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Creating Protection Groups

Published : April 8, 2005 | Updated : August 17, 2005

A protection group is a collection of data sources that share the same protection configuration and schedule. A data source can be a volume, folder, or share. After a data source is added to a protection group, the data source is described as a member of the group. Before you can start protecting data, you must create at least one protection group. For more information about protection groups, see the “Introducing DPM” chapter of this guide.

The New Protection Group wizard guides you through the process of creating a protection group. Protection group creation involves making a series of decisions about how you want to configure the group. These decisions include:

  • Choosing a name for the group

  • Selecting members for the group

  • Allocating space on the storage pool for replicas, shadow copies, and transfer logs; and allocating space on the file servers for synchronization logs

  • Choosing a method for replica creation

  • Specifying a protection schedule for the group

  • Configuring advanced features, including network bandwidth usage throttling, on-the-wire compression, and scheduled consistency checks

Throughout the protection group creation process, the wizard provides default options, which you can override if you choose.

The sections that follow provide instructions for creating a protection group by using the New Protection Group wizard.

Starting the Wizard

  1. In DPM Administrator Console, click Protection on the navigation bar.

  2. On the Actions pane, click Create.

    The New Protection Group wizard starts.


    If you have not added at least one disk to the storage pool, the Create task is disabled. To add disks to the storage pool, click Management on the navigation bar, and then select the Disks tab.

  3. Review the Welcome page, and then click Next.


If you do not want the wizard to display the Welcome page when you create protection groups in the future, select Skip this page next time.

Choosing a Name for the Protection Group

  1. On the Name the Protection Group page, type a unique, meaningful name for the protection group. The name can include any combination of alphanumeric characters and spaces, but cannot exceed 64 characters.

  2. After you have specified a name for the group, click Next.

Selecting Members for the Protection Group

You can select volumes, folders, and shares to include in protection groups. For guidelines for creating protection groups, see “Selecting Data for Protection” in the “Planning Data Protection” chapter in this guide.

  1. On the Select Group Members page, verify that all file servers that store data you want to protect are displayed in the View pane. If file servers are missing, click Add Servers, and follow the instructions for adding them.

  2. Under View, select Volumes and folders or Shares, depending on whether you want to protect data by volume labels and folder names or by share names.

  3. In the View pane, expand the file server nodes to display the available data sources on each file server.


    If you have just installed the file agent, you may experience a delay of up to several minutes before you can expand the node for the file server and display its available data sources. If, during this time, DPM displays a message regarding a communication error, click Close, wait a few moments, and then try to expand the file server node again.

  4. Place a check mark in the box next to each data source that you want to include in the protection group. As you select data sources, your selections are displayed in the Selected Data pane.


    You cannot include data sources from the same volume in different protection groups.

    You can include data sources from more than one volume in a protection group.

    Data sources that are members of other protection groups and unprotected data sources that reside on a volume already protected by another protection group are displayed but cannot be selected.

    When you select a parent folder or share, its subfolders are automatically selected and cannot be de-selected.

    When you select a data source that contains a mount point, DPM prompts you to specify whether you want to include the mounted volume that is the target of the mount point in the protection group, but DPM does not protect the mount point metadata. When you recover data that contains mount points, you must manually recreate your mount point hierarchy.

    We recommend that you exclude system volumes and program folders from protection groups. Protecting a system volume does not enable you to restore the operating system or state of a file server. For information about enabling a full restore of a file server, see “Protecting System State” in the “Planning Data Protection” chapter of this guide; see also the DPM 2006 Operations Guide(

    If a system volume contains user data that you want to protect, we recommend that you protect the relevant folders or shares individually rather than protecting the whole system volume.

  5. After you have selected members for the protection group, click Next.

Allocating Space for the Protection Group

  1. On the Review Disk Allocations page, review the space allocations that DPM recommends for the protection group. The Recommended disk allocations table displays the total recommended space allocation for the replica, shadow copies, synchronization log, and transfer log for each volume included in the group, based on the size of the selected data.


    For volumes on which you have selected a subset of folders or shares for protection, DPM estimates the data size based on the total used capacity of the volume. To prompt DPM to precisely calculate the data size in these cases, click Calculate Size. Depending on the amount of data involved, precisely calculating the size of a subset of a volume can be time consuming.

    Accept default space allocations unless you are certain that they do not meet your needs. For more information about allocating space, see “Allocating Space for Protection Groups” in the “Planning Data Protection” chapter of this guide.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To accept the recommended allocations, click Next.

    • To change a recommended allocation, click Change in the Recommended disk allocations table and make the necessary adjustments. Use the following table as a guide.

      To make this adjustment…

      Do this…

      Increase the allocation for the replica

      Type the new size in the appropriate box in the Additional Space to Allocate column.


      The default allocation for the replica is the larger of:

      • 1.5 times the size of the used space on the protected volume, or the total size of the protected volume, whichever is smaller

      • 1.5 GB

      Increase the allocation for the shadow copies

      Type the new size in the appropriate box in the Additional Space to Allocate column.


      The default allocation for the shadow copies is the larger of:

      • 20% of the space allocated for the replica

      • 550 MB

      Change the allocation for the synchronization log on the protected file server

      Type the new size in the Space to allocate for synchronization log box.


      The default allocation for the synchronization log is the larger of:

      • 10% of the size of the protected volume

      • 500 MB

      Change the allocation for the transfer log

      You cannot modify the allocated disk space for the transfer log. DPM automatically adjusts the space for the transfer log based on the size of the synchronization log.

  3. When you have finished specifying new allocations, click OK, and then click Next.

Choosing a Replica Creation Method

DPM can create the replicas of the volumes included in your protection group automatically over the network, or you can create the replicas manually by using removable media such as tape. Automatic replica creation is easier, but, depending on the size of the protected data, manual replica creation can be faster. For smaller data sets, we recommend the automatic option. For large data sets, and for DPM deployments in which a DPM server protects data over a WAN or other slow network, the manual option may be a better choice. For more information about choosing a method for replica creation, see “Choosing a Replica Creation Method” in the “Planning Data Protection” chapter of this guide.