Learning System Center App Controller (2015)
Chapter 6. Backup and Recovery
In this chapter, we will discuss the procedure to backup System Center 2012 R2 App Controller. The App Controller server itself is database agnostic meaning as long as we have a good backup copy of the App Controller database. A new App Controller server can be installed using the recovered database and backed up encryption key during the setup process.
In this chapter, we will cover the following points:
· Performing a backup of the App Controller database
· Making disaster recovery planning decisions for App Controller recovery
· Recovering App Controller service from backup
As mentioned previously, the App Controller server when deployed with a remote SQL Server does not contain a lot of information. This gives us a lot of choices for planning a backup of the App Controller environment. We can use multiple methods to perform a backup of the App Controller environment, as follows:
· Using traditional tools such as SQL Server Management Studio to perform database backup and using Windows Backup to perform system state backup of the operating system.
· Using System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager to perform scheduled backup of the App Controller SQL database and BMR (bare metal recovery) of the operating system running App Controller binaries.
· Restoring App Controller database to an existing environment without running an App Controller setup by backing up the App Controller database only using traditional or enterprise-level backup tools. During disaster recovery, install App Controller as a fresh install. Then restore the previously backed up App Controller database to the newly deployed environment, taking into account that the service pack or feature pack versions are the same.
In this section, we will describe the backup and recovery procedure. To perform a successful recovery during backup, the App Controller advanced encryption standard (AES) key must be exported by performing the following steps:
1. Launch PowerShell ISE as an administrator on the App Controller server.
2. Run the following script, replacing ServerName and Password for the key file according to your requirements:
3. Import-Module AppController
4. $Credentials = Get-Credential
5. Get-SCACServer -ServerName 'https://appcontroller.contoso.internal' -Credential $Credentials
6. $Password = ConvertTo-SecureString "PassWord01" -AsPlainText -Force
Export-SCACAESKey -Path "C:\Media\Key.txt" -Password $Password
Backing up App Controller
In this section, we will cover the steps required to make a backup of the System Center 2012 R2 App Controller server, as follows:
1. Log on to the App Controller server and launch Windows PowerShell ISE as an administrator.
2. Run the following script and change the values of the server URL and password according to your environment:
3. Launch SQL Server Management Studio on the SQL server hosting the App Controller database. In our case, it is a remote server. Take a look at the following screenshot:
4. In the Back Up Database dialog box, specify Name, Description, and Destination to store the backup file. Click on the Add button in the destination section as follows:
5. In the Select Backup Destination dialog box, click on the … button next to the File name path box, as shown in the following screenshot:
6. In the Locate Database Files dialog box, browse to the custom folder that will be used for storing the backup file. Specify the name of the backup file. Then click on the OK button as shown in the following screenshot:
7. In the Select Backup Destination dialog box, the specified folder path and filename should be auto-filled in the filename box. Then click on the OK button as shown in the following screenshot:
8. Back in the Back Up Database dialog box, if any other backup destinations exist in the destination section other than the one we just specified, then select each entry and click on the Remove button.
9. Optionally, you can switch to the Options tab from the left pane and select the checkbox next to Verify backup when finished. Then click on OK button as shown in the following screenshot:
10. Wait for the backup job to finish. Once the job execution completes, a dialog box will pop up. Click on OK to close the following dialog box:
11. To confirm a successful backup, open Windows Explorer and browse to the folder specified earlier in the Back Up Database dialog box, as follows:
Restoring App Controller
In this section, we will explain the procedure to restore the App Controller service. Let's go through the following points:
1. To restore the App Controller service, use traditional tools such as SQL Server Management Studio to restore the backup copy of the database.
2. Then run the App Controller setup as part of the disaster recovery process; provide the AES key file we exported in the previous section during the setup wizard.
In this chapter, we looked at the type of backups that can be created for disaster recovery purposes. Ideally, SCDPM should be used for backing up the BMR state of the App Controller server and snapshot of SQL database if possible. The recovery process can become very flexible and efficient with disk-based short term backup on a DPM server.
For more instructions on BMR with Data Protection Manager, visit Pluralsight, which has a very good tutorial on Data Protection Manager. A sample of the tutorial can be found at http://blog.pluralsight.com/videos/scdpm-bare-metal-recovery.
This concludes the Learning System Center App Controller book by Packt Publishing. We hope you have enjoyed this book as much as we enjoyed writing it.