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Planning Your DPM 2007 Strategy

Planning Your DPM 2007 Strategy

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Features of DPM

It is essential to a business or organization that its data is protected, and System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 (DPM) is an effective solution for providing that protection. By using DPM in your organization, you get the following benefits:

  • Disk-based data protection and recovery
  • Tape-based backup and archive solutions
  • Disaster recovery solution

You can back up the DPM database to tape or use a second DPM server in a geographically separated location to protect the primary DPM server.

If you use tape backups from the primary DPM server, you have a starting point for recovering all your data. If you use a second DPM server, you can restore data protected servers directly from the secondary DPM server. The secondary DPM server can also protect servers until the primary DPM server is brought back online.

  • Protection of the following items:

v  File data from volumes, shares, and folders

v  Application data, such as Microsoft Exchange Server storage groups, Microsoft SQL Server databases, Windows® SharePoint® Services farms, and Microsoft Virtual Server and its virtual machines.

v  Files for workstations running Windows XP Professional SP2 and all Windows Vista editions except Home

v  Files and application data on clustered servers

v  System state for protected file and application servers

 

Backup Solutions Combining Disk and Tape

With DPM data protection, you can use disk-based storage, tape-based storage, or both. Disk-based storage, also called D2D for "disk-to-disk," is a type of backup in which data from one computer is stored on the hard disk of another computer. This contrasts with the more traditional method of backing up data from one computer to a storage media such as tape, also called D2T for "disk-to-tape." For extra protection, the two methods can be combined in a disk-to-disk-to-tape, or D2D2T, configuration that provides the rapid recovery benefits of disk-based storage in the short term and archive storage for critical data using tape-based storage in the long term. Figure 1.1 illustrates the three storage methods.

 

Protection Type

 

To determine which storage method to use, you must consider the relative importance of your organization's protection requirements.

  • How much data your organization can afford to lose. Realistically, not all data is equally valuable. Organizations must weigh the impact of loss against the costs of protection.
  • How quickly recovered data must be available. Recovery of data that is critical to ongoing operations will typically be more urgent than routine data. On the other hand, organizations should identify servers providing essential services during working hours that must not be disrupted by recovery operations.
  • How long your organization must maintain data. Long-term storage might be necessary for business operations, depending on the type and contents of the data. An organization might also be subject to legal requirements for data retention.
  • How much your organization can spend on data protection. When considering how much to invest in data protection, organizations must include not only the cost of hardware and media, but also the personnel costs for administration, management, and support.

 

You can use DPM to back up data to both disk and tape, giving you the flexibility to create focused, detailed backup strategies that result in efficient and economic data protection. When you need to restore a single file or an entire server, recovery is fast and simple: you identify the data, and DPM locates the data and retrieves it (although your assistance might be needed if the tape has been removed from the library).

 

Disk-Based Protection and Recovery

One advantage of disk-based data protection is the potential time savings. Disk-based data protection has none of the preparation time that tape-based protection does—locating the specific tape required for a job, loading the tape, positioning the tape to the correct starting point. The ease of using a disk encourages sending incremental data more frequently, which reduces the impact on the server being protected and on network resources. 

 

The reliability of data recovery with disk-based data protection is better than that of tape-based systems. Disk drives typically have a much greater mean time between failure (MTFB) rating than tapes.   

 

Recovery of data from disk is quicker and easier than recovery from tape. Recovering data from disk is a simple matter of browsing through previous versions of the data on the DPM server and copying selected versions directly to the protected file server. A typical file recovery from tape takes hours and can be costly, and administrators in a medium-size data center can usually expect to perform 10 to 20 or more of these recoveries each month.

 

Using DPM and disk-based data protection, data can be synchronized as frequently as every 15 minutes and maintained as long as 64 days.

 

Tape-Based Backup and Archive

Magnetic tape and similar storage media offer an inexpensive and portable form of data protection that is particularly useful for long-term storage.

 

In DPM, you can back up data from a server directly to tape (D2T). You can also back up data from the disk-based replica (D2D2T). The advantage of creating your long-term backup on tape from the disk-based replica is that the backup operation can occur at any time with no impact on the server being protected.

 

Additionally, a thorough disaster recovery plan includes offsite storage of critical information—you want to be able to recover your organization's data, should your facility be damaged or destroyed. Tape is a popular medium for offsite storage.

 

Using DPM, data can be backed up to tape as frequently as daily for short-term protection, and it can be maintained as long as 99 years for long-term protection.

 

Protection for Multiple Data Types

Table 1.1 lists the types of data that DPM can protect and the level of data that you can recover by using DPM.

 

Table 1.1    Protectable and Recoverable Data

 

Product

Protectable Data

Recoverable Data

Exchange Server 2003

Exchange Server 2007

  • Storage group
  • Storage group
  • Database
  • Mailbox

SQL Server 2000

SQL Server 2005

  • Database
  • Database

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

  • Farm
  • Farm
  • Database
  • Site
  • File or list

Windows Server 2003

Windows Storage Server 2003

  • Volume
  • Share
  • Folder
  • Volume
  • Share
  • Folder
  • File

Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

  • Virtual server host configuration
  • Virtual machines
  • Data for applications running in virtual machines
  • Virtual server host configuration
  • Virtual machines
  • Data for applications running in virtual machines

All servers that can be protected by DPM 2007

  • System state
  • System state

Workstations running Windows XP Professional SP2 and all Windows Vista editions except Home (must be member of a domain)

  • File data
  • File data

 

 

Protection for Clustered Servers

DPM 2007 supports shared disk clusters for file servers, Exchange Server 2003, SQL Server 2000, and SQL Server 2005. DPM 2007 supports both non-shared disk clusters and shared disk clusters for Exchange Server 2007. DPM 2007 also supports Windows SharePoint Services farms.

 

When you select a server that is a cluster node for DPM protection agent installation, DPM notifies you so that you can choose to install the protection agent on other nodes in the cluster as well.

 

End-user recovery is available for both clustered and nonclustered resources on clustered file servers; clustered resources use the resource's resource group name rather than the physical node name.

 

On planned failover, DPM continues protection. On unplanned failover, DPM issues an alert that a consistency check is required.

 

- Tom Malley

Attachment: Protection Type.PNG
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  • Anybody have any statistics on WAN usage reduction of DPM over a convential backup? I know DPM really depemds on usage and what gets changed but I need some RIO, bandwith reduction, etc. type justification.