Upgrading to KACE SDA 5.x on a Hyper-V Platform...You need to read this!!

So we have had this situation come about on a couple of customer engagements in the last month, and as the guidance found in documentation is difficult to find, I thought there may be KACE Users who need to know this information.

If you are in the following situation

You are running Microsoft Hyper-V as your preferred virtual platform of choice and you are considering an upgrade to v5.1 of your SDA.

The negative outcome

Hyper-V will try to take a backup of your KACE SDA and you may lose your KACE SDA database entirely.

You may be able to log a call with support and I am sure they will try to help you recover, but typically we have found the only answer is to start again.

So if you do not want to lose all those hours of work you have put into your SDA you need to set the following setting on your Hyper-V host:

Configuring backup integration services appropriately for KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA) virtual machines running on Hyper-V prevents MySQL database file corruption. KACE SDA virtual machine running on Hyper-V is incorrectly configured for virtual machine (VM) backup, resulting in some MySQL database file corruption inside the appliance, rendering the appliance unusable until Technical Support is contacted to resolve the issue, by restoring the database from the most current, non-corrupted database backup.

This is caused by the Hyper-V live virtual machine backup feature, that facilitates zero down time backup of live virtual machines. For more information, visit https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn531031(v=ws.12).aspx.

However, Microsoft does not yet support the Hyper-V live backup feature for any version of FreeBSD virtual machines running on Hyper-V, which includes Hyper-V VMs of the KACE SDA products, since they are based on FreeBSD. For more information, visit https://technet.microsoft.com/library/dn848318(ws.12).aspx.

If correctly configured, when a backup is taken of a VM that does not support live backup, the Hyper-V server takes the VM offline (placed into the saved state) for the duration of the backup process, and then restores the VM to its previous state after the backup process is done. While the VM has to be taken offline, resulting in downtime for the VM, the backup should be able to complete without adversely affecting the VM’s contents. For more information, visit https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn798286.aspx.

Since Microsoft does not support live backups of the FreeBSD operating system that the KACE appliances run on, it is important to configure the appropriate Integration Services settings of the KACE SDA Hyper-V VMs that prevent Hyper-V from attempting to perform live backups of the VM. When the VM's Integration Services settings are not properly configured, some customers have experienced file corruption inside of the KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA) which causes it to not function correctly, resulting in needing to contact Technical Support to correct the problem.

Since Microsoft automatically defaults all new Hyper-V VMs to have the Backup Integration Service enabled, if you created a Hyper-V VM for the KACE SDA, follow the instructions below to correctly configure this service for FreeBSD, to prevent the above database file corruption.

Disabling the live backup feature on KACE SDA Hyper-V VMs is recommended.

To disable the Backup Integration Service, in the VM Settings dialog box, under Management > Integration Services, clear the Backup (volume checkpoint) check box, and click Apply. This setting may have a different name, such as Backup (volume shadow copy), depending on the Windows version of the Hyper-V server.  

A full copy of the Setup Guide for Hyper-V Platforms can be found here


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