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Peer Backup Assistant and High Availability


Peer Backup Assistant (PBA) now has a High-availability (HA) feature.

The HA feature allows for saved USMT data (.MIG) to be copied to multiple (up to a maximum of six) peers during the task sequence. This helps to mitigate the potential risk of PBA Hosts going offline during the task sequence causing the USMT data to be unavailable when needed for the Restore step.

Peer Backup Assistant: Finalize Nomad PBA Data Store

pba store
The screenshot above shows the Finalize Nomad PBA Data Store step in the task sequence. To enable High Availability just simply check the box. Next, you will need to determine the Minimum number of additional backups and the Maximum number of additional backups. Synchronous backups for which to wait means how many backups should be completed before the task sequence can continue to the next step while still copying the USMT data to a peer.

What’s the behavior in the Task Sequence?

Using the configuration from the screenshot above I’ll discuss how PBA HA works during a task sequence.
Determining and setting the minimum number and the maximum number of additional backups should be straight forward. The Synchronous backups, on the other hand, should be carefully considered. The synchronous backup number determines how many backups need to complete before the Task Sequence will continue to the next step. This means if you configure 1 Synchronous backup then after the first backup is copied to the PBA Host then the PBA Host will handle copying the .MIG file to another PBA Host. The Task Sequence will wait on the Finalize Nomad PBA Data Store step until the additional HA backup is complete.
Always keep in mind that the larger the .MIG file the longer this process will take. If the PBA backup takes 20 minutes to copy to the PBA Host, then more than likely the PBA HA backup will take 20 minutes. Remember if Synchronous backups are configured to 0 then there’s no guarantee any HA backups will complete successfully.

Nomadbranch Log file of workstation executing the Task Sequence

Workstations seen in the logs:
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The FORRESTER WAVE™: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2022

The FORRESTER WAVE™: End-User Experience Management, Q3 2022