One of the common questions that we hear around DPM is “What hardware should the DPM Server be run on?”
I can offer a couple different answers. Start with the Official Answer — please consult the hardware requirements list on the DPM website
There is also the “engineering” answer – which is “It depends …”
How much production data are you protecting?
What are your data change rates?
Those together will tell you how busy the DPM server will be … so pair that with:
How fast is the IO on your DPM Servers’ disks?
There is also my pragmatic answer where most people are really asking for just a base configuration out of the box that will run DPM well.
“A Base Configuration out of the Box” is a good starting definition of a Windows Storage appliance — meaning that from your favorite hardware vendor, you can get a solution that includes hardware, disk-capacity, an optimized operating system and the functional product (DPM) that you want.
To be clear, in this example, you could:
1) purchase a Dell PowerEdge server, with optional disk components and IO peripherals
2) purchase and install Windows Server 2003 R2
3) purchase and install System Center Data Protection Manager 2007
This is a great solution. If you already have hardware and Windows Server, particularly if you are decommissioning a back end replication target from some other antiquated and overly expensive replication technology, then just install DPM instead over whatever you are replacing in CDP.
If you are new to disk-based protection, you could build your own server. No doubt … or engage a Microsoft Partner who can deploy DPM for you.
you could call you Dell sales dude … and order a DP100, DP500 or DP600 … a Data Protection appliance from Dell.
It is built on the same PowerEdge / PowerVault hardware that you are used to
It runs the Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 OS, which is essentially an optimized/enhanced version of Windows Server for file & disk-based IO, delivered for appliance solutions like this one.
It includes DPM 2007 already installed.
Out of the box, powered up and ready to protect your Windows Servers in about 30 minutes.
Dell.com — Data Protection Appliance datasheet (PDF)
There are other DPM partners and solutions — and as promised, I will continue to blog them periodically.
This month, I am highlighting the Dell + DPM solution in part because the Dell Power Solutions magazine for February 2008 includes two articles on their Data Protection appliance, co-authored by yours truly. One is a higher-level description of the issues around backup that the DPM+Dell appliance is focused on addressing. The other is a deeper-dive into how DPM works, within the appliance.
If you already subscribe to Dell Power Solutions, look for them in the upcoming February 2008 edition.
If you can’t wait for the magazine (or you don’t subscribe yet), you can check them out online.
Safeguarding Data with Dell PowerVault Data Protection Appliances – by Sanjeet Singh and Jason Buffington
A Look Inside Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 — by Jason Buffington & Sanjeet Singh
So, if you already have your own hardware – and Windows Server – load up on DPM 2007.
If you are looking at DPM 2007 and needing new hardware to run it on, then you might consider getting the entire solution from a name that you trust — Dell.