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Protecting Server Data with Data Protection Manager 2010

Reducing Operational Costs, Improving Storage Utilization, and Increasing Scalability

Technical White Paper

Published: June 2011

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Situation

Solution

Benefits

Products & Technologies

Growth in the Microsoft global infrastructure and increased use of large data stores for collaboration created a heavy demand on backup and restore services, and associated resources. Microsoft IT needed to find an effective data backup solution for both clients and servers.

Microsoft IT deployed Data Protection Manager 2010 to 4,000 servers. This significantly reduced the time, effort, and system resources necessary to help protect corporate data on SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and other servers hosting Microsoft corporate data.

  • Decreased the number of DPM servers required by 40 percent due to better storage utilization and increased scalability.
  • Reduced operational costs, saving over $6 million USD in tape library and ongoing maintenance and repair costs.
  • Reduced backup-related support incidents by 60 percent.
  • Eliminated dependency on third-party tape backup software.
  • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2006 and 2007
  • Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2010
  • Microsoft Office Communicator 2007
  • SQL Server 2008
  • Office SharePoint Server 2010
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

arrow Executive Summary

arrow Introduction

arrow Planning

arrow Implementation

arrow Best Practices and Lessons Learned

arrow Conclusion

arrow For More Information

Executive Summary

Microsoft® Information Technology (Microsoft IT) provides infrastructure and managed services to internal groups within Microsoft. As the Microsoft global infrastructure grew, the need for an effective data backup strategy in both the client and server spaces increased.

Like other IT enterprises, Microsoft historically relied on tape-based backups and third-party software to backup Microsoft corporate data on database-driven systems. As the databases grew, so did the backup and restore times required to protect that data, as well as the complexity of the backup environment.

Microsoft IT sought a single, unified backup solution that would reduce the time and resources required to protect corporate data, reducing the complexity of their backup systems.

Microsoft IT deployed Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) to protect client and server data. For server data, Microsoft IT started by rolling out Data Protection Manager 2006. With Data Protection Manager 2007, Microsoft IT significantly reduced the time, effort, and system resources necessary to help protect corporate data resources. Data Protection Manager 2010 was the next logical step in the progression. By April 2011, DPM 2010 was installed on all 4,000 Microsoft servers, including file servers, Microsoft SQL Server® instances, Microsoft Office SharePoint® servers, SAP servers, and Source Depot servers.

This white paper is written specifically for enterprise technical decision makers, technical architects, and deployment managers who are considering deploying Data Protection Manager 2010. It is based on the experience of Microsoft IT, and is not intended to serve as a deployment roadmap. Each enterprise environment has its own unique requirements that should be considered when planning any centralized data backup solution. Therefore, each organization should adapt the plans and activities described in this white paper to meet its specific needs, and use this information along with the guidance provided by the System Center Data Protection Manager TechCenter at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399519.aspx.

Note: For security reasons, the sample names of internal resources used in this paper do not represent real resource names used within Microsoft, and are for illustration purposes only.

Introduction

The primary role of Microsoft IT is to support the technology infrastructure across the Microsoft enterprise. Beyond that, Microsoft IT provides services that range from user support and telecommunications management, to server and network operations. This includes the Corporate Data Protection Service that provides data backup and recovery services to approximately 4,000 servers worldwide.

Microsoft IT provides server data protection to internal Microsoft customers, also referred to as business units, that “opt in” to the Corporate Data Protection Service. The service protects corporate data running on file servers, SharePoint servers, SQL Server (including SAP running on SQL Server), and Source Depot servers, including the following:

  • Business, financial, and legal data

  • Source code

Microsoft IT standardized data protection services with System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2010. DPM 2010 is a server-based application that enables disk-based and tape-based data protection and recovery. DPM protects and recovers data on key business applications, such as SQL Server, SharePoint, virtual servers, and file shares, in and across Microsoft Active Directory® domains. DPM performs replication, synchronization, and recovery point creation. DPM provides reliable protection and rapid recovery of data by both system administrators and by end users.

