Creating a New Package

Package

The package defines, creates and manages the HotDBWAN operation through a set of properties and specifications. The package links one source server to one or many target servers and synchronizes the HotDBWAN activities between them.

Creating a new package will ultimately build a frequent backup job of a source server database, create the database copy on target servers and a frequent restore job to update the target databases.
The source database backup files are copied to a shared folder. Then, the target databases are restored from the shared folder. Also, a frequent delete job is created to erase old backup files from the shared folder and make room for new files.
Every server may participate only as the source or as one target in a package.

But first, you need to create and customize your new package.

Preparations

Before creating a new package, follow these instructions:

  1. Pick a shared folder. All the servers that participate in the package use this folder. It is highly recommended to pick a shared folder on a computer other than the source and target servers. Make sure all the servers have read, write and modify permissions to the shared folder. To grant permissions to a server, grant the user account running the SQL Server and the SQL Agent services the required permissions.
  2. Link the source server to the target servers. The target servers depend on the source server to provide them the necessary information for a successful restore. HotDBWAN automatically adds the source server as a linked server to every target. To avoid delays during the package creation, it is recommended to link the source server to the target servers manually in case problems shall occur. The best security strategy to link between the servers is trusted connection.
  3. Disable any transaction log backup job on the source server agent. Although HotDBWAN disables every transaction log backup job it finds before creating the backup log job, It is highly recommended to disable or delete the existing jobs manually in order to avoid future synchronization problems in case the automatic disabling misses a job.

Creating a New Package

Click on "Create New Package(s)" in the "Packages" menu. The package creation wizard will appear.

Step 1 : Source Server & Database

In the first step you choose which server will be the source server and which database will be the source database for the HotDBWAN operation. You may pick more than one database in order to create a number of packages at the same time, using the same package configuration.

Pick the source server from the "Source server" drop-down combo box. Then, the "Source database(s)" list will be filled with the source server's database list. Pick one or more source databases and click on the "Next" button.

Note : offline, read-only, stand-by and simple recovery modeled databases could not be used as source databases.

Step 2 : Source Backup

In this step you choose the source database backup locations, the log backup frequency & schedule, the package's shared folder & compression option and the initial backup files for the target database generation.

Backup Details

If a database backup from the previous 24 hours is found, HotDBWAN will use its location as the default database backup location. If the transaction log was backed up since then, HotDBWAN will use its location as the default transaction log backup location.

In order to use an existing transaction log backup instead of HotDBWAN's, check the " The transaction log backup will be performed by a third party". In that case, the source t-log backup location has to point on the external transaction log backup physical location.

Pick the physical location for the database backup file by clicking on the "..." button next to the "Source database backup location" textbox. Pick the physical location for the transaction log backup files by clicking on the "..." button next to the "Source transaction log backup location" textbox.

The backup interval is the number of minutes to occur between each execution of the backup job. Set the backup interval on the "Backup interval" up-down control.

The start time and the end time are the log backup job's start time and end time. Set the start time and the end time on each one's time picker control.

The remove files older than (days) is the number of days to occur before deleting every backup file from the transaction-log backup folder. Set the remove files older than indicator on its up-down control.

The start time and the end time are the log backup job's start time and end time. Set the start time and the end time on each one's time picker control.

Note : Clicking a "..." button opens the HotDBWAN folder browser. To pick a network location (physical location on a remote computer on the network), type the network path into the textbox on the bottom of the folder browser.

Note : Using the same folder for the backup locations and the shared folder (unnecessarily with the same pathway) will result in skipping every copy step.

Shared Folders

The shared folders are physical locations on the network for the source database's backup files and compressed files. It is highly recommended to pick your shared folders on computers other than the source and target servers.

Pick the shared folder by clicking on the "..." button next to the "Shared folder" textbox.

To compress every backup file into the compressed files shared folder, check the "Compress the backup files" checkbox and pick the compressed files shared folder by clicking on the "..." button next to the "Compressed files shared folder" textbox.

