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Microsoft DPM

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This guide shows how you can use external hard disk drives and network shares with Microsoft DPM 2007. The following backup configuration will be used:

  • Backup frequency: Weekly.
  • Backup storage: Two external 150 GB HDDs (Drive1 and Drive2) and two 150 GB network shares (Nas1 and Nas2). It is assumed that all weekly backups do not exceed 140 GB in total.
  • Storage rotation: Every Monday (1st week: Drive1, 2nd week: Nas1, 3rd week: Drive2, 4th week: Nas2, 5th week: Drive1, 6th week: Nas1, and so on).
  • Tape retention: 3 weeks. Note that even though there are four storage devices covering four weeks in total, we made the tape retention period less than four weeks to ensure that tapes on a storage device expire before they need to be reused.

The above configuration is for demonstration purposes only. You will probably want to use only one type of media (either HDD or NAS) with your own tape rotation and retention schedule.


  • Please familiarize yourself with the basic concepts before you continue.
  • We recommend that you use external HDDs with Microsoft DPM in the file media mode which allows multiple virtual tapes per HDD.
  • Due to Microsoft DPM’s limitations, using external HDDs in the drive media mode (i.e. one virtual tape per HDD) is only feasible if you plan to have at least five external HDDs available to Microsoft DPM at any given time. Do not attempt to use a single HDD as a drive medium with Microsoft DPM because you will have trouble adding several backups to the same tape.
  • DPM requires you to unlock the library door before and lock it after you loaded media into a library. If these operations are not performed, DPM may not detect the media change properly.
  • We recommend that you back up the DPM database before installing Firestreamer and before changing the number of Firestreamer libraries, tapes drives and/or storage slots.

Initial Set-up

  1. Install Microsoft DPM 2007.
  2. Install Microsoft DPM 2007 Service Pack 1.
  3. Install the most recent hotfix rollup package for Microsoft DPM (for example, KB970867).
  4. Install Microsoft DPM protection agents as needed.
  5. Back up the DPM database (see Backup of DPM Servers).
  6. Install Firestreamer.
  7. In DPM Administrator Console, click Management, click Libraries, and then click Rescan.
  8. Verify that Firestreamer is listed as a tape library with five tape drives and 200 slots.
  9. Configure the bar code prefix that will be used for virtual tapes. Choose a short (up to 15 characters) name that uniquely identifies your particular installation of Firestreamer.

Configuring Protection Groups

In DPM Administrator Console, create protection groups as needed with the following settings:

  • Either select I want short-term protection using Disk or disable short-term protection altogether. Note that you can, of course, use short-term protection with tape, and you can enable this setting later when you get familiar with Firestreamer.
  • Select I want long-term protection using tape.
  • Under Long-term recovery goals, select 3 weeks as Retention range, select Weekly as Frequency of backup, and then select Weekly, Sat 11:00pm as Backup schedule.
  • Under Library and tape details, select Firestreamer Media Changer as both Library and Copy library. In the Drives allocated box, enter 1.

Preparing External HDDs

Perform the following steps for Drive1 and Drive2:

  1. In Windows Disk Management, ensure that the drive has a single partition that spans the entire drive, and format the drive with NTFS. This step is particularly important if you previously used the drive as a drive medium with Firestreamer.
  2. In Windows Disk Management, ensure that the drive is optimized for performance.
  3. Right-click the drive in Windows Explorer, click Properties, and then click the Shadow Copies tab. Ensure that the shadow copies are disabled.
  4. Right-click the drive in Windows Explorer, click Properties, and then click the Quota tab. Ensure that the quota management is disabled.
  5. Right-click Recycle Bin on your Desktop, click Properties, and then select the drive in the list. Enter 0 in the Maximum size box, and then select Do not move files to the Recycle Bin. Click OK.
  6. Attach a physical label to the drive, for example, "Drive1" to Drive1, and "Drive2" to Drive2.

Preparing Network Shares

  1. Configure the security context that will be used to access the file media on Nas1 and Nas2.
  2. If the Nas1 and Nas2 network shares are located on network attached storage (NAS) devices that you plan to swap, attach physical labels to the devices, for example, "NAS1" to Nas1, and "NAS2" to Nas2.

