OK, Al.  I said I'm willing to learn and you said you're willing to teach.  So let me ask you what you would do in my place.  I ask it in general terms and hypothetically--I'm not trying to get a freebie consulting engagement.
So you have 80 workstations, 100 users, 8 servers, Win, Exchange, SQL server.  That's the assets.  The constraints: you can spend maybe $5000 a year on purely backup solutions.  If you really raise a hue and cry, you might be able to get 3-4 times that. [1]
But the budgeting of money is not the show-stopper.  The budgeting of time is the real killer.  Figure on having less than half the time you need, and that includes learning/training.  I'm being generous here.
That's the rules I have to play by.  No fair changing the rules.  ;o)
BTW, I know nothing about SAN, except by rumor.  I was recklessly speaking above my pay grade.
BTW2, It never occured to me to question your view of the real world.  Your comments and analyses have alway struck me as extremely sober and to the point.  It's just that we are at different levels of the real world.  (how the heck does Susan do it, anyway?)
[1] Keeping in mind that security is putting increasing strain on the 'protection' resources, and that management and users are far more concerned with spam and viruses, which they can see, than with backup, which they hardly ever see.
----- Original Message -----
From: Al Mulnick
Sent: Friday, November 03, 2006 7:29 AM
Subject: Re: [ActiveDir] OT - Backup Follies (was) Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Yep, I'd have to disagree, but then again, I have a different perspective.  San based connectivity to the files is not something that *should* be a problem for you.  I understand how it could be, but from my perspective that's a process issue.  More specifically, that's a process issue that is easily solved by ensuring that you have good controls on your server build process.

Now before you say I don't live in the real world because control over build configurations is something that's only a dream, let me point out that I've been doing this for a long time and I'm well aware of all kinds of processes and thoughts that may or may not be painful. One such process is not having good solid control on the server configurations that you accept into  your datacenter/closet.  In the case of SAN technology, the use of HBA's makes it really easy to not care about the drivers. But more to the point would be having the controls in place to ensure that everything needed to rebuild/replace that platform is readily available.  If for no other reason than for disaster recovery purposes. 

If that's not the real world for you, I understand that you're not alone.  I also understand the consequences of that behavior all too well and detest it.  I've seen some of the largest enterprises in the world employ similar "drop and pray" practices for that behavior.  Shops like Susan's likely have it much better.

Don't let drivers and such get in your way to the appropriate solution for your enterprise is all I'm saying.


On 11/2/06, Albert Duro <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Yes, BE does do disk backup.  But I have some objections:
A.  They don't make it easy, infact they make an unnecessarily complicated production of it.
B.  I started doing NTBackup to disk while (and because) I was still troubleshooting BE.  When I gave up on BE and its brethren, NTBackup was a natural segway, and already in place and working.
C.  I discovered one great advantage that NTBackup-to-disk has over any other backup system:  with a bit of planning, it is proof against almost any combination of crash and burn. 
You have a backup file on two or more disks/machines.  Things go bad, you can do recovery from any Windows machine; you can move or copy the backup disks/files to any machine.  Try doing that with a sophisticated tape-based or SAN-based system.  Imagine having to replace the tape drive/autoloader with the exact same type,  while rebuilding a same-hardware three-year old server to the exact same configuration, same SPs, same backup software, same drivers.  I can guarantee that at least one of those necessary replacement elements will be impossible to find, even under leisurely conditions. [1]  Yes, there are strategies to deal with that, but if you could spend that kind of money, you would have gotten a double-redundant bullet-proof system in the first place.
I truly hope that I'm wrong out of lack of knowledge and pessimism.  I am open to being corrected and encouraged.
[1] Naturally, the tape drive drivers will be on the same tape that you can't access nohow.  Download the drivers from the OEM, you say?  Chances are excellent that the OEM has gone out of business, or sold out to a giant  who prunes out what they don't like (and what you need), or changed the name or version number on it out of sheer orneryness.  If you do get to what looks like the right drivers, you're likely to find that the last minor upgrade version that really worked well for you has been dropped, or tweaked into your trouble zone.  I can testify to ALL these experiences.  I think others can too.
----- Original Message -----
From: Al Mulnick
Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 3:27 PM
Subject: Re: [ActiveDir] OT - Backup Follies (was) Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Trying to remember exactly, but doesn't BE have an option to use disk vs. tape drives?

