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NetApp SAN Boot with Windows

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Thoughts and ideas concerning booting from SAN when we attempted this with our NetApp array.

  1. SAN Boot is fully supported by MSFT.  The first thing that happened is that we were told that SAN boot is not supported and we could not get Microsoft support for this configuration.  It turns out that this is not correct.  SAN boot is fully support by Microsoft along with HW partners like NetApp.  This TechNet article fully outlines MSFT’s support for SAN Boot:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/305547
  2. Zoning is the #1 issue with SAN Boot on FC. In talking with NetApp support team (who were a HUGE help on this issue) the most common issue in SAN Boot from Fiber Channel is zoning.  Because zoning can be complex, this is the most likely cause of error.  We strongly recommend you check and then double-check your zoning before opening a support ticket.   In our case, the zoning for the server was correct, but we did make a zoning error on another server that we were able to correct on our own.
  3. Windows MPIO support at install time is limited. Because WinPE is not MPIO aware, there can be strange results when deploying against a LUN that is visible via multiple paths.  Keep in mind that at install time, Windows boots to boot.wim which is running WinPE instead of a full Windows install.  After the bits are copied locally, windows reboots to complete the install and at this time Windows is actually running.  Because of this, NetApp support team recommends having only one path to the LUN at install time and then adding paths later once Windows is up and running and you can enable Windows MPIO.
  4. AND YET…  MPIO is strongly recommended for SAN Boot.  Because a Windows host will blue screen if it’s boot lun dies, MPIO is strongly recommended for boot LUNs.  This is documented here:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc786214(WS.10).aspx.  This can seem contradictory at first, but the bottom line is that MPIO is good, just add it later once Windows is up and running correctly.
  5. Yes, but what about Sysprep?  It turns out that MPIO is not supported for Sysprep based deployments:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2504934.  So, again you need to configure MPIO post deployment when you are deploying against sysprep’d images.  In the case of NetApp, we strongly recommend using Sysprep boot LUNS which you can then clone for new machines.  This significantly shortens deployment time as opposed to doing a full Windows install for each new host.
  6. It’s all about BIOS. Actually installing windows on a boot LUN does require that Windows Setup sees your target LUN as a valid install path.  This means that the server must report this drive as a valid install target or Setup will not let you select this disk.  For FC, you will need to enable the BIOS setting and select your target LUN in the HBA setup screen.  This process varies by vendor.  Then you need to make this disk your #1 boot target in your server’s BIOS.  Again, this process varies by manufacturer.  As noted above, you should only establish one path.  This includes dual port HBA’s.  Only configure one of the ports.
  7. Where’s my disk? Once you do all the above correctly, Setup may still refuse to show you the disk.  This could be because the correct driver is not present on the install media.  One way to fix this is to inject drivers into your Boot.WIM and Install.WIM.  This process is required if you are using WDS but optional if you are hand building a server from DVD or ISO.  In our case, we were building a single master image that we were going to Sysprep so we simply inserted the media and added the drivers manually during setup.
  8. OK, the disk is there, but I can’t install! One funny thing about Windows setup is that if you are installing from DVD, that DVD must be present to install (duh).  This is fine, unless you used the process above to insert the driver.  To do this, you need to remove the disk.  Then you get the drives and click install.  Windows will fail to install with a fairly obtuse error.  You need to remove the drivers DVD at this point and put the install DVD back in.  Seems obvious, but it took me a few minutes to figure out what was wrong the first time I tried it.

The Windows Host Utilities Installation and Setup Guide (http://now.netapp.com/NOW/knowledge/docs/hba/win/relwinhu53/pdfs/setup.pdf) has a very detailed description of Windows support for FC LUNs and there is a step by step process in this guide for configuring Boot LUNs.

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Categories: netapp Tags: , ,

How to perform a backup of NDMP Filers (NAS) with Backup Exec for Windows Servers

May 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Steps to back up an NDMP Filer

Stages:

      1. Installing the NDMP Option.
      2. Configuring the NDMP device.
      3. Backing up using the NDMP Option.

Stage 1: Installing the NDMP Option.

The NDMP (Paid) Option is installed locally on the media server as a separate add-on component of Backup Exec for Windows Servers to protect supported NAS devices. No files are copied to the NDMP device.

