Updated 17/10/2016: [As of this writing, Please note that SC DPM 2016 does not support SQL Server 2016 yet. It may work as described in this article, but it is not a supported scenario as of now from Microsoft. The maximum supported version is SQL Server 2014 SP2.]
On September 26th 2016 and at Microsoft Ignite, the Windows Server team released Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 to the public. This was the Retail version of Windows Server 2016 EVALUATION edition. On October 12th, Microsoft released the GA version of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. GA is the RTM version of Windows Server 2016 including additional updates.
There are two required updates to be installed immediately after you install Windows Server 2016:
1. Update for Windows Server 2016 for x64-based Systems (KB3199986).
In System Center 2016, Data Protection Manager team added several new features.
In this blog post, we will talk about those news features and then show you how to install DPM 2016 on Windows Server 2016.
Data Protection Manager 2016 Overview
System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) is an enterprise class backup product that helps in protecting many workloads, client machines (Win 7, 8, 8.1 and 10), physical machines (Win 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2 and 2016), Virtual Machines (Hyper-V), file server data, and applications such as SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint workloads.
DPM support backup for hybrid environments no matter where your assets are (on-premises, remote offices or in Microsoft Azure Cloud).
DPM 2016 includes the following new features:
Protect data sources in mixed-mode clusters
In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft introduced support for Cluster OS Rolling upgrade, where a cluster can be upgraded from Windows Server 2012 R2 to Windows Server 2016 without bringing it down and without requiring any additional hardware. DPM 2016 will continue to backup VMs during the upgrade process while maintaining the backup SLA.
Resilient change tracking (RCT) support
In Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, the Hyper-V team enhanced virtual machines backup by introducing Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) technology. DPM 2016 relies on Hyper-V’s native change tracking, which removes the need for time-consuming consistency checks. RCT provides better resiliency than the change tracking provided by Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) snapshot-based backups. DPM also uses RCT for incremental backup. It identifies VHD(X) changes for each virtual machine, and then transfers only those blocks that are indicated by the change tracker. Hyper-V virtual machines deployed on Windows Server 2016 and protected using DPM 2016 have Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) by default. However, If you are importing VMs from an older Hyper-V version, you need to make sure to upgrade the configuration version for those VMs in order to get the benefit of RCT. As of this writing, the configuration version in Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V is V8.0
Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) support
In Windows Server 2016, Microsoft introduced Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) which leverages the Storage Spaces feature that was introduced in Windows Server 2012 R2. Storage Spaces Direct enables building highly available storage systems with local attached disks, and without the need to have any external SAS fabric (shared JBODs or enclosures). DPM 2016 protects Hyper-V VMs that use Storage Spaces Direct infrastructure, including the backup of VMs using the S2D in hyper-converged model where the Hyper-V (compute) and Storage Spaces Direct (storage) are sharing the same hardware as one cluster, and the backup of virtual machines using the S2D in disaggregated model which separates out Hyper-V servers (compute) from the Storage Spaces Direct servers (storage) each in a separate cluster. DPM 2016 can also back up Hyper-V VMs deployed on ReFS-based on Scale-out File Servers (SOFS) clusters.
Shielded virtual machines support
Shielded VMs and Guarded Fabric (Host guardian service and guarded Hyper-V hosts) in Windows Server 2016 provide the ability to secure VMs from compromised Hyper-V hosts. DPM 2016 backups maintain the security provided by shielded VMs that have their VHD(X) protected with vTPM, and help recover those VMs securely and seamlessly. As of this writing when protecting shielded VMs, please note that Item-Level Recovery (ILR), and Alternate Location Recovery to a location outside the Guarded Fabric is not available for this scenario.