DPM logs and replicates block-level changes to files on protected servers, making backups more efficient and eliminating the problem of scheduling backup windows. DPM captures changes as they happen, instead of copying entire files. The technology places less of a load on protected servers than conventional backup tools that must copy entire files if even a single byte changes.

Before deploying Data Protection Manager 2010, the Microsoft IT backup technology consisted of a mix of Veritas Backup Exec, and earlier versions of System Center Data Protection Manager. Backup Exec maintained support for the enterprise environment by providing backup to tape for sites with local tape libraries installed. However, Backup Exec required a fair amount of intervention, raising overall support costs for Microsoft IT.

Data Protection Manager 2006 provided remote backup to disk for branch offices and other remote locations. Although it did not fully meet Microsoft IT business requirements, DPM 2006 was the first step in deploying a new data protection technology, and provided Microsoft IT with insight to what was possible.

With the Data Protection Manager 2007 deployment, Microsoft IT moved approximately 70 percent of the environment from third-party solutions to DPM. Microsoft IT removed the dependency on tape-based backup for SharePoint and SQL Servers that were still using traditional tape backups. DPM 2007 reduced the time required for backups, enabling backups during business hours. While DPM 2007 provided many benefits to Microsoft, room for improvement remained. Microsoft IT learned a great deal from their DPM 2007 deployment, especially around scalability and storage requirements.

Previous deployments of DPM at Microsoft helped improve the product. As Microsoft's ‘first and best customer,' Microsoft IT, their internal customers, and operations groups all provided valuable feedback to the DPM development groups to help address issues and improve the overall quality of the DPM 2010 release. Some of the improvements that directly targeted Microsoft IT issues included:

  • More robust design. Added support for unsupported files, more descriptive error information and event IDs, increased error isolation enabling IT to take corrective actions, and continue backups for non-critical issues, such as locked and inaccessible files.

  • Improved reliability. Some of the most significant DPM 2010 enhancements are the auto-healing capabilities that maintain reliably consistent, protected data sources. DPM 2010 auto-healing features include:

    • Auto grow, where a volume will grow once the volume threshold is reached.

    • Auto consistency check, where you can schedule DPM to check automatically for inconsistencies between a protected data source and its replica.

    • Auto rerun, which automatically reruns failed DPM 2010 jobs.

  • Improved scalability. DPM 2010 servers can be configured with more than 2,000 SQL Server databases, and support more than 80 terabytes of storage per DPM server.

  • Improved manageability. The DPM 2010 Management Pack reduces unnecessary console alerts by using service level agreement (SLA)-based alerting and duplicate-error suppression.

  • Improved protection for SQL Server and SharePoint Server workloads.

    • SQL auto protection enables any new database added to a SQL Server instance to be added automatically to backup protection. End-User-Recovery provides self-service recovery for SQL databases.

    • SharePoint protection improvements enable automatic protection of new content databases and eliminated need for recovery farm for Office SharePoint Server 2010.

The overall goals of the DPM 2010 migration were to build on the lessons learned from prior DPM releases, and take advantage of product improvements to:

  • Reduce overall total cost of ownership

  • Increase DPM server scalability

  • Decrease DPM support incidents

  • Unify the backup solution to a single product

New features in DPM 2010 made it possible for Microsoft IT to achieve their goal of reducing the overall operational costs for protecting corporate data. Storage efficiencies, improved SQL Server protection, enhanced SharePoint support, and improved disaster recovery scenario support are just some of the strategic improvements in DPM 2010 that Microsoft IT leveraged. To learn more about all of the new features and enhancements that are available in DPM 2010, see http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/systemcenter/dm/ff399383.aspx.

Planning

Microsoft IT had deployed a prerelease version of DPM 2010 to approximately 10 percent of production servers as part of their Dogfood testing effort. Dogfood testing is how Microsoft refers to the internal prerelease software deployment process. With general availability of DPM 2010, Microsoft IT started deploying DPM 2010 to the rest of their production servers. Microsoft IT Engineering took ownership of the project instead of farming out. The team set an aggressive nine-month schedule.

