System Center Data Protection Manager: Disaster Recovery

November 25, 2009 at 9:07 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

One of the most difficult things there is with backup solutions is Disaster Recovery.  Certainly when you want to do a bare-metal recovery of an old physical machine that has died on you.  Although you can have many possibilities to recover from such a failure, most of them will cause tricks, workarounds, hoping that you can find a server with the same (or almost the same) hardware configuration and lots of time.  Matthijs Vreeken ( has written an interesting post about this  (


Here’s the theory.

You do a P2V of an existing physical server but leave it off afterwards (Assuming Hyper-V here, so that DPM can take a full backup of the VHD and config files).  Every day, you take a backup of the system state and daily data of the physical machine.

At the moment the physical server dies on you, you start the virtual server, restore data and you’re back up and running.


He also mentions some possible issues that you can have during the start of the virtual machine. (Read at his post for more information)


Although this sounds great in theory (I was already on my way to my boss to discuss this ;-)) I still have a few questions about this.


1) What will happen if the physical server has a different patch level?  Will it be necessary to patch both servers @ the same time?

2) You need to keep the system state of the physical server in case you want to go back to the physical server.  But if you already have resetted the password for the computer account of the virtual machine, what will happen then?

3) How will an exchange or SQL server will handle this?  After all, this will be an online restore.

4) How will the DPM agent react on the virtual machine?  What are you going to do when the DPM agent has been upgraded in the meantime.


The idea sounds really great, and I don’t want to throw it away although I still have a few questions about it.  So if you have idea’s remarks or solutions for the questions, don’t hesitate to reply :-).  I’m going to continue to think about it because if we can find a rock-solid solution or process for this, it could become a very popular solution for a disaster recovery plan.  Share your ideas….