Microsoft shipped the first public beta today of what's now called Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM), previously known as Microsoft Data Protection Server. Designed as an enterprise-class backup and recovery server, DPM leverages high-capacity disk-based servers to provide crucial backup and recovery services such as high-speed recovery, continuous backup, end-user recovery, and self-healing backups.
  
"Our whole goal with DPM is to shrink the operational costs associated with IT professionals having to manually recover lost data and manage cumbersome backup and recovery processes," Ben Matheson, group product manager for DPM, said. According to the data Microsoft released, typical data-recovery operations now take hours or days, and 42 percent of Microsoft's customers have experienced a failed recovery in the past year. A typical data recovery also requires an IT administrator, further delaying the operation.
  
"Most companies use tape backups today," Christopher Whyte, a DPM technical product manager, told me during a prebriefing last week. "But there are difficulties with such backups. They are slow and unreliable and require administrators. The future of backup and recovery is disk-based." In a typical scenario, a dedicated DPM server--which can run either Windows Server 2003 or Windows Storage Server 2003--sits between a company's file servers and its tape library, providing regular snapshots of changing documents and other data so that end users can recover from mistakes more quickly.
  
The DPM public beta is available in English, German, and Japanese versions. The final version of DPM is expected in the second half of this year. A DPM Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) will also be available. For more information about DPM and the public beta release, visit the Microsoft Web site.