Perforce Backup Strategy & Disaster Recovery at National Instruments. Steven Lysohir

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1 Perforce Backup Strategy & Disaster Recovery at National Instruments Steven Lysohir 1

2 Why This Topic? Case study on large Perforce installation Something for smaller sites to ponder as they grow Stress the importance of planning for a disaster Entertainment 2

3 Topics Personal & Company Intro NI s Development Environment Perforce Architecture Backup Strategy Real Life Disasters & Lessons Learned Best Practices Questions? 3

4 Personal & Company Info Steven Lysohir Systems Analyst focused mainly on global Perforce support at National Instruments 3 years in this role National Instruments Produces hardware and software for the Test & Measurement industry (PXI chassis & PCI cards, LabVIEW) Global company headquartered in Austin, TX Sales & Support offices worldwide Distributed development (R&D branches) 4

5 Development Environment Distributed development Perforce used in 10 countries Seven servers globally Server operating systems vary from Linux AS to Windows 2000/2003 Perforce Server versions range from to Used across organization (multiple business units) 5

6 Global Architecture 6

7 Dev Environment Main Server Main Perforce server in Austin, TX Perforce Metrics for main server Number of Users 1050 Number of Versioned Files...4,800,000 Size of Depots.600 GB Size of Database 21 GB Number of Changelists..1,000,000 Number of Clients Number of Commands Daily.100,000 7

8 Hardware Architecture Servers Two identical servers Dell PowerEdge 2600 Dual 3.2 GHz Xeon processors 4 GB RAM Dual Gigabit network adapters 8 X 36 GB U320 15K drives 2 disk RAID 1 array 6 disk RAID 10 array First server is primary Perforce production server Second server has multiple roles Failover server Runs custom scripts Storage for checkpoint and journal files 8

9 Hardware Architecture Storage Network Attached Storage (NAS) device NetApp FAS 940c cluster Capable of performing point-in-time copies of data (snapshots) Connected to Perforce server through shared Gigabit over LAN 9

10 Architecture Overview 10

11 Application Architecture Journal & Log files stored on RAID 1 array Database stored on RAID 10 array Versioned files on NAS appliance Offline Database stored in offline directory on RAID 10 array 11

12 Architecture Benefits Identical Servers Failover with limited user impact One step closer to clustering NAS Solution Reliability Recovery Scalability Performance Offline Database Ability to perform nightly checkpoints without locking production database 12

13 Backup Strategy Weekly checkpoint of production database Daily checkpoint of offline database Multiple daily snapshots & journal copies Nightly tape backups 13

14 Backup Strategy Weekly Checkpoint 14

15 Backup Strategy Daily Checkpoint 15

16 Backup Strategy Snapshots Every 4 hours for versioned files Copy P4 journal every 4 hours Timing of these two events coincide to maintain data integrity 16

17 Backup Strategy Benefits Checkpoints & Journal Copy Always a copy of the DB available on disk, current to within 4 hours Switching to failover is more efficient since all data already resides on failover server Snapshots Ability to restore data directly from disk No file locking during backups Able to create backups on the fly during business hours 17

18 Backup Strategy Tape Backups Application & Failover server receive full, nightly backups P4 database & P4 Journal excluded Backed up to tape through offline database & journal copy Versioned Files on NAS device Receive full, nightly backups from a snapshot Eliminates file locking 18

19 Backup Strategy Test Restores Test restore of all versioned files and checkpoints performed every 6 months 19

20 Disaster 1 Untested Recovery Plan Background Moving depots from one share to another Deleting depots from old share after move complete Issue Wrong depot deleted from original share Delete occurred around 11:30 PM and error not realized until next business day Approximately 5 GB of versioned files deleted from file system (and right before a release!) 20

21 Disaster 1 Where Do We Stand? Current State Developers could continue to work on unaffected files Deleted files reported librarian errors in Perforce Initial Response Plan Notify users Recover as many files from the snapshot as possible Restore remaining files from tape Run p4 verify to check for data integrity 21

