in Rapid Recovery, you can easily view and modify the settings that govern the behavior of that protected machine. When you modify settings for a specific machine, those settings supersede the behavior set at the Core level.

You can view and configure the following machine settings in the Rapid Recovery Core Console:

  • General. General machine configuration settings include display name, host name, port, encryption key, and repository. For information about configuring general settings for a machine, see Viewing and modifying protected machine settings.
  • Nightly jobs. The subset of Core nightly job settings that appear for a specific protected machine allow you to supersede nightly job settings set at the Core level. This includes rollup, which lets you manage the retention policy. Some settings may differ based on the type of machine that is protected.
  • Transfer settings. Settings specific to managing data transfer processes for the selected protected machine. For information about the types of data transfer affected by these settings, see About modifying transfer settings.
  • Excluded writers. These settings let you exclude writers. These are machine-specific. A writer is a specific API published my Microsoft to allow other software components to participate in using Microsoft Volume Shadow Services (VSS). Each of the writers in Rapid Recovery that participate in volume snapshots are listed in the Excluded Writers settings. In the event that a writer is interfering with or precluding successful backup transfers, these can be disabled one by one. Dell recommends leaving these settings alone, unless you are otherwise directed by a Dell Support representative.
  • License details. These are details about the license for the specific protected machine. These settings report information from the Core and the Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery License Portal. These settings are read-only. To change these settings, update your license information between the Core and the license portal. See your license administrator for details. For more information, see the Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery License Portal User Guide.

The procedure for viewing or changing machine-level settings is identical for general, excluded writers, and license details. For more information, see Viewing and modifying protected machine settings.

The procedure for modifying nightly jobs for a machine is different. For information about configuring nightly job settings for a machine, see Customizing nightly jobs for a protected machine.

In some cases, you may want to adjust the data transfer rate for a protected machine. For more information, see About modifying transfer settings.


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Viewing and modifying protected machine settings

Machine settings help determine the behavior of a machine protected by the Core. When you modify settings for a specific machine, those settings supersede the behavior set at the Core level.

Complete the steps in this procedure to view and modify general settings, transfer settings, settings for excluded writers, and licensing settings for a protected machine.

Note: To view and modify nightly job settings, see Customizing nightly jobs for a protected machine.

This task is also a step in the Modifying cluster node settings.

  1. In the Rapid Recovery Core Console, under the Protected Machines menu, click the IP address or machine name for the machine for which you want to view or modify configuration settings.
    The Summary page for the selected machine appears.
  2. Click the Settings menu.

    The Settings page appears, showing settings for the selected machine. Optionally, to display setting categories from anywhere on the page, click the appropriate hyperlink on the left side of the page.

    When you click on a setting you want to change, that setting becomes editable as a text field or a drop-down menu.

    For each setting, when satisfied with your changes, click [Checkmark] to save the change and exit edit mode, or click [Cancel] to exit edit mode without saving.

  3. To modify general settings for a protected machine, click the appropriate setting, and then enter the configuration information as described in the following table.
    Table 1. General settings for a protected machine
    Text Box Description
    Display Name Enter a display name for the machine.

    This is the name that displays for a protected machine in the Rapid Recovery Core Console. You can enter up to 64 characters. By default, this is the host name of the machine. You can change this to something more user-friendly if needed. Do not use prohibited characters or prohibited phrases.

    Host Name Enter a host name for the machine.
    Port Enter a port number for the machine.

    The port is used by the Rapid Recovery Core service to communicate with this machine. The default port is 8006.

    Encryption Key If you want an encryption key that is already defined for this Rapid Recovery Core to be applied to the data for every volume on this protected machine, you can specify the encryption key here. The key must be unlocked. If no encryption keys exist, you can add an encryption key. For more information on managing encryption keys, see Managing encryption keys.

    If the volumes on this protected machine are encrypted, you can change to a different encryption key. Alternatively, you can disassociate an encryption key by selecting (none) from the Encryption key drop-down menu.

    Note: After you apply an encryption key, change an encryption key, or disassociate an encryption key for a protected machine, Rapid Recovery takes a new base image upon the next scheduled or forced snapshot.
    Repository Select a repository for the recovery points.

    Displays the repository configured on the Rapid Recovery Core in which to store the data from this machine.

