Q: What is System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007?

A: DPM 2007 is Microsoft’s backup and recovery platform that offers both continuous backup and tape-based archiving. DPM 2007 offers share-level and volume-level protection for Windows servers and desktops. This version also backs up and restores information for Exchange Server, SQL Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS), as well as servers running Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 or Hyper-V. Each protected server’s DPM agent sends data changes and application-transaction information (e.g., Exchange transaction logs) to the DPM server according to a defined schedule. You don’t have to configure DPM 2007 to gather specific information; you just input which application to protect, and DPM knows which files to capture to protect relevant data.

DPM offers various data-protection topologies. The most popular is using DPM-accessible attached storage, or iSCSI- or fiber-connected SAN-based storage to back up system data. You can periodically write these backups to tape for archiving, or even use DPM to write directly to tape without any DPM disk usage. However, writing DPM directly to tape gives the poorest restoration experience and limits DPM’s selfrestoration features.

Data restoration with DPM is easy because its application knowledge allows granular restoration. For example, you can restore Exchange storage group data, a store, or even an individual mailbox. Another cool DPM 2007 feature is bare-metal restoration, which lets you recover a system that won’t start.

—John Savill