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What's what with Data Protection Manager 2010

I attended a live webcast today on System Center Data Protection Manager 2010. The beta has been out since September with the release candidate (RC) scheduled for the first full week of February.

Jason Buffington, senior technical product manager for Microsoft System Center, described DPM 2010 as “the best solution for file and application protection from Microsoft.” He noted that the company focused heavily on protection for Windows-based clients and virtual environments, as well as enhanced scalability and reliability features.

So what’s new with Data Protection Manager 2010? Here are some of the key points I gathered:

  • The RC is in its final testing stages and should be available within a few weeks.
  • The fundamental model of DPM – which allows customers to use one technology to protect data on multiple production servers from a single interface – remains more or less intact.
  • Like DPM 2007, the new version is designed primarily for Windows-based environments, which Buffington said is the best way to allow for DPM 2010 to take advantage of key Microsoft OS and app features (like the Volume Shadow Copy Service). In other words, Data Protection Manager 2010 will leverage the way Microsoft apps want to do things. He noted that the company created partnerships for protection of heterogeneous environments.
  • DPM 2010 will support the same OS and app versions as DPM 2007. Microsoft has also added support for Exchange and SharePoint 2010, along with SAP running on SQL Server.
  • System state and bare-metal recovery are both included, and can be managed centrally.
  • On the virtualization front, the big change from DPM 2007 is added support for Hyper-V R2. This includes Clustered Shared Volume support, which wasn’t previously available.
  • Buffington highlighted a feature called “item-level recovery”, which basically is the ability to browse file systems to select individual items to recover, rather than restoring the entire file server.
  • A new feature that wasn’t included with the September beta is the ability to protect workgroups and non-trusted domains. Buffington demoed how to set these up, and they can be managed in the exact same way as other protection groups.
  • He noted a few “favorite new checkboxes” for creating a protection group. One allows DPM 2010 to automatically grow allocated volumes when more disk space is required, while another offers automatic consistency checks that can be scheduled (rather than notifying an administrator to do one). There is also a new “collocate” feature, which allows Data Protection Manager to protect a higher number of data sources per replica volume.
  • DPM 2010 includes enhanced protection for traveling/roaming laptops, which is good. However, it sounds like there are still some bugs to work out when it comes to protecting laptops using DirectAccess instead of a standard VPN.
  • Buffington said that scalability was a big focus, noting that a single Data Protection Manager 2010 server will be able to support up to 100 servers, 1,000 laptops and 2,000 databases.

There was plenty more to report, including disaster recovery improvements, enhanced tape support and new automatic “self-healing” functionality for improved reliability. You can actually check out the full webcast yourself for more info. An On Demand version should be available soon (if it’s not already).

For more info on Data Protection Manager and other System Center products, visit

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Thanks for watching the webcast today. If you want more info on DPM 2010, check out my blog - [A href=""] [/A]or the DPM team blog @ [A href=""][/A]. And Brendan, if you or other TT friends would like a 1:1 walk through of DPM as we get closer to RTM, please email me and we’ll set it up.