To install the NDMP Option on the local media server:

      1.  Go to Tools | License Keys & Installation | Next.
      2. On the welcome screen select “Local Install” option and click Next. (Figure 3)

Figure 3

      3. Enter the License Key for NDMP option and Click

Add

      and then click Next, Or  Simply click

Next

      to continue installation in Evaluation Mode. (Figure 4)

Figure4

      4. Select the NDMP option and Click Next as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5

      5.
      Click Install to complete the installation process.

Stage 2:  Configuring the NDMP device.

In order for Backup Exec to back up NDMP resources, the NDMP service must be running on the NDMP device. The NDMP Service can be started by entering the following command on the NDMP device (accessed using telnet or the web interface or local login):

NDMPFILER> ndmpd on as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6

The NDMP device must be configured to use the challenge (MD5) method for authentication by using the following command:

NDMPFILER> options ndmpd.authtype challenge  as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7

To authenticate with the NDMP server you should use the root password or non-root user with system generated NDMP-specific password. To configure these and other settings, refer to your NAS documentation.

Note: Make sure NDMP Version on the Remote Filer is set to “Level -4”. If the level is below “4” then backup is not possible, However user can view the resources but can not expand , To check the NDMP Version,  type following command on the Filer.

ndmpd version as shown in Figure 8

Figure 8

To set the NDMP level to “4” type the following command on the Filer.

ndmpd version 4 as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9

Stage 3: Backing up using the NDMP Option.

In order to use the NDMP option, a tape device must be attached to an NDMP device. The tape device can be attached directly to the NDMP device being backed up or to another NDMP device. The NDMP device being protected must be added to either NDMP Devices or User-defined Selections. The tape device attached to an NDMP device must be added to the list of Backup Exec devices.

If the users add a tape device attached to an NDMP device as a Backup Exec storage device, Backup Exec automatically adds the NDMP device to the backup selections list. If you want to protect an NDMP device that does not have a tape device attached, you can add the NDMP device just to the backup selections list.

Note: Only NDMP data can be backed up to the NDMP storage devices. A library should not be shared between a filer and a Media Server, because the machine that accesses the library first will have ownership of it, and the other machine won’t have access.  The duplicating of NDMP backup sets is also not supported.

Adding an NDMP storage device:

Adding a tape device attached to an NDMP device as a Backup Exec storage device also adds the NDMP device to the backup selection list.

To add an NDMP storage device:

      1. In the Backup Exec console, On the navigation bar, click Devices.
      2. In the task pane, under NDMP Tasks, click Add NDMP Server.
      3. In the Add NDMP Server dialog box, specify the NDMP Server, Port, Logon Account and whether the NDMP server supports ICMP ping operations as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10:

      4. Click OK to add the NDMP server.
      5. After adding the NDMP server, restart Backup Exec services.

The NDMP device and the tape devices directly attached to it are now listed in the devices pane as shown in Figure 11 below.

Figure 11.

To backup NDMP resources:

      1. On the navigation bar, click the arrow next to Backup.
      2. Click New backup job.
      3. On the Properties pane, under Source, click Selections.
      4. In the backup selections tree, expand either NDMP Devices or User-defined Selections, depending on how the NDMP resource was added. If the NDMP resource was added as a storage device, it will be located in the NDMP Devices resource under Backup Exec Resources as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12

Note: This node displays only if you have installed a licensed version of the NDMP Agent. You cannot select this node for backup. However, you can expand the node to view and select NetApp filers for backup

      5. Select the NDMP resource you want to back up.
      If you have not previously specified the logon account to use, the Logon Account Selection dialog box appears.
      6. Click New to add the account, or select it from the list and click OK.
      7. Select the entire NDMP device for backup or expand the resource and select individual volumes or directories to backup.

Note: Backup Exec allows you to browse to the individual file level ; however individual files cannot be selected for backup, only folder level selection is available but during restore file level selection is available.

      8. On the Properties pane, under Destination, click Device and Media.
      9. Select a storage device attached to an NDMP device from the Device drop down box.
      10. To select the NDMP backup job properties, on the Properties pane, under Settings, click NDMP.

11. Start the backup job or select other backup options from the Properties pane, and then start the backup job.

Categories: netapp Tags: , , ,