You *could* run a test to help simplify and rule out some of the complexity. Could take a while, but might be worth it.


On 11/2/06, Albert Duro <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Why does NTBackup work for me and BE not, when they are at core the same product?
I wondered about that too.  Here are my thoughts.
First, NTBackup is a simpler product that doesn't get tangled up with the complexities of scheduling and a GUI.
But the real reason, I think, is that I've been doing NTBackups to disk, while BE was to tape.
I've always suspected that most, if not all of my difficulties with BE had to do with the drivers for the tape drives and autoloaders, and with the SCSI interface to other devices ('other' being anything beyond the normal HD and CD complement)
----- Original Message -----
From: Al Mulnick
Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 6:11 AM
Subject: Re: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Well put Albert.  Thanks for that feedback. 

What still has me curious is why BE wouldn't work in your environment and why ntbackup does (partially at least).  ntbackup as written by the same exact people and has a lot of the same code (it's licensed by Microsoft from Seagate last I checked). Ntbackup is the less featured version designed for single host backups and extended to act like it does more.

So that said, I agree that the goal is that your client's data is backed up.  I have to say that I disagree that jury-rigs, mickey mouse and by the seat of your pants is the long term solution though.  That's an infrastructure component that will come back to haunt at some point down the road.  As an interim fix, of course it can work.  I'm not blinded by the big vendors to the point that I think they have the only solution.  Far from it.  But I like to think that I can at least share some perspective and experience related to where it leads and I definitely favor technology over layer8 processes. Why?  Because layer8 changes and grows out of current positions and foundational solutions should not have to be decimated when that happens.  I've seen that way too often to care to see it continue where possible.

Basically, I hate to see a foundational solution such as backup, rely on such complexity and human intervention.  I completely understand that you have to do what you have to do. When you wrote it in your original email, it sounded like you approved of that method.  Reading this last one, I can you don't.  I was just trying to point out where that leads and trying to understand how you go there.  I bet I would have gotten there the same way you did ;)

Best of luck getting that worked out.
If you need anything from me, please don't hesitate.  I have been known to make some backup solutions work :)  Feel free to ping off-line if I can be of any help.

On 10/31/06, Albert Duro <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
Al, since you ask, no I don't see it differently, at least not at the oratorical level.  But where the rubber meets the road, things can look very different. Like the military say, the best laid plan falls apart the moment it meets the enemy.  You assume that I monkey around with Ntbackup and balky media for economic reasons.  In fact, we spared no expense (relative to our small size) to put in industrial-strength backup systems, both software and hardware.  Even paid consultants to set it up and manage it.
It blew up in our faces.  Primarily because Backup Exec just wouldn't work right in our environment.  (I'm not saying that BE isn't a fine product, it would just never work for us).  Why not?  Don't know -- I couldn't figure it out.  Our consultants couldn't figure it out.  Veritas support couldn't either, nor the autoloader manufacturer.  For more than two years, nobody could figure it out, until I decided to stop throwing good money after bad.
Did I try alternative products?  In the same class, yes -- more tales of woe, but different reasons.  We did not nor are we going to buy the high-end systems, which cost more than our whole network is worth.
So I was left with NTBackup, and admittedly a little more gun-shyness about brand-name backup products than is strictly rational.   That's what I have to work with, and I try to make the best of it.  That's the 'real world' in my little corner of it.
Believe me, when you and joe and others on this list urge us to 'make the best', I listen, I learn, and I applaud.  And it does push me in that direction.  But the only path there goes through 'make the best of what you've got'.  It's bumpy and often barricaded.
But after all is said and done, the REAL point is that I am preserving my clients' data and keeping them happy.  Jury-rigs, mickey mouse, and by-the-pants not withstanding.

