I was quite surprised when I found out about this today. I didn't expect that Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM) will support backups of Exchange, Sharepoint and SQL Server before 2008. I tested DPM 2006 thoroughly and wrote an article about it in the German print magazine iX. Although I like Microsoft's Continuous Data Protection (CDP) solution, I found several shortcomings.
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We were about to buy Lucid8 Digivault as a CDP solution for Exchange and Continuous Protection Agent for Backup Exec 10d from Symantec. I like Symantec's CDP solution more than DPM. However, Exchange support is a great plus now for DPM. I suppose that Symantec will follow Microsoft soon with a new version of Backup Exec offering similar features.
It seems that DPM Version 2 has another interesting new feature that Microsoft calls "Seamless Disk and Tape Integration". With DPM 2006, you need third party software to back up data to tapes. I wonder what this feature is supposed to be. Unfortunately, the "marketing text" doesn't give any hint about it.
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I am probably going to have a closer look at the Beta 1 which is already available for download at Microsoft Connect.
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In regard to your question on “seamless integration of disk and tape” – what it means is that DPM abstracts the media format(s) from the restore process.
The administrator asks for a given file or database or mailbox or whatever from DPMv2 – including the time that they want the data restored to. If it is on disk, DPM restores from disk. If it is only on tape (and it is mounted), DPM fetches it from tape. You dont have to go search the catalog, locate the media, yada yada.
Also, for applications, DPM v2 can restore the data directly into the data source, instead of forcing a DBA to restore the data into a bogus database and then merge the data back in.
In fact, it can also commit any new logs on the production volume back into the restored database, without a DBA, to provide a “lossless data restore” up to the last committed transaction.
But hey – go try it!!!
Jason, thanks for your explanation, but I still don’t understand it. Do I need third party backup software to access backups on tape? The way you described it makes it seem like that DPM can manage tapes now.