Archive for the 'System Administration' Category

BackupExec CPS 2010 Snapshot Scheduling

A while ago, I set up BackupExec Continuous Protection Service 2010 (I’d get a direct link to CPS, but I can never find a product page for it). To give a short summation, it provides quicker backups to disk than Symantec’s BackupExec. If you’ve used Microsoft DPM, it’s somewhat similar. You can have schedules such as hourly restore points of servers, or even “continuous” protection, which pulls changes to files on a server as they happen. The important aspect of this software that is relevant to this article, is that CPS pulls files from the various remote servers onto local disk, and, in order to gain retention points, it uses shadow copies. These shadow copies are done with built-in Windows VSS, and are scheduled separately from the backups.

Now to the issue that I had to resolve, and could not find much help in searching online (even my question on ServerFault came up empty). After configuring these snapshots to run regularly, lets call it hourly, I noticed that they were never kicked off. I verified the schedule several times, but they never ran when they were supposed to. I was able to manually run the snapshots (through the CPS console), so it appeared as though the snapshot system was working, but scheduling was not. I dug in deeper, and found that CPS relied on creating Windows Scheduled Tasks to perform these. I looked in Scheduled Tasks, and I didn’t find anything.

I dug through the event log, and anything else I could think of, and I finally realized that I could not create my own scheduled tasks (I got an Access Denied error!). I looked at it from a Windows UAC angle (this was Server 2008 R2), but that didn’t seem to be it. I finally checked the permissions on the folder where tasks are stored (%windir%\Tasks), and here was where I found my problem. Write permissions were stripped from this folder. I later found out this was due to some preventative security measures . After restoring write access, CPS created the job successfully, and I was up and running.