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Set up DPM to back up to Azure

Updated: June 2, 2015

You configure Azure Backup for Data Protection Manager (DPM) workloads in the protection group properties, in the same way you configure other backup settings.

  1. Before you start—Figure out how you want to set up retention times for data in Azure and check requirements for offline initial replication if you need to back up large amounts of data.

  2. Back up protection group data to Azure—You can create a new protection group and enable Azure online backup, or apply online backup settings to an existing group.

  3. Set up offline replication—Follow these steps if you want to set up offline replication.

  • You can back up workload protected in DPM to Azure with a flexible range of backup and retention settings. For details see the overview Back up DPM workloads with Azure Backup.

  • If you have very large amounts of data, disparate datacenters, or you don’t want to impact network performance and bandwidth you can do the initial replication offline by transferring data from the DPM server to an Azure storage account using a hard disk drive. You copy data to folder or share, run the Azure Import tool to copy it to the hard drive, create an Import job in the Azure Management portal, and ship the encrypted drive to a Microsoft Datacenter. There a high-speed internal Microsoft network is used to transfer the data to your Azure blob storage account. If you want to enable this option you’ll need the following:

    • An active Azure subscription that includes a storage account with enough space to hold the data you’re going to import. You’ll need to identify the destination blobs for your data in the Azure Blob service.

    • At least one of the account keys for the storage account.

    • A suitable computer available for initial copy of the data, before you copy it to the drives:

      • The computer must be running Windows 7 or later, or Windows Server 2008 R2 or later.

      • The computer needs .NET Framework 4 and BitLocker installed.

    • You’ll need to figure out how much data you want to import and how many drives you’ll need.

    • You need one or more empty 4 TB 3.5-inch SATA II/III hard drives must be connected to the computer. If you prefer USB devices, one of the recommended converters listed in the table in this blog can be used to transfer data in/out of SATA from/to USB devices prior to sending or after receiving the drives.

    • All drives you ship must be encrypted using a BitLocker key.

    • Azure imposes a limit of 40 TB for an import job. This effectively means that the size of data in a protection group that will initially replicate offline shouldn’t exceed 40 TB.

  1. In the Protection task area of the DPM Administrator Console, click New to open the Create New Protection Group Wizard.

  2. On the Welcome page click Next.

  3. On the Select Protection Group Type page, select Clients if you want to back up data on a Windows computer running a Windows client operating system. For all other workloads click Servers > Next. For supported workloads see Support Matrix for DPM Protection.

  4. On the Select Group Members page, select and check all the resources you want to protect and back up to Azure. Then click Next.

  5. On the Select Data Protection Method page, do the following:

    • Specify a name for the group.

    • Select I want short-term protection using: Disk. Backing up to tape for short-term protection isn’t supported if you want to enable online backup to Azure.

    • Select I want online protection. If this option isn’t available complete the wizard to create the group and then modify the protection group settings to select the option. Note that with online protection enabled:

      • If DPM in deployed as a physical server or on-premises Hyper-V virtual machine data will be backed up for short-term protection to disk or VHD/VHDX and then to Azure Backup.

      • If DPM is deployed as an Azure virtual machine data will be backed up for short-term storage to an Azure disk and then to Azure Backup.

    • If you have a standalone tape or tape library connected to the DPM server you’ll be able to select I want long-term protection using tape. Then click Next.

  6. If you’re configuring Exchange protection a couple of Exchange-specific pages appear in the wizard:

    • On the Specify Exchange Protection Options  page, select Run Eseutil to check data integrity to check the integrity of the Exchange Server databases. This moves the backup consistency checking from the Exchange Server to the DPM server which means the I/O impact of running Eseutil.exe on the Exchange Server during the backup itself is eliminated. To protect a DAG, be sure that you select Run for log files only (Recommended for DAG servers). If you did not previously copy the .eseutil file as described in Exchange 2013 Prerequisites an error will occur.

    • On the Specify Exchange DAG Protection page, select the databases you want to copy for either a full backup or copy backup from the Database copies selected for Full Backup  or Database copies selected for Copy Backup list boxes. For protecting multiple copies of the same database, you can select only one copy for full backup, and then select the remaining copies for copy backup.

  7. On the Specify Short-Term Goals page set the following:

    • In Retention range specify how long you want to keep data that’s backed up to disk.

    • In Synchronization frequency specify how often incremental backups of the data should run. Alternatively, instead of selecting an interval you can enable Just before a recovery point. With this setting enabled DPM will run an express full back just before each scheduled recovery point.

      Note that if you’re backing up an application that doesn’t support incremental backups the Synchronization frequency won’t appear.

