Client-protection: create a protection group and initial synchronization

February 22, 2010 at 3:17 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Last post, I’ve installed remotely a client agent to a workstation in another domain and over VPN.  Now it is time to create a protection group with a policy and do the first synchronization.  Again I want to see how it will react when I do this when the workstation is under a heavy load.  I figured that I might need to do this when a user is working at home or in a hotel and so I need to know if the synchronization will work.

During the first synchronization, I worked on the laptop and I was doing the following tasks:

* VPN open

* Outlook open

* MSN and Office Messenger Open

* Tweetdeck open

* Listening at an internet radio

* Downloading large files from the Microsoft Connect site

* Many programs open and about 30 internet pages open

But first is first, let’s create a protection group



On the second screen, I choose for Clients instead of servers


On the next screen, I can select my clients.  The good part here is that if you select clients that don’t have an agent yet, you can install them now, and those who have an agent but aren’t connected yet to the DPM server will be attached.  In my case, the client already has an agent and is attached, so I just select my client.  Because I installed the agent, it is now visible in the list, although it is in another domain.


Here it becomes very interesting. I can start on this screen by creating inclusions and exclusions for my clients.


Here you can see that I have included My Documents but excluded music and temporary internet files

You can add your own directories to it but you already receive a nice list of possibilities


Also, on that screen is an option where you can allow your users to add directories themselves that need to be protected.  But if you have excluded a folder and they still want to protect it, they will get a notification that it is not possible (see later in this post)


And you also have the possibility to exclude certain file types



I have to choose for Short term protection since I don’t have a tape drive in my test environment


Now this will be one were a lot of discussion will be.  How many times a day do you want to synchronize, what will be the retention range, how long before a disconnected client needs to start alerting?

For the tests I kept it at a minimum but these settings will need to be thought through very good in a real-life situation.


This is the alerting option, as said, it will need some serious thinking what the setting will be here.  Is 14 days (the default) enough?  When you are away for 2 weeks on holiday, then the 14 days is not enough because you are then away from the office for about 18 days (first and last weekend included), so every company will need to think this through.


Now I need to chose my storage.  For this test I will not co-locate my data because I don’t have enough disk space for this in my test environment.  What I have read about it is that you choose co-location from the moment you have 10 clients.  If you are below, you better split-up so that you don’t lose too much storage.

I also let the Automatically grow the volume option on.  This is a very handy new feature and many DPM administrators that are now using DPM 2007 will be very happy with it.  Of course this is a risk as your volumes can keep growing until you are out of disk space, but a good backup admin (I actually prefer Protection and DR admin for this product :-) will check the reports on a regular base so that should not cause any problems.


The summary, which includes the link to Optimize Performance which I will probably discussing later on


And finally the success.


So I finally started the synchronization and waited, waited, waited for a very long time.

Some other screenshots:


Trying to add the music folder to the protected items


DPM Synchronizing

Final Conclusion and lessons learnt

The process seems to be working great.  Although I took it through a heavy test-drive everything worked flawlessly.

The only minor point was the initial synchronization.  It took about half an hour to synchronize 170 MB.  But then again, I was pushing the limits.  But I needed to know how DPM would react because you might need to do this once, and 170 MB of changes will occur on client workstation.