Creating DPM Replica Manually Using Windows Explorer



Sachin Kumar is a Premier Field Engineer from India and will take us through the steps to create a manual DPM replica  through Windows Explorer


Hello, DPM fans. This is post will walk us through the process of creating a DPM replica manually.  I often see people stumble while creating DPM Replica Manually, not sure why? Recently I was working with one of our customer on a DPM project and that’s when I was asked the following:

a) How do we create Manual Replica & move 5 TB DPM replica over the WAN?

b) Can this be done using the GUI avoiding Xcopy?

Answer to the above:

a) One does not have to copy humongous amount of data over the WAN, you can create DPM replica manually and ship the data you want to protect to the location your DPM servers resides.

b) Well here are the steps if you would like to use GUI and avoid Xcopy

 

Prerequisites

In order to access the content of Mounted replica volume you need to login with Local Administrator account (Host_Name/Administrator) or a Domain administrator account.

 

Steps

1) Login to your DPM server with your DPM admin account.

2) Launch the DPM console and identify the agent you want to protect.

To demonstrate the steps I am going to back up files and folders of a host named as “SCCM-1

DPM Management Console

3) On the DPM console click on the Protection tab and create a new protection group (PG)

DPM Create New Protection Group

4) In the “Create New Protection Group” wizard expand the directory tree of the server and check the volume(s) you would like to back up. In this case I am going to back up a folder called Production and all the sub folders inside it.

i.e J:\ Production

DPM Create New Protection Group - Add Group Members

5) Click next and name the protection group (PG). In our case the PG name is ProtectionGroupSCCM

DPM Create New Protection Group - Assign Name

6) Click on next and define the file recovery points, review disk allocation, click next twice.

7) In the “Choose Replica Method Creation Method choose the option “Manually”.  Click on next, perform the consistency check and finish the Protection group creation.

DPM Create New Protection Group - Select Replica Creation Method

Now you can ship the folders inside J:\Production to your DPM Server using a removable drive. All the above was quite simple and this is where the real fun is about to begin!!!!

8) This is how the PG you have created would look like. The Protection Status of the PG will be shown as “ Manual replica creation pending

DPM New Protection Group - Replica Pending

Pay attention to the steps below:

Make a note of the Replica path by clicking over the “Click to view details”

DPM New Protection Group - Replica Pending Path

J:\Production on sccm-1.contoso.com C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\File System\vol_62f71978-1bc8-4427-85c3-9c03b15ec643\70d28f3d-a51f-40ff-b64c-081e56ff5027\Full\Production

9) Now using switch user (Press CTRL ALT DEL) login to your DPM server with Local administrator credentials. In my case I Logged into my DPM host name DPMDB-1 and account used was Administrator.

Whoami

10) Launch CMD.exe, type mountvol and hit Enter.

You will now realize why I asked you to make a note of the replica path. Using mountvol you need to pick the Volume name and its replica mount point.  

This is how mountvol output command would like:

In the below Example Volumeà \\?\Volume{ac232a5e-8766-11e5-80c6-00155dbbbd14}\ contains the path of the replica folder that corresponds to the protection group I have created.

  C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\File System\vol_62f71978-1bc8-4427-85c3-9c03b15ec643\70d28f3d-a51f-40ff-b64c-081e56ff5027\Full\Production

Now you need to assign a drive letter to the volume which contains the protection group replica path.

To summarize

\\?\Volume{ac232a5e-8766-11e5-80c6-00155dbbbd14}\ contains  vol_62f71978-1bc8-4427-85c3-9c03b15ec643\

Mountvol command output

Checking Volumes Using MountVol

11) Now you need to assign a drive letter to the volume which contains the protection group replica path.  To assign a drive letter to the volume use the below command:

mountvol Z:\ \\?\Volume{ac232a67-8766-11e5-80c6-00155dbbbd14}\

Assign Drive Letter To Mount Volume

12) Voila!!!! I can access replica volume from the explorer. Now we can easily copy all the folders present inside the Root folder i.e. Production.

Copy Content To Mount Volume

Just to refresh your memory please refer the below snip from the Protection Group creation Wizard.

Reminder - Previous Content

13) Switch the user and login again with DPM Admin credentials. Perform  consistency check and wait for the Protection Status to become OK

Note: Please close all the explorer windows which were opened to view the Replica volume.

DPM - New Protection Group Status

After running the consistency, check the Protection Status. It should change to OK

DPM - New Protection Group Status Now OK

14) Now create Recovery Point by selecting one of the recovery point creation option

DPM - New Protection Group Create Recovery Point

15) Moment of truth

Validate if you can view the content of the Protection Group, also verify if you are able to recover the backup. Now I can go to the recovery tab and view the data backed by DPM.

16) Using the command below you can now remove the drive letter assigned to the volume

Mountvol z:\ /d

Remove Mount Volume Drive Letter

 

Mission accomplished: Oh Yeah!!!, You have just created a Manual Replica using Windows explorer.

Cheers,

Sachin



Published by MSPFE editor Rhoderick Milne.  Feeling all DPM’ed out now!

Comments (2)

  1. Samuel says:

    There is an error on the Mountvol Z: .... command line in step 11
    Volume{ac232a67 ... but screenshot shows the correct line that should be Volume{ac232a5e

  2. Samuel says:

    Why should we mount the volume onto Z: drive when it appears already mounted onto C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012 R2\DPM\DPM\Volumes\Replica\File System\ ?

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