    The repository volume can be local (on storage attached to the Core server), or on a volume on a CIFS shared location.

    Note: The Repository setting on this page can only be changed if there are no recovery points or if the previous repository is missing.
  4. To modify nightly job settings for a protected machine, see Customizing nightly jobs for a protected machine.
  5. To modify Exchange settings for a protected Exchange server, in the Exchange Server Settings section, click Enable automatic mountability check, and do the following:
    • To enable automatic mountability checks, select the check box, and then click [Checkmark].
    • To disable automatic mountability checks, clear the check box, and then click .
    For more information about automatic mountability checks, see About Exchange database mountability checks.
  6. To modify transfer settings for a protected machine, click the appropriate setting, and then enter the configuration information as described in the following table.
    Note: For conceptual information about transfer settings, see About modifying transfer settings.
    Table 2. Transfer Settings for a protected machine
    Text Box Description
    [Restore default] Restore Default This control restores all transfer settings to the system default settings.
    Priority Sets the transfer priority between protected machines. Enables you to assign priority by comparison with other protected machines. Select a number from 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest priority. The default setting establishes a priority of 5.
    Note: Priority is applied to transfers that are in the queue.
    Maximum Concurrent Streams Sets the maximum number of TCP links that are sent to the Core to be processed in parallel per protected machine, for machines protected in a DVM repository.
    Note: Dell recommends setting this value to 8. If you experience dropped packets, try increasing this setting.
    Maximum Concurrent Writes Sets the maximum number of simultaneous disk write actions per protected machine connection.
    Note: Dell recommends setting this to the same value you select for Maximum Concurrent Streams. If you experience packet loss, set slightly lower—for example, if Maximum Current Streams is 8, set this to 7.
    Use Core Default Maximum Retries Select this option to use default retries number for each protected machine, if some of the operations fail to complete.
    Maximum Segment Size Specifies the largest amount of data, in bytes, that a computer can receive in a single TCP segment. The default setting is 4194304.

    Do not change this setting from the default unless directed to do so by a Dell Support representative.

    Maximum Transfer Queue Depth Specifies the amount of commands that can be sent concurrently. The default setting is 64.

    You can adjust this to a higher number if your system has a high number of concurrent input/output operations.

    Outstanding Reads per Stream Specifies how many queued read operations will be stored on the back end. This setting helps to control the queuing of protected machines. The default setting is 0.
    Transfer Data Server Port Sets the port for transfers. The default setting is 8009.
    Transfer Timeout Specifies in minutes and seconds the amount of time to allow a packet to be static without transfer.
    Snapshot Timeout Specifies in minutes and seconds the maximum time to wait to take a snapshot.
    Snapshot Cleaning Timeout Specifies in minutes and seconds the maximum time for process of deleting VSS snapshot on a protected machine.
    Network Read Timeout Specifies in minutes and seconds the maximum time to wait for a read connection. If the network read cannot be performed in that time, the operation is retried.
    Network Write Timeout Specifies the maximum time in seconds to wait for a write connection. If the network write cannot be performed in that time, the operation is retried.
  7. To modify settings for excluded writers, click the appropriate setting, and then enter the configuration information as described in the following table.
    Table 3. Excluded Writers settings for a protected machine
    Text Box Description
    Excluded Writers Select a writer if you want to exclude it. Since the writers that appear in the list are specific to the machine you are configuring, you will not see all writers in your list. For example, some writers you may see include:
    • ASR Writer
    • COM+ REGDB Writer
    • Performance Counters Writer
    • Registry Writer
    • Shadow Copy Optimization Writer
    • SQLServerWriter
    • System Writer
    • Task Scheduler Writer
    • VSS Metadata Store Writer
    • WMI Writer
  8. License details for a protected machine are read-only. License detail information is described in the following table.
    Table 4. License details for a protected machine
    Text Box Description
    Expiration Date Indicates the expiration date of the license for the selected protected machine.
    License Status Indicates the current status of the license for the selected protected machine.
    License Type Indicates the type of the license for the selected protected machine.
    Agent type Indicates if the current protected machine is a physical or virtual agent.

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About modifying transfer settings

In Rapid Recovery, you can modify the settings to manage the data transfer processes for a protected machine. The transfer settings described in this section are set at the protected machine level. To affect transfer at the Core level, see Modifying transfer queue settings.

