CA ARCserve and CA XOsoft r12.5 Best Practices for protecting Microsoft SQL Server

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1 CA RECOVERY MANAGEMENT R12.5 BEST PRACTICE CA ARCserve and CA XOsoft r12.5 Best Practices for protecting Microsoft SQL Server Overview Benefits The CA Advantage The CA ARCserve Backup Support and Engineering teams provide the following tips and recommendations for you to effectively use the CA ARCserve Backup r12.5 Agent for Microsoft SQL Server (SQL Agent). For more information about the SQL Agent, see the CA ARCserve Backup for Windows r12.5 Agent for Microsoft SQL Server Guide. The benefit of our products is the key solution to a building block of expedient, efficient data recovery and business continuity plans. From the basics of building secure backups to establishing and executing disaster recovery plans, procedures and processes, CA provides you with advanced technology integrated into a superior solution. CA ARCserve Backup and XOsoft products provide backup and restore and protection against any kind of data corruption to your business applications, servers, databases or file systems in the case when disaster strikes. For example, in the event of a hurricane, a blackout, or far more likely, a virus attack or software or user error, your ability to respond well to the crisis can make the difference between a bright future and the end of your business. Disaster recovery planning (DRP) is not just about insurance, it is about maintaining your competitive edge. CA s products are designed to give you that edge.

2 CA ARCserve Backup for Microsoft SQL Server System Requirements for the Agent for Microsoft SQL Server The CA ARCserve Backup SQL Agent requires one of the following versions of Microsoft SQL Server: Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 with SP2, SP3 or SP4 Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with SP4 Microsoft SQL Server 2005 with SP1 or SP2 Microsoft SQL Server 2008 MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2005 SUPPORT The SQL Agent supports Microsoft SQL Server 2005 SP1 and SP2 on the following operating systems: Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 Windows Server 2008 MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 7.0 SUPPORT The SQL Agent supports Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 SP2, SP3 or SP4, on the following operating system: Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2000 SUPPORT The SQL Agent supports Microsoft SQL Server 2000, SP3, SP3a and SP4 on the following operating systems: Windows 2000 SP4 Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 MICROSOFT SQL SERVER 2008 SUPPORT The SQL Agent supports Microsoft SQL Server 2008 on the following operating systems: Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 Windows Server 2008 SUPPORT FOR 64-BIT SYSTEMS The SQL Agent supports Microsoft SQL on the following 64-bit editions of Windows: Microsoft SQL bit Edition for IA64 on Windows 2003 Microsoft SQL 2000 for x86 on Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 x64 Microsoft SQL 2005 for IA64 and x64 on Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 Microsoft SQL 2005 SP2 64-bit Edition on Windows Server 2008 x64 Microsoft SQL 2005 SP2 IA64 Edition on Windows Server 2008 IA64 Microsoft SQL 2008 x64 Edition on Windows 2003 SP2 or R2 x64 Page 2

3 Microsoft SQL 2008 x64 Edition on Windows Server 2008 for x64 Microsoft SQL 2008 IA64 Edition on Windows 2003 SP2 or Windows 2003 R2 IA64 MICROSOFT SQL SERVER DESKTOP ENGINE (MSDE) 2000 SUPPORT The SQL Agent supports MSDE 2000, SP3, SP3a and SP4 on the following operating systems: Windows 2000 SP4 Windows Server 2003 Installation Considerations for the SQL Agent The following best practices will help in installing the SQL Agent: If you are installing the Agent with Microsoft SQL Server 2000, the Agent for Microsoft SQL Server requires Microsoft SQL Server 2000 with SP3, SP3a or SP4. Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition does not include Microsoft SQL Server However, you can install Microsoft SQL Server 2000 separately, but you must install SP3, SP3a or SP4. Notes: Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition includes Microsoft SQL Server 2000, SP3. Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition does not include Microsoft SQL Server However, you can install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 separately. Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition includes Microsoft SQL Server In cluster environments, you may receive a Lost Connection error while installing the SQL Agent. This occurs in primary and standalone installations when you select the cluster SQL as the CA ARCserve Backup database. To avoid this error, copy the SQL Agent package to each cluster node and run setup manually. To protect SQL Server instances in a cluster-aware environment, you must manually install the SQL Agent on all of the nodes in the cluster-aware environment. When installing the SQL Agent for the CA ARCserve Backup database on other nodes in a cluster-aware environment, you must run SQLAgentRmtInst.exe and DBAConfig.exe after installation to input the correct cluster node name and password so that the Setup process can create ODBC communication. After you upgrade from ARCserve Backup r11.5 SP3 to CA ARCserve Backup r12.5 on a 64-bit operating system in a cluster-aware environment, you must run DBAConfig.exe located in the CA ARCserve Backup Agent for Microsoft SQL installation directory to configure the SQL Server instances that you want to protect. When you select Windows Authentication for SQL Server, CA ARCserve Backup does not require security information to back up the SQL Server. Installing 32-bit components on a 64-bit machine generates two copies of the file PortsConfig.cfg on the machine. The PortsConfig.cfg file for the 64-bit components is in c:\program Files\CA\SharedComponents\CA ARCserve Backup, and the PortsConfig.cfg file for the 32-bit components is in c:\program Files (x86)\ca\sharedcomponents\ca ARCserve Backup. If you make changes to one, you must make the same changes to the other or the components may not be able to contact one another. The Agent is always installed in the version native to your computer's hardware. Page 3

