Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Restoring from an alternate library in CommVault

CommVault is a great product that allows you to perform backups at a primary location, and then send a deduplicated copy to a DR location for recovery. But what if you need to perform a test recovery at the DR location, how do you tell the restore which library to restore from?

Step 1: Identify the number of the copy

Your basic setup should include a Storage Policy with 2 copies, a primary and a (at least 1) secondary. The secondary is updated either on schedule or on demand.
To view the copy number

  • Browse to Policies | Storage Policies
  • Right-click your policy and select Properties
  • On the Copy Precedence tab, note the Precedence number associated with the target Copy Name

Step 2: Browse for backup data

  • Browse to Client Computers | | |
  • Right-click the subclient and select Browse Backup Data
  • Specify a time frame if needed
  • Change Use MediaAgent to the MA in the DR location
  • Click Advanced
  • On the Advanced Browse Options, change the Copy Precedence to the precedence number previously identified
  • Click OK, OK

Finish your restore as normal

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decrypting NT passwords

If you have been in the tech realm for long, you realize there is a need to recover forgotten passwords. Normally this is difficult (as it should be), but I just found a shortcut.
The website, has an online database of NTLM hashes and their accompanying passwords. Once you have the hash (via pwdump or other tools), just copy and past the hash into the site and viola!

Standard warnings apply. Many countries consider unauthorized access to computers illegal, so only use this process if you have a legitimate reason.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Working with an Iomega StorCenter ix2-200

I just got a 4 TB Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 for use with VMware. The idea is that we can send it to customer locations, copy backups/VMDKs on it, and then ship it back. Previously we had done this with USB drives, but connecting a USB drive to a server is often problematic.

Basic setup for VMware NFS datastores:

  • Don't enable security
    • If you do, you have to work through enabling networks to see the individual shares
  • Enable NFS under Protocols
  • On the Shares page, under each share there is now a NFS item with the export name

When I was setting this up the first time I ran into some issues. Due to the posts and comments at, I was able to use SSH to get a better understanding of the configuration and review logs. To enable SSH,

  1. Go to http://IOMEGAURL/diagnostics.html (a hidden page)
  2. Under Support Access, click Allow remote access for support
  3. SSH to the device
    1. User: root
    2. Password: sohoadmin
    3. If you enabled security on the device, the password is soho + yourpassword

Problems making NFS work.
When trying to mount the NFS partition, my ESX server kept erroring out. The vmkernel log reported "WARNING: NFS: 946: MOUNT RPC failed with RPC status 13 (RPC was aborted due to timeout) trying to mount". The logs on the Iomega showed the mount request was being authenticated, but the mount never succeeded.
A little more googling and I found It turns out the Iomega attempts to resolve the DNS address of the requesting system. Normally this wouldnt be a problem, but I was on a network that didnt have access to a DNS server. Adding a hosts entry fixed the problem