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System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 Beta Webcast

7:23 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Last Thursday was an exiting day for all the DPM fans out there.  Jason Buffington was presenting a webcast about the new features and improvements in DPM 2010, that will go RC in a couple of weeks.  Jason mentioned it will probably the first full week of February.

That said, I was unable to attend the webcast.  Had an appointment and couldn’t get out of it so I had to wait last weekend until it got available offline.  And it is, so here are the highlights.

First, and certainly not last, Jason was rocking again ;-), he knows how to get you enthusiastic about a “backup” solution.  Great work Jason.

 

Second, and probably more important, what was in the webcast…

It all started with an overview picture of the differences between DPM 2007 and 2010.  And although there are a few differences in the workloads that can be protected, such as Exchange 2010, Sharepoint 2010, Dynamics natively, Hyper-V R2 on CSV etc…, that really aren’t the most exiting things about the new release.  In fact, that is what everybody expected in the first place when the new version arrived. No, as the webcast continued, many great features and enhancements came in sight, causing this to become a truly, full-blown, protection application.  Yes, you have read it correctly, not a backup system, but a protection system because in my opinion, it is more then just a backup solution.  With features of backup up to other protection servers, in other geographical locations, end-user recovery for files AND for SQL administrators, with more and more applications from Microsoft where you can have single-item restore, this will be an application that every windows administrator need to have a look at.

Jason continued the session with a statement:

System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 delivers unified data protection for Windows servers and clients as a best-of-breed backup & recovery solution from Microsoft, for Windows environments.  DPM 2010 provides the best protection and most supportable restore scenarios from disk, tape and cloud – in a scalable, reliable, manageable and cost-effective way.

Now here is a hard statement :-).  But in fact, if you will read further on, you will notice that the team behind DPM 2010 really has pushed the limit for making this version an enterprise-ready solution, that can back-up everything you want, including desktops and laptops, servers, server loads and so on, with one agent.  DPM 2007 was already a great solution, but the problem was that there were some issues that needed to be resolved.  And not only that, some functionality was missing too.  But here we are, 2010 almost live and it seems that they have listened to the customers.  Just keep reading :-)

All right, what are the exact workloads on Windows Platforms?

DPM 2010 will support:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Storage Server 2008
  • Windows Storage Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Storage Server 2003 SP1
  • Windows Storage Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Unified Data Storage Server
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista (business or higher)
  • Windows XP Pro SP2

And here is the list of workloads:

  • SQL Server 2008
  • SQL Server 2005
  • SQL Server 2000 SP4
  • SAP running on SQL Server (Although this is not a “known” workload in the GUI, you still can protect it, search for the white paper on how to do that)
  • Exchange 2010, including DAG
  • Exchange 2007, including LCR, CCR and SCR
  • Exchange 2003 SP2
  • Sharepoint Server 2010
  • Sharepoint Server 2007
  • Sharepoint portal server 2003
  • Sharepoint Foundation 2010
  • Sharepoint Services version 3.0
  • Sharepoint Services version 2.0
  • Dynamics AX 2009
  • Essentials Business Server 2008
  • Small Business Server 2008

After that, they gave us some more information about the features of these products:

  • File Services

Not much has changed here, from Windows Server 2003 till 2008 R2 with the possibility for End-Users to restore directly from Windows Explorer or Microsoft Office

  • SQL

Here are already some nice new things, such as the possibility to protect entire SQL instances, with the protection of new databases.  Also the amount of databases that you can protect is much higher as before.  It will be now possible to protect a 1000 databases per protection server.  Last but not least, and something a lot of SQL administrators will like a lot, is the possibility to have a self-service restore tool.

Oh, maybe one more, DPM will have the possibility to recover 2005 databases to 2008 servers.

  • Sharepoint

Here we have the protection of sharepoint 2010, 2007 and 2003, with the possibility of auto-protection for new content databases within the farm.  For sharepoint 2010, it will be possible to do an item-level restore without the need of a recovery farm.  Yep, I already hear the sharepoint admins doing a little dance :-)

  • Exchange

While DPM 2010 will support Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003, it will have now optimizations for SCC, CCR, SCR and DAG.  And what’s also important, it will do the ESE workload away from your exchange server and pull it to the DPM server.  This will save you some resources for the actual mail servers.

  • OS

Bare Metal Recovery, which will be centrally managed, and locally executed.

  • Virtualization

Host-level backup of hyper-V R2, CSV support, Seamless protection of Live Migrating VMs (Yes, you have read this correct!), Alternate Host Recovery and Item Level Recovery.  Writing up a DR plan with this kind of tools will become a pleasure 😉

Next on Topic… Client Protection.

Now here’s something exiting.  While backup people such as myself always shout to end-users that they need to place their files on fileservers, take backups of their locally data and so on, to prevent data loss, this has come to an end.  DPM 2010 really enhances the backup experience for clients.  Some may wonder why it is necessary.  Users should place all of their files on the fileserver.  Well, that’s true, but be honest, with that many laptops and road warriors out there (such as myself) it has become almost impossible for end-users to do this.

With DPM 2010, you will be able to backup a 1000 clients per server, and you will be only backing up user data.  You will have the possibility, based on templates (or rules, call it whatever you want :-)) to choose which folders you want to backup.  At first sight, there are quite a lot of rules to choose from, and of course, the wanted “don’t backup any MP3’s” exist.  Also, and this is getting very interessting, you will have the possibility to let the user choose some folders himself.

