Setting up DPM Chaining

Data and replicas on a DPM server can be backed up and protected by another DPM server in any of the following configurations:

  • Primary to secondary protection—A primary DPM server is backed up by a secondary DPM server.

  • Cyclic protection—One DPM server is backed up by another DPM server, and vice versa. So that DPM1 protects DPM2, and likewise DPM2 protects DPM1. Useful for small environments.

  • Chained protection—A chain of DPM servers provide protection. Each DPM server in the chain protects the next server in the chain. For example:

    • DPM1 is protected by DPM2 (DPM1 is the primary and DPM2 is the secondary).

    • DPM2 is protected by DPM3 (DPM2 is the primary and DPM3 is the secondary)>

Note that:

  • Each DPM server can only be protected once.

  • Primary and secondary servers are established by the chain, so that although DPM3 is actually protecting DPM1 because it’s acting as the secondary server for DPM2, it can’t act directly as a secondary server for DPM1.

  • If a DPM server is configured to protect its own data source the chain will be broken. For example if DPM1 protects its own database or system state, DPM2 can’t protect DPM1.

What’s protected on the DPM server?

  • The databases in the instance of SQL Server on the primary DPM server.

  • All local volumes and application data on the primary DPM server.

  • All replicas on the primary DPM server that the primary DPM server directly protects.

Set up chaining

  1. Install the DPM protection agent on the DPM server that you want to protect from the DPM server you want to protect it from.

  2. Configure secondary protection for the data sources protected by the DPM server you are protecting.


In the DPM console of one DPM server, you cannot view the data sources that the DPM protection agent already protects. This feature prevents you from protecting data sources repeatedly.

Assume an architecture where you have two DPM servers, DPM1 and DPM2. Each of these servers protects one or more data sources of their own. To set up chaining for these two servers, do the following:

  1. Install the DPM protection agent from DPM1 to DPM2 and vice versa.

  2. Configure secondary protection on DPM2 for servers that DPM1 protects.

  3. Configure secondary protection on DPM1 for servers that DPM2 protects.

Moving protected servers

Moving protected servers between DPM servers that are under secondary protection isn’t supported. To illustrate this we have the following:

  • Server1

  • Server2

  • DPM1 acting as primary DPM server

  • DPM2 acting as another primary DPM server

  • DPM3 acting as secondary server for DPM1 and DPM2


  • Server1 is protected by DPM1

  • Server2 is protected by DPM2

  • DPM3 is a secondary server for DPM1 and DPM2 and is thus protecting Server1 and Server2.

  • DPMServer_2

The following occurs:

  • Scenario 1:

    • DPM1 fails or is removed from the infrastructure.

    • You now want to protect Server1 with DPM2 (with DPM3 acting as the secondary server).

  • Scenario 2:

    • DPM1 fails or is removed from the infrastructure.

    • You now want to protect Server1 with DPM3.

Both of these scenarios are unsupported. You can only select one of the following options:

  • Use the “Switch Protection” option on DPM3 for Server1, and leave DPM3 in this mode going forward. Note that in this scenario you can’t add secondary protection for Server1 on another DPM server when you’re using switched protection mode.

  • Rebuild DPM1 with the same name and restore the DPM database. This allows DPM to resume primary protection.

  • Move protection for Server1 to a new DPM server (DPM4) that DPM3 doesn’t know about.