Modern Backup Storage (MBS)
The Modern Backup Storage (MBS) is a new feature introduced in DPM 2016 that provides several benefits. DPM leverages Windows Server 2016 ReFS capabilities to provide Modern Backup Storage. While DPM 2016 can be deployed on Windows 2012 R2, however, DPM 2016 should be running on Windows 2016 to leverage MBS. If you need to use Modern Backup Storage which I highly recommend, then you need to present Volumes to DPM instead of Disks as we used to do with earlier versions of DPM. Once you add volumes to DPM, you can start storing backups by using MBS technology. DPM 2016 leverages Resilient File System (ReFS) block-cloning technology to store incremental backups, which significantly improves storage usage and performance. The main benefits of using MBS are:
- 30-40 percent savings in storage.
- Backups that are 70 percent faster with Modern Backup Storage.
- Ability to configure workloads for storage on different volumes.
- Backup storage inline with the production data source.
Installing Data Protection Manager 2016
Before your start with installation, please make sure to join the server to your domain and install the updated mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Step 1: Install SQL Server
Features to select:
- Database Engine Services
- Reporting Services – Native
- Management Tools (Optional)
Load SQL Server 2016 media and run the following command to automate and install the required SQL features for DPM.
Setup.exe /Q /ACTION=install /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS /FEATURES=SQLEngine,RS /INSTANCENAME=LOCALDPM /INSTANCEDIR="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server" /INSTALLSHAREDWOWDIR="D:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server" /INSTALLSHAREDDIR="D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server" /SQLSVCACCOUNT=”VIRT\!SQL” /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS=”VIRT\SQLAdmins” /SQLSVCPASSWORD="SQLSVCP@$$sw0rd" /AGTSVCACCOUNT=”NT AUTHORITY\Network Service” /SECURITYMODE=SQL /SAPWD=”S@L()DPM2016” /SQLTEMPDBDIR=”D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\TempDB\\” /SQLUSERDBDIR=”D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\SQLData\\” /SQLUSERDBLOGDIR=”D:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\SQLLog\\” /SQLSVCINSTANTFILEINIT="True"
The installation will start in silent mode, and by default, SQL Server setup will include and scan for updates that are found as shown in the following screenshot.
Once you installed SQL Server 2016, you can install SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), but starting with SQL Server 2014 and later, SSMS is not included in the media and you need to download it separately.
As of this writing, SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is at version 16.4.1 which can be downloaded from here.
After the installation is completed, you can verify connection to the LOCALDPM Instance by using SQL Server Management Studio.
Step 2: Install DPM Server
Launch DPM installation wizard and select Use an existing instance of SQL Server and type in the machine and instance name, example: DPM-2016\LOCALDPM, then click Check and Install.
DPM will start installing the required Windows components… As you can see in the following screenshot, the installation cannot proceed because SQL Server Agent and the SQL Server Reporting services should be running under a domain user credentials or Local System account.
So make sure to correct the Log On account for each service and then click Check Again.
The Hyper-V role and Hyper-V PowerShell module have been installed during the prerequisites check and it requires reboot. Hyper-V role is required to be installed on DPM server for item-level recovery (ILR) support. If you have to restart, please do so.
Once the server is rebooted, launch the installation again and make the server meets the software and hardware requirements for DPM as shown in the next screenshot.
Click Next, and enter your volume license key.
Click Next. I prefer to install DPM on a separate drive, in this example it’s the “D” drive.
Click Next, and then click Install.
Have a cup of coffee and voilà! DPM has been installed successfully…
Microsoft also published Update Rollup 1 for System Center 2016. Here is a link to the master article with links to individual System Center components.
KB3190600 Update Rollup 1 for System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager. This update is very important in order to start using Modern DPM Storage (MDS) and Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) based Hyper-V VM backups.
As a side note: If you hit the following error during the installation “Report configuration failed – ID: 812”.
The most common reason of this error is: If you have changed the startup Log On account for the SQL Server Reporting Services after you installed SQL Server. In this case, you need to delete the encryption keys using Reporting Services Configuration Manager as shown in the following screenshot and then Resume the setup again.
Stay tuned for the next post, we will dive into more details about the new features in DPM 2016.
Thanks for reading!