Deploying Data Protection Manager 2007 (Part 2)

by Anderson Patricio [Published on 9 Oct. 2007 / Last Updated on 9 Oct. 2007]

How to install Agents and add disks to the DPM Storage Pool and a high-level overview of the five areas in the DPM Administrator Console.

If you missed the first part in this article series please read

Continuing our DPM 2007 deployment…

We have just deployed the DPM Server and before we start getting to know the DPM Administration interfaces we have to configure three key points:

  • Understand where and how DPM can use media to protect the data (disk, tape or both)
  • Add Disks to the Storage Pool
  • Add Agents to protect servers

After these three topics above we will be taking a look at each of the key areas of DPM 2007.

Storing the backup data in disks, tapes or both…

One of the nice features of DPM 2007 is the possibility of storing the protected data in different ways, such as disk-based storage (also know as D2D Disk-to-disk), tape-based storage (also know as D2T Disk-to-tape) and both methods (also know as D2D2T, disk-to-disk-to-tape), as shown in Figure 01.


Figure 01: The three methods to store the information (Disk, Tape or both)

This flexibility is set up at Protection Group level. Using these methods we can configure short-term periods of data to be stored on a disk because a restore from a disk is much faster and easier than a tape restore. We can also define long-term periods of data to be moved to a tape. All these options are defined when creating the Protection Groups to protect the servers.

Adding disks to the storage pool

DPM uses a set of disks called the Storage Pool where it stores replicas and recovery points of the protected data. We need at least one disk in the Storage Pool to start the process of protecting the servers.

If we have a basic disk DPM will convert it to a dynamic disk in order to add it to the Storage Pool. In DPM Beta2 we can add any physical disk and it will use only the unallocated space of the selected disk. We are going to add the disk shown in Figure 02 to the DPM Storage Pool.


Figure 02: The disk that will be added to the Storage Pool

To add disk1 into the Storage Pool follow these steps:

  1. Open the Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.
  2. In the Navigation bar click on the Management area.
  3. In the Display Pane, click on Disk tab.
  4. In the Actions pane, click on Add..
  5. Add Disks to Storage Pool. In the left frame all available disks that may be used by DPM will appear. Click on the disk and click on the Add -> button (Figure 03). The disk will be moved to the right frame and we can see the disk name, capacity and if there is any data on the disk. Click on OK.


Figure 03: Selecting a disk to be added to the Storage Pool

  1. Now we can see the disk that has just been added to the Storage Pool (Figure 04). We can also see the disk status, how much is allocated for protection, how much space is still unallocated and which Protected volumes are on this specific disk.


Figure 04: Disk Management with a recently initialized disk that will be added to DPM Disk Storage Pool

Deploying the DPM Agents

Let’s install the agents on the DPM Protected Servers. Agent installation can be done manually or through the DPM Administrator Console. The agent will be installed as a service called DRMA on the Protected Servers.

  1. Open the Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.
  2. In the Navigation bar Click on the Management area.
  3. In the Display Pane, click on the Agents tab.
  4. In the Actions pane, click on Install…
  5. Select one or more servers on which to install the agent, as shown in Figure 05, and then click Next.


Figure 05: Selecting the Servers on which the DPM Agent will be installed

  1. Enter Credentials. Specify a user name, password and domain as well with Installation rights on the server that DPM Agent will be installed, and click Next.
  2. Choose Restart Method. Install the Agent and automatically restart the server or install the agent and restart the server manually. Click Next.
  3. Summary. Validate which server or servers will receive the Agent, and click on Install.
  4. Now click on Close, the status of the installation will be shown, as in Figure 06.


Figure 06: The newly installed agent - validate the agent’s version, status, and to which group it belongs

Using the DPM 2007 Administrator Console

We can work with DPM through the Administrator Console or through the DPM Management Shell that allows the use of PowerShell.

The DPM Administrator Console has five distinct areas that can be managed. These areas are: Monitoring, Protection, Recovery, Reporting and Management. We will go over each of these areas to see what we can do in each.

