Setting up DPM for branch offices means extra work for admins

Microsoft designed its Data Protection Manager (DPM) backup software to protect branch offices over a WAN as well as local servers. However, setting up DPM to do so requires some extra effort on the part of the network administrator.

While DPM can protect servers connected over a WAN, to do so, it needs a persistent VPN with the protected servers over the WAN. Further, DPM is designed to protect only servers that are part of the same Active Directory domain.

This last requirement can lead to some rather counter-intuitive network topology. For example, if the central office and remote location are in different AD domains, as is common, the DPM server protecting the remote location must be a member of the same domain as the protected servers, rather than the domain for the data center where it is actually located.

Similarly, if you want to protect servers on more than one domain, you must have a copy of DPM Server for each domain you are protecting.

There's another network management issue related to DPM. DPM always creates and synchronizes its data replicas over either the LAN or the WAN, depending on which it is set up for. But if both the protected data and the storage pool for protected data are connected to the same SAN, DPM will still use the LAN or WAN to transmit the data. This can affect network performance.

About the author: Rick Cook specializes in writing about issues related to storage and storage management.

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This was first published in May 2006

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