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What are the key System Center DPM 2016 features?

System Center Data Protection Manager 2016 defends a range of systems with the ability to send backups to multiple targets for enterprises that need ways to recover data rapidly.

There are many commercial data protection tools, but Microsoft updated System Center Data Protection Manager 2016...

with a number of enterprise-grade features to aid IT pros in their backup and recovery efforts.

System Center DPM 2016 protects and restores data resources deployed in multiple ways -- at the system, file, application and VM levels -- across the organization to give IT enormous flexibility and granularity in data protection policies and practices.

At the system level, System Center DPM 2016 creates bare-metal backups for 32- and 64-bit client systems that run Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. System Center DPM 2016 protects 32- and 64-bit server systems on Windows Storage Server 2008, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 with SP1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016.

But backups are not an all-or-nothing proposition. DPM also protects at the file level to back up system volumes, folders and individual files on Windows systems.

At the application level, DPM provides native backup and restoration services for major enterprise applications. DPM covers SQL Server, including SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 with SP1, SQL Server 2012 with SP2, SQL Server 2014 and SQL Server 2016. DPM also protects Exchange Server, including Exchange 2007, Exchange 2010, Exchange 2013 and Exchange 2016. DPM supports backups for SharePoint, including SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016. DPM 2016 also protects System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM), specifically VMM 2012 and VMM 2016 -- along with the SP1 and R2 versions.

DPM 2016 supports backup and restoration of VMs in Windows environments. Administrators deploy DPM protection agents in Hyper-V host servers, Hyper-V clusters and individual VMs. DPM safeguards VMs that run Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. DPM also protects Linux that runs as a Hyper-V guest operating system.

DPM 2016 supports three principal backup targets: disk, cloud and tape. Disk is the most common and traditional backup target. The administrator can enlist pools of low-cost, high-volume disks -- such as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment or Serial-Attached SCSI -- for backup tasks. For additional security, the IT admin can set up replication of this disk storage to an off-site location, such as a secondary data center.

DPM 2016 hooks into the public cloud -- specifically through the Azure Backup service -- as a backup target. This feature gives the enterprise flexibility and satisfies the need for off-premises storage. While the traditional disadvantages of tape storage mean many organizations have moved on to other options, DPM 2016 works with local and remote tape storage.

A key feature of DPM 2016 is its restoration flexibility ... DPM gives the option to rebuild data to alternate destinations.

A key feature of DPM 2016 is its restoration flexibility. Admins can restore data to its original location. However, if that is not possible or desirable, DPM gives the option to rebuild data to alternate destinations or targets.

In System Center DPM 2016, Microsoft introduced what it calls Modern Backup Storage on machines that run Windows Server 2016. The company said the incremental backup feature -- which uses Resilient File System block cloning and VHDX functionality -- cuts storage needs by 50 percent and shortens backup times by three. Microsoft also added support for resilient change tracking, which eliminated consistency checks and backs up only changed blocks.

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How do you back up your Hyper-V hosts and VMs?