Let’s Talk Backup: Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2

March 11, 2014   //   Microsoft System Center, , , , , , ,

System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 (SCDPM) provides unified data protection for Windows servers and clients, helping your organization deliver scalable, manageable and cost-effective protection and restore scenarios. Here are a few ways you can integrate Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager into your environment as a powerful backup solution.

Via an agent, System Center Data Protection Manager can perform disk-to-disk backups in real time. Different retention policies can be set for clients and servers, such as how often the backup jobs run and how long to retain the data on disk. Clients can even be backed-up over Direct Access and in cases when the client is disconnected from the network, the jobs still run locally, creating Volume Shadow Copies (VSS) which will then sync up to the SCDPM server when connectivity is re-established.

From there, several avenues are available. The data can be exported to tape for offsite long-term retention and SCDPM can share a tape library with other products, such as IBM Tivoli. Or multiple SCDPM servers can be configured to replicate with one another between sites. A third option is backup to Windows Azure storage, which is available right from the console. Any or all of these methods can be used to perform granular VSS backup/restore of Microsoft Hyper-V, Exchange, SharePoint, Files and Active Directory.

As with the other products in the Microsoft System Center suite, SCDPM has cross-platform capabilities. It can snapshot Linux VMs running under Microsoft Hyper-V while they are online, as long as current Integration Services are installed into the kernel. On clusters, SCDPM can integrate with SAN hardware to offload data transfers and minimize the time spent on redirected IO, reducing backup time. Most SAN vendors provide a VSS requestor that talks to a VSS writer installed on the SCDPM server and all cluster nodes. In cases where third party software provides a generic VSS interface, such as with Oracle databases, its data can be presented to SCDPM for application-consistent backups.

Information gathered by Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager can be disseminated throughout System Center, in order to increase its effectiveness and visibility. For example, SCDPM can enforce compliance baselines that detect whether or not a managed computer has the SCDPM agent installed, or whether backup jobs have been configured and trigger remediation as needed. In the event of problems with backups, failed jobs will be relayed to System Center Operations Manager, which can then trigger incident tickets in System Center Service Manager.

If you’d like to find out more about how SWC can help architect a backup solution for your networking environment, please join us for our next informative Microsoft System Center event.

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