Creating File Media

  1. Connect Drive1 to your computer.
  2. Calculate the number of tapes to create on Drive1 using the following formula: T=(ST-SR), where ST is the number of storage slots in the library (200 in the default configuration), and SR is the number of reserved storage slots which should normally remain free (to allow adding more tapes as needed, for example, to perform a restore operation). In our case, T = (200 - 50) = 150.
  3. Calculate the maximum size of each tape using the following formula: S=(DT-DR)/T, where DT is the amount of available disk space, DR is the amount of reserved disk space, and T is the number of tapes. The space actually available on a file system (DT) may be less than the amount displayed by Windows Explorer because of the space reserved for Recycle Bin, quotas, shadow copies and other system information. You may want to fill up the destination storage to verify the DT value. The amount of the reserved disk space (DR) is usually 5-10% of DT. In our case, M = (150GB - 10%) / 150 = 900MB.
  4. Open the Firestreamer Snap-in.
  5. In the console tree, click Media, click the Action menu, and then click Edit.
  6. Click the Media menu, and then click Create and Add File Media.
  7. In the Number of file media to create box, enter 150.
  8. In the Create in box, enter the name of the root directory of Drive1.
  9. In the Bar code prefix box, enter the drive's label enclosed with underscore characters (_DISK1_).
  10. Click OK twice.
  11. Enter 900 in the Maximum size column of the first row in the media layout. Copy the entered value to the clipboard with Ctrl+C. Click the Maximum size column header to select the entire column. Press Ctrl+V to paste the copied value into all selected cells.
  12. Click the File menu, click Save As, navigate to the drive, and enter the file name of the media map, for example, E:\MediaMap.fsmap. Click Save.
  13. Click Cancel (as opposed to Load Media) to close the Media Layout Editor without loading the created media into the Firestreamer tape library. As a result, Drive1 will contain 150 file media and the corresponding media map.
  14. Connect Drive2 to your computer.
  15. Repeat steps 2-13 for Drive2. For step 8, enter the name of the root directory of Drive2. For step 9, enter the appropriate drive label (_DISK2_). For step 12, save the media layout to Drive2.
  16. Repeat steps 2-13 for Nas1 and Nas2. For step 8, specify the appropriate root directory, for example, \\Nas1\Share\. For step 9, enter the appropriate label, for example, _NAS1_. For step 12, save the media layout to the same network share, for example, \\Nas1\Share\MediaMap.fsmap.

Rotating Media

Every Monday, ensure that the correct storage device is available and that the appropriate media layout is loaded:

  1. In DPM Administrator Console, click Management, and then click Libraries.
  2. Click Library: Firestreamer Media Changer, click Unlock library door, click Yes, and then click OK.
  3. Open the Firestreamer Snap-in.
  4. In the console tree, click Media, click the Action menu, click Unload All, and then click Yes.
  5. If there was an external HDD connected to the computer, perform the standard safe removal procedure, and then disconnect the drive.
  6. Connect the appropriate storage device according to the media rotation schedule, for example, Disk1.
  7. In the Firestreamer Snap-in, click Media, click the Action menu, click Load From File, navigate to Disk1, select MediaMap.fsmap, click Open, and then click Yes. As a result, the saved media layout will be loaded.
  8. In DPM Administrator Console, click Management, and then click Libraries.
  9. Click Library: Firestreamer Media Changer, click Lock library door, and then click OK.
  10. DPM should automatically perform inventory of the library and detect the newly loaded 150 tapes. If the tapes are not displayed, click Inventory library.

Performing a Test Backup

  1. Ensure that a storage device is available by following the instructions in the Rotating Media section above.
  2. In DPM Administrator Console, click Protection, select a protection group, click Create recovery point - Tape, click OK, and then click Close. Note that DPM may display the number of available tapes as 0 (it happens for the media that have not been used by DPM before). It is not a problem because DPM uses blank tapes as needed automatically.
  3. Repeat step 2 for other protection groups.
  4. Wait for the backup jobs to complete.
  5. Verify that the backup jobs were successful.
  6. You may also want to check the status of the virtual tapes in DPM.


If you are having troubles with Firestreamer, follow the troubleshooting guidelines. Note that it is important to check the Activity view of the Firestreamer Snap-in for any errors or warnings first.

See Also

  • FAQs - Microsoft DPM
  • For more information on using Microsoft DPM with tape libraries, please refer to DPM documentation.


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