Commvault VSA job fails with “The option to backup only failed virtual machines was selected, but no failed virtual machines were discovered in the previous job”

Commvault introduced a neat little option called “Backup Failed VMs only (Virtual Server)” which can be found in the advanced settings of the schedule policy backup task.

I reconfigured the schedule policy according to the following strategy:
(i) Backup task 1: daily incremental @ 7PM CET
(ii) Backup task 2: weekly synthetic full @ 10AM CET (DASH full only; no backup)
(iii) Backup task 3: daily incremental for failed virtual machines only @ 6AM CET

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How to upgrade the CommVault software on a CommServe DR

CommVault allows the installation of a CommVault Simpana Disaster Recovery CommServe to ensure the operations can be easily resumed after losing the active CommServe due to system outage or site-loss.

In this particular setup, we are using a protection mechanism on three different levels:

  • Microsoft SQL Database mirroring has been configured to allow a near-zero replication to reduce configuration data loss when an issue occurs;
  • CommVault Simpana Disaster Recovery Storage Policy which is dumping the database to a network location every 6 hours;
  • CommVault Simpana Disaster Recovery Storage Policy which copies the database dump to a tape every 6 hours.

The interactive GUI-based installer requires the databases to be available in read/write modus and the services to be able to be started. The specific configuration on the CommServe DR doesn’t allow a service restart (DB is unavailable), nor the DB upgrade (DB is in mirroring modus). Hence, the installation will be unsuccessful. Continue reading

A step-by-step guide to configure NetApp CDOT NDMP in combination with CommVault Simpana 10

There are some differences in setting up the CommVault Simpana NDMP iDataAgent in combination with NetApp Clustered Data OnTap (CDOT) compared to a 7-mode filer.

This post explains the configuration process to start backing up snapshots stored on a SnapVault NetApp running CDOT by using two-way NDMP.

In case you are using three-way NDMP to protect the data stored on the filer, some of the steps are not required. I will list those throughout the procedure.

If you need a better understanding about two-way NDMP vs. three-way NDMP, please refer to my blogpost called: “Lingo Explained: 2-way NDMP vs. 3-way NDMP”.

Before you start, ensure the CommVault Simpana software is running on a supported version. My environment is running CommVault Simpana 10 Service Pack 12 when I performed this integration. More information about the CommVault configuration prerequisites and – requirements can be found on CommVault BOL. The configuration process of NDMP on NetApp CDOT is outlined in a document called “Clustered Data OnTap 8.3 NDMP Configuration Express Guide“.


  1. Try to use controller-based protocols (such as CIFS & NFS) as much as possible. The filer is able to see the contents in these folders, which results in an increased flexibility in the restore process (compared to FC – or iSCSI LUN emulation).
  2. Create one NDMP subclient per volume instead of using one subclient containing all volumes. By splitting a higher level of performance can be achieved as data restores require less tapes to be mounted resulting in an increased recovery (limitation of the way NDMP works).
  3. NDMP backup data cannot be used in combination with Content Indexing (End User Search). If this is a business requirement, consider to use a pseudo client.
  4. Data archiving and stubbing is not supported on NDMP subclients. If this is a business requirement, consider to use a pseudo client.


  1. Before executing the steps outlined in this procedure, verify if all required DNS-entries are created.
  2. In case you are using 2-way NDMP, make sure the tape devices are presented to all controllers within the cluster before executing the procedure outlined below.

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Installing multiple CommVault instances on a single server (Windows)

CommVault Simpana allows the installation of multiple instances on a single server. Each instance can operate simultaneously and independent from each other. The instance itself belongs to only one CommCell!

Each instance has it’s own:

  • Binaries installed (for example: “D:\Program Files\CommVault\Simpana\” and “D:\Program Files\CommVault\Simpana2“);
  • Updates installed (the other instance is treated as another server, hence updates need to be installed separately);
  • Set of services (with each own GXadmin);
  • Registry settings (“HKLM\Software\CommVault Systems\Galaxy\Instance00x“).