    • In File recovery points specify when to create recovery points for file data that’s backed up to disk. You can specify times and the days of the week.

    • In Application recovery points recovery points for applications that support incremental backup are created in accordance with the Synchronization frequency. If the application doesn’t support incremental backup then DPM runs an express full backup. In this case you can click Modify to customize the express backup schedule.

  8. If you enabled long-term storage to tape, on Specify Long-Term Goals page, in Retention range, specify how long you want to keep your tape data (1-99 years).

    In Frequency of backup  indicate how often you want to run backups. The frequency is based on the specified retention range:

    • When the retention range is 1–99 years, you can select backups to occur daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or yearly.

    • When the retention range is 1–11 months, you can select backups to occur daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

    • When the retention range is 1–4 weeks, you can select backups to occur daily or weekly.

    Click Modify to specify the daily backup time if you’re backing up on a daily basis.

    On the Select Tape and Library Details  page, specify the tape and library that’ll be used for back up of this protection group. You can also specify whether to compress or encrypt the backup data. For encryption you’ll need a validate certificate. See Set up data encryption.

    Note that on a stand-alone tape drive, for a single protection group, DPM uses the same tape for daily backups until there is insufficient space on the tape. You can also Colocate data from different protection groups on tape.

  9. On the Review Disk Allocation page, accept the default settings, or modify the disk space allocated for new members of the protection group. Recommendations are based on the retention range, the type of workload and the size of the protected data.

    • Data size—Size of data in protection group.

    • Disk space—The amount of disk space DPM recommends for allocation to the protection group. If you want to modify this setting you should allocate total space that’s slightly larger than the amount you estimate that each data source will grow.

    • Colocate data—If you enable colocation multiple data sources in the protection group can map to a single replica and recovery point volume. Colocation isn’t supported for all workloads.

    • Automatically grow—If you enable this setting, if data in the protected group outgrows the initial allocations, DPM will try to automatically increase the disk size by 25%

    • Storage pool details—Shows the current status of the storage pool, including total and remaining disk size.

  10. On the Choose Replica Creation Method page, specify how the initial replication of data in the protection group will be performed. If you select to replicate over the network we recommended you choose an off-peak time. For large amounts of data or less than optimal network conditions, consider replicating the data offline using removable media.

  11. On the Consistency Check Options page, select how you want to automate consistency checks. You can enable a check to run only when replica data becomes inconsistent or according to a schedule. If you don’t want to configure automatic consistency checking, you can run a manual check at any time by right-clicking the protection group in the Protection area of the DPM console, and selecting Perform Consistency Check.

  12. On the Specify Online Data Protection page, select the data sources you want to protect online. Read about Prerequisites for DPM backup

  13. On the Specify Online Backup Schedule page, define a backup schedule. You can specify that data should be backed up daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. DPM creates a recovery point for each backup. For daily, weekly, monthly and yearly backups you can set a backup to run once or twice on the specific days.

    • Daily—Specify a time for each daily backup.

    • Weekly—Specify the day of the week and the backup time.

    • Monthly—Specify which week and day in the month, or specific dates.

    • Yearly—Select specific months and which weeks and days in that month, or specific dates.

    You can run an on-demand backup whenever you want. To do this right-click the data source > Create recovery point and then select to create a disk recovery point and online backup.

  14. On the Specify Online Retention Policy page, the default settings will be the schedule you selected in the previous page. Use this page to create a retention policy that specifies how long backup recovery points should be stored in Azure. Your total retention settings shouldn’t exceed the maximum limit of 366 recovery points currently supported in Azure. For more details about retention limits see Back up DPM workloads with Azure Backup.

  15. On the Choose Online Replication page select how you want to do the initial replication of protected data to Azure. You can do it over the network or offline. For offline instructions see Set up offline replication below.

    On the next page click Next.

  16. On the Summary page, review settings, and then click Create Group.

    DPM performs the initial replication in accordance with your settings. The protection group status is displayed on the Status page. After initial replication completes successfully an OK status will be shown.

  17. After the protection group is created and the initial replication is complete, you can review settings and status as follows:

    1. In the protection group, you can verify that status is green for the protection group, and that Online Protection is set to Enabled. You can also review retention and scheduling settings for the online backup.

    2. On the Monitoring tab, you can select All Jobs in Progress to view the backup type as Online recovery point.

  1. In the DPM console, select the protection group containing the computers you want to back up to Azure. Note that you can only use this type of backup for protection groups that are protected on disk.

  2. On the tool ribbon, click Add Online Protection, and complete the Modify Protection Group Wizard. Note that you can only configure offline replication for a new protection group. You can’t configure this option for a protection group after it’s created.