Microsoft IT had the advantage of having gone down the path before with previous versions of DPM. The team utilized all of the lessons learned from those deployments to improve the DPM 2010 deployment process.

The scope of the project consisted of migrating approximately 4,000 production servers from DPM 2007 to DPM 2010. Microsoft IT also wanted to evaluate existing DPM server deployments, and look for opportunities to optimize the DPM environment.

Selecting a Deployment Strategy

The first step was to evaluate the existing DPM environment and determine the deployment approach. The choices were to upgrade existing servers to DPM 2010, or deploy new DPM 2010 servers and then migrate protected resources.

Microsoft IT decided to deploy new servers, and migrate the protected resources. Several factors influenced the choice:

  • The partition scheme used on existing servers did not provide the disk space required to perform an upgrade.

  • Some key DPM 2010 features, such as SQL Server colocation and auto protection, would have required modification of every protection group. Also, those features would have consumed extra disk storage in an upgrade scenario.

  • Migrating to new servers provided the opportunity to standardize on Windows Server® 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008.

  • Microsoft IT was able to take advantage of DPM 2010 scalability enhancements, consolidating and reducing the number of DPM servers.

Migrating the DPM servers required some additional work on the part of Microsoft IT, but resulted in a much cleaner environment.

Analyzing the Existing DPM 2007 Environment

Part of the planning process required the review of existing server and storage requirements and utilization. This facilitated a more streamlined and efficient DPM 2010 deployment.

Analyzing the DPM 2007 environment showed a mismatch of DPM Agent versions, server patches, and build numbers. To try to level-set the previous environment would have been too disruptive to business due to issues such having to reboot servers when upgrading. The migration would allow Microsoft IT to standardize the DPM servers and agents, making it easier to keep the environment updated.

Server Analysis

Microsoft IT needed to analyze existing DPM servers to determine if there were opportunities for server consolidation. Because DPM 2010 provides improved scalability, Microsoft IT consolidated 53 servers, reducing the number of DPM servers by 40 percent. Table 1 shows the server consolidation per data center.

Table 1. DPM 2010 Server Consolidation and Deployment

Data center

Total DPM 2007 Servers before migration

Number of DPM servers consolidated

Total DPM 2010 servers after migration

Redmond

88

34

54

Dublin

16

8

8

Singapore

7

4

3

Japan

5

1

4

Other (HA)

17

6

11

Grand Totals

133

53

80

DPM 2010 scalability enables protection of up to 2,000 SQL Server databases. Microsoft IT evaluated how SQL Server resources were protected and increased the number of databases per DPM 2010 server. For example, three DPM 2007 servers at the Dublin data center protected 303 SQL Server resources. With DPM 2010, two DPM servers now protect 360 SQL Server resources. Similarly, at the Redmond data center, five DPM 2007 servers protected 479 SQL Server resources. Now, two DPM servers protect 638 SQL Server resources.

Figure 1. Comparison of Average SQL Server Resources Protected per DPM Server

Figure 1. Comparison of Average SQL Server Resources Protected per DPM Server

Microsoft IT worked with the SQL Server operations team to determine the optimized configuration settings used for the consolidated SQL Servers. The following summarizes the SQL Server configuration changes they made:

  • SQL Server network connectivity

    • Enable shared memory

    • Enable named pipes

    • Enable TCP/IP

  • Firewall settings

    • Set specific TCP and UDP ports in the firewall

  • Memory configurations

    • Specified maximum memory usage per SQL Server instance

    • Configured service account for the “lock pages in memory” privilege

  • Configured Isolation Mode for DPMDB to “read committed snapshot” mode to reduce the number of SQL deadlocks

  • Configured Service Principle Names (SPNs)

    • Registered SPNs to ensure TCP connections via Kerberos

Storage Analysis

To plan for storage requirements, Microsoft IT used their own tools to mine the data from DPM 2007. The process helped identify excess storage and reclaimable space. It also helped the team plan for more efficient use of storage. The following table provides a view of the data that the team utilized.