4 Some MSDE-based applications do not provide a System Administrator account. The application vendor may provide a backup user with only Backup Operator rights. These MSDE instances must be backed up using Named Pipes. If you are not certain whether your MSDE instance has this restriction, contact your application vendor. Note: If an MSDE Application vendor does not provide either a System Administrator or backup operator account, you may need to use the Volume Shadow Copy Service support in the CA ARCserve Backup Agent for Open Files. For ODBC communication, CA recommends the default TCP/IP protocol. Named Pipes makes ODBC fail. Installing two or more versions of SQL Server concurrently on the same machine may create multiple versions of the SQLVDI.DLL file, which causes conflicts resulting in database backup job failures. To resolve any SQLVDI.DLL conflicts, ensure all instances of SQL Server are at the latest Service Pack, security patch or Hotfix level. You may also restart the failed SQL Server instance to reload a new SQLVDI.DLL file, or reboot the machine. Using CA ARCserve Backup Agent for SQL Server BACKUP AND RESTORE CONCEPTS Performing a backup or restore can slow the system down. For better performance, as well as to minimize impact on applications using the database, run backups or restores when the database is not being heavily updated. The SQL Agent supports only Restore by Tree and Restore by Session for Microsoft SQL Server databases. ARCHITECTURE Note: If you are using a clustered instance of Microsoft SQL Server to house your ARCserve Database, you will need to use the stand-alone installer to install the Agent for ARCserve Database on the nodes of the cluster where the instance is not active when CA ARCserve Backup is installed. However, if you are installing a clustered CA ARCserve Database Primary Server using the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express Edition option for your ARCserve Database, this will not be necessary. The agent will be automatically installed on each node along with CA ARCserve Backup before the ARCserve Primary Server is configured for Clustered operation. ONLINE BACKUP OF SAP R/3 DATABASES You cannot perform offline backups of SAP R/3 databases in Microsoft SQL Server using the Agent for Microsoft SQL Server. Backup and Restore Parameters for the SQL Agent To improve the performance or throughput of the SQL Agent during for a backup\restore operation, use the Instance Setting tab to make changes for: Number of Stripes Determines the number of CPUs used to perform backups. Set this value to match the number of CPUs in the database server for the fastest backup performance. Page 4

5 Number of Buffers The total number of VDI buffers (of maximum transfer size) used to back up and restore. Note that this number cannot be less than the number of stripes. Data Block Size (in bytes) All data transfer sizes are multiples of this value. Values must be a power of 2 between 512 bytes and 64 KB inclusive. Maximum transfer size The maximum input or output request issued by Microsoft SQL Server to the device. This is the data portion of the buffer. This parameter value must be a multiple of 64 KB. The range is from 64 KB to 4 MB. Maximum VDI Wait Time - Backup (ms) The time, in milliseconds, a Virtual Device object waits for a response from Microsoft SQL Server during a backup operation. This setting is also used by the agent when waiting for parallel operations to synchronize or background operations to complete, including during some parts of restore operations. Maximum VDI Wait Time - Restore (ms) The time, in milliseconds, a Virtual Device object waits for a response from Microsoft SQL Server during a restore. Increase this time if the database to be restored contains very large data files. Named Pipes Configuration Specify the Maximum Connection Wait Time (ms) time, in milliseconds; the SQL Agent should wait to close a named pipe if a remote connection fails. Restore Post-Processing Wait Polling Period (seconds) The amount of time to wait between checks of the database status. Maximum Wait Timeout (minutes) The total amount of time to wait before abandoning the waiting process. If this timeout elapses and the job contains additional Transaction Log sessions to be restored, then those additional sessions may fail to restore because SQL Server is not yet ready. Note: Start with the default settings and then select one parameter at a time for changes. Refer to the Microsoft SQL Server documentation for complete information on configuring SQL Server databases for optimal protection. Files and FileGroups With SQL Server 2005 and later, a Database Differential or Partial Differential backup is dependent on any intervening Full backups, including Files-and-FileGroups Full and Partial Full backups. The Automatic Selection feature cannot detect this condition. If you mix Filesand-FileGroups backups with Database Differential and Partial Differential backups in SQL Server 2005, you may need to assemble the restore sequences manually. You cannot perform Database or Partial restores from a Files-and-FileGroups backup. Only a Files-and-FileGroups restore can be performed from a Files-and-FileGroups backup. Page 5

