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Does DPM 2012 support USB backup media? RRS feed

  • Question

  • As the title states, does DPM 2012 support backups to USB media?  The beta documentation, these forums, and Google do no provide the answer to this question at this time.

    Yes I know there are software solutions from 3rd parties that allow this but I've evaluated them and they do not provide what we want.

    We currently use a set of external USB drives per week and then those drives go into a safe as the next weeks drives come out.  We continue to use Backup Exec products as they provide the feature sets we require but would like to move to DPM.  The use of eSATA drives does not provide the functionality very well as DPM expects them to always exist and expecting every organization to own a SAN is unfair to assume for smaller organizations.


    Senior Systems Engineer - University of Central Florida
    • Moved by Larry Yin Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:21 PM (From:DPM 2012 Beta - Locked)
    Monday, December 12, 2011 2:56 PM

Answers

  • DPM does not support any removable disk media for the DPM storage pool because dynamic disks are not supported on removable media.

    What a lot of our DPM customers do is use a software based virtual tape library like firestreamer and make the virtual tape files on the removable disks.

    Please visit http://www.firestreamer.com/fs/ and see if that will fit your needs.

      


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:34 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • DPM does not support any removable disk media for the DPM storage pool because dynamic disks are not supported on removable media.

    What a lot of our DPM customers do is use a software based virtual tape library like firestreamer and make the virtual tape files on the removable disks.

    Please visit http://www.firestreamer.com/fs/ and see if that will fit your needs.

      


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:34 AM
    Moderator
  • DPM does not support any removable disk media for the DPM storage pool because dynamic disks are not supported on removable media.

    What a lot of our DPM customers do is use a software based virtual tape library like firestreamer and make the virtual tape files on the removable disks.

    Please visit http://www.firestreamer.com/fs/ and see if that will fit your needs.

     


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    We've evaluated Firestreamer and to us it's a kludge at best.  It still does not allow user friendly USB drive addition and removal that we've grown accustomed to with Backup Exec products.  If a user has to perform some sort of dark voodoo to unplug a USB device and plug in a new USB device on a regular basis then there's just something wrong.

    Senior Systems Engineer - University of Central Florida
    Tuesday, December 13, 2011 1:34 PM
  • Hi,

    Please follow-up with firestreamer about the dark voodoo - I'm certain they would like to hear your feedback if that seems to be a blocker for you using their product.

    The other solution is to install a small physical tape library for long term backups to tape that you can take offsite or install a secondary DPM server offsite.


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Saturday, December 17, 2011 5:13 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Brentil,

    Easiest way to deal with this is not to go down the road of arguing smaller organization logic. This is not a solution for a smaller organization, as far as DPM\Msft goes every business have a VPN remote site where you can setup a replication DPM server or can afford a tape drive and the ongoing cost of tapes. If this is you, no point trying to get answers and argue logic as it will drive you crazy as it did me.

    You need to except you need 1x 2008r2 dedicated server (Physical\virtual) and it must be on the domain with enough disk space to backup data (iscsi\direct attached disks). You also need tapes for offsite backups or\and secondary DPM server at a remote site to backup your first dpm server and replicate data. If you do not have a secondary DPM server to protect the first server then you must manually backup your backup server and AD (not through DPM) as if the place burns down you need these recovered through other methods (baremetal or 3rd party) to be able to restore your backup server and then your tapes, again do not try and apply logic here :)

    I agree Firestreamer is not for small organitations. It is complicated for the average user and cost is very expensive in small organization terms.

    These are some of the negatives I have found. I still like the product enough though to try and fall in line with what is needed to use DPM as its backup capibility is great and very stable once you have it all up and running.

    Good luck.

    Monday, December 19, 2011 2:37 PM
  •  

    It doesn't, unfortunately. It was one of the first things I checked when looking at what's new in 2012, not for D2D but for long-term off-line storage, as opposed to tape. I was amazed that they hadn't added it.