Table 2. DPM Server Utilization in Dublin Data Center

DPM server

Replica
allocated (GB)

Replica
used (GB)

Replica volume
% used

Recovery point
allocated (GB)

Recovery point
used (GB)

Recovery point
% used

DPM 2007 server totals

151,994.19

93,612.58

61.6%

100,516.24

37,888.57

37.7%

DPM 2010 server totals

132,619.37

92,601.05

69.8%

121,269.44

61,922.89

51.1%

With DPM 2007, Microsoft IT was close to full storage capacity. While they had additional storage that they could have allocated to DPM 2007, they chose to reserve it and make it available to the DPM 2010 migration. Based on analysis results and DPM 2010 efficiencies, Microsoft IT determined that additional new storage was not required. DPM 2010 increased the overall storage utilization. Replica volume utilization increased from 61.6 percent to 69.8 percent, and Recovery Point volume utilization increased from 37.7 percent to 51.1 percent.

Figure 2. Comparison of Total Storage Usage on DPM Servers

Figure 2. Comparison of Total Storage Usage on DPM Servers

Two new features in DPM 2010 helped make this possible.

  • Colocation for SQL Server databases. In DPM 2007, when backing up any size SQL Server database, DPM allocated a predetermined amount of disk space. For example, for a 10 MB database, DPM 2007 allocated 2 GB of storage, allowing for future growth. In DPM 2010, you can colocate your SQL Server database protection groups on a shared volume, which minimizes wasted space.

  • LUN shrink. DPM 2010 allows Recovery Point volume shrinking, to use space effectively. Volume shrinking eliminates the need to move data to another disk, and then wait for the data to expire in order to reclaim the space. Note: In some cases, LUN shrink was limited by data location on the volume, and benefits were not as significant as expected.

In the next phase, Microsoft IT expects to gain additional efficiencies to reduce wasted storage further using technologies built into storage arrays. The storage planning process also helped Microsoft IT validate the next generation of arrays with thin provisioning.

Planning Protection Group Changes

Microsoft IT needed to review protection group configurations to ensure that the deployment was taking advantage of new DPM 2010 features such as item level recovery, colocation, and auto-retry.

  • DPM 2010 improved support for protecting SharePoint farms and added item level recovery. SharePoint protection groups were evaluated to ensure they took full advantage of the new features in DPM 2010. With DPM 2007, Microsoft IT backed up their SharePoint servers as SQL databases.

  • SQL Server protection groups were evaluated to ensure that they took advantage of the auto protection feature in DPM 2010. With this feature, any new database added to a SQL Server instance is automatically added to backup protection. This is especially important to Microsoft IT, as its clients may move databases around on a daily basis. Auto protection is a big win for both Microsoft IT and their customers. SQL Server protection groups were also enabled for colocation, to make better use of storage resources.

  • With DPM 2010, failed backup jobs can be configured to rerun automatically. The average DPM 2007 first run success rates ranged between 60 and 70 percent. Errors resulted from a variety of sources, including network issues, server reboots, and so on. Operations staff had to rerun jobs manually. With auto-retry in DPM 2010, the likelihood of a successful evening backup, where the backup operation is not interfering with everyday activities, is greatly increased. Requirements to intervene manually are greatly reduced.

Documenting the Migration Process

Microsoft IT chose to migrate protected resources to new servers. To ensure a smooth process, they documented and defined all steps. Because of this, engineers could consistently migrate with a high level of success.

The migration process included the following steps:

  • Stop protection of one or more protected resources in DPM 2007.

  • Update the DPM agent to DPM 2010.

  • Start protection of one or more protected resources in DPM 2010.

Backup data remained on the old server until it expired. The data was then deleted, and the storage returned to the storage pool.

