Estimate DPM server requirements


Updated: September 19, 2017

Applies To: System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager

The number of System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager (DPM) servers you’ll need to deploy will depend on a number of factors:

  • DPM server limits — determine how many servers you need:

    • Each protected data source requires two volumes: a Replica volume and a Recovery point volume. DPM has a limit of 300 data sources, which is equal to 600 volumes.

    • DPM has a 120-TB storage pool limit, where 80 TB can be used for replica volume space, and a maximum of 40 TB can be used for recovery point space.

    • The definition of a Data Source (DS) in DPM is a volume-folder-share, a SQL database, a Windows Client computer, an Exchange 2010 / 2012 DAG database, a Hyper-V VM, or a system state/BMR backup that’s part of a protection group. Co-location is a feature that allows multiple data sources of a certain type to be located on a single DPM replica volume, so that they count as only a single data source.

    • The recommended limits of each data source type are as follows.

      Note These limits assume that co-location is used for workloads that support co-location, such as SQL, client and Hyper-V protection. A single DPM server can protect any combination of data sources, assuming the overall 300 data source limit (600 volumes) is not exceeded.

      • If you are protecting SQL databases, the limit is 2000 DS-es (co-location factor = 30).
      • If you are protecting file volumes, the limit is 300 DS-es (this is dictated by the 600-volume limit).
      • If you are protecting clients, the limit is 3000 clients (co-location factor = 30).
      • If you are protecting Hyper-V VMs, the limit is 800 VMs per DPM server (co-location factor = 8). We do support scale out Hyper-V protection where multiple DPM servers can be used to protect the cluster.
    • In addition, DPM has a snapshot limit of 9,000 disk-based snapshots on a single server, including those retained when you stop protection of a data source. The snapshot limit applies to express full backups and file recovery points, but not to incremental synchronizations. Note that the limit applies regardless of storage pool size.

  • DPM infrastructure requirements — These will determine how to locate the DPM servers.

    • DPM must be deployed in an Active Directory domain (Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003)When deciding where to locate your DPM server, consider the network bandwidth between the DPM server and the protected computers. If you are protecting data over a wide area network (WAN), there is a minimum network bandwidth requirement of 512 kilobits per second (Kbps).DPM supports teamed network adapters (NICs). Teamed NICs are multiple physical adapters that are configured to be treated as a single adapter by the operating system. Teamed NICs provide increased bandwidth by combining the bandwidth available using each adapter and failover to the remaining adapter when an adapter fails. DPM can use the increased bandwidth achieved by using teamed adapter on the DPM server.Another consideration for the location of your DPM servers is the need to manage tapes and tape libraries manually, such as adding new tapes to the library or removing tapes for offsite archive.

    • A DPM server can resources in a domain, or across domains within a forest that has a two-way trust relationship with the domain that the DPM server is located in. If there is not a two-way trust across domains, you need a separate DPM server for each domain. A DPM server can protect data across forest if there’s a forest-level two-way trust between the forests.

    • Consider the network bandwidth between the DPM server and the protected computers. If you are protecting data over a WAN there’s a minimum network bandwidth requirement of 512 Kbps. Note that DPM supports teamed NICs that provide increased bandwidth by combining bandwidth available for each network adapter, and failover if an adapter fails.

For DPM server capacity planning you can use the DPM storage calculators. These calculators are Excel sheets and are workload specific. They provide guidance about the number of DPM servers required, processor core, RAM, and virtual memory recommendations, and required storage capacity. Because these calculators are workload-specific you’ll need to combine the recommended settings and consider them together with the system requirements, and your specific business topology and requirements, including data source and storage locations, compliance and SLA requirements, and disaster recovery needs. Note that the calculators were released for DPM 2010 but remain relevant for DPM 2012 and DPM 2012 R2.