    We were using BackupExec V9 to backup Windows file servers to USB HDDs (taken off-site each day and put into a safe) and for the most part it worked a treat. But it didn't support backup of Hyper-V VMs and Windows Server 2008 or R2, nor did we have an agent for Exchange/SQL and our number of virtual servers was expanding.

    There were other problems, identified in an audit (we knew anyway), which related to the need to manually change the backup drives; during holidays or low staff levels there often wasn't enough staff/time to change the backup drives at the the 4 sites (it doesn't help that we had 4 sites, each with servers). So we needed to look at replacing it with a system that was less dependent on manual procedures.

    In December we went fully onto DPM2010; we used QNAP NASes for D2D, 4 of them gave us 11TB of storage (using iSCSI). I knew that we also needed long-term offline backups and would really have loved to use the USB HDDs, which we already had available from the old backup system.

    I wasn't too keen on Firestreamer for a several reasons:

    1) Not quite as simple attaching the USB HDD, as you pointed out.

    2) The company seems to be almost wholly dependent on this one product, if MS decided to support backup to USB natively, then what would happen to the Firestreamer product, and all of your archive backups?

    3) Wasn't sure if MS really fully supported DPM with Firestreamer, although I have since seen demos of DPM by MS staff where they used it.

    4) Cost - although this was less of a concern that the others.

    So we purchased a Quantum LTO5 drive with auto tape changer (1.5TB native per tape) and do nightly backups to disk (D2D) and some continuous during day. And daily backups to tape (taken from the D2D based backups on the NASes).

    The DPM Server, NASes and Tape drive are all at a site where no non-recoverable data is stored on servers, so it is off-site already (one advantage in having multiple sites).

    We were also lucky in that we had capital budget allocated to the backup system, so there was the enough cash available, in all I think that it cost around £12,000 (for the hardware/software and tapes).

    If we didn't have this cash, I would probably have looked at using NTBackup / Windows Server Backup to backup the physical servers and PowerShell Script to backup the Hyper-V VMs. Exchange 2003 can be backed up using NTBackup and SQL Server can be backed up using itself. All to USB HDDs taken off site.

    It doesn't surprise me that MS won't support USB for it's D2D backup due to the continuous nature of the backups and the way it stores the replicas and recovery points. But I was little surprised that MS didn't include the option to locate long-term backups onto USB drives (given that they are superior in almost every respect to tape), it makes me wonder if it part of their strategy to gradually move customers to the cloud (as in D2D2C).

    I did look at BackupExec (the latest version) vs DPM and the license costs were prohibitive for BE. Also, if you have an on-going MS license you automatically get the latest version of DPM and the agents, to support the latest versions of MS products.

    Bruce.


     
    • Edited by Redbruce Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:26 PM
    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:36 PM
  • Thank you all for your feedback on this topic.  As stated by Mike, at this time we still do not support USB drives for our storage pool.  I will take your concerns to our developer team for consideration in our future builds. 

    Thanks, Chris Butcher - MSFT This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:50 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for chiming in Bruce, I feel like such a black sheep when it comes to this topic.  Oh your organization doesn't have the funds for expensive tape systems or a SAN?  To bad, so sad!

    We are an educational institution, we don't make 'profit' on anything so we don't have expanding budgets from year to year so finding money let alone explaining to management we need an insane pile of money to replace a system that works perfectly fine as is becomes impossible.  We wanted to move to DPM because it is THE cheapest enterprise level backup system for those of us in the educational world, trust me we've done a lot of cross shopping in trying to save money.  I help manage 2 organizations at our university and 1 is a smaller group of developers consisting of 10 users and 8 physical servers the other consists of 4 buildings and about 400 faculty/staff/students with 10 physical systems + a blade chassis.

    To backup the systems of the small group with BackupExec 2010 it cost us $3,600 up front and then $800/y in support renewals and the users are $400 up front for BESR 2010 and $80/y in support renewals.  So for the last 3 years BackupExec cost us $5,760 for a 10 person team.  However we're moving into heavy VM usage with Hyper-V and we now need to buy a pile of additional agent licenses or move to VM agent licenses so either $350/agent or $1200/VM agent for the 16 VMs we're bringing online on 4 new VM hosts.  So we will need to pay out an additional $4800 for new agents and then an additional $800/y in support costs for those 4 agents.  So a total of $8,800 in up front costs and $1,700/y in support costs or $13,900 for 3 years of operation.

