Key takeaways: DPM Protection of Microsoft Workloads to Azure

All Microsoft workloads that can be protected by Data Protection Manager (DPM) on disk or tape can also be protected to Azure Backup. At a high level, table below describes granularity at which DPM can protect various Microsoft workloads to Azure. It also describes granularity at which DPM can perform recovery from Azure.

Microsoft Workload

DPM Protection Granularity

DPM Recovery Granularity

Original Location Recovery (OLR)

Alternate Location Recovery (ALR)

Network Location Recovery

File Folder on Windows Server

Folder

Folder, Item

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hyper-V VMs

VM

VM

Yes

Yes

Yes

SharePoint Farm

Farm

Farm, SharePoint DB

Yes

Yes for DB

Yes

SQL

SQL Instance, SQL DB

SQL DB

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exchange

Exchange

Exchange DB

Yes

Yes (Exchange 2010+ Only)

Yes

Windows Client

Volume, Folder

Folder, Item

Yes

Yes

Yes

Why choose DPM for Long Term Retention of Microsoft Workloads to Azure?
Data resiliency is an important Enterprise strategy as compliance requires point in time data to be reproduced. Long term retention of data is an obvious outcome to meet compliance requirement. Data growth rate coupled with pressure on IT spending demands competitive total cost of ownership (TCO) for backup data.

Azure offers a competitive cost savings in comparison with tape. Gartner released a report (G00261961 – How to Determine If Cloud Backup Is Right for Your Servers, Published: 13 February 2014) which reported TCO of cloud backups significantly lower than tape-based back-up – “Although tape media is very inexpensive, a majority of the cost of tape-based backup is the “soft” costs, which occur around backup software, maintenance and staff time”.

TCO Comparison Between Tape and Cloud Backup for 1 TB of Initial Full Backup

As rightly called in the Gartner’s report “Is Cloud Backup Right for Your Servers?” backup window, restore time, bandwidth and latency play an important role in evaluating cloud backup strategy.

For Initial Replica, DPM provides capability to offline send the data to Azure which not only improves backup seeding time but also saves on network bandwidth. For more details on how to send Initial Replica offline to Azure refer to this TechNet article

With DPM sending incrementals to Azure, backup window can be contained to non-productions hours without any significant addition to bandwidth costs. An example for 1 TB Microsoft workload is shared below –

Microsoft Protected Workload Size

1 TB

Daily Churn

5% ~ 50GB

Backup Window

8 hrs. (Non-production hours)

Compression

30%

Effective Bandwidth Required for Daily Backup (After latency and packet loss adjustments)

~10 Mbps

As DPM sends changed file contents efficiently to Azure, it significantly reduces storage and network costs.

Recommendation
Looking at the TCO benefits that DPM – Azure Backup brings and the fact that DPM sends forever incrementals to Azure as compared with fulls on tape; we recommend the following backup and retention schedule

Disk

Daily incremental backup, retention for 7 days

Azure

Daily incremental backup, retention as per your industry compliance and company policies

How to use DPM to protect Microsoft workloads to Azure?
Once a DPM user configures Azure Backup with DPM, Create Protection Group Wizard now shows option to backup to the Azure (as shown below)

DPM - Create New Protection Group Screen

Once the user selects online protection, retention ranges can be selected as described in the following blog.

For all Server and Client workloads, DPM continues to provide similar integrated user experience for protection to Azure. This simplifies the admin overhead as opposed to using native tools or different backup applications for different workloads
For more information on how to create/manage protection group using DPM, one can refer to the TechNet article.

Quick Reference
Download DPM UR5 and follow the steps outlined in the article for installation.