Backing up local files on your Data Protection Management Server

When creating a new protection group in DPM 2007 RTM you are presented with a list of computers on your network that have the DPM client installed.  The DPM server itself is in this list as it also runs the client for various reasons, including the ability to be backed up by another DPM server.

When you go to expand the local DPM server node you find a very small, or non-existent list of data that can be protected.  If you are running the DPM SQL database on the local machine, that will be the only thing available, otherwise there is absolutely nothing.

[caption id="attachment_19" align="alignnone" width="591" caption="Local Protection Disabled"]Local protection off[/caption]

DPM 2007 SP1 now includes the ability to protect resources local to the DPM server itself. This feature is being described by Microsoft as a way to build an all-in-one branch office server.  You can now run DPM on the same server that is providing file sharing, database, and other services to your branch office and use it to protect that data. Once the branch-office DPM server is protecting its local data you can then use the DPM server at your main office to protect it, “Instant Disaster Recovery” says Microsoft.

Configuration

This new feature is implicitly disabled and must be enabled using a powershell cmdlet. Enable this feature using the Set-DPMGlobalProperty cmdlet, launch a DPM Management Shell session and enter the following incantation:

Set-DPMGlobalProperty –AllowLocalDataProtection $true my-dpm-server

If for some reason you need/want to disable this feature, just change $true to $false.

Now when creating a new protection group you should see the Shares and Volumes nodes available under your DPM server where only DPMDB existed before.

[caption id="attachment_20" align="alignnone" width="592" caption="Local Protection Enabled"]Local protection on[/caption]

Using

This feature came not a moment too soon.  We don't currently need it for a branch-office configuration but I do need this feature rather badly for doing disk image backups of our VMWare infrastructure using DPM.  VMWare's Consolidated Backup mounts remote disk images as local directories, and without this feature I would have to use a third machine to act as the VCB proxy. Having a proxy would require not only another machine, but another node in the data flow between my VMs and tape.

I’ll explain indepth how I am using DPM to backup VMWare Infrastructur using VMWare Consolidated Backup in a future post.