DPM 2012 R2 and the downsides

I’ve been using DPM 2012 R2 for a few months now, having replaced Symantec Backup Exec 2010 due to growing data sizes and increased struggles with tape rotations.

However I’ve found a number of deficiencies with DPM that make me wish we were able to implement something like Veeam instead.

Here’s a short summary of what I need DPM to do better:

  • No deduplication support!
  • Disk volume based system leaves ‘islands of storage’ unusable and inefficient
    • Prevents disk from being shared for other backup purposes such as Hyper-V replication
  • Lack of long-term disk backups
    • Our TechNet reading has shown that since DPM uses VSS it can only take a maximum of 64 snapshots for a protected resource. We’re currently unsure if this applies to VMs as a protected resource
  • Poor visibility into DPM running operations
    • No clarity on what the data transfer represents
    • No information on compression ratios
    • No transfer speed indicators
  • No easy way to see status of data across all protected sources
    • No dashboards or easy summaries.
    • Many clicks to drill down into each protection group
  • Poor configurability on logging
    • Email notifications are very chatty, or non-existent without much middle ground.
    • No escalation methods or schedules
  • No automated test restore capabilities or scheduling
  • Limited Reporting
    • Only 6 reports out of the box, and must use SQL Reporting Services to build anything new (which I am adept with, but that’s besides the point)
  • Tape Library support seems cumbersome, compression isn’t work despite it reporting as running
  • No built in VM replication technology for Disaster Recovery scenarios
  • Very low community knowledge or support
    • For example, trying to find information on tape compression is impossible; no one online is talking about DPM and how it’s used.
  • No central console for viewing multiple backup source/destination pairs

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