Tools

DPM provides out-of-the-box reporting capabilities. In the complex Microsoft IT environment, DPM server complexity required a custom reporting tool. It allowed them to report on:

  • Migration successes and failures

  • Errors

  • Capacity utilization and storage details

  • Deployment trends

Implementation

When the migration started, the DPM environment was exclusively DPM 2007. The migration needed to provide continuous data protection using both disk-based and tape-based data protection, to existing file, SQL Server, and SharePoint servers. The implementation approach was to migrate the hard-to-protect servers first, then the balance of the servers.

Figure 3. Overview of Microsoft DPM 2010 topology

Figure 3. Overview of Microsoft DPM 2010 topology

Data Centers

Most backups are centralized in three primary data center locations: Redmond, Dublin, and Singapore. The data centers utilize remote SQL Server instances, Storage Area Networks (SANs), and virtual tape libraries (VTLs). Some of the data center details are as follows:

  • Remote SQL Servers house up to eight SQL Server instances, for up to eight DPM servers.

  • Data center DPM servers use a remote SQL Server instance for five or more DPM servers.

  • A SAN is comprised of five arrays, using 500 GB SATA disks, and two arrays, using two terabyte SATA disks. A typical array ranges from 150 terabytes to one petabyte.

  • VTLs perform data de-duplication. Data de-duplication is similar to data compression, but it looks for redundancy of byte sequences across very large comparison windows. Redundant data elimination can significantly shrink storage requirements, and improve bandwidth efficiency. Data is de-duplicated at the VTL level, and then hardware replication transfers the data to another physical location.

Figure 4. Data center DPM configuration

Figure 4. Data center DPM configuration

Protection Groups

Microsoft IT provides data protection services in three ways:

  • File Server. The resource is protected as a file server. SQL Server and SharePoint cannot be installed.

  • SharePoint Server. Protection is for the SharePoint farm only. No SQL Server databases, drives, or shares are protected.

  • SQL Server. Protection is for SQL Server databases only. No drives or shares are protected.

    • Optionally, customers can request hourly transaction log synchronization.

    • Customers are encouraged to request automatic protection of a new SQL Server database, after it has been added to the SQL Server instance.

The following table shows details of the various protection policies.

Table 3. DPM Protection Policies

Resource type

Requirement

Recovery point

Synchronization

Data retention

File server

Purely a file server

1 per day

Hourly

28 days

SharePoint server

SharePoint farm only – no SQL databases, drives, or shares

1 per day

Just before recovery point

14 days

SQL Server

Databases only – no drives or shares.

1 per day

Just before recovery point

Optional service – hourly synchronization of transaction logs

14 days

The following configurations are also part of protection group settings:

  • 7 P.M. recovery points.

  • 9 P.M. consistency check.

  • Enable on-the-wire compression.

  • SQL Server data utilizes DPM colocation.

  • 2-terabyte limit for size of each protected resource. Note: Microsoft IT has been successfully protecting several resources much larger than two terabytes and will be increasing to five terabytes.

  • Auto discovery only enabled for automatic protection of SQL Server and SharePoint databases.

The current Microsoft IT Data Protection Service offering does not offer backups of virtual machines (VMs) at the host level. This is not a technical limitation of DPM 2010, but rather a business issue based on service scalability. Microsoft IT is currently testing VM host backups.

Recovery Process

The Corporate Data Protection Service team provides data recovery for users that opted in to the service offering. Users send email to the system account for backup and restores, filling out a request form with specific details. A support ticket is generated and a technician is assigned to resolve the issue.

As part of the Corporate Data Protection Service, the Microsoft IT team successfully maintains a restore SLA of 100 percent of restore requests within 72 hours of the request date. Since the migration to DPM 2010, Microsoft IT has been able to hone this to 100 percent of the restore requests within 24 hours of the request date.

Benefits

Migrating to DPM 2010 provided many benefits to Microsoft IT. Following are just some of the benefits realized in Phase 1 of the migration:

  • Improved Storage Utilization. The ability to grow and shrink storage allocation as needed is a big win in DPM 2010. Enabling colocation allows Microsoft IT to store data more efficiently on the DPM servers.

