Archive for January, 2013

Accessibility Features of DPM Help

Sunday, January 27th, 2013
To do this Use this keyboard shortcut

Display the Help window.


Switch the cursor between the Help topic pane and the navigation pane (tabs such as Contents, Search, and Index).


Change between tabs (for example, Contents, Search, and Index) while in the navigation pane.

ALT + Underlined letter of the tab

Select the next hidden text or hyperlink.


Select the previous hidden text or hyperlink.


Perform the action for the selected Show All, Hide All, hidden text, or hyperlink.


Display the Options menu to access any Help toolbar command.


Hide or show the pane containing the Contents, Search, and Index tabs.

ALT+O, and then press T

Display the previously viewed topic.

ALT+O, and then press B

Display the next topic in a previously displayed sequence of topics.

ALT+O, and then press F

Return to the specified home page.

ALT+O, and then press H

Stop the Help window from opening a Help topic (useful if you want to stop a Web page from downloading).

ALT+O, and then press S

Open the Internet Options dialog box for Windows Internet Explorer, where you can change accessibility settings.

ALT+O, and then press I

Refresh the topic (useful if you have linked to a Web page).

ALT+O, and then press R

Print all topics in a book or a selected topic only.

ALT+O, and then press P

Close the Help window.


Backing up Applications with DPM 2012 SP1

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013


Most of us know what Data Protection Manager (DPM) can natively protect such as Windows OS starting from Servers 2003 through 2012 including files and critical server components such as system state. I often see folks confused on how to backup Microsoft and third party application using DPM, in this article I will enumerate the application that DPM supports natively and list other resources on how to back up the most common used applications and where to get information on how to backup them up properly, read on …

Application that can be protected natively

Exchange Server

SQL Server

SharePoint :


Disaster recovery

  • System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Data Protection Manager (DPM) (only on SP1).
  • System Center 2012 System Center 2012 – Data Protection Manager (DPM)

Applications that can be protected with DPM that it does not protect natively:

Dynamics CRM


Forefront TMG

System Center Operations Manager

System Center Configuration Manager

System Center Virtual Machine Manager

Team Foundation Server

QuickBooks Enterprise with DPM


Steve Buchanan wrote this blog on how to protect WordPress using System center orchestrator you can use  Orchestrator with DPM to protect your worldpress blog, after the Download WordPress Zip , you need to call a DPM activity “Create recovery Point” that backup the download location.

DPM 2012 Sizing for SQL Backup

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

I recently came across an issue with sizing DPM allocations for backing up SQL 2012. It was fun, really. Anyway, here are the key things you need to know in order to properly size the storage for backing up SQL with DPM.

  1. Data Source Size – The size of the database
  2. Retention Range – How many days you want to retain data for
  3. Log Change Rate – This is how much your logs change on a daily basis. The default is 10% and     I cannot see a reason to deviate from that for most systems.

Once you have all this info you need to run it through two equations to determine both the replica volume size and recovery point volume size. I’m going to walk through an example here where we have a 90,346MB database and want 14 day retention with 10% log change and a 90% alert threshold.

To determine the storage requirements of the replica volume, we have to take the data source size, multiply it by (the log change percent + 1) and then divide that by (the alert threshold – .05). Looks complex, doesn’t it? It’s really quite simple. In our example case, the numbers work out as follows:

imageNow that we know we need roughly 114 GB for our replica volume, we can move forward to calculating the recovery point volume storage requirements. This is another, slightly longer but no more complex equation. 2.5 multiplied by the retention range in days multiplied by the log change rate multiplied by the data source size plus 1600MB. As you’ve probably guessed by now recovery point volumes have much larger storage requirements than replica volumes. The numbers for our example case work out as follows:

imageNow that we know we have roughly 310GB required for the recovery point volume, we’re going to need a minimum of 424GB to back up our 88GB database.  While I haven’t seen it anywhere as a MS best practice, I would recommend adding a 20% premium on top of the calculations and allow yourself room to grow.

You are putting this on SATA storage, correct? There is really know reason to put it on speedy FC or SAS.

What’s New in System Center Data Protection 2012 SP1

Friday, January 4th, 2013
  • Improved backup performance of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V over CSV 2.0 deployments
    Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) provide a distributed file access solution so that multiple nodes in the cluster can simultaneously access the same NTFS file system.
    In System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) DPM, CSV 2.0 support allows the following benefits:
    • 900% improvement in expressful backups.
    • Parallel backups.
    • No performance difference between backups from owner and non-owner nodes.
    • Support for SMB shares.

    For more information on deploying DPM protection for Hyper-V virtual machines, see Managing Hyper-V computers

  • Protect Hyper-V over remote SMB share
    In Windows Server 2012, you can now use SMB file shares as remote storage for Hyper-V. With this new capability, Hyper-V can store virtual machine files, which includes configuration, virtual hard disk (VHD) files, and snapshots, on SMB file shares. This offers benefits like Ease of provisioning and management, increased flexibility, ability to take advantage of existing investment in a converged network, reduced capital expenditures, and reduced operating expenditures.
    In System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) DPM, SMB shares support allows the following benefits:
    • More efficient expressful backups.
    • Continued protection even after Live Migration.
    • Support for SMB shares in standalone and scaled-out deployments.

    For more information on deploying DPM protection for Hyper-V virtual machines using SMB file shares, see Managing Hyper-V computers

  • DPM now allows you to exclude virtual machine pagefiles from incremental backups to improve usage of storage and improve backup performance.
  • Scale out support for Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • Protect Windows 8 deduplicated volumes
    Data deduplication involves finding and removing duplication within data without compromising its fidelity or integrity. DPM allows optimized back of deduplicated volumes, both locally and over the network.
    For more information on protecting deduplicated volumes, see Protecting deduplicated volumes
  • Support for Live Migration
    Live migration is a Hyper-V feature in Windows Server that allows you to transparently move running virtual machines from one node of the failover cluster to another node in the same cluster or another cluster without a dropped network connection or perceived downtime.
    In System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) DPM, Live Migration support allows the following benefits:
    • Uninterrupted protection for migrated virtual machines.
    • Support for inter-cluster, cluster to standalone, and standalone to cluster migrations apart from intra-cluster migration.
    • Support for SMB shares.
  • Integration with Windows Azure Online Backup


    Windows Azure Online Backup currently is currently on Preview and does not support production environments.

    • With System Center 2012 SP1, DPM can now backup data from the DPM server to an offsite storage managed by the Windows Azure Online Backup Service.
    • System Center customers can avail of this functionality by signing up for the Windows Azure Online Backup service. Customers will need to download and install the Windows Azure Online Backup agent on the DPM server which will be used to transfer the data between the DPM server(s) and Windows Azure Online Backup service.
    • Up to 120 DPM recovery points can be retained in Windows Azure Online Backup.
    • Support for Windows Server 2008 R2 – Online backup can be enabled on DPM servers running on Windows Server 2008 R2.
    • Support for protecting SQL Server.
  • Support for protecting file server data.
  • Support for protecting virtual machines.
  • Support for protecting SQL Server 2012 databases that use the AlwaysOn feature.
  • You can use a stand-alone instance of SQL Server 2012 to host the DPM database.
  • Support for protecting file server using Resilient File System (ReFS).
  • Support for protecting SharePoint 2013.
  • Support for protecting Exchange Server 2013.