System Center 2012 R2 – High Availability: Data Protection Manager

System Center 2012 R2 – High Availability: Data Protection Manager

To continue series about how to implement each product of System Center 2012 R2 suite as highly available and how to backup & recover them, in this article we will focus on System Center Data Protection Manager.

In order to make your Service Manager infrastructure highly available you will have to:

  • Deploy DPM on highly available virtual machine
  • Configure a second DPM server as replica
  • Deploy the DPM database on a SQL Server failover cluster or highly available virtual machine

Just because DPM functions as a data protection solution for other elements of your infrastructure, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to back up the DPM server itself. Your protection strategy for the DPM server should include backing up:

  • The DPM database
  • All local volumes and application data on the computer that hosts DPM
  • All replicas on the DPM server protected by that DPM server

In fact, there are two ways to handle protection of your DPM server. First, you can back up the DPM server using a second DPM server. When you configure DPM in this way, the second DPM server functions as a replica of the first DPM server. In the event that the first DPM server fails, the secondary server will start protecting all of the workloads that were previously protected by the primary DPM server. Additionally, you can configure a tertiary DPM server that will function as a replica of the secondary DPM server, this is called DPM chaining backup.
Secondary you can back up the DPM database to tape. You can configure a DPM server to back up its own databases to its tape library, or you can use non-Microsoft software to back up the databases to tape or removable media. The DPM database is named DPMDB. This database contains the DPM configuration together with data about DPM’s backups. You can back up the database by using several different methods.

In a case of disaster, you can rebuild most of the functionality of a DPM server by using a recent backup of the database. Assuming you can restore the database, tape- based backups are accessible, and they maintain all protection group settings and backup schedules. If the DPM storage pool disks were not affected by the outage, disk-based backups are also usable after a rebuild.
If a primary server fails you can switch protection to the secondary server. After you’ve switched protection, you can perform recovery functions from the secondary server. These are the main tasks to recover your primary server.

  • Recover DPM database
  • Recover replicas after recovering the database
  • Reestablish protection

If you need more detailed information about backing up and restoring your DPM infrastructure you can have a look here.

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