  • Lower Support Costs. Moving from DPM 2007 to DPM 2010, the rate of support incidents fell by 46 percent per month. Operational costs for reactive break/fix work have fallen by over 60 percent to date and now maintain an incident rate of less than .02 percent supporting its approximately 26,000 resources worldwide. Higher success rates on backups, automatic rerunning of jobs, and improved self-healing features contribute to this.

  • Centralized Backups. Before DPM 2010, server backups in many remote sites required local tape drives. Local tape drives also required hands-on knowledge workers to resolve ongoing issues with tape libraries. DPM 2010 block-level backup functionality allows remote server backups. Remote server backups have reduced operational costs by over $6M USD. Tape libraries, ongoing maintenance, and repairs are no longer needed. Staff at the branch offices no longer needs to provide hands-on support.

  • Bandwidth Optimization. Before DPM 2010, branch office backups consumed a large amount of bandwidth, as the branch offices often had smaller IDSN lines. With DPM 2010, backups spread out over 24 hours instead of being scheduled all at once.

  • Smoother Deployment Process. Improved stability and easier installation contributed to Microsoft IT ability to keep the rapid deployment pace for this project. With DPM 2010, Microsoft IT would add 1,000 resources in a day, 500 servers in a week. The last migration took 3 years, where the DPM 2010 migration was completed within 6 months—another big win for Microsoft IT.

  • Increased flexibility. Following the 2011 earthquake in the Tohoku region of Japan, Microsoft IT was able to quickly implement DPM 2010 Disaster Recover (DPM-DR) and replicate disaster recovery copies of key servers of its Tokyo data center to its Singapore data center. This provided a full data copy of the data at a geographically diverse location.

Microsoft IT realized these benefits from Phase 1 of the migration. They expect to see additional cost savings as the DPM 2010 environment continues to evolve and they implement additional features such as VTL, data de-duplication, and an expanded service offering. Implementing VTLs, for example, will enable Microsoft IT to replicate data, which meets a key business requirement of offsite data storage. VTLs, in conjunction with DPM Disaster Recovery (DPM-DR), will provide Microsoft IT with a resilient solution when faced with network failures.

Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Microsoft IT captured a number of best practices during the DPM 2010 planning and deployment. The following reflect lessons learned, what worked well, and areas that required improvement.

Deployment Planning

Understand how to measure performance and storage when planning your move to a DPM environment. DPM reflects a fundamental shift from traditional philosophies of backup solutions such as NetBackup and Backup Exec. Typically, backups are discussed in terms of how many jobs are run per day, how many gigabytes are transferred, and so on. With DPM, the conversation moves to transactions. For example, Microsoft IT performs approximately 20,000 backups per day. The reality is that they backup 4.5 million transactions per day with the DPM environment. This shift creates some challenges in planning scalability and storage requirements when moving to a DPM environment.

Calculating Storage Requirements

Microsoft IT found that the existing storage calculators for DPM could not be readily utilized for planning. The storage calculators that the DPM product development group made available require knowledge of the amount of change across the protected servers, a metric that is not readily available. Microsoft IT, internal customers, and external customers have provided feedback on the issue to the product group. Microsoft IT recommends the following:

  • If you already have DPM 2007 deployed, view the data that DPM 2007 provides to see how you can be more efficient with your storage in DPM 2010.

  • If you are using another product, such as Net Backup or Backup Exec, calculating storage requirement is challenging. There are significant differences between how other products backup and store data, versus DPM 2010. Be sure you understand those differences, the amount of change that occurs in your protected data, and account for them in your calculations.

Deployment Strategy

If you are performing a complete migration to DPM, Microsoft IT recommends a phased approach. Because the data protection model with DPM is so different from other data protection solutions, a phased approach will help you understand the impact of the new model and the changes in how you will need to do business.

