Like many of you, I have spent a fair amount of time testing, designing and deploying all types of systems. Keeping systems up and running is no easy chore, and the occasional hurricane doesn't help matters at all.  Ask the folks in my region.

Several of the sessions we've done in and around Louisiana have generated healthy discussion about backup, recovery, clustering, etc.  This is especially true for  the Microsoft Exchange and SQL server products.  Usually the discussion leads to geographic spanning of clusters, log shipping and other methods of duplicating data and systems.

Last week my team was offsite at a beautiful location in Arizona.  During the week, we managed to snag Jason Buffington for a day to do some training on Data Protection Manager 2007.  Like many of you, I was thinking before the training, "So what, who cares?". 

Jason did a magnificent job of talking about the value, features, doing some cool demonstrations, and handling some tough questions.  For instance, I asked him, "How much Exchange data could I possibly lose with DPM 2007?"  As you might expect, the answer really depends, but DPM takes backup checkpoints on 15 minute intervals.  The way DPM works is pretty fascinating and for those of you considering replicating your data and systems to another location, this is a solution you should test against your needs.

Here are some resources you should spend a few minutes looking at:

http://blogs.technet.com/jbuff/archive/2007/08/20/how-dpm-filter-technology-really-works.aspx is a nice screencast on the stuff that happens under the covers.

http://blogs.technet.com/jbuff/archive/2007/10/17/DPM-2007-has-RTMd.aspx is Jason's blog post on the RTM announcement for Data Protection Manager 2007.

Then of course you have the official blog post, on the official blog, by an official of the group.

Let's not forget the official System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 apartment on microsoft.com.

Protection for Exchange Server:

DPM offers integrated support for Exchange Servers 2003 and 2007 with advanced cluster configurations.

Protection for SQL Server:

DPM enables shorter SQL Server backup windows without the need for compression. DPM also provides one touch application restores with zero data loss.