Migrating DPM data from one data storage to another data storage

Recently I’ve been involved in a project to help a customer to setup DPM 2012 R2 to backup VMware environment. Yes you heard it correct DPM 2012 R2 with UR11 support VMware backup. You can read more about it here. In our initial pilot stage we used DAS storage on the DPM server itself for test backup.  Once we verify local backup and Azure backup (replicating local backup copy to Azure) successful we wanted bring a SAN storage for the DPM server. My only challenge has been how to move the existing pilot backup to new storage introduced in the DPM server since we’ve been backing up production workload and I didn’t want to re-do that job again. Prior to that let’s find out my current protection group setup for a while,


As you can see it’s simple PG (Protection Group) protecting two SAP VM’s. Now let’s jump into the disk group structure from Disk management perspective. There are two DAS disks being utilized for the data backup, same time you can see I have introduced 3 disks connected via SAN for the DPM server.


Another view from the DPM point go view,


Challenge is to migrate the data from Disk1 and Disk2 to Disk3 without modifying the Protection group settings. For this you can use the DPM PS MigrateDatasourceDataFromDPM.ps. But first let’s try to identify the disk structure from PS console,

Get-DPMDisk -DPMServerName <DPM Server Name>) to display the disks.


As you can see in the above picture Disk1 and Disk2 is occupied for holding the Data. The trick is to identify the correct disk number and not to get deviated by NtDiskId. Once identified you can use following command with parameters to transfer the data,

./MigrateDatasourceDataFromDPM.ps1 -DPMServerName <DPM Server Name> -Source $disk[n] -Destination $disk[n]

Disk [n] has to be replaced by exact disk number. Once you define and executed the command DPM will start migrating data from existing disk the targeted disk. This may take some time based on the amount of disk storage.


Now you’ll notice in Disk Management the DPM replica and recovery point volume information which is location on Disk 1 and Disk 2 has been migrated to Disk 3. Any new recovery points for the respective data source will now be located on the new volumes on the new disk, the original volume data on Disk 1 and Disk 2 will still need to be maintained until the recovery point on them expire. Once all recovery points expire on the old disk(s), they will appear as all unallocated free space in disk management. After that we can safely remove them from the DPM storage pool.

Note: Once this task completed you may get replica inconsistent error messages. This is normal and is expected as there has been changes made to the volume and will need to be re-synchronized by running a synchronization job with consistency.


In the next article let me explain how can we use Azure import/ export Azure backup workload.

PS: If you don’t want to play around with PS that much and comfortable with GUI method then you’re in luck. Refer to this link where one MVP have written a PS script to do this job in GUI level.

System Center 2012 R2 DPM supported in an Azure Virtual Machine

DPM team recentely announced they’re supporting DPM running as a VM in the Azure Cloud. This means now you can protect your Azure workload within the Azure premise by locating DPM server in the cloud. With this option you’re getting more retention time period as well. This also means whoever having System Center license now they can use that and setup DPM in Azure Smile

Note from the DPM team released few weeks back,

We are pleased to announce that System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) is now supported to run in Azure as an IaaS virtual machine. This announcement allows customers to deploy DPM for protection of supported workloads running in a Azure IaaS virtual machines. Customers with a System Center license can now protect workloads in Azure. Read more about it on the DPM blog.”

One of the question remains I the VM sizing for the DPM server in Azure. In my opinion it’s better to start with minimum 2 VCPU and 3.5 GB one and then keep on increasing the size of the VM based on the requirements.

If you’re having a Azure trial account this is another feature you should go ahead and give a try. Before starting setting up spend little bit time reading the blog post released by the DPM team and also refer to the FAQ.

Reported problems after installing Update Rollup 2 for DPM 2012 R2

Soon after releasing the Update Rollup 2 for System Center 2012 r2 products numerous threads start in technical forums issues related with DPM 2012 R2. Most of them are related to Tape backup & recovery.

Below thread discuss such issue scenario,


Good news is Microsoft DPM team acknowledge the issue nd quickly withdraw the update from the web site,


Recovering from the issue is quite complex and need Microsoft support in certain cases. This also remind us the thumb rule of not applying latest updates to production environment without proper study. It’s always ideal to test them in staging environment.

DPM 2012 fails to backup SQL 2012 database

I was planning to protect remote SQL 2012 server from DPM 2012 server and encountered the below mention error,

SQL error

The suggestion is to add “‘NT Service\DPMRA\ to the sysadmin role on the SQL Server instance.” The problem is I don’t have an ‘NT Service\DPMRA’ user in Windows or SQL on that remote SQL server when tried to add. To make the story short all you have to do is in the remote SQL server do as follows,

  1. In SQL Management Studio, connect to the SQL 2012 Server and then expand Security.
  2. Expand Logins and right click on NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM and select Properties.
  3. Click Server Roles, check sysadmin and click OK.



After that run the consistency checkups on the DPM side and you’ll see the problem resolved 🙂

Edit: I found another article stating the same issue with different resolution approach.