This was a big travel week for me; I got the privilege of speaking about protecting Exchange with DPM 2007 at both Exchange Connections (in Orlando) and Microsoft Management Summit (in Las Vegas). The session had a good response at both shows, and there’s clearly a lot of buzz going around about DPM. I’ve gotten some good questions which I’ll list here and update as I get answers.
- Q: Does DPM protect message tracking logs on an Exchange mailbox server?
A: Very good question. My gut instinct is “No” but I need to confirm that. I’ll post the confirmation in a separate blog article when I get an answer back.
- Q: Is there any good guidance on sizing a DPM installation?
A: Yes. First see the Data Protection Manager 2007 Storage Calculator (currently only supports the Exchange workload), then see this third-party deconstruction. Note that the second post was written against an earlier release of the calculator, so is in need of some updating, but it’s still a good read.
- Q: What kind of overhead does DPM incur?
A: I have to admit that I don’t remember the specifics of this question (this is why I strongly encourage folks to email their questions to me, as is the case with the following question — thanks!); all I have is a cryptic note “CPU overhead” on my notepad. So, I’m going to assume that we’re talking about the overhead of the protection agent on a protected server. And my answer to that is: Very good question; I need to get some specifics.
- Q: From e-mail: “Yesterday during MMS at the Advanced Exchange protection session you mentioned that you had created a white paper on getting DPM working with IBM’s TSM product. If you have a link to this I would be very grateful as I have not been able to find it currently and I am wanting to ensure that they way I have it set up and kind of working is the same way that someone else has been able to get it working.”
A: Unfortunately, I must have been unclear, for which I apologize. 3Sharp did work with Microsoft during the DPM 2006 timeframe to create several white papers on how to integrate DPM with several backup products: Commvault QiNetix, Symantec Backup Exec, Yosemite Backup, and Windows Backup. Unfortunately, Tivoli wasn’t one of them, and I’m not aware of any current guidance that gives a complete end-to-end picture of integrating TSM with DPM 2007. However, the Backup of DPM Servers section in the DPM Operations Guide should be a good starting place.
- Q: Why can’t I use DPM 2007 to recover to the Recovery Storage Group on Exchange 2003 servers, only on Exchange 2007 servers?
A: Another great question, which I’m querying to find the answer to.
- Q: If I can use DPM 2007 to do document-level recovery in SharePoint, why can’t I recover mailboxes or even messages in Exchange without having to use the RSG (for Exchange 2007)or ExMerge (for Exchange 2003)?
A: There are two parts of this answer, but they both are based on the same premise: DPM does not use “privileged” information on the internals of other Microsoft applications it protects. When recovering documents from a SharePoint replica, DPM doesn’t directly reach into the replica database and extract the information. Instead, it recovers the relevant databases to a temporary recovery SharePoint installation (which can be a single server SPS 3.0 install on a virtual machine, even if you’re recovering data from MOSS 2007) and then finds the relevant documents using SharePoint’s HTTP interfaces. With Exchange, the principle is the same; we recover the mailbox database to a parallel location (the RSG in Exchange 2007; a network folder in Exchange 2003) and then use the Exchange native tools to extract and import the relevant information. Trying to do direct restores of mailboxes or messages into a production database would involve going beyond the existing Exchange APIs. Personally, as an Exchange MVP I hope that Microsoft works on expanding those interfaces to make this sort of thing easier for all third-party vendors, but until they do, DPM plays by Exchange’s rules.
- Q: You mentioned coming updates to DPM. Where can I find more info on that?
A: Jason Buffington of Microsoft has you covered with this webcast.
That’s a good start for now; catch you all later!