Q. What is System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007?

A. DPM 2007 is Microsoft's data-protection platform that offers both continuous data protection and tape-based archiving.

DPM 2007 offers share-level and volume-level protection for Windows servers and desktops. It also backs up and restores some information for Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, and servers running Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. Each protected server's DPM agent sends data changes and application-transaction information (e.g., Exchange transaction logs) to the DPM server according to a defined schedule. You don't have to configure DPM 2007 to gather specific information; you just input which application unit to protect, and DPM knows which files to capture to protect relevant data.

DPM offers various data-protection topologies. The most popular is using DPM-accessible attached storage, or iSCSI- or fiber-connected SAN-based-storage to back up system data. Don't use USB- or FireWire-connected storage. You can periodically write this disk-based backup to tape for archiving, or even use DPM to write directly to tape without any DPM disk usage. However, writing DPM directly to tape gives the poorest restoration experience and limits DPM's self-restoration features.

Data restoration with DPM is easy because its application knowledge allows granular restoration. For example, you can restore Exchange storage group data, a store, or even an individual mailbox.

Another very cool DPM 2007 feature is bare-metal restoration, which means DPM 2007 can restore a server without requiring any other resources.

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