Author Topic: Avast Server, Windows 2008 R2, and Commvault  (Read 7190 times)

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Offline godzirra

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Avast Server, Windows 2008 R2, and Commvault
« on: July 23, 2010, 10:17:39 AM »
Hello,
We are testing out the Avast Server Edition in hopes of purchasing it for our 2500+ machines.  We have hit a wall with our file server and I need some advice.  Here is the configuration:
Windows 2008 R2 server, running on Vmware.  Only used as a file share server.  Vmware has a 2TB san (Hp Eva) connected up and serving the files on a Tier 1 setting.  (Yes we should be using a NAS with external vs but you work with what you have)
Commvault, backup and archiving utility with the replication piece on hold until we can resolve this issue.  
Avast 4 Server edition default install without an adnm.

Here are the symptoms.  
The file server runs for about 5 minutes.  then the cpu drops to zero (watching it with task manager and process explorer)
No errors are listed in the event log, commvault logs, or avast logs.  
Vmware shows that the box has full resources available and concurs with the zero cpu issue.
the box eventually locks up and requires a hard reboot.

Here is what has been done:
clean Windows box spun up.  
Avast loaded on the box.
lun presented to box.
runs fine.

clean windows box spun up.
Lun presented.
Commvault loaded on the box.
runs fine (archive plugs restore quickly and no errors.)

Clean windows box spun up.
lun presented
Commvault loaded
Avast loaded
box crashes.  

clean windows box spun up
avast loaded
lun presented
commvault installed.
box crashes.

Any ideas or suggestions would be gladly appreciated.  
tonight I excluded the Commvault services from every exclusions list i could find in Avast (3 so far, the explorer extensions, the scanning settings, and the resident protection) hopefully we will not have any more problems, but I sure could use any advice about this.  oh and the archive plugin has been turned off as well until we are sure we can use it.  In testing it everything worked great, but on a production system we have had some serious problems.  about 3000 users have been affected and it's an unsettling feeling.  
Thanks,
EB


P.S.
I failed to mention that the boxes were also root tested with sophos and gmer before anything else was installed on it. 
Thx.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 10:19:22 AM by godzirra »

Offline wpn

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Re: Avast Server, Windows 2008 R2, and Commvault
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 01:04:32 PM »
sounds like commvault and avast are colliding with eachother on file access, much like multiple anti virus packages installed on the same machine would do...

how is commvault accessing the files?  Doesnt it use the VSS structure for backing up?
Did you check the disk activity ??  cpu activity is not linked to disk activity

I assume that when you mentioned that you had spun up a new machine, that the installation of sophos or other AV was not present in that new machine?
if so you should use the special removal tools that they offer to remove the package completely...
Tho i believe its then easier to make a new VM from a clean template which you have i assume




ps: many people would be jealous on you for bein able to work with that kind of hardware.... i myself am at this moment working on getting the HP bl465c G7 blades with an external SAN (either EMC x4 or HP MSA2000) but its possible that because of the costs i will only get rackservers to virtualise with :S


« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 01:07:28 PM by wpn »

Offline godzirra

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Re: Avast Server, Windows 2008 R2, and Commvault
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 06:13:38 PM »
Commvault does use the VSSVC.EXE as part of it's service.  I have excluded all of the Commvault Exe's and the VSSVC.EXE.  It doesn't appear to have a problem when backing up, replicating, or restoring data blocks.  It only hangs when re-hydrating an archived object.  Yes we have narrowed it down to Avast and Commvault contending for the Rehydrated object, but that is where it stops.  Perfmon, Process Explorer, Task Mgr all fail to show any disk access mem usage or processor usage.  The only thing peculiar that I noticed was that the processor dropped to 0% usage just before it went completely unresponsive.  A Hard Reset from VM was the only way to get the box back up and running. 

As far as a clean OS, both 2003 and 2008 were spun up from new builds to make sure it wasn't a bad OS. 

I have contacted Avast support but there has been little movement so far (as well as Commvault, they only seem to notice when a contract is about to expire). 

WPN: have you picked a San yet?  We have been looking at Compellent and Netapp.  We like Compellent for the data waterfall (FAST style approach) but We like Netapp for it's flexibility.  Tough choices.  Luckily we have Consultants from the top four (Netapp, Hitachi, Compellent, and EMC) coming to pitch us this next month.  Good luck with your choices. 

Offline wpn

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Re: Avast Server, Windows 2008 R2, and Commvault
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 07:44:26 PM »
as far as your problem goes, i help more sorry :S

we are in the proces with a consultancy party to put up the hardware/software

i made a plan last year with a complete hardware setup.
That plan got kicked aside to have a consultant say basicly the same but they prefer rack servers since they have a bit of an old fashioned way of thinking so i am in contact with a product manager from hp and via him a presales manager to come talk about the hardware....

the problem for me is that my company is a non-profit foundation working with subsidiairies (if thats spelled correctly) meaning that we dont have unlimited resources to get blades and the very best SAN (lefthand/eva/emc/netapp)...
i myself had my eye on the HP MSA2000 for my enviroment, just the basic setup, no replication or snapshotting anything because of the budget limitation i have
i also need to do 5 years with my hardware (hence the choice of blades from which i know all the advantages and know its future proof) and a nice SAN...
the consult recommends using the EMC x4 tho, but its more expensive....
ill have an answer in the first 2 weeks of august tho