    Or we could move to DPM with the campus license agreement and pay $1050/y with no additional up front costs to cover all of our servers & VMs & workstations PLUS gain all the other System Center features on top of that.  So we get DPM + other wonderful tools for $3150 for 3 years.  I don't know about you but that smacks of bargain to me! 

    Now here comes the zinger.  BackupExec lets me use cheap + reliable + fast external USB hard drives which we could get 2 TB devices for under $100 pre-floods.  We use 4 of these, one per week, rotating them every week into an offsite media firesafe, so that's $400 in media which we use for the length of the warranty of 5 years. 

    Realistically for DPM you're going to have to have a Tape Loader or SAN or something "SAN like" for long/short term storage needs.  Lets say an average LTO loader costs us $5,000 to purchase plus a minimum $1000 in support and it takes 3 LTO 800 tapes to cover 1 2TB storage drive so that's 12 tapes at $25/tape plus a $50 cleaning tape per year.  That means we have to drop $7,750 over 5 years to match what we did before with $400.  Yes there may be some cheaper solutions but you're still making it more complex.  Everyone always says Firestreamer! but have you used FireStreamer?  It still does not obtain the same level of ease and functionality of BackupExec's USB capabilities.  Even with educational pricing that is still another $1000 we would have to spend.

    So what was going to be a bargain has turned out to not be a bargain after all.  So please, seriously consider adding USB drives with the ability to easily add/remove them because the backup scene is crowded with products that do nothing but hurt us smaller organizations.


    Systems Administrator Senior - University of Central Florida

    Friday, February 17, 2012 10:15 PM
  • Hi Brentil,

    We have faced the same issue like you, but we found out a solution for this thing by creating a DPM 2007\2010\2012 VMs and connect the USB HDD to the VM, so VM will take the USB HDD as normal drive and won't cause any issues, try this and let me know if you have any issues.

    Thanks,

    Roby


    Robs

    Friday, March 2, 2012 7:10 AM
  • Hi Brentil,

    We have faced the same issue like you, but we found out a solution for this thing by creating a DPM 2007\2010\2012 VMs and connect the USB HDD to the VM, so VM will take the USB HDD as normal drive and won't cause any issues, try this and let me know if you have any issues.

    Thanks,

    Roby


    Robs

    How are you connecting the USB HDD to the VM?  I know this can be done in VMServe but as far as I knew it was not possible with Hyper-V.  I guess I could put a VHD on the USB drive but then I would have to shutdown the VM every time I wanted to remove that USB drive which kind of breaks the idea of USB drives being easy to use.

    Systems Administrator Senior - University of Central Florida

    Friday, March 2, 2012 4:05 PM
  • Hi Roby,

    Does your suggested USB as hdd on virtual dpm server allow for easy rotation?
    Was wondering how dpm reacts when you remove the storage pool to replace with another disk or does DPM not notice the difference.

    Thanks,

    Saturday, April 14, 2012 9:05 AM
  • Folks,

    Aside from using USB removable media to store tape based backups using a virtual tape library, you CANNOT use any removable media to store disk based DPM backups.  DPM also DOES NOT support .VHD files for the DPM Storage pool disks.

    <snip_from_earlier_post>
    DPM does not support any removable disk media for the DPM storage pool because dynamic disks are not supported on removable media.

    What a lot of our DPM customers do is use a software based virtual tape library like firestreamer and make the virtual tape files on the removable disks.

    Please visit http://www.firestreamer.com/fs/ and see if that will fit your needs.

    <snip>

    Please stop this thread, the answer to the question of "Does DPM 2012 support USB backup media?"  is No.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, April 16, 2012 7:26 PM
    Moderator