22 Disaster 1 Roadblocks Only 30% of the data could be recovered from snapshot Recovered files were randomly located No easy process to identify files to missing The full depot had to be recovered from tape Restore of this magnitude was never tested Restore continued to fail No clear communication to users on status 22

23 Disaster 1 Final Resolution Storage & Backup vendors contacted for support Custom work-around finally enabled the restore to complete successfully Restored full depot to restore directory on NAS device Script written to identify files that needed to be copied to production share Files copied through another script p4 verify run to test for data integrity Users notified of successful recovery 23

24 Disaster 1 Lessons Learned Good News All but 3 files were able to be recovered This happened on a Friday Bad News Took 3 days to perform untested recovery from tape Opportunities for Improvement Test the restore process & document the procedure Create more frequent snapshots Develop clear channels of communication Document a disaster recovery plan 24

25 Disaster 2 Benefit of Frequent Snapshots Background Implemented new backup hardware Performed test restore of all Perforce versioned files Issue Bug in backup software lead to restore over production data Error realized within 15 minutes of test restore Roughly 20% of production versioned files replaced with zero-length files 25

26 Disaster 2 Where Do We Stand? Current State Developers could continue to work on unaffected files Corrupted files reported RCS errors in Perforce Initial Response Plan Notify users Identify corrupted files Restore corrupted files from snapshot Run p4 verify to check for data integrity 26

27 Disaster 2 Solution Perl script written to identify files Used Perl script from last disaster to recover files from snapshot to production share p4 verify run to test for data integrity Lost/Unrecoverable revisions obliterated from Perforce Owners of these revisions notified 27

28 Disaster 2 Snapshots Benefits Ease of recovery Simple system copy commands Ability to quickly automate recovery Speed of recovery Issue was resolved in 8 hours (from discovery to resolution) Actual recovery took 2 hours vs 3 days recovering from tape Ability to restore 99% of corrupted files Snapshot of files taken at 12:00 PM Corruption occurred at 12:30 PM 28

29 Disaster 2 Lessons Learned Roadblocks No clear channel of user communication Users not notified of status Perforce admin bombarded with support calls Opportunities for improvement The Admin working on a technical solution should not have the burden of user communication Funnel all communication through IT Operations group Document a disaster recovery plan (still lacking any documentation) 29

30 Disaster 3 Application Server Crash Background Users start to experience extremely slow performance from Perforce application Some users cannot connect to Perforce server All file access on the Perforce server came to a virtual halt Windows failed to start on 2 nd reboot of server Issue Raid controller on Perforce server crashed 30

31 Disaster 3 Where Do We Stand? Current State Server and application unavailable Production database unavailable Versioned files unaffected Journal file recovered (copied before 2 nd reboot) Next Steps Notify users Rebuild database from checkpoint on failover server Replay journal into database Switch production application to failover server 31

32 Disaster 3 Solution Communication to users channeled through IT Operations group Copied journal file from production server to failover server (was possible before second reboot) Rebuilt database from most current checkpoint on failover server Replayed journal file into rebuilt database Swap names and IP addresses for production and failover server Started Perforce service and crossed fingers 32

33 Disaster 3 Benefits of Architecture Failover Server Failover with limited effort (journal copy & name/ip change) Failover with no impact to users (other than downtime) NAS Device (external storage) Eliminated the need to restore versioned files Preserved data integrity of versioned files 33

34 Disaster 3 Lessons Learned Journal file should be backed up (copied) more frequently Copy journal file on same schedule as snapshots Need to finally document a disaster recovery plan 34

35 Best Practices Backup Strategy Frequent checkpoints Frequent copies of journal file Point-in-time copies (even disk based backups) can speed up recovery times Test your ability to restore data Have some type of failover server in place that stores the most recent Perforce data Your backup/restore process is the first and most crucial step in disaster recovery 35

36 Best Practices Disaster Recovery Setup clear channels of communication Have a plan and have it documented Have related Perforce documentation, specific to your site Make your documentation idiot proof Test recovery scenarios Be able to verify your recovery was successful 36

37 Final Note Make your Perforce environment as redundant as possible. If that can be accomplished, you may never have to revert to your disaster recovery plan. 37

38 38 Questions?

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