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Microsoft APS Appliance

  • 10 October 2021
  • 18 replies
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Userlevel 2
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  • Commvault Certified Expert
  • 49 replies

Hi All,

 

Has anyone had any experience with protecting an on-site APS PDW appliance?

At the moment the appliance dumps massive .bak files to a unc path and Commvault backs that up with no dedupe or compression.

It’s obviously be preferable to back the Appliance up directly to take advantage of dedupe and compression and skip the .bak portion altogether.

 

Thanks in anticipation.

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Best answer by Scott Moseman 1 November 2021, 23:30

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @Shane , thanks for the post!  I couldn’t find anything in our support database, so I’ll reach out to our internal dev folks to see if they can add anything.

Thanks!

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Hi @Shane 

Can you please provide details on what is the application which is dumping these bak files? Is this some database?

 

Karthik

Userlevel 7
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Hi @Shane , gentle follow up on this.  Have you had a chance to review @Sri Karthik ‘s questions?

Userlevel 2
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It’s a Microsoft APS Appliance, @Sri Karthik .

I’m afraid I do not have more info than that, I assumed it was well-known.

Userlevel 7
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@Sri Karthik , here’s a link to the technology:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/analytics-platform-system/home-analytics-platform-system-aps-pdw?view=aps-pdw-2016-au7

@Shane , what type of databases are on the appliance?  From what I can see, there are SQL and Hadoop databases involved, though I’m certainly no expert.

Are the .bak files produced from the databases themselves or the files that comprise the PDW?

There’s likely a smart way for performing direct backups, we just need to know more.

Userlevel 2
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Hi all, this description was offered by the customer, hopefully it helps:

 

It is an MPP Solution from Microsoft built on either dell or HP hardware comes in quarter half or full rack consists of about 10 servers with storage . Uses Infiniband connectivity between ETL layered servers and the backup server for fast connectivity. It normally from my understanding does not allow software or 3rd party software loaded directly on them!!

 

Microsoft APS  (Parallel Data Warehouse)

Userlevel 7
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Thanks, @Shane !  What data on the appliance do they want to have backed up?  Are there databases on the appliance itself, or are we looking to back up the configuration files, systems, etc.?  If the appliance doesn’t allow any software installed on it, then we are limited in options, but not without any options.

@Sri Karthik , not sure if this helps you in any way to assist.

Userlevel 2
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Hi Mike, just SQL DBs.

 

Thanks!

Userlevel 7
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Ok, good.  that at least makes it more straight forward.

I’m going to look into some sort of SQL proxy option…..perhaps if you could get another server to back them up via the SQL iDA, you’d avoid the whole .bak part.

@Sri Karthik in case you have any ideas as well!

Userlevel 7
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Confirming what I suspected, that there is no way to do a SQL proxy style backup.

I’ll defer to @Sri Karthik to see if there’s any other option than the .bak files you currently use.

Edit: as per the solution, there *IS* a way!

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How are these SQL DBs accessed? Isnt there some SQL server sitting on a proxy machine writing to the SQL DBs?

Userlevel 7
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@Shane , following up on what @Sri Karthik said, is there any way to isnatll a SQL agent on the appliance?  Granted, you said MSFT does not support, but is it impossible, or just frowned upon?

Userlevel 2
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It is unfortunately impossible. 

Userlevel 7
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Ok, that’s definitely a dead end there.

@Sri Karthik , do you have any thoughts on a method of using the SQL APIs but from a different server?  Is that possible?

Long shot idea, can you replicate the databases to another SQL server and back them up there?

Userlevel 4
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Confirming what I suspected, that there is no way to do a SQL proxy style backup.


We do not think we could use the SQL iDA from another Client?
 


I assume this depends on remote access and permissions be available.

Thanks,
Scott

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@Shane , @Scott Moseman has a potential solution (as he often does)!

Can you see if the Server Name dropdown option allows you to ‘see’ the appliance databases?

Userlevel 2
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@Shane , @Scott Moseman has a potential solution (as he often does)!

Can you see if the Server Name dropdown option allows you to ‘see’ the appliance databases?

Unfortunately the customer is not willing to entertain any ‘experiments’, so I can never test this and therefore never implement this.

I apologise profusely for the time-waste, but I appreciate the attention and suggestions.

Userlevel 4
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@Shane , @Scott Moseman has a potential solution (as he often does)!

Can you see if the Server Name dropdown option allows you to ‘see’ the appliance databases?

Unfortunately the customer is not willing to entertain any ‘experiments’, so I can never test this and therefore never implement this.

I apologise profusely for the time-waste, but I appreciate the attention and suggestions.


No worries, it’s always interesting to try and work around an obstacle.

The documented backup process for APS is pretty rudimentary (dump and chase). If you have a Microsoft contact, you might ask them if they can have their APS development team reach out to Commvault to see about adding support in the future.

Thanks,
Scott
 

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