Overview of System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager
Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager ConsultantsTraditional best practices for backing up storage follow the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies of data on at least 2 different types of media with a minimum of 1 offsite copy. To make things more complex for IT administrators, most of today's servers and storage are virtualized. System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager (SCDPM 2012), Microsoft's enterprise backup system, addresses these challenges by offering comprehensive support for virtualized servers and storage, and by working seamlessly with Windows Azure cloud-based backup (Azure Backup). In addition, SCDPM is optimized for mission-critical Microsoft workloads including SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Exchange Server and Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs). SCDPM can also back up file data from servers and clients and allows full, incremental, differential and bare-metal backups for full system restoration. All of this can be managed by a single SCDPM 2012 console with self-service capability available to trusted users for specific workloads.

Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help organizations of any size to plan, implement, manage, and troubleshoot a backup solution based on System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager. Progent can help you migrate from earlier releases of SCDPM or from another backup platform, and Progent can optimize your SCDPM 2012 deployment for on premises, cloud-based, or hybrid environments. Progent can provide online or onsite consulting services and offers as-needed support to help you resolve especially challenging problems, or full project management services with ongoing consulting support.

Progent's consultants can follow industry best practices to help you:

  • Define your recovery goals and establish a protection policy to meet them
  • Design an efficient multi-site network topology for Data Protection Manager that incorporates cloud resources
  • Configure Windows Server, SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint to take full advantage of SCDPM 2012
  • Set up Protection Groups and Storage Pools
  • Determine and allocate disk capacity for backup
  • Define custom volumes
  • Plan tape library rotation and management
  • Determine whether your organization can use cloud-based long-term backup as a compliant alternative to tape
  • Install Protection Agents on computers within and outside your firewall
  • Integrate SCDPM 2012 with other System Center 2012 components including SCOM 2012 and SCVMM 2012
  • Design a cloud-based solution for self-service client backup
  • Test and optimize backup/restore performance for critical workloads

New and Enhanced Features of System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager
SCDPM 2012, with its latest Update Rollups installed, offers critical improvements for each of its core functions of protection, recovery, monitoring, and reporting. Some of the improvements over System Center 2010 Data Protection Manager which solidify SCDPM 2012's position as a premium, enterprise-class backup/restore solution cover the areas of cloud and virtualization support, ease of management, client self service, storage optimization, performance, and Microsoft workload protection. Improvements in the latest release of System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager include:

  • Microsoft Azure Integration
    Azure Backup, the multi-tenant cloud-based backup service in Microsoft Azure, now integrates seamlessly with SCDPM 2012's on-premises backup capability to provide a centrally managed hybrid backup/restore solution. Azure Backup offers self-service backup and recovery of Windows clients, host-level VM backups for Microsoft Hyper-V, and workload-aware protection for SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Microsoft Exchange Server. You can also now run SCDPM 2012 as a virtual machine in Azure. Azure can provide the off-site storage feature required for an enterprise-class backup scheme and can be a viable replacement for tape for long-term archiving. The so-called "bottomless" capacity of Azure makes it easy to scale, and Azure's theoretical 99-year storage capability can meet any conceivable data retention policy. (Learn about Progent's Microsoft Azure planning and cloud integration consulting services.)

    System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager Consultants

    SCDPM 2012 provides custom backup/recovery for Microsoft workloads; long-term backups can be stored in the Microsoft Azure Cloud

