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Microsoft Adds Deduplication to Data Protection Manager

Microsoft has added a data deduplication capability to its System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager (DPM) product.

Essentially, Microsoft's current DPM backup solution is now capable of leveraging the data deduplication capabilities that already existed in Windows Server 2012 R2. It's not exactly clear when that capability was built into DPM, but Microsoft announced its availability this week in a blog post, along with the announcement of a TechNet article that specifies Microsoft's recommended architecture for enabling it.

The recommended architecture involves running DPM in a virtual machine with the data deduplication process happening on virtual hard disk files residing on a separate scale-out file server. The separation is done, in part, to avoid possible input/output issues associated with the "storage-intensive operations" of the data deduplication process, according to Microsoft's TechNet article.

Microsoft's DPM solution, when installed on a single server, "can protect 80 TB of production data or 100 production servers," according to the TechNet article. It's possible to use DPM with private clouds or public clouds (such as Microsoft Azure or hosted services). It also works with the cloud-based Azure Backup Service. Microsoft's announcement suggested that the data deduplication process in combination with the Azure Backup service could support disaster recovery scenarios for some organizations.

Microsoft reported storage savings that ranged from "50% to 90%" based on internal testing of its data deduplication process. The storage savings come from reducing the data redundancy that occurs after DPM backs up various data sources. With the data deduplication feature in place, the data get copied once, while any subsequent additions to that data get incrementally backed up. Organizations can set up the data deduplication process to run at designated times.

One limitation of the new data deduplication capability is that it requires using Microsoft's latest DPM and Windows Server products. A concise list of the requirements can be found in this blog post by Microsoft MVP Thomas Maurer.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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