DPM 2007 Administrator Console

Monitoring

This area allows us to monitor the status of DPM Operations, and is divided in two distinct tabs: Alerts and Jobs.

Alerts: This tab displays messages about agents, backup and restore procedures. We can group these alerts using the Group by combo box (Figure 07).

Jobs: Show the status of jobs and the tasks associated with them. We can also group the jobs using the Group by combo box and Filter names. The jobs listed in this area are set up automatically during the Protection Group creation process (Figure 08).


Figure 07: The Active and Inactive DPM alerts


Figure 08: Jobs

Protection

In this area we can manage the Protection Groups, Protection Schedules, disk allocations, etc. We can also synchronize and create a Recovery Point. We can see all the servers in the Protection Groups. We can click on a specific item and validate some points, such as: how many recovery points are available, the oldest and latest recovery point and figure out how much disk space is being used to protect the specific item, as shown in Figure 09.


Figure 09: Protection Groups

Recovery

In the Recovery Area we can recover data that has been protected by the Protection Groups. We can see all the servers and protected items in a single view, and we do not need to move from the screen to do an Exchange, SharePoint, SQL or a Windows File Server restore procedure. We can use the calendar to see the days and specific times that we have a recovery point available. We can also see which media has the selected recovery point (disk or tape), as shown in Figure 10.

We can use the Search Tab to find available recovery points using variables, such as: file or folder name, recovery point range and the original location


Figure 10: The Recovery area that allows us to recover data from the DPM Agents

Reporting

The Reporting Service has some reports that allow administrators to measure some items, such as: statistics, performance that might help with hardware resource capacity planning. We have the following built in reports and they can be seen in Figure 11.

  • Disk Utilization
  • Protection
  • Recovery
  • Status
  • Tape Management
  • Tape Utilization


Figure 11: The available DPM reports

We can also configure the reports to be generated on a regular basis and sent to a selected e-mail address. Click on the Report, and on the Details Pane, we have two options: Schedule and E-mail, both of them have an Edit links below.

In the Schedule (Figure 12), we can configure the frequency and report parameters. We can also define how many version we will keep in the history.


Figure 12: Defining a schedule to generate the Disk Utilization Report

In the E-Mail tab, we can define who will receive the scheduled report. To add more than one mailbox just add a semi-colon between the e-mail address (Figure 13). We can also configure the format of the attached file that will come with the message, such as HTML, Excel or PDF.


Figure 13: Specifying the recipients that will receive this report

We can right-click on a report and click view to see it. A sample report can be seen in Figure 14.


Figure 14: Report extracted based on DPM Activity - schedule report generation or see it in real time

Management

In the Management Area we can play with the DPM Server components which interact with the servers and store the data. These items are: Agents, Disks and Tape library

Management of disks and agents has already been done in order to prepare DPM to be used.

In order to use a tape library properly in DPM 2007 we must make sure that the device is configured in the Device Management section. There is list with all hardware tested with DPM Beta2: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/dpm/partners/tapelib.mspx

DPM Management Shell

DPM 2007 can be managed through Windows PowerShell using the DPM Management Shell. In the DPM Management Shell some tasks that are not possible through DPM Administrator Console can be accomplished. Scripts can also be created to facilitate daily tasks. To see a list of all available DPM cmdlets use: get-DPMCommand.


Figure 15: Starting the DPM Management Shell

A useful source of scripts and tips about DPM Management Shell is on the DPM team’s blog that can be found at http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/.

Conclusion

In this article we went over how to finish the DPM deployment process by adding a disk to the Storage Pool and installing agents on Windows Server. In the next article we will see how to create Protection Groups and how to restore data in a Microsoft environment protected by Data Protection Manager.

Note:
This article was written using DPM 2007 Beta 2. The final release (RTM) may have different screens or features than described in this article.

If you missed the first part in this article series please read

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