However, the current (and first) version of DPM is not a complete backup system. Nor is it intended to be.
To many, the current version of DPM represents a compromise designed to solve the most common backup and restore problems, such as fast recovery of files, while more complex operations, such as bare metal restores, are left out and will be incorporated down the road. After all, when it comes to permitting quick recovery for servers or offering a way to replace low-end tape systems with centralized disk-to-disk backup, the software shines.
When it comes to more complex operations, the current version's telling lack is that it does not support tape directly. The assumption is that the DPM server will be connected to a conventional backup server, which will handle tapes. Similarly, the present version does not support server failover for the DPM server or bare metal restores of the servers it protects. (However, many observers believe that Microsoft will add bare metal restore to the next version of the product, which, says Microsoft, will come out in late 2007.)
DPM offers near continuous data protection (CDP) architecture. Although the file recovery feature
Despite these limitations, DPM provides fast, simple, cost-effective support for the most common recovery operations, which makes it attractive for protecting branch offices, workgroups and SMBs.
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last 20 years he has been a freelance writer specializing in issues related to storage and storage management.
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This was first published in March 2006