Data Protection Manager, or DPM (System Center DPM 2010), is the Microsoft System Center solution for backing up Microsoft server systems like Windows Server, SharePoint and SQL Server. It is really particularly very good as a backup & recovery solution for SQL Server, using the Volume Shadow Service (VSS) in Windows to backup SQL Server very efficiently.
DPM will also handle truncating your transaction log and has the nice advantage of leveraging the System Center agent technology on your server. What this means is that once you have the agent installed on a server, you can then select which SQL Server instances on that box (or virtual host) that you wish to have backed up. This makes it much easier to get all of your databases automatically backed up with DPM without the need of scripting out backup routines for each new database.
These are some of the areas of System Center’s DPM that I really particularly like about it for SQL Server backups from a DBA’s perspective:
- Databases on DPM protected SQL Server instances can easily be applied to existing backup policies or automatically backs-up databases added to a protected instance
- Makes point-in-time recovery much easier than T-SQL based scripted restores
- Backups are not tied to tape devices. You can manage your backups on storage which can include Cloud-based storage for the backups.
- Integration with VSS for snapshot-style SQL backups
If you like to try things out for yourself and would like to give the DPM approach to SQL Server backup & recovery a shot, go to this Technet site to try it out on Microsoft’s VM infrastructure: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9745117 .