The process for setting up offline replication is as follows:

  1. Configure the protection group—Set up offline replication in the protection group by setting parameters on the Choose Online Replication page:

    • Staging location—Specify the location to which the initial replication file will be saved after you finish creating or modifying a protection group. The location can be on the local DPM server or on a network share.

    • Azure Publish Settings file—This is an XML file which contains information about all your subscription profile. Get information about how to download this file from How to: Download and Import Publish Settings and Subscription Information. The file will be downloaded in the format: <Subscription_Name>-<Download_Date>-credentials.publishsettings

    • Azure import job name—As part of of the replication process you download the Azure Import tool and then copy the backup data from the share on which you saved it to disk using the tool. Define a name for the import job that runs to copy that data. This is required for reference during shipping.

    • Azure subscription ID—Specify the subscription ID under which the import job will run.

    • Azure storage account—specify the account in which you’re going to store the replicated data in Azure using the Azure Import job.

    • Azure storage container—Specify the name of the Azure blob storage on which the replicated data should be stored using the Azure Import job. Azure Backup moves the data from this storage container to Azure Backup storage after the Azure Import job succeeds.

  2. On the Monitoring tab a job is created to copy the data to the staging location.

  3. Obtain the tool—Download the Azure Import tool.

  4. Run the Azure Import tool—Run the tool to copy your data to the hard drives you want to ship. The tool generates a drive journal file for each drive as it is prepared. The drive journal file is stored on your local computer, not on the drive itself. You'll upload the journal file when you create the import job. A drive journal file includes the drive ID and the BitLocker key, as well as other information about the drive. You can track the copy job on the Monitoring tab. Important: Make sure that you ship the data to pageblob.

    Here’s an example:

    PS D:\OfflineBackup\WAImportExport> .\WAImportExport.exe PrepImport /j:offline_import2_journal.jrn /id:offline_import2_s
    ession1 /sk:cFNMbhkTF1EkHEqPCX87b1n9QraT8ircWKQAUvx2OQ99fupjGhWRivtxEY4yxpbqPr9EEsk/p8coekFBxZFEOA== /BlobType:PageBlob
    /t:J /format /encrypt /srcdir:C:\Users\texas\Desktop\StaginLocation /dstdir:offlineblobs/
  5. Create an Import Job—You run the job to notify the Azure Import service that you’ll be shipping one or more hard drives that contain data to an Azure datacenter:

    1. Navigate to the Dashboard for your storage account in the Azure Management portal . Click Create an Import Job.

      1. On the Before you ship page, check to indicate you’ve prepare your hard drive and that you have access to the drive journal files. Then complete the wizard.

      2. In Contact details specify the details for the person responsible for the import job. You can also choose to save verbose log data for the job.

      3. In Drive journal files upload the drive journal files you obtained when you prepared the drive. You’ll need to upload one file for each drive you’ve prepared.

      4. In Next steps specify a job name and selected the datacenter region associated with your subscription. The address for sending the disk appears automatically.

      5. In Shipping details select your return carrier, and enter your carrier account number. Microsoft will use this account to ship your drives back to you after import is complete. If you have a tracking number select the delivery carrier and enter it. Otherwise you can select to send the tracking number later.

        If you want to enter your tracking information later you go to the Import/Export page for your storage account in the Azure Management Portal. Select the job from the list and choose Shipping info. Input the information is Step 2 of the wizard. If your job is in a Creating, Shipping, or Transferring state you can also update the carrier account information. You can’t do this once your job is in a Packaging state.

      After you complete the wizard you can view the import job in DPM Monitoring. It will show the data

    2. Ship the drive—You ship the drive to the datacenter address that was provided in the wizard. See the Shipping FAQ in the Import/Export service documentation for more details.

    3. Track status—You track your import status in the Azure Management portal on the Import/Export tab of your storage account. Status can be as follows:


      Job stats Description


      Job created but shipping information not yet provided

      At this stage you can cancel the job


      Job create and shipping information provided

      At this stage you can cancel the hob


      Data being transferred from hard drive


      Data transfer complete. Hard drive being prepared for shipping back to you


      Hard drive shipped to you

      You can view status for completed jobs for up to 90 days

After you ship the disk and see that the initial replication of data has been completed in the Azure Backup vault by the Azure team, you can then wait for the first incremental backup in line with your backup schedule, or you can run an on-demand backup. After the incremental backup runs successfully you can delete the data from the Azure storage account, and from the staging location. When you receive the hard disk back from Azure you can format it as required.

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