-- Original Message -----
From: Al Mulnick
Sent: Sunday, October 29, 2006 4:30 AM
Subject: Re: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

sub-optimal media are part of the real world?
Wow, thanks :)
Truth be told, that's a rant of mine.  I've heard a lot (lately especially) about how we want to do things cheap and inexpensive and we'll fix it later and so on. I've also spent a great deal of time cleaning up that kind of stuff.  Unfortunately, once it escapes into the "real world" then it becomes more difficult to clean up because you have to do so in front of customers/clients.
Interesting approach though. Usually a less disciplined from what I've seen and often results in more expense related to downtime and troubleshooting and lack of service.  I'm interested if you see differently though.
This area of the business fascinates me....

On 10/28/06, Albert Duro <[EMAIL PROTECTED] > wrote:
I'm sure you and Susan are right.  All I'm saying is that it *can* happen, and for me, why take the chance when one-job/one-task  is easy to do.
Good point about the media, and that may explain my case, but, hey, sub-optimal media situations are part of the real world.
----- Original Message -----
From: Al Mulnick
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 6:33 AM
Subject: Re: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

I've not had that same experience.  Granted, it's a limited feature utility (note the use of the word utility vs. tool as requested) but it's still capable of doing more.  There were some fixes to ntbackup in service packs and such.  You might want to verify you're using the latest version of that's what you see.
Also, check the media it's headed to.  It's error handling is not very elegant, but I've found it to be useful and strong enough to stand up to some complex tasks in the past. I've got several running now via cli that have been in place for more than half a year without issue (I know, I know, spend all that money on an enterprise backup system only to backup some machines locally.  But there are times when it makes more sense, trust me.)

On 10/27/06, Albert Duro <[EMAIL PROTECTED] > wrote:
I've found, with NTbackup, that if you cram two or more tasks into a backup job, it's very likely to fail. For example, if you do a System State and a file backup and an Exchange backup in the same job.  It's best to separate each task into its own job, and sort it out in the scheduling.
A mixed job will also work for a while and then fail, which sounds like what happened to OP.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 2:21 PM
Subject: RE: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Do you have multiple information stores on this storage group?   (If using Exchange Enterprise edition)...the logs can't flush until all stores have a full backup, because the logs are shared...

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto: [EMAIL PROTECTED]] On Behalf Of Technical Support
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 3:16 PM
To: ActiveDir@mail.activedir.org; ActiveDir@mail.activedir.org
Subject: RE: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

I am running Normal Backup. Using NTBackup Utility. Backing up Information store.

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] on behalf of Missy Koslosky
Sent: Thu 10/26/2006 12:49 PM
To: ActiveDir@mail.activedir.org
Subject: RE: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Are you running full (AKA normal) backups every night? It seems not. Use NTBackup to backup to disk (obviously, you'll need a disk with over 120GB of available space) and then use whatever normal program you use to back that backup onto tape. This will keep you running until you sort out why your normal backup software isn't flushing the logs when the backup completes.
How are you currently running backups? What software is in use? Are you sure it's Exchange aware? Are you doing brick level backups or copy backups instead of a full backup? Neither will flush the logs.
I'd resolve this as quickly as possible, because if you are in a situation where you have to replay the logs, you're NOT going to be a happy camper.

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto: [EMAIL PROTECTED]] On Behalf Of Technical Support
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 11:09 AM
To: ActiveDir@mail.activedir.org
Subject: [ActiveDir] Exchange Log files --Disk Full--

Hi All,
Kindly suggest, what i can do about my Exchange Log files?
I have about 120 GB Log files for past 4 months. I have a few doubts:-
Do i really need all those log files?
If yes, Then how is it possible to manage with this as i have a very limited space left.
Can i delete these log files?
Backup doesnt remove these log files?
i am really running out of space on my Exchange log storage drive.

Reply via email to