6 FILESTREAM Data Large FILESTREAM collections may take significant amounts of time to estimate, causing property list generation to be slow. System Databases The three main system databases (master, msdb, and model) are exempt from the Global or Rotation Job backup method. Selecting this option for these databases always results in a Full backup. Differential Backups After you have modified the structure or configuration of the database (for example, by adding more data or log files or changing the recovery model), you must perform a full database backup before performing a differential or Transaction log backup. Transaction Logs Transaction logs are not backed up during full or differential database backups. You must back them up by running separate Transaction log backups or using the Backup Transaction Log After Database option. Transaction logs are only truncated as part of a Transaction Log backup. If they are not backed up and truncated, they may grow until the disk is full. If this happens, you must perform a Transaction Log backup With Truncation, and then shrink the Transaction Log files to reclaim disk space. In SQL 2005 and later, multiple log backups with Truncation may be needed before log files can be significantly shrunk. Databases which use the Simple Recovery Model do not permit or require Transaction Log backups. Microsoft SQL Server manages the maintenance of the Transaction Logs for these databases automatically. Transaction Logs By default, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 will not allow a restore to be attempted if a database is online and is using the Full or Bulk-Logged Recovery Models. To restore these databases, you must either take the database offline by performing a Transaction Log backup with the Log Tail option so that no transactions are lost, or restore with the Overwrite Existing Database and Files ( WITH REPLACE ) option. The only exception to this is an Online Torn Page Repair restore. Note: If a restore is attempted when you are accessing a database, Microsoft SQL Server will not allow the restore operation. If a restore job is cancelled, the database may be left in a loading state and will be unusable until the restore sequence is completed. If the session that was being restored when the job was cancelled is not the first session in the restore sequence, you may have to start the restore sequence over from the beginning. Disaster Recovery The CA ARCserve Backup Disaster Recovery Option will include the Microsoft SQL Server Disaster Recovery Elements sessions when performing a Disaster Recovery restore. If you use the Disaster Recovery Option to restore the computer that houses the ARCserve Database, you should restore the three system databases first after the Recover Database operation is finished. For more information, see the CA ARCserve Backup r12.5 Administration Guide. If you attempt to restore SQL Server Disaster Recovery Elements to their original location while the database is online, the restore will fail because Microsoft SQL Server is using the existing files. After restoring Disaster Recovery Elements, you should immediately restore the master database, the msdb database if it is offline, and the model database, from the regular online backups. Page 6

7 Microsoft SQL Server Disaster Recovery Elements are specific to the instance that they were backed up from. If you use them for a different instance, that instance may not start, or may behave incorrectly after starting. Page 7

8 Using CA XOsoft r12.5 How can I test verify the integrity of the replicated databases? CA XOsoft has the Assured Recovery (AR) feature that allows Disaster Recovery testing on the Replica during normal business hours. This feature can be activated at any time without stopping the replication scenario. How can I test verify the integrity of the replicated databases? CA XOsoft has the Assured Recovery (AR) feature that allows Disaster Recovery testing on the Replica during normal business hours. This feature can be activated at any time without stopping the replication scenario. Once the AR feature is activated, the replica database services are activated while the production database server s updates are queued to a spool directory in the Replica server. The user can perform any integrity testing he\she may desire, including making changes to the Replica DB (add\drop tables and databases, change table values, etc.) When the user completes the testing, the AR feature is turned off, and real-time replication continues normally. Can I protect multiple SQL servers using only 1 Replica server? CA XOsoft supports real-time Replication ONLY (no failover) for a many-to-one protection scheme. The databases that you will be protecting must be part of Named Instances, and those SQL Instance names must be unique for your environment. For example, if Server A and Server B both have a SQL Instance called Test, the Test Instances cannot be replicated to the same Standby server. Note: The System Administrator will need to create the Instances that will be protected on the Replica before the Scenario is created. Can CA XOsoft protect multiple SQL Instances within the same SQL Server? Yes. However, the System administrator will need to create SQL Instances on the Replica Server that have the same Instance Names as on the production SQL Server. For example, if the Administrator wishes to protect SQL Instances named Development, Finance, and HR, he\she will need to create SQL Instances with those same names on the Replica. Which Failover Method Should Be Selected for an SQL HA Scenario? Whatever SQL Server Network Protocols (Network Libraries) are configured on the Master; the same must be configured on the Replica. The network protocols that users and applications utilize to connect to the SQL server will determine which failover method is used. If the Named Pipes protocol is being used, the Switch Hostname failover method must be part of the HA scenario. All other SQL network protocols can use the DNS Redirection or Move IP failover methods. The SQL Network Protocols are initiated by the client and are configured so the Master LISTENS on that protocol. When or Why to consider using both DNS Redir + Switch Hostname If the SQL server is using only the TCP SQL network protocol, then DNS Redirection is all that is needed. If the SQL server is using Named Pipes, you would need to use Switch Hostname. Page 8

9 In many cases, you will find both TCP and Named Pipes in use. In that case, both DNS redirection and switch hostname should be used in the same HA scenario. Remember to reboot the Replica server after a Switch Hostname failover. Page 9

10 Contact CA Contact Technical Support For online technical assistance and a complete list of locations, primary service hours, and telephone numbers, contact Technical Support at Provide Feedback If you have comments or questions about CA product documentation, you can send a message to If you would like to provide feedback about CA product documentation, please complete our short customer survey, which is also available on the CA Support website. Copyright 2009 CA. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. All other trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced herein belong to their respective companies.

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