This document is part of a collection of documents that make up the System Center 2012 Integration Guide.  The purpose of the Integration Guide is to provide an overview of each System Center component in its role as a programmable platform to be leveraged for the Microsoft Private Cloud.  It is intended to provide an abstraction layer that guides partners and customers on their decision process for methods to build automated solutions across System Center components.

This guide is a community project to analyze the different options for integration with the components of System Center 2012.  Please feel free to edit this document to improve its quality.

1 Product Overview

System Center 2012 – Data Protection Manager (DPM) enables disk-based and tape-based data protection and recovery for servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, virtual servers, file servers, and support for Windows desktops and laptops. DPM can also centrally manage system state and Bare Metal Recovery.

The following diagram shows the different technologies for integrating with System Center 2012 – Data Protection Manager from other software, hardware, and System Center components.  Each of these technologies is discussed in the following sections.

1.1 Product Documentation

2 Role in the Microsoft Private Cloud

The following table briefly introduces the capabilities that DPM provides as part of the Microsoft Private Cloud Reference Model.  Further details are provided in Mapping Private Cloud Capabilities to the Microsoft Private Cloud Platform.

 Layer  Description
Service Delivery Layer Service providers may provide protection services using DPM to their tenants which are surfaced in the Service Delivery through the service catalog or a self-service portal.
Infrastructure Layer DPM can influence the Infrastructure Layer by requiring such configurations as dedicated recovery networks.
Service Operations Layer The Service Options Layer includes processes for performing protection service with DPM. This may include automated processes using tools such as Orchestrator runbooks.
Management Layer DPM provides backup services in the Management Layer.

3 Programmability

3.1 Windows PowerShell Cmdlets

All DPM functionality is available through Windows PowerShell cmdlets which support the automation of administrative scenarios from a command line.  The DPM Administrator Console is based on the cmdlets ensuring that all functionality is available from a command line.

DPM does not have an SDK that is used for external applications that require access to its data and functionality.  If you have an application that requires access to DPM, then you should use the DPM cmdlets which expose all functionality and data held by DPM.  In addition to the cmdlets being available for command line and script operations, they can also be called from applications written in languages such as C# and C++.  In order to use PowerShell cmdlets from managed code, you use the PowerShell class which is part of the System.Management.Automation Namespace. 

3.2 References

4 System Center Integration

4.1 Operations Manager

In System Center 2012, DPM has a feature called the Central Console.  This is a set of views and tasks in the Operations Manager Operations Console that provide most of the functionality that is available in the DPM Administrator Console.  This allows an administrator to combine the health monitoring of Operations Manager with DPM administrative tasks and to administrator multiple DPM servers from a single console.

The DPM Management Pack ships with the DPM installation media and is not available from the Management Pack Catalog.  In addition to providing the elements for the Central Console, it discovers all DPM servers and protected resources in the environment and measures their health. 

4.1.1 References

4.2 Service Manager

The primary value provided to Service Manager by Data Protection Manager is protecting its database.  All Service Manager configuration and data is stored in the Service Manager database which is hosted by SQL Server, and a core feature of DPM is protecting SQL Server databases.

4.2.3 References

4.3 Orchestrator

The primary value provided to Orchestrator by Data Protection Manager is protecting its database.  All Orchestrator configuration and runbooks are stored in the Orchestrator database which is hosted by SQL Server, and a core feature of DPM is protecting SQL Server databases.

4.3.1 Integration Pack

The System Center Integration Pack for System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager includes activities that allow you to create a workflow in System Center 2012 Orchestrator that interacts with DPM.  You can perform many of the functions that you can perform with PowerShell cmdlets only within the context of an Orchestrator runbook.  The primary functions that you can perform are as follows:

  • Automated virtual machine protection and recovery
  • Automated SharePoint farm protection and recovery
  • Automated SQL server protection and recovery
  • Automated system state protection
  • Ad hoc backups

For those functions that you cannot perform with one of the activities from the Integration Pack, you can use the Run DPM PowerShell Script activity to launch a Windows PowerShell script that performs the required functionality.  This activity has the distinct advantage over the Run .Net Script activity in that it can use the DPM connection that is used by the other activities.  This saves significant overhead from making multiple connections to the DPM server and eliminates the requirement to include code in the script to perform the connection.

4.3.2 References

4.4 Virtual Machine Manager

DPM protects VMM hosts in addition to its database.  It performs this function through direct interaction with Hyper-V or by accessing VMM directly to support Live Migration.  When protecting virtual machines that have live migration enabled, DPM must communicate directly with VMM to identify the host on which the virtual machine is currently running.  

The primary value provided to Virtual Machine Manager by Data Protection Manager is protecting its database.  All Orchestrator configuration and runbooks are stored in the VMM database which is hosted by SQL Server, and a core feature of DPM is protecting SQL Server databases.

4.4.1 References

6 Other Resources