And it’s getting better.  DPM 2007, who already could backup clients would start to nag if a client doesn’t report within the requested timeframe, causing your DPM GUI to have a lot of red crosses.  And that’s something that you don’t want.  With 2010, you will be able to say that everything is ok, as long as the last succeeded backup is within a specified timeframe, 2 weeks for example.  At the same time, travelers will  still have offline local copies with them so that they can restore whenever they want.  And the moment they connect to the network through VPN, a new backup is taken online.  One minor though, DirectAccess is not yet supported, so here’s something we will need to wait until SP1 (at least I hope)

 

Another great new feature, and one which is requested a lot during the lifecycle of DPM 2007 is workgroup protection.  I already mentioned it on one of my previous posts, but now it is official.  In the RC and RTM version of DPM 2010, you will have the possibility to protect workgroup based computers or for that matter, servers from non-trusted domains.  How will it work?  First you install manually the agent (or use SCCM or SCE to do it for you).  Use the SETDPMServer command with a new parameter called IsNONDomainServer.  This will generate a local user on your server (don’t worry, not an administrator :-))

Back on the DPM server, you can use the GUI to attach this server, together with the account to the DPM.  That’s it.  Just make sure that the firewall(s) allow DCOM (135) and WinSock (5718/5719)

 

You want more… Here goes.

During the demo’s, Justin showed some great additional enhancements to the core product.  If you are already using DPM 2007, you will recognize these, and yes, you will love the new enhancements…

The product team has invested a lot of time in resolving the false positives.  They learned from their big brothers from the Operations Team and reduced the alert noise a lot.  But not only that, there is now also the option for collocation of data.  Now you won’t need a volume for each protected part in your environment.  This will speed up things nicely.  They have also built-in the possibility to allow your volume to grow automatically.  This means no more changing the size of the volume each time you’re without.  Now you just need to read your reports more often :-)

And last but not least, there is now a function that will automatically do a consistency check, if DPM thinks that there’s an issue.  This will lower the workload on many DPM admins out there.

Disaster Recovery

Many DPM users will tell you that they really like the Secondary Protection DPM server.  If it is geographically on another location, you can do your tape-based backups on that one, leaving the tapes in the tapeloader as it is on another location.  In 2010, they go further.

Now it will be possible to protect some workloads with Server A and do the secondary protection with Server B.  At the same time, you can protect some workloads with Server B and do the secondary protection with Server A.  Not enough?  No problem, you will be able to add Server C in this scenario.  I’m thinking Disaster Recovery Plan and I’m thinking this is a no-brainer :-)

Final Topic, some Figures

DPM 2010 is called enterprise ready, and here’s why.

  • DPM 2010 will be able to protect 100 servers, 1000 Laptops and up to 2000 databases per server.
  • It is tested with sharepoint farms of 25 TB and over 1 million items
  • There is a significantly increased fan-in of data sources per DPM server
  • It can handle 80 TB per DPM server
  • Automatic rerunning of jobs and improved self-healing is implemented
  • Automatic protection of new data sources for SQL and MOSS
  • Decreased Inconsistent Replicas errors
  • Reduced Alert Noise
  • Optimized tape logic for tape reservations and usage
  • Library Sharing more resilient
  • Better resilience to physical errors in drives and changers
  • Task controller for tape jobs for higher throughput
  • More flexibility in scheduling short- and long-term tape

Conclusion:

Is this a product to look out for?  Yes, certainly.  DPM 2007 already changed a lot in the backup world, and 2010 is an improvement over 2007.  I’m glad to see that (Although there are a few) Microsoft has taken the time to listen and that they have done some major improvements in the engine and not only presented new features.  Are the new features worth the upgrade?  Yep, certainly if you will need to protect the additional workloads, but also for your tape support, less daily work as a backup admin…

Do we need to wait until SP1?  A good question, and for the moment I would say no, as it will be possible to upgrade from Beta to RC to RTM.  The Beta, which I’m currently running is already a great product, but since some additional changes have been made to the RC, I will need to check that out if its as stable as the Beta.

That’s it for today, a (short :-)) overview of the new features and enhancements, all taken from the webcast by Jason Buffington.  Make sure to view that webcast if I got your attention through this post 😉

Till next post,

Cheers,

Mike

DPM 2010 Powershell Script – Hyper-V Auto-Protection

12:48 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Microsoft has released a sample powershell script for enabling DPM 2010 auto-protection of Hyper-V

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=46d51b5a-5827-43f6-84f5-ce33f4a8e6c3&displaylang=en

From the Microsoft Site

Overview

In any virtualized environment, adding new VMs is a frequent operation. While backup administrators can protect an entire Hyper-V host using the DPM Management Console, the protection group had to be modified manually to include the new virtual machines that have come up on the Hyper-V host. These scripts are expected to work with DPM 2010 Beta. By using them, you should be able to quickly put together a script that can enable the auto protection of your hyper-v hosts. Note: These scripts work on an existing protection group and do not create a fresh protection group. The attached scripts automate the task of adding any new virtual machines recognized in the Hyper-V hosts protected by the DPM server into existing protection groups. There are different scripts for Hyper-V clusters (AddNewClusteredVM.ps1) and standalone Hyper-V hosts (AddNewStandAloneVM.ps1). You would still use the script for standalone servers to automatically protect the non-clustered virtual machines of any Hyper-V host that is part of a cluster.

 

The problem is that I couldn’t find the AddNewClusteredVM.ps1 script.  Luckily there is a link that’s available from the Ctrl P blog which also explains in depth the scripts.

http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/archive/2009/12/03/hyper-v-protection-with-dpm-2010-beta-how-to-automatically-protect-new-virtual-machines.aspx

Enjoy

Cheers,

Mike