Microsoft Ups its Backup Game in System Center 2012

[Cross-posted from my ESG blog – Technical Optimist .com]

Data protection processes and technologies are vital to ensuring an organization’s operational, regulatory, and financial health. As a result, data protection infrastructure is included in every IT budget and is top of mind for data center staff. However, due to the complexity and often high cost of backup, restore, and disaster recovery, many organizations are willing to invest in methods and solutions that can save time, reduce costs, and simplify management.

In fact, ESG’s 2012 IT Spending Intentions Survey reveals that improving data backup and recovery is the most commonly identified IT priority over the next 12-18 months. Earlier ESG research exploring data protection priorities indicates that the most significant data protection investments were in the areas of:

  • Improving disaster recovery (35%)
  • Backing up virtual server environments (30%)
  • Improving application backup (26%)
  • and desktop/laptop backup and recovery (23%)

For years, Microsoft has delivered Volume Shadow copy Services (VSS) for third-party backup mechanisms to help achieve these goals.  More recently, Microsoft System Center’s Data Protection Manager has also been offered to help satisfy the needs of Windows customers that are very much in-line with ESG research findings:

  • Improving disaster recovery – Through a feature Microsoft refers to DPM-2-DPM-4-DR, DPM replicates data from secondary onsite storage to tertiary offsite storage, including to third-party partner clouds
  • Backing up Hyper-V virtual machines – DPM offers both host-based and guest-based options
  • Improving application backups – DPM uses only VSS-based or other application-supported methods developed in alignment with System Center’s peers in Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint
  • Desktop/laptop protection – This was first released in DPM 2010 (v3), including online and offline scenarios

This week, Microsoft announced the availability of the Release Candidate for its System Center 2012 management products, including v4 of Data Protection Manager.

What is new in 2012

I spent some time talking with Microsoft on what was coming in DPM in 2012, with key features being:SysCtr2012_dpm

  • Centralized Console using Operations Manager, thereby also providing better integration of DPM functionality across the System Center line
  • Enhanced SharePoint recovery options
  • Better Hyper-V protection capabilities, including the ability to run DPM within a VM
  • and Generic Data Source Protection for non-Microsoft applications that run on Windows

Click here to read the ESG brief of DPM in System Center 2012

As always, thanks for reading

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