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Scaling out protection for virtual machines

Updated: November 1, 2013

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

In System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) - Data Protection Manager (DPM), you can scale out protection of Hyper-V clusters. The new scale-out feature removes the limit of a one-to-one relationship between a Hyper-V cluster and a DPM server, and the DPM protection agent that runs on a virtual machine can attach itself to multiple DPM servers. Therefore you can add the virtual machine to a protection group on any of the recognized DPM servers. Note the following:

  • This feature is only available for virtual machines that are hosted on servers that are running Windows Server 2012.

  • The DPM server must be a clean deployment of DPM in System Center 2012 SP1.

  • DPM chaining is not supported.

  • All DPM servers and the protected computers must be located in the same domain.

  • The scale-out feature does not support protection for remote server message block (SMB) shares for a virtual machine.

  • The scale-out feature does not support an IPv4 or IPv6 address for a storage location file.

Deployment scenario

To deploy scale-out protection, you must have a minimum of two DPM servers D1 and D2, which are visible to all virtual machines that are hosted on nodes N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5. When you create protection groups on D1 or D2, you can add any of the virtual machines from V1 to V10 for protection.

Scale out deployment for DPM

Configuring DPM scale-out consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Deploy DPM protection agents

On the first installed DPM server, install the DPM protection agent on servers that are running Hyper-V. For more information, see Installing and Configuring Protection Agents. DPM protection agents can be installed as follows:

  • Using the DPM console—The DPM console automatically detects a list of available computers in the same domain as the DPM server, so that you can select the computer on which you want to install the DPM protection agent. By using this method, you can install DPM protection agents on these computers synchronously. This method can be used for computers that belong to the DPM server domain, and do not have a firewall that blocks the DPM protection agent installation. For more information, see Installing Protection Agents on Computers Outside of a Firewall. Note that you must have domain credentials that have local administrative rights for all computers on which you want to deploy the DPM protection agent.

  • Manual installation—This method can be used to install the DPM protection agent on computers that are not domain members or that do not belong to the same domain as the DPM server. It can also be used if a firewall blocks automatic deployment of the DPM protection agent from the DPM console. For more information, see Installing Protection Agents Manually.

Step 2: Make multiple servers visible to virtual machines

Use the SetDPMServer command with the Add parameter on the protected virtual machine to make multiple DPM servers visible to the protected virtual machine, as follows:

  1. Setdpmserver –add –dpmservername <name of second DPM server>

TipTip
If you do not use the –Add parameter, the previous DPM server is overwritten. Ensure that all servers that are running Hyper-V and virtual machines are discovered by the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) server before you begin to create protection groups.

For more information about this command, see Using SetDPMServer.

Step 3: Add protection groups

After you attach all the DPM servers, you can add the virtual machine to a protection group on any of the DPM servers that the virtual machine can recognize.

If you do not have any existing protection groups, do the following:

  1. Create protection groups and add the servers that are running Hyper-V to those groups. This action enables the backup and restore operations of the servers that are running Hyper-V, and the virtual machines running on them. The configuration settings for a protection group specify backup and recovery settings for all servers that are running Hyper-V in the group. They include:

    • The choice to perform backups by using tape or disk

    • The duration to retain backups on the disk

    • The recovery point settings to use

    • The storage pool settings to assign to the protection group

    • The choice to collocate data in the storage pool

    • The choice to automatically increase the size of the volumes

    • The choice to perform initial replication of virtual machines that are located on servers that are running Hyper-V in the group over the network or manually offline

    • The choice of how consistency checks should be performed

    noteNote
    Depending on the number of virtual machines that you want to protect and depending on the backup policies for the different virtual machines, you should create virtual machines by using the New Protection Wizard from the DPM console, and keep virtual machines which have the same backup policy in the same group. You should create smaller groups of about 50-100 virtual machines per protection group, although this is not a fixed restriction. Use collocation while you create the protection groups to optimize the replica volume, and to avoid reaching the maximum number of volumes that are supported in a Windows Server deployment.

  2. If you have existing protection groups, after you attach all the DPM servers, add the virtual machine to a protection group on any of the DPM servers that the virtual machine recognizes. After you add the virtual machine to a group, the virtual machine is always backed up on that DPM server. If you want the virtual machine to be backed up on a different server, you must stop protection for it and add it to a protection group on the new server. This flexibility means that virtual machines from a single node can be protected by different DPM servers.



For more information, see Create a protection group.

Step 4: Configure new nodes for protection

If you want to add a new node to the cluster, you must install the DPM protection agent on that node, and then configure it for protection, as follows:

  1. Install the DPM protection agent on the server that is running Hyper-V.

  2. Attach the DPM protection agent to all DPM servers in the network.

  3. Run Setdpmserver on all nodes in the cluster.

Step 5: Add a new DPM server

If you want to add a new DPM server to the scaled-out deployment, it must be configured with all the nodes in the cluster to prepare it for protection, as follows:

  1. Attach a new node for protection.

  2. Run Setdpmserver on all nodes in the cluster.

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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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