Microsoft IT tends to be “all in” when they change technology, such as going from a backup-to-tape solution to a backup-to-disk solution. Unlike most enterprise IT organizations where they upgrade or migrate a small percentage of their environment, Microsoft IT chose to migrate 99 percent of their backup environment. This philosophy created significant challenges for Microsoft IT during the DPM 2007 deployment.

DPM 2007 represented a huge paradigm shift for Microsoft IT. It changed how Microsoft IT protected resources, and understood storage requirements. It also impacted operations and management of the environment, as well as how Microsoft IT tracked and reported on it.

For DPM 2010, Microsoft IT used their experience from previous DPM deployments. By building on the knowledge gained and lessons learned, they were able to optimize their DPM environment. They also improved their migration process, which allowed them to migrate smoothly and in a much shorter timeframe than previous deployments.

Reporting

Each IT organization will need to determine the correct reporting solution, based on the complexity of their existing environment and their reporting needs. While DPM provides out-of-the-box reporting capabilities, Microsoft IT chose to develop their own customized reporting tool.

Upgrading versus Migration

For the greatest flexibility, Microsoft IT recommends starting with a new server installation and migrating to DPM 2010.

Microsoft IT decided that the best deployment path was migrating to DPM 2010, instead of upgrading their DPM 2007 servers. The decision was based on several factors.

First, existing server configurations did not provide the required space to perform an in-place upgrade. Microsoft IT configures servers with a small c:/ partition that contains only the operating system, which did not provide the required space and prevented their upgrade. Another factor influencing the decision was that the SQL Server colocation feature of DPM 2010 could not be enabled on existing protection groups and would have required stopping resource protection and recreating the protection groups if an upgrade path was selected. Finally, Microsoft IT wanted to consolidate servers.

Alternate Plans and Business Events Impact

Microsoft IT recommends that you have an alternate plan to keep your project(s) on track during migration. Microsoft IT maintained a very aggressive DPM 2010 migration schedule. The one roadblock the team encountered was their own internal processes that prevented the migration of the last of the servers.

During the migration, they discovered a data center moratorium that prevented the reboot of some servers. To work around this blocking issue and continue to make progress, they decided to leverage a third-party solution. They temporarily pulled the backups for those servers out of DPM. They used Backup Exec until they could reboot the servers after the moratorium finished, or until they received a change request through the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

Conclusion

Migrating to DPM 2010 provided Microsoft IT with a much cleaner, less complex backup environment. They were able to standardize their DPM servers and agents, making ongoing support of the DPM environment easier.

Improvements to DPM 2010 were a big win for Microsoft IT. Microsoft IT achieved their key goals for the DPM 2010 deployment. They were able to take advantage of product improvements to:

  • Centralize their backups and remove local tape libraries from remote sites, reducing operational costs by over $6 million USD.

  • Leverage improved scalability to consolidate servers, reducing the number of DPM servers by 40 percent.

  • Use DPM colocation, auto grow, and LUN shrink to improve overall storage utilization, minimizing wasted space.

  • Achieve higher success rate on backups with auto rerun and improved self-healing features, reducing DPM support incidents by over 60 percent.

  • Improve their deployment process, allowing them to migrate all 4,000 protected servers to DPM 2010 migration in 6 months.

For More Information

To evaluate DPM 2010 as a potential solution for your data protection needs, and to review news articles about recent data protection developments, see “Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager” at http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/en/us/data-protection-manager.aspx.

For technical documentation to help you evaluate, plan, deploy, configure, operate, and troubleshoot DPM 2010, see “System Center Data Protection Manager TechCenter” at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399192.aspx.

To review additional IT Showcase DPM 2010 technical white papers and webcasts, visit the Microsoft IT Showcase System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) page at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb736232.aspx#DPM2010.

To learn more about the benefits that Microsoft IT realized from their DPM 2010 deployment, see “Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization Customer Solution Case Study” on www.microsoft.com/casestudies.

For more information about Microsoft products or services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada information Centre at (800) 563-9048. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information through the World Wide Web, go to:

http://www.microsoft.com

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/itshowcase

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