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Plan for tape-based backups

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager

When you configure backup methods, you can only specify to use tape for long-term protection. None of the other methods are currently suitable for long-term backup. For short-term protection you can also select to use tape backups. With these settings enabled DPM backs up the data directly from the protected computer to tape. Note the following:

  • For long-term protection to tape full backups are always used.

  • For short-term protection to tape you can use a full backup or a full/incremental backup (when backups are set to Daily).

  • If you don’t have a tape or tape library attached to the DPM server you’ll only be able to select Disk for short-term protection.

  • When protecting client computers you can only use Disk for short-term protection.

  • If you’re using tape for both long-term and short-term protection, DPM creates copies of the latest short-term full backup in order to generate the long-term tape backup. We recommend that you schedule the short-term protection backup to run a day before the long-term backup. That way you can be sure you’re using the latest short-term backup in order to create the long-term backup.

  • If you’re using disk for short-term back up and tape for long-term, the long-term backup will be taken from the disk replica.

Tape library requirements

DPM can backup to tape libraries or standalone tape drives. These must be attached to the DPM server with storage area network (SAN) or SCSI. The tape capacity you need will depend on the size of the protected data and the number of tape backup jobs you’ll need to run. To plan for the number of tapes required for a protection group, multiply the required backup frequency by the retention range (specifies from how far back data can be recovered).

For a list of compatible tape libraries, see Compatible Tape Libraries for System Center 2012 DPM in the TechNet wiki.

Long-term storage requirements

Long-term backups to tape allocate a tape for each full backup job, so that each long-term backup recovery point is always on a new tape. Available free tapes are decremented as tapes are allocated to long-term or short-term backup. If no new tape is available for a long-term backup an alert is issued.

Short-term storage requirements

If short-term backups are configured to use tape and the full backup option is used, each full backup job will require a new free tape.

If short-term backups are configured to use tape and the full/incremental option is used, the full backups will require a new free tape, and the incremental backups will be appended to a single separate tape.

Example: If a full backup to tape is scheduled weekly and incremental backups to tape are scheduled daily, then the first full backup will go to a new free tape and all subsequent incremental backups will be appended to another new free tape. If a full backup job fails before it completes, all subsequent incremental jobs will use the existing tape that has valid previous incremental backups.

If you trigger two different “create recovery point (tape)” actions for two protection group members, DPM create two tape backup jobs, and two tapes will be required. If you trigger a single “create recovery point (tape)” action for two protection group members, a single tape it used. This ensure that data for selected protection group members is collocated for ad-hoc backups to the same tape.

Freeing up tapes

You can’t free up or erase a tape that contains valid recovery points from any data source. To free up a tape you must either removes the sources from the protection group and expiry recovery points on the tape, or modify the protection group settings to clear tape protection. Then you’ll need to select to Remove inactive protection for previously protected data.

To restore data from an expired tape you’ll need to mark the tape as free and then unmark it, and then recatalog the tape.

Standalone tape drives

If you’re using a standalone tape drive all short-term backups are appended to a single tape. All long-term backups are appended to a single that that is different from the short-term backup tape.

See Also

For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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