The important question is.. why would you want to do this? Some use cases: Continue reading

CommVault Data Aging job fails with the error “Failed to get prunable data”

Data Aging is the process which deletes the data once the retention has been superseded. Additionally the data aging process defines the extended- and basic retentions.

Last week – after 1 year of successful execution –  the data aging jobs started to fail with the following error: “[32:329] Failed to get prunable data“.

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Redirecting the CommVault webconsole URL’s (version 10)

A set of different web consoles have been introduced as of CommVault Simpana v10. Every console has it’s specific purpose. In general we can say the console based on Microsoft Internet Information Services (number 1 in the list below) is restricted to administrators for daily management of the CommCell.

CommVault provides the following web pages:

  1. CommVault Simpana Administration Console: http://commserve:81/console
  2. Regular webconsole: http://webserver/webconsole/
  3. Compliance search: http://webserver/compliancesearch/
  4. Search admin: http://webserver/searchadmin/
  5. Lucene admin: http://searchnode:27000

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Lingo Explained: Block Padding (with HP Data Protector)

The term Block Padding is used in backup to tape environments when there is a need for tape copy and backup mirroring. Tape still remains a sequential medium, using different tracks to store data. Therefore, there are slight variations in the overall capacity of individual tapes. This can pose a significant challenge when attempting to make an exact copy from a tape which is slightly larger than the destination tape. Planning for this eventual issue must be done before the initial tape initialization.

HP Data Protector uses a parameter called “OB2BLKPADDING” in the omnirc file on each system (media agent) connected with a tape device. The parameters’ value defines the number of empty blocks to be added on the specific tape. This empty space allows tape content to be copied to another tape of the same type without any problem as the empty space is not copied from the source.

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The power of CommVault Simpana Regex based subclients

A Regex or Regular Expression is a sequence of characters that define a search pattern. It’s mainly used for pattern matching. Each character in a regular expression is either understood to be a metacharacter -with it’s special meaning, or a regular character with it’s listeral meaning.

A basic understanding of regular expressions is recommended. For more information about the expressions and metacharacters which can be used, please refer to a regex cheat sheet. Various tools are available on the internet to test your regular expressions. For example: RegExPal.

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CommVault Content Indexing operations are failing after performing a search engine optimization

Last week, I downloaded a custom workflow which executes a Search Engine optimization from CommVault Cloud.

The Search Engine optimization workflow brings the Search Engine offline, performs some maintenance activities on the Apache Lucene SOLR engine. Once completed, the search engine is brought back online. Below you can find a screenshot of the workflow.
SOLR Content Indexing Failing - 1

When been executed, I noticed it stayed in the “run optimize” phase for about 25 minutes and the logs files remained remarkable empty. I decided to kill the job and check it on a later moment. (sorry I did not had the time to wait :) )

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Import CommVault cloud report templates in the webconsole

CommVault Simpana 10 ships with a very powerful webconsole. At this moment, the webconsole is an addendum on the CommVault Simpana Administration Console. It’s not a replacement!

The webconsole allows:

  • on-demand & historical reporting;
  • end-user data recovery for Microsoft Exchange and various file system backups;
  • Edge data & software installation;
  • executing workflow runbooks (for example: end-user incident management);
  • virtual machine management;

In this blogpost, I would like to touch the “on-demand & historical reporting”. By default, the webconsole is filled up with some default reports which can be executed on the CommServe Databases.

The reporting framework is not restricted to the CommVault databases only. In the configuration section of the webconsole, you can easily define external data sources. The supported “remote databases” are:

  • Microsoft SQL Server;
  • Oracle;
  • MySQL.

Basically this functionality allows reporting on custom-applications, databases filled-up with scripts and 3rd party applications. For example reporting on a remote Symantec Backup Exec server.

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