With the continued development of the Centralized Monitoring Console (CMC), we’ve encountered some unexpected issues that we’ve had to help customers resolve. I’d like to share one such issue just in case you’ve been experiencing it on your server and haven’t been able to find a fix.
In one case we discovered that BackupAssist was generating an event with the following error on multiple servers, all on the same network:
Input String was not in correct format.
First, we checked to see if BackupAssist was communicating with the CMC server successfully. After performing a trace route test we discovered that the transmission was being sent, but that it was not making it to the CMC server itself. This led us to investigate security settings configured on the network to see if they might have been blocking the transmission.
After a few basic network checks, we tried disabling the anti-virus software (McAfee in this case) to see if this had any effect. We ran a test backup to trigger sending a backup report out, and lo and behold, the client received the report in their CMC account! After running through a few of the other servers experiencing this same problem, disabling the anti-virus software again did the trick and resolved the issue.
There was one server, however, where disabling the anti-virus application didn’t resolve the issue. After checking that there wasn’t another firewall or network security application installed, we tried browsing to the CMC server using Internet Explorer to see if it was accessible from the machine running BackupAssist. We readily discovered that the security certificate for http:\\secure.backupassist.com\cmc (the CMC homepage and the address where CMC transmissions are sent) was not listed as one of the trusted sites on this machine’s Internet Browser. After adding http:\\secure.backupassist.com\cmc as a trusted site in Internet Explorer and manually installing the security certificate, we were able to send reports to the CMC server successfully.
The steps to manually install security certificates can be found at http://www.niu.edu/its/internet/certificate/ie_help_file.shtml.
Adding a website to the trusted sites list within Internet Explorer can be achieved by completing the steps outlined at http://surfthenetsafely.com/ieseczone7.htm.
Important note: While McAfee was the culprit in this instance, other anti-virus software could cause the same problem. Unfortunately the customer experiencing this issue was unable to determine which setting in McAfee was causing the transmission to be blocked. As we do not advise completely disabling your anti-virus software, for the obvious reason of network and data security, we recommend that you try adding BackupAssistService.exe as an exception in your firewall application. This will hopefully prevent transmissions from being blocked. If you discover that another setting in your anti-virus software was the culprit for this issue we would appreciate it if you could let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share the information with others.
For further reading and troubleshooting suggestions on the CMC, please take the time to read http://www.backupassist.com/education/articles/make-the-most-of-backupassist-centralized-monitoring.html.
I hope this helps,