What is System Center Data Protection Manager?

System Center Data Protection Manager aims to improve the way Windows admins do backup and recovery with enhanced virtualization capabilities and cloud backup support.

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Originally released in 2007, Microsoft developed its System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) product to provide simplified, continuous backup and recovery for Windows enterprises of all sizes. The latest version, Data Protection Manager 2010, was released in the first half of 2010.

Data Protection Manager gives administrators advanced protection for applications like SQL Server, Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and Microsoft Exchange, along with several features that coincide with the "do more for less" mentality that's racing through the minds of IT managers. Lossless recovery, simplified backups and faster disk-based data recovery are just a few of the features first introduced with DPM 2007.

Microsoft "focused on the Microsoft-faithful with its last release [DPM 2007], but they're trying to move upstream with [DPM 2010]," said Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

[Microsoft] focused on the Microsoft-faithful with its last release [DPM 2007], but they're trying to move upstream with DPM 2010.
Lauren Whitehouse, analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Previously dubbed "DPM v3" or "Zinger," Data Protection Manager 2010 builds on the features of DPM 2007 to include increased virtualization support. More specifically, DPM 2010 adds protection for virtualization environments such as Windows Server 2008 R2 with Hyper-V and the standalone Hyper-V Server 2008, as well as new virtual host restoration capabilities.

One of the most noted additions to Data Protection Manager 2010, however, may be CloudRecovery, a cloud data backup add-on supplied by Iron Mountain Digital, a partner of Microsoft. Released in January of last year, CloudRecovery allows administrators to back up their data for a fee through a third-party service like Iron Mountain.

"A year ago, the cloud was part of our conversations [with customers] maybe 10% to 20% of the time," said Tim Burke, president and CEO of managed services provider and i365 VAR Quest Systems. "Now it's jumped up to 60%, where it's a legitimate part of the conversation. But whether or not they're going to do an implementation of this kind of technology might take an interim step."

Yet, not all has changed with Data Protection Manager. The Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) still plays a major role in the product's functionality, allowing administrators to restore their own files. With Data Protection Manager 2010, VSS is used to manage backups for remote computers whether they are online or offline.

There are several system requirements that must be considered in order for the DPM 2010 server to work at peak performance. For instance, it's designed to protect Windows Server 2008 and later versions, but there are other security, network and hardware and software considerations to look into as well.


  • Pinpointed file recovery – For a more efficient restoration process, Data Protection Manager 2010 includes item-level recovery so administrators can recover specific files as opposed to whole file servers.

  • Large-scale defense system – In terms of scalability, DPM 2010 provides protection for large businesses. For instance, it can secure up to 100 servers, 1,000 laptops or 2,000 databases. The product also provides security support for remote client computers, such as laptops that aren't always connected to the network.

  • SharePoint upgrades – Several improvements have been made to Microsoft SharePoint with DPM 2010 that include parallel backups, tape backups, new recovery methods and the ability to restore individual files.

  • SQL Server restoration tool – Developments have also been made with SQL Server, as Data Protection Manager 2010 now provides increased support with the SQL Server Self Service Recovery Configuration Tool, which includes simplified file recovery and an auto-recovery feature.


  • Microsoft adds cloud data backup to Data Protection Manager
    Microsoft is taking Data Protection Manager to the cloud as it partners with Iron Mountain Digital to give admins cloud data backup support.
  • What's what with Data Protection Manager 2010
    Microsoft has a lot riding on Data Protection Manager 2010, which is being called "the best solution for file and application protection from Microsoft."
  • i365 and others make plans for Data Protection Manager 2010
    The "Microsoft-faithful" aren't the only focus with Data Protection Manager 2010. New partnerships are providing admins with support outside the Windows domain.

Intro | Configuration Manager | Operations Manager | Data Protection Manager | Virtual Machine Manager | Essentials | Service Manager |
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