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Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2007 horror stories

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I am trying to "sell" DPM to my company's owners. Figure it would be better than a file level backup that an IT consultant setup to backup our Sharepoint and Exchange, along with other data.

Now, I've seen plenty of good about DPM, how it backs up things almost live, does bare metal restore, ends world hunger, hugs babies, etc. What I would like to know is horror stories. How did DPM screw you or anyone you know. How you couldn't restore your servers/desktops because DPM didn't do what it supposed to do.

Anyone feel like sharing?
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Currently my experience with DPM has been mixed.  When it works, it works great.  When it fails, it can be a pain to get things working again.

Things to note:

- DPM syncs accross the WAN to a server with a large change rate can be a problem when backing up multiple times/continuously as you may never catch your change rate.  

- Retention range for tape backups is very important, DPM is not able to recover file/folder level restores from an expired tape.  You have to restore the entire tape.

- Whatever amount of disk space you think you may need, double it.  Seriously - we did all the calculations and left plenty of room for fluff and by the end of the deployment we had maxed out our disk capacity.  In the next budget cycle we ended up buying another SAN.

- part of the reason DPM backups used so much disk is that the default Exchange allocations are way off (at least in our environment).  We ended up removing all the Exchange groups and re-adding them with a much smaller Replica Volume.

- Manual Copying replica volumes is a much more efficient way of adding a protected server than letting DPM do it.  If your machine is more than 50 GB or so I would highly recommend it.  When I read through how to do it the first time it sounded confusing but once I tried it out it worked great:

- I would also recommend using multiple DPM boxes depending on the size of your environment.  Basically "Main Offices" or offices with huge amounts of data should have their own DPM box.

Hope this helps and don't be discouraged - I'd take DPM over our old BEX backup scenario any day.

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Thanks for the comment. We are actually trying to move away from a file level backup, and we have a smaller scale networks, so I don't think things like SAN would make much sense.

We have a Windows 2003 SBS that hosts our exchange and sharepoint
A separate server with SQL 2005 for our CRM
A NAS box for file storage.

Current file level backup size is about 250gb.

What would you suggest as a storage volume for DPM?

Also, my boss is suspicious that DPM must be installed on our SBS server. I say it's not and any member server on the domain will do fine. Can you confirm/deny that?

Thanks in advance!

To answer your last question first, I would say DPM can not be installed on your SBS server.  DPM should reside on its own dedicated hardware.

In terms of retention range, how long would you plan on having recoveries available on disk?

We are keeping 2-weeks on disk and with that retention range for 250GB on a file server I would quickly estimate that you would need at least 400 GB of disk space on the DPM box and more if you want to play it safe.


Thank you, that basically answers the question.
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