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Preparing for Disaster Recovery

Updated: November 1, 2008

Applies To: System Center Data Protection Manager 2007

When a computer is damaged or fails, your ability to restore that computer's functions and data depends on the actions you take before the disaster occurs.

If you use DPM for routine protection of file and application data and take no additional measures to prepare for disaster recovery, you can use DPM to recover the data after a protected computer is damaged or fails. However, you must first rebuild the computer manually by reinstalling the operating system, applications, and server configuration.

If the DPM server is damaged or fails, you must rebuild the DPM server manually and then reconfigure protection. Disk-based recovery points will not be recoverable; however, you can import existing tapes for data recovery. For more information, see Importing Tapes (

If both the protected computer and the DPM server are damaged or fail, you can recover the latest backup from imported tapes after you rebuild the computers.

If both the protected computer and the DPM server are damaged or fail and you used only short-term disk-based protection, all data could be lost.

Prepare for disaster recovery using the following methods:

  1. Back up the protected computer system state. You can back up the system state of protected computers in a protection group by using DPM. System state backup enables you to restore a computer configuration after you reinstall the operating system and applications.

  2. Back up critical data to both disk and tape. A thorough disaster recovery plan will include offsite storage of critical information; however, you want to be able to recover your organization's data should your facility be damaged or destroyed. Tape is a popular medium for offsite storage.

  3. Add a secondary DPM server. A secondary DPM server can protect and restore a primary DPM server, which is a DPM server directly protecting file and application data sources. The secondary server can protect the databases of the primary DPM server, as well as the data source replicas that are stored on the primary DPM server. If the primary DPM server fails, you can restore the databases and replicas to the rebuilt primary DPM server from the secondary DPM server. You can restore data to protected computers directly from the secondary DPM server when the primary DPM server is unavailable. The secondary DPM server can also protect servers until the primary DPM server is available.

  4. Back up DPM databases to tape. You can use a DPM server to back up its own databases to its tape library, or you can use non-Microsoft software to back up the databases to tape or removable media. Backup of the DPM databases enables you to recover the configuration of protection groups after you reinstall DPM.

Of these options, adding a secondary DPM server provides the greatest amount of protection. At a minimum, we strongly recommend that you back up the DPM databases regularly, either using DPM or non-Microsoft software.

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