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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


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,



System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 – SQL End-user Recovery

8:57 am in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

While reading up on the different blogs I follow, I found this interesting post from Anders Bengtsson, Microsoft MVP.

It’s all about SQL End-user Recovery.   In DPM 2010, it is possible to give SQL Administrators the rights to recover their databases without the need for a backup administrator.

See the article for the technical specifications (

The end-user recovery drew my attention for the following reasons:

– End-user recovery makes the live of a backup administrator more easy.  In 2007, when we implement the end-user recovery for files for users, we notice every time again, that the backup administrators are having less work

– Doing this for SQL administrators gives you an additional advantage.  Imagine that you have a test environment at your site.  This test environment is a virtualized “copy” of your production environment.  The programmers team is doing different things there and testing new features and so on.  They need a refresh of the database very often.  Now the SQL team can do this instead of the backup administrator.  How cool is that.  You as a backup administrator have less work, the programmers team will be helped more quickly, it’s a win win situation :-)


Now I am wondering if Microsoft would pull this further? What if we could delegate end-user recovery tasks for exchange, sharepoint and so on…

For the moment this is not possible, or at least I don’t have no documentation about this yet, but when I see the power of the SQL end-user recovery, I’m quite sure that this will be a much requested feature for the future



System Center Data Protection Manager V3: Worth to look at?

6:44 pm in Uncategorized by mikeresseler

Hey All,

Just been a week in vacation with the wife and kids and had a great time swimming, walking and playing in the playgrounds with the children.  Now that the DPM V3 Public Beta is announced and there, I thought it was time again to look at the promised features for V3 and to check if the product is worth our attention.  (Hey, a silent evening in a cottage, with the kids and wife sleeping, a good glass wine in my hand and some good music on… ;-))

So here’s what’s new, based on what was already in V2

For Exchange:  Of course they will support E14 in addition to Ex2007 and Ex2003.  There will also be improved Restore Granularity.  What exactly is not known yet but the DPM team worked together with the Exchange team to see what is possible and supported.

For SQL: You will be able to protect an entire SQL instance, making that DPM will auto discover new DB’s within that instance.  DPM v3 will also be able to protect 1000 DB’s per DPM server which is a huge improvement over the 300 DB’s that v2 could.  There will also be Role-Based Access for a SQL admin to do his or hers work with the DPM console.

For Sharepoint: Support for Office 14, Sharepoint server 2007 and 2003.  There will be no recovery farm requirement for Office 14 and auto-detection of new content databases within the farm.

For Hyper-V: Item-level restore from VHD backup, support for Hyper-V2 deployments using Live Migration (CSV) and Dynamic VM guest migration support (Meaning you should be able to restore to alternate Hyper-V hosts)

What’s completely new?

For AD: Active Directory will now appear as a data source and not be part anymore of the system state.  This will allow IT administrators to centrally manage backups from DPM (although performed locally) and local admin restore from windows server backup.  It will also allow to do a DPM restoration of a whole domain controller.

For Bare Metal Recovery: Windows Server 2003 will continue with SRT but windows server 2008 will use Windows Server Backup for image-based restore, again centrally managed from DPM but locally executed.

For New Datasources: Protection of windows guests on VMWare hosts will be supported and Microsoft Dynamics AX will be a new datasource.  SAP running on SQL server will also be a new datasource

For Laptops: Backup over VPN will be possible where Windows seven is of course the new OS that will be included.  Per DPM server you will be able to scale up to 1000 clients.  Only Unique user data will be protected so that not the entire OS is repeatedly on your expensive storage ;-).  DPM will also integrate with local shadow copies for Vista and Windows 7 which will be centrally configured from the DPM Admin User Interface BUT the end user will be able to restore from local copies offline and online as well as from DPM copies online. 

Server Side:

DPM V3 promises to  be Enterprise Ready where the scalability is increased and each DPM server will now have the possibility of having 80 TB of storage.

New Management Pack updates will be ready for SCOM and SQL admins will have Role-based management at their hands.

The one thing I am really looking forward to is the fact that MS promises to give us automatic rerunning of jobs and improved self-healing.  Also the automatic protection of new SQL databases or MOSS content databases seems very promising.  They also promised less “Inconsistent Replicas” errors and they will reduce the Alert Volume.

The DPM to DPM replication will also be improved and (more important I think) there will be a One-click DPM DP failover and failback scenario available.  Also improved scheduling will be there.

For the SAN restore, there will be continued support using scripts and whitepapers that are delivered through the vendors but there’s no change with the previous version.

And last but not least, the DPM server should be 64-bit and W2k08 or better.

Conclusion:  This seems like a lot of improvements and definitely worth to check it out

Next post: Installation of DPM v3 Beta