Back Up Now or Existing Backup Files

To generate every target database, the source database's backup file is needed. If one was created in the previous 24 hours, it will appear in the backup files list at the bottom. Any transaction log that was created since then, will appear in the backup files list sorted by the Backup DateTime. In case one of the backup files is missing, it will appear with an 'x' on the left column. If you could locate the missing file or files, do so and then click on the "Refresh Files List" button.

If a recent backup is found but you'd prefer to back up the database immediately and not use the existing one, select the "Back up now" option. If no backup file exists or the existing file is too old, HotDBWAN will force the "Back up now" option.

Note: When creating more than one package at a time, in case you select "Use existing backup files" and no recent backup is found for a specific database, HotDBWAN will back up the source database immediately for that package.

Click on the "Next" button.

Step 3 : Targets

In this step you choose which servers will be used as target servers and the failover shared folders.

Failover shared folder are the temporary shared folders used during a failover activity. Pick each one of the locations by clicking on the "..." button next to each location's textbox.

Database backup extension & Transaction log backup extension are the extensions given to the backup files by HotDB backup jobs.

When you finish choosing the target servers, click on the "Next" button.

To add a new target, click on the "Add" button.

Choose a target server from the "Target server" drop-down combo box.

The data file, transaction log file and roll back file of the target server's new database have to be located on the target server's hard drives. Pick each one of the files' location by clicking on the "..." button next to each location's textbox.

Target Properties

The restore interval is the number of minutes to occur between each execution of the restore job. Set the interval on the "Restore interval" up-down control.

Delay is the interval of time in minutes between the present and the point in time which the target data is updated to. Setting the delay to 30 minutes, for example, will result in the target database being an image of the source database half an hour ago. Set the delay on the "Delay" up-down control.

The restore start time and the end time are the log restore job's start time and end time. Set the start time and the end time on each one's time picker control.

In order to use the target database with the same SQL security as the source, the source server logins must be copied to the target SQL server. As default, copy logins will be executed. To cancel the copy, uncheck the "Copy source server logins" checkbox.

To assure the data update on every run of the restore job, check "Drop all target database's connections before restoring".

Note : The success of a target creation does not depend on the success of the logins copy.

As default, the database backup file, used to restore the targets for the first time, is copied to the shared folder and read from there. In order to restore the target database for the first time directly from the target server file system, check the "Don't restore the database backup from the shared folder, but directly from" checkbox and specify the local path to the database backup file in the "Database backup local path" textbox.

Primary Role & Remote Target

Every package may have one target allowed to assume primary role, meaning, one of the targets could be used as a temporary source server to the other targets, in case the original source server suffers from a problem preventing him from functioning as the source.

If such problem occurs, use the Failover operation. To learn more about Failover, click here.

To define a target as the primary target, check the "Allow database to assume primary role" checkbox. Then, pick the database and transaction log backup locations for the primary target server to use when functioning as a source. Click on the "..." button next to each location's textbox.

Remote target is a target that pulls backup files or compressed backup files, from the shared folder into a local folder before restoring them.
To define a target that pulls backup files, check "Copy backup files from the shared folder to a local location before restoring" and set the local folder location for the backup files copied from the "shared folder".
In order to define a target that uses compressed files, "file compression" and "compressed files shared folder" have to be defined in Step 2. To enable the use of compressed files for a remote target, first check "Remote Target (use file compression)". Then, two physical locations have to be defined. One for the compressed files copied from the "compressed files shared folder" and one for the "decompressed backup files". Pick them both by clicking on the "..." button next to each location's textbox.

Click on the "OK" button.

Step 4 : Package Alert

In the last step you set the package alerts threshold. The alert threshold is the number of sequential job failures needed for the HotDBWAN monitor to alert for a failure.

The backup log alert threshold refers to the backup job and the out of sync alert refers to the restore job/s.

Set the thresholds on the matching up-down controls.

Click on the "Finish" button. The package name window will appear. Enter a name for the new package and click on the "OK" button.

 

It is highly recommended to read the warning on the Supplements help page to avoid future problems.