Disaster Recovery with Zmanda: A Comprehensive Guide

Disaster Recovery (DR) is a feature that allows you to protect your data from disasters. In the event of a disaster at your primary site, you can restore your data from the DR site and resume operations. Zmanda’s Disaster Recovery (DR) ensures continuous data protection by replicating the primary server's configuration to a secondary DR site. This redundant server acts as a fail-safe, allowing for rapid recovery in case of a disaster at the primary site.
This guide offers easy steps to configure DR ensuring constant data protection.
Steps to configure Disaster Recovery (DR) in Zmanda:
  1. 1.
    Download Disaster Recovery enabled license from Network Zmanda.
  2. 2.
    Configure DR Service in Zmanda Management Console (ZMC).
Note: The DR repository is the location where your server configurations are stored and preserved.
Step 1: Download Disaster Recovery enabled license from Network Zmanda
The first step to configuring DR is to download a Disaster Recovery enabled license from Network Zmanda. This license will enable the DR feature on your Zmanda server and allow you to configure a DR site.
To download a Disaster Recovery enabled license, follow these steps:
  1. 1.
    Log in to your account on Network Zmanda.
  2. 2.
    Click the Download License button for the newly generated license.
  3. 3.
    You'll need to provide the MAC address for the primary instance.
Note: For the disaster recovery instance, providing the MAC address is not initially required. However, when uploading the license on the Disaster Recovery instance, you will need to re-download the license after providing the Disaster Recovery instance MAC address.
  1. 4.
    Click Next, then copy the passkey and proceed to download the license.
Step 2: Configure DR Service on ZMC
To configure the DR Service on ZMC, follow these steps:
Primary instance setup:
After downloading the DR enabled license, you need to configure the DR service on your Zmanda server. This involves uploading the license and configuring the DR repository.
  1. 1.
    Log in to ZMC (Zmanda Management Console).
  2. 2.
    Navigate to the License tab.
  3. 3.
    Upload the Disaster Recovery enabled license and paste the associated passkey.
  4. 4.
    After successful license upload, the Disaster Recovery tab will be enabled under the Settings tab.
  5. 5.
    Click the Disaster Recovery tab.
  6. 6.
    Click the Set up DR Repository button and configure the storage details.
Essential storage details:
  1. 1.
    Name: For DR Repository, the name is pre-defined and cannot be modified. This ensures clear identification within the system.
  2. 2.
    Directory: Specify the SMB storage directory path. It is mandatory in DR, and if left blank, the machine's home directory will be used as the default location. This path on SMB server configurations is synced every 1 hour for disaster recovery.
  1. 7.
    The Disaster Recovery (DR) service starts synchronizing the configuration data for your primary instance once every hour following successful setting of the storage details.
  • After activation, users must be on their primary instance in order to do ordinary operations like creating storages, backup sets, sources, etc.
  • There is a single active instance at any given time, your primary instance is the active server until a disaster occurs. In the event of a disaster, the DR instance is activated to restore operations and safeguard your data.
  • Ensure to safeguard a copy of the DRconfig as it will be necessary for configuring your DR instance.
After installing the binary on the Disaster Recovery instance, follow these steps:
Disaster Recovery instance setup:
After configuring the DR service on your primary instance, you need to set up the Disaster Recovery instance. This involves copying the DR configuration file from the Primary instance to the Disaster Recovery instance and uploading the license.
To set up the Disaster Recovery Instance, follow these steps:
  1. 1.
    After installing the binary on the Disaster Recovery server copy drconfig file from /var/lib/amanda/drservice folder, from the primary instance to the disaster recovery instance.
  2. 2.
    Copy the drconfig file to /var/lib/amanda/drservice and change the ownership and permission of the file by following these commands:
Copy DR configuration file:
cp /<path-to>/drconfig /var/lib/amanda/drservice/ && chown amandabackup: /var/lib/amanda/drservice/drconfig && chmod 644 /var/lib/amanda/drservice/drconfig
Import DR configuration:
/opt/zmanda/amanda/bin/drservice import --source /var/lib/amanda/drservice/drconfig
  1. 3.
    Log in to Network Zmanda and provide the DR server MAC address if it is required.
  2. 4.
    Re-download the license and copy the new passkey.
  3. 5.
    Log in to ZMC and navigate to the License tab under Settings.
  4. 6.
    Upload the license (containing both Primary Instance MAC address and Disaster Recovery server’s MAC address) and paste the passkey for that license.
  5. 7.
    After successful license upload, the Disaster Recovery tab will be enabled under the Settings tab.
  6. 8.
    On the Disaster Recovery (DR) page, you will find pre-populated details for the DR repository.
  7. 9.
    On the Disaster Recovery Instance, toggle the Activate DR Sync button to commence the restore operation.
  • On the Disaster Recovery Instance server, during the restore process, no other operations such as creating a server, creating a storage, defining a backup set, etc., will be permitted until the restore is successfully completed. This ensures a focused and uninterrupted restoration procedure.
  • To ensure continuous backups and restores, all agents and workloads must be registered with the DR instance.
Restoring Data from the DR Site:
In the event of a disaster at your primary site, please refer the documentation on restoring your data from the DR site.
Once the restore is complete, your data will be restored to the to the specified destination.
  • If you change the location of the DR repository, you will need to resync the DR service.
  • If the DR server MAC address is not configured, you will need to configure it before downloading the license.
  • The storage details for the DR repository will be automatically populated with the same details as the Primary Instance repository. If you do not see the DR repository automatically then you need to refresh the page.
For information on configuring DR with SSO or a dedupe server, refer to the relevant knowledge base (KB) articles.
If you've changed the time zone after installing ZMC, it's essential to restart the DR service and perform the DR restore again to avoid unexpected behavior, like incorrectly displaying the instance as inactive after a successful restore.
Restarting the service ensures it aligns with the updated time zone and helps guarantee successful DR restores.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your data is always protected and that you can quickly recover from any disaster.