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Backing Up DPM by Using a Secondary DPM Server

Applies To: System Center Data Protection Manager 2007

A DPM server can back up other DPM servers. A DPM server that protects data sources directly is called the primary DPM server. A DPM server that protects other DPM servers is called the secondary DPM server. The secondary DPM server can protect both the databases and the replicas on the primary DPM server. A DPM server can provide both secondary protection for another DPM server and primary protection for data sources.

The following illustration shows a sample topology using a primary DPM server and a secondary DPM server. In the illustration, the primary DPM server protects volumes C and D of the file server. The secondary DPM server protects the database of the primary DPM server, and also protects the replicas of volumes C and D of the file server.

Sample topology for backing up DPM

Protection by secondary DPM server

Using the topology shown in the illustration, if data loss occurs on the file server, you can recover the data from the primary DPM server. If the primary DPM server fails, the secondary DPM server can continue protection of the file server while the primary DPM server is unavailable, and you can recover the databases and replicas to the rebuilt primary DPM server from the secondary DPM server.

A DPM server that is providing secondary protection cannot be protected by another DPM server. For example, Server1 provides primary protection for Computer1, and Server2 provides secondary protection for Server1. Server1 cannot provide secondary protection for Server2.

A primary DPM server cannot be protected by more than one secondary DPM server.

Before you configure secondary protection for your servers, verify the following:

  • The selected DPM servers are not protecting additional DPM servers.

  • The DPM server or selected DPM servers are not being protected by other DPM servers.


Before you can protect the database of the primary DPM server, you must start the SQL Server VSS Writer service on the primary DPM server. To start the SQL Server VSS Writer service, in the Services console, right-click SQL Server VSS writer, and then click Start.

To back up a primary DPM server using a secondary DPM server

  1. On the secondary DPM server, install a protection agent on each primary DPM server that you want to protect. No restart is required.


    Only perform this step if you are using DPM Administrator Console to install the protection agent. If you are performing a manual agent installation, DPM will assign the agent to the secondary DPM server.

  2. To enable protection of the replicas, you must establish communications between the secondary DPM server and the data sources protected by the primary DPM server. When local data sources are protected on a cluster node, you should enable protection for each cluster node in addition to the cluster. To establish communications, perform the following steps:

    1. On the Agents tab in the Management task area, select a primary DPM server.

    2. In the Details pane, next to Protected servers enabled for protection, click Modify.

    3. In the View details of protected computers dialog box, select one or more computers, and then click Enable protection.

    4. Type the user name and password for a domain account that is a member of the local administrators group on all selected computers, and then click OK.

      The Protection enabled column in the View details of protected computers dialog box will change to Yes.

  3. You can use an existing protection group or create a new protection group for the primary DPM servers. The following items can be protected from a primary DPM server on which is protection agent is installed and which is configured for protection:

    • The databases in the instance of SQL Server on the primary DPM server

    • All volumes on the primary DPM server (Shares will not be visible separately)

    • All replicas on the primary DPM server.


When you visit the Select Group Members page for the first time, only Protected computers node will be visible. On trying to expand the node, you will see a message instructing you on how to configure protection for a primary DPM server. Once a DPM server is added as a protected server, it shows up as a protectable entity under Primary DPM Server node.


However, the Protected computers node will continue to be displayed under Primary DPM server node and on trying to expand it, it will continue to show the error message.

  1. Each of these data sources can be selected as a protection group member. At a minimum, you should select the databases, the \Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Config folder, and the \Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Scripting folder.


    You cannot exclude file name extensions from protection for a replica.

  2. On the Select Data Protection Method page, you can select short-term disk-based protection and long-term tape-based protection, or just short-term disk-based protection. Selecting only short-term tape-based protection or only long-term tape-based protection is unavailable when a primary DPM server is a member of a protection group.

  3. Complete the Create New Protection Group Wizard with the desired protection options.


    If a replica is selected as a member of the protection group and you select short-term disk-based protection, you must specify a synchronization frequency; the option to synchronize just before a recovery point will be unavailable. We recommend that you synchronize every 24 hours.

See Also


Switching Protection If the Primary DPM Server Fails
Recovering Protected Computers
Recovering DPM Servers