Rapid Recovery supports Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 for normal transfers, both base and incremental, as well as with restore, bare metal restore, and virtual machine export.

There are three types of transfers in Rapid Recovery:

  • Snapshot. Backs up the data on your protected machine. Two types of snapshots are possible: a base image of all protected data, and an incremental snapshot for data updated since the last snapshot. This type of transfer creates recovery points, which are stored on the repository associated with the Core. For more information, see Managing snapshots and recovery points.
  • Virtual Machine Export. Creates a virtual machine (VM) from a recovery point, containing all of the data from the backup of the protected machine, as well the operating system and drivers and associated data to ensure the VM is bootable. For more information, see Exporting protected data to virtual machines.
  • Restore. Restores backup information to a protected machine. For more information, see About restoring volumes from a recovery point.
    Note: The entire volume is always rewritten during restore of Windows systems using EFI system partitions.

Data transfer in Rapid Recovery involves the transmission of a volume of data along a network from protected machines to the Core. In the case of replication, transfer also occurs from the originating or source Core to the target Core.

Data transfer can be optimized for your system through certain performance option settings. These settings control data bandwidth usage during the process of backing up protected machines, performing VM export, or performing a restore. These are some factors that affect data transfer performance:

  • Number of concurrent agent data transfers
  • Number of concurrent data streams
  • Amount of data change on disk
  • Available network bandwidth
  • Repository disk subsystem performance
  • Amount of memory available for data buffering

You can adjust the performance options to best support your business needs and fine-tune the performance based on your environment. For more information, see Throttling transfer speed.


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Throttling transfer speed

When transferring backup data or replicated recovery points between protected machines and Cores over the network, you can intentionally reduce the speed of the transfer. This process is known as throttling.

When you throttle the transfer speed, you limit the amount of your network bandwidth dedicated to file transfers from Rapid Recovery. When setting up replication, for example, throttling can reduce the likelihood that the transfer of prior recovery points to the replicated Core consumes all of your network bandwidth.

CAUTION:
Throttling transfer speed is not always required or recommended. This information is provided to provided insight into a potential solution for performance issues in your Rapid Recovery environment. For example, sometimes, throttling may solve issues related to repeated transfer failures or network slowdowns caused by transferring a substantial amount of data for your protected or replicated Cores.

There are several factors involved in determining the best approach to throttling. The type of machine being protected is a key factor. For example, a busy Microsoft Exchange server has a much higher change rate than a seldom-used legacy web server.

The input and output capabilities of the storage volumes on your protected machines can also contribute to more or less efficiency.

The speed of your network is another critical factor, with many variables. The network backbone in place (for example, 1GbE versus 10GbE), architecture, configuration, intentional use of NIC teaming, and even the type of cables used can all affect network transfer speed. If your environment has a slower wide area network, and if transfer jobs fail for backup or replication, consider throttling the transfer speed using some of these settings.

Ultimately, the process of network throttling involves trial and error. Dell recommends that you adjust and test your transfer settings, and revisit these settings periodically to ensure that your settings continue to meet your needs.

Adjusting transfer speed should be accomplished on an individual machine basis. In the Core Console, navigate to a specific machine, select Settings, and adjust the Transfer speed. For specific information about viewing and changing these settings, see Viewing and modifying protected machine settings. That topic also includes descriptions of each of the settings used for throttling transfer. Those descriptions may be useful in determining which settings you should experiment with first.

The four main settings involved in throttling transfer speed are described in the following table:

Table 1. Protected machine settings used to throttle transfer speed
Machine-Level Setting Default Setting Suggested Throttling Setting
Maximum Concurrent Streams 8 4
Maximum Concurrent Writes 8 4
Maximum Segment Size 4194304 2097152
Outstanding Reads per Stream 0 Start at 24

Dell recommends adjusting and testing the other settings prior to changing the default setting for outstanding reads per stream, unless directed otherwise by a Dell Support representative. When tuning and testing this setting, start with a value of 24.

When you specify limitations to protected machine transfer parameters, these limitations apply per job. If two transfer jobs occur simultaneously or overlap, twice the bandwidth is used. If four transfer jobs across the network overlap, four times the bandwidth is used; and so on.


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