Hello. This is Wes Gill from StorageCraft. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to expand the StorageCraft solution for ConnectWise Automate to create some simple but very effective internal monitors to ensure your ShadowProtect SPX backups are up-to-date and you can meet you SLAs.
For those not familiar, StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX is a full-image backup and recovery product for physical and virtual machines. For example, this is a server running SPX and backing up the two volumes on the server. The Automate plug-in solution allows you to easily install, license, and see backup status and history of all machines running SPX from inside control center.
You can see the last success and next scheduled backup on the overview tile. Clicking on the tile will launch the main StorageCraft plug-in view where you can do many operations and also see detailed backup history. This is very useful for seeing detailed status on demand, but I’ll show you now how to leverage the same underlying data that drives this plug-in to create internal monitors to ensure backups are up-to-date and within recovery point objectives required by your service level agreements.
I’ll start by creating an extra data field that will define the acceptable backup agent hours on a per computer basis. Navigate to system, configuration, and then dashboard. Then click config, configurations, additional fields, computers. Fill out the fields as shown here. Field name is SPX backup age SLA hours. Field type is drop-down. Tab is backup. And fill is a bit complicated but not too bad it’s a tilde separated list of values that will appear in the drop-down. For example, I have values of no backups expected, 240, 168, and so on.
Next, is a pipe character followed by a description in this case maximum age in hours of last successful ShadowProtect SPX backup. Lastly one more pipe character and then the number two to indicate a drop-down list. Finally, press save or add.
Next, we’ll set a default value for the extra data field that will be assigned to all computers. This is also done on the dashboard view, just click on config, additional field defaults, computers, and then backup. You may need to click refresh for it to show up. Find the SPX backup age SLA hours field and set the default value. Default value should be your catch-all value for backups being out-of-date.
In this example, I’ll set it to 168 hours, which is one week, so if I don’t set the SLA more specifically I’ll get an alert if the backup is out-of-date more than a week. Next, we’ll create a search to find all computers with particular SLA value and then build a group for that search. Go to automation, searches, view searches, and then backup software and click on plus ad. I’ve already created a few so let’s have a look at them.
This one is called SPX backup age SLA 168 hours which is a definition of all computers with the SLA H-value of 168 hours. It’s also limited to computers running ShadowProtect SPX. I’ve created a few similar searches as well with different values of 24 hours and 4 hours for machines with tighter SLA requirements. Next, we need to make some groups. Press the plus new in the upper left and then group. Click backup management and then next.
I’ve already created the group, so we just have a look at them. Here’s a group called SPX backup age SLA 168 hours. The auto join search is set to the corresponding search the limit to search is checked and previous list will show which computers are found. When you set this up, click the auto join now to have computers get into the group right away.
Next, we will create the internal monitor. Navigate to automation monitors, internal monitors. Leave the start fresh selected and press next. If you’re creating a similar monitor with slightly different values, you can right click and choose copy monitor. I’ve already created the monitor so, let’s have a look.
I’ve named the monitors BU for backup and then SPX backup age SLA and then the number of hours. Set the interval and next run time as desired. Set monitor mode and duplicate alert frequency as desired. For the check condition, set table to check to plug in underscore SC underscore SPX underscore backup underscore age underscore hours. Field the check backup age hours. Check condition greater then and the result to match the monitor value, in this example 168. Set the identity field to computer ID backup job name and quit.
Next, change tab to monitor target. Right click the groups box and set the matching group. One tip is that if you copy the monitor and need to delete a group from the list, just double click the group in the box. Also, if you don’t see the group you need, click refresh. Next, change tab to alerting. Set the alert template as desired. Next, set the alert message on subject the same as the subject on failure.
I like descriptive names, so I chose client name, location name, computer name has SPX backup aged out of SLA so that it’s crystal clear what it is. Set the alert message on success or failure to be something descriptive similar to the values shown here Client name, location name, computer name, SPX backups are result hours old, that’ll show exactly how old the backups are when you get the message. Set ticket and report categories as needed and finally click add to save the monitor.
Next, we’ll assign the appropriate SLA values to computers. Go to computer management, click the automation icon. Click extra data fields and click on backup on the left. Set the value in the drop-down and press save. For this server I want to tight SLA at 4 hours, so I’ll change the value to 4 and click save. Now if this computer’s backups are out-of-date more than 4 hours the 4-hour SLA monitor will detect this and actions such as creating tickets sending alerts etc. to find the monitor setup will occur. Looking back at our internal monitors page we see the 168 hours monitor has problems.
If we drill in we see computers 1, 7, and 8 in a failed state. These computers have SPX installed for performing test recoveries, but they don’t create any backups. For these computers it’s appropriate to set their SLA value to be no backups expected. So, went ahead and changed both machines 1 and 7 and now we will see just machine 8 left on the list after a few minutes when the system refreshes group memberships.
Machine 8 should be backing up, so there must be a problem. Let’s have a look at the StorageCraft plug-in page. So, the backup job is failing but I see the license status shows unlicensed so once I activate the SPX license on this computer, backups should begin. But until I correct this, the monitor will stay in a failed state as a reminder of a work item to complete.
This concludes the tutorial on simple, but very effective internal monitors to ensure your ShadowProtect SPX backups are up-to-date and you can meet your SLAs.
Again, this is Wes Gill from StorageCraft. Please don’t hesitate to email me comments, questions, or suggestions for improvement to the StorageCraft Automate plug-in. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.