  • Hyper-V Support
    When SCDPM 2012 is integrated with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM 2012), VM protection continues automatically during live migration for Hyper-V hosts that have the SCDPM 2012 agent installed on them. Hyper-V protection also now includes Linux VMs, and SCDPM 2012 supports Windows and Linux VMs in standalone or clustered environments. In addition, a new configurable backup window feature significantly improves the performance of production workloads on protected VMs, and backup performance of Hyper-V over CSV 2.0 deployments is also improved.
  • Improved Exchange Support
    With Exchange Server 2013, SCDPM 2012 supports backup of servers running Exchange and databases configured in a database availability group (DAG). SCDPM 2012 can protect each node of a DAG individually with the same SCDPM 2012 server or with a different one. SCDPM 2012 can also recover a single Exchange mailbox. With SCDPM 2012's bare metal backup option, an entire Exchange database or the entire Exchange server can be recovered.
  • Improved SQL Server Support
    SCDPM 2012 R2 supports SQL Server 2014 as well as SQL Server 2012 and SQL Server 2008 on all major versions of Windows Server. With SQL Server deployed as an AlwaysOn availability group, DPM 2012 R2 supports Preferred Replica, Replica Only, Any Replica, and Primary options as set by the SQL Server administrator. SCDPM 2012 also supports database-level recovery for SQL Server.
  • Deduplication Support with Windows Server 2012
    DPM uses Windows Server 2012's support for data deduplication to achieve a high level of deduplication savings. This feature, in deployments that are properly architected, has been shown to reduce backup storage consumption by as much as 75%.
  • Improved Reporting
    Backup reporting capabilities have been radically expanded in SCDPM 20112, supported by a new Reporting management pack for System Center 2012 Operations Manager that offers aggregation, scalability, customization, and centralized report generation. The management pack allows SCOM to gather data from all SCDPM servers automatically and to collate and store all of the data in the SCOM data warehouse. Data for reports can be aggregated from all the SCDPM 2012 servers within a network, and SCDPM 2012 can scale up to any number of SCDPM servers and data sources. Managers can use any framework, scripting, or programming language to produce reports, including SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) or Crystal Reports.

    System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager Reporting Consultants

    A sample SCDPM 2012 report enabled by the Reporting pack and the File Server Deduplication pack

  • Enhanced Management Capabilities
    SCDPM 2012 now allows you to manage multiple DPM servers under a centralized System Center 2012 Operations Manager console called the DPM Central Console. SCDPM 2012 can also be configured via PowerShell commands to raise an alert for any protection group that fails to meet an SLA. Administrators can use the DPM Central Console to view alerts consolidated from multiple SCDPM servers.
Additional Enhancements to SCDPM 2012
  • Optimized item-level recovery for SharePoint farms
  • Certificate-based authentication for computers in workgroups or untrusted domains
  • Improved usage of tapes through protection group sets
  • Parallel backups
  • Support for SMB shares
  • Support for Resilient File System (ReFS)
How Progent Can Help You with System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager
System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager is designed to work most efficiently in conjunction with other System Center components such as Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager, with Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V, and with key Microsoft workloads including SQL Server, Exchange Server and SharePoint Server. Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants have in-depth experience with these technologies and with Azure-based environments, and can use this knowledge to plan and deploy a backup/restore solution built around SCDPM 2012 that can provide immediate business value. Progent also offers expert consulting services for popular versions of Linux and for VMware, making it possible to build and support a backup system for on-premises, Azure-based, or hybrid networks that incorporate a mix Microsoft and third-party products. In addition, Progent's System Center 2016 consultants can help you migrate smoothly to the latest version of System Center and SCDPM to help you manage and protect resources deployed in a hybrid cloud environment.

SCDPM 2012 can be deployed as a relatively straight-forward standalone backup solution, as part of a more complex disaster recovery strategy, or as part of an even more complex business continuity plan. Progent offers disaster recovery planning consulting and business continuity planning expertise centered around SCDPM 2012 to maximize the availability of the vital elements of your information system and your business under worst-case scenarios.

Your network infrastructure plays a crucial role in both on-premises and cloud-based backup/restore solutions, and Progent offers the online and onsite service of Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants who can help you design and troubleshoot a cost-effective network architecture that offers high performance, maximum availability, centralized management, and easy expandability. In addition, Progent's certified network security consultants can help you assess and validate the security and compliance of your Data Protection Manager ecosystem and help you remediate any vulnerabilities.

To find out more about Progent's support for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, phone 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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