System Center Data Protection Manager, or DPM, is probably still the most 'unknown' of the System Center family. It's always lived in the shadow of it's more illustrious and long-lived stablemates such as Configuration Manager (SCCM) or Operations Manager (SCOM). I think it's also one of the most under-rated products!
Most enterprise customers I work with have had their incumbent backup solution in place for a fair length of time and rarely make the time to review 'how' they do backups and whether there are other options that will save them time and money. I also see operational reviews of these same types of customers time and time again pointing out that they do not properly test their backup and restore processes (they just assume they work and only test when they have a restore request) and encounter regular tape drive failures on servers. Amazingly, many customers I see actually own DPM courtesy of the licensing they have in place for SCCM and SCOM and yet still don't look at the opportunity to leverage this investment to the fullest.
I will be honest, the customer of mine that has been using DPM for the last 18 months (DPM 2007) did have some early challenges but the product team was really keen to engage with them, work with them through the tough times, and also ensure they understood the customer use-cases to incorporate into future releases. Service Packs and Cumulative Updates were produced and DPM 2007 now hums along like a machine. The customer saw the potential in where this product was going and got on the DPM 2010 TAP (Technical Adoption Program) late last year and during a recent major datacentre outage they seriously considered more broadly deploying DPM2010 RC in place of their incubment backup solution.
Anyway, it's great to see the team get DPM 2010 RTM'd! More details can be found here:
The official announcement was at System Center’s blog: http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/archive/2010/04/19/the-right-tools-for-the-job-sce-2010-dpm-2010.aspx
The DPM Product Blog, has more specifics for DPM at http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/archive/2010/04/19/sc-data-protection-manager-2010-is-released-to-manufacturing.aspx
Dave Mills, Product Manager, added his view on the BIEB site: http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenterexperts/archive/2010/04/19/time-for-new-it-tools-sce-2010-dpm-2010-launch.aspx
..and the JBuff himself (Jason Buffington), Senior Technical Product Manager, posted here: http://blogs.technet.com/jbuff/archive/2010/04/19/today-is-rtm-day-for-dpm-and-sce.aspx
Do yourself a favour and check this product out. If you own SCOM and SCCM, you may already be licensed (check with your LAR or Microsoft Account team) and be able to save your organization a lot of money.
General availability is 1st June
Volume Licensing customers should be able to download in May
Evaluation versions should be available from 20th April