2007/02/19: DPM Beta 2

At home I run a Small Business Server ( SBS ) 2003 domain and connect my PCs to it.  I’m in a corporate setting and am used to a Microsoft domain setup, so when SBS 4.5 was released many years ago I jumped onboard and have kept upgrading to the latest and greatest.  In a nutshell SBS combines Windows Server, Exchange and remote access in one nice package and adds a ton of wizards to guide you through getting set up and maintaining your environment.  With SBS 2003 the wizards are amazing, to the extent of configuring your uPnP router with the correct port settings.  This is a slick product.

SBS has a very nice backup wizard that handles tape and disk, but I wanted to add a separate disk based imaging and backup product.  While my server has a RAID 5 array to guard against hardware failure and anti-virus software, a dedicated backup solution was needed to damaged files, older versions and overall piece of mind.

Microsoft has a continuous backup product in the form of Data Protection Manager ( DPM ).  It’s version one and only backs up file servers, but does a nice job of keeping up to date backups of multiple file versions.  Microsoft announced Beta 1 of DPM 2 so I signed up and downloaded a copy.  DPM 2 supports Exchange, SQL and SharePoint now, with general improvements over version one.  I built a new server from parts sitting around and added four 500 GB Maxtor Maxline Pro SATA hard drives; this would give me triple the space of my 320 GB RAID 5 server storage space.

Installation was smooth and very slick, even in beta.  Lots of hand holding and easy to follow wizards.  DPM Beta 2 installs itself and SQL Server 2005 to handle the back end.  Microsoft PowerShell is also a requirement, but the install wizard points you to the download.

Once installation is complete you walk through configuring DPM 2 for your environment.  I selected the unformatted 1.5 TB RAID 5 array as my backup space, then searched my domain to install the backup agents that handle the DPM backup process.  Since I only have one server I picked my SBS 2003 box, but received an error indicating only Windows 2003 was supported.  End of the line.

DPM 2 Beta did partially install the agent on my SBS 2003 box since I received an error when I rebooted it to handle Tuesday’s patches.  I may be moving away from SBS as I was just approved for the beta 2 program for Windows Home Server.