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Ghost and sql server using a SAN

  • 1.  Ghost and sql server using a SAN

    Posted 12-28-2017 06:06 PM

    I am in a bit of a pickle. I have used Ghostcast to back up 9 out of 11 servers. The last two are creating a bit of an issue. I have two DL380 G7 attached to these servers is a single HP P2000 SAN. The servers are running Server 2008 r2 and the server that has Ghost Solution Suite is running server 2012 r2. On the previous servers:

    • I created an USB
      • with a few added drivers
    • I booted to the USB 
    • I used GhostCast to capture the image
    • And I tested the image by rebuilding the server using ghostcast

    Up to this point I have run into a few issues, that were easily solved thanks to this forum. When it comes to these other servers when I boot to USB I am getting one of two issues. 

    1. Everything looks fine and gets into Winpe and to the terminal/cmd window, but locks up on "looking for boot device" and never goes past this point
    2. It hits the splash screen and then goes to a black screen and just sits there.

    I have literally scoured the internet and this forum. I have tested multiple drivers. I have made various boot devices. Nothing seems to work. The only success I have had is removing the SAN. If I remove the san I can backup the server. The issue though is this does not help to back up the data on those drives. This is a SQL server and the data is very important. So at this point I have a few questions:

    1. Is it possible to back up the server and the data drive in one go?
    2. Is there a driver or setting that could be causing this issue?
    3. Is it possible to back up the SAN seperately and reload with the two sql servers if we need to bring them back to life?

    Thanks ahead of time!! 


  • 2.  RE: Ghost and sql server using a SAN

    Posted 12-28-2017 10:16 PM


    Excluding any solutions dealing with ghost, winpe versions, drivers, etc.

    a) Are these servers boot from SAN or do they have local disks as well? My point being you can easily mirror SAN volumes within the vendor's XYZ software - provided the storage is provisioned. It just wouldn't be mapped to the server. Block mirroring would be unknown to the OS. Ghost could come into play if local disks were there.

    b) I'll ask the silly question since I don't know the whole story. Can we just backup the databases and restore them to the new server?


  • 3.  RE: Ghost and sql server using a SAN

    Posted 12-29-2017 11:36 AM

    Thanks for the quick response!!

    a) They do not boot from the san, they have local disks. The san is just data for sql.

    b) definitely not a silly question. That is kind of what I am wondering. Basically all of the servers are being cloned since we are switching from the software on these servers to new software on virtual machinesl. The cloned images are going to sit on a server for a year while we use the hardware for other purposes. After a year we are removing the images. They are there just in case 6 months down the road we need to spin these back up and use them again. Ideally if this issue does come up we can spin all of these servers up again and grab whatever we need off of them, or use the software again. 

    Hmm you may have pointed me in the correct direction. I guess the real question is this: Is it possible to do all of this in one go or should I clone the servers themselves and back up the sql database on the san seperately? I think if i can figure this out I will be able to come up with a better solution. 


  • 4.  RE: Ghost and sql server using a SAN

    Posted 01-08-2018 06:47 AM

    On the assumption that you are using an old version of Ghost and not the very latest, there are all sorts of driver and hardware issues that might be causing your grief.

    First of all, please note that Ghost is NOT a backup solution - it is an imaging solution first and foremost. For critical data, you should always use a product that is designed for data backup and may offer a lot more resilience than ghost in the event that a backup image gets corrupted. When ghost images get corrupted, there is basically zero chance of recovering data.  Given the generally low cost of hard disks, it might be cleaner and cheaper overall just to store the hard disks from these server machines and put in brand new disks for whatever they will be used for next.

    Otherwise, get some software specifically designed for data backup on servers (yes, there is a Symantec product that does the job - used to be called Backup Exec but pretty sure it has been renamed now).

    The current version of Ghost relies entirely on WinPE as the boot environment, and even with the latest WinPE, there are no guarantees that RAID drivers will work correctly in a command line environment. However, at least Ghost now runs with 64 bit WinPE and you can therefore use 64 bit drivers which is what modern servers tend to come with.