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System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) is an established backup product for protecting Microsoft on-premise workloads. As our customers move some or all of their infrastructure to Azure, a key ask is the ability to back up workloads now running in Azure. In order to cater to this need, we now support DPM running in an Azure IaaS VM, to protect Azure IaaS workloads.

Supported deployment

Figure 1: Supported deployment of DPM in Azure for workload protection

Supported deployment of DPM in Azure for workload protection Supported deployment of DPM in Azure for workload protection

The supported configuration is illustrated in the above diagram. The DPM installation prerequisites remain the same, as described in the TechNet documentation.

  • DPM is supported on any Azure IaaS virtual machine that is size A2 or higher.
  • DPM can protect workloads that run across multiple Azure cloud services that have the same Azure virtual network and Azure subscription.
  • The number of disks that can be used for the target storage (DPM storage pool) is limited by the size of the virtual machine (maximum of 16). For more information about size limits, see Azure Virtual Machines.

Recommendations for setting up DPM as an Azure virtual machine

  1. Create an instance in the Standard compute tier because the maximum IOPS per attached disk is higher in the Standard tier than in the Basic tier.
  2. Use a separate storage account for the DPM virtual machine, because there are size and IOPS limits on a storage account that might impact the performance of the DPM virtual machine if shared with other running virtual machines.
  3. The DPM virtual machine should have network connectivity to the Active Directory domain controller and the protected workloads. Additionally the DPM virtual machine and the protected workload should be on the same or trusted domain for trusted communication with the domain controller.
  4. The following table summarizes the maximum number of protected workloads for each DPM virtual machine size. The information is based on internal performance and scale tests with canonical values for the workload size and churn. The actual workload size can be larger but should be accommodated by the disks attached to the DPM virtual machine.

    DPM VM size

    Max. number of protected workloads

    Avg. workload size

    Avg. workload churn

    Sample workload



    100 GB

    Net 5% churn daily

    SQL, File server



    150 GB

    Net 10% churn daily

    SQL, File server



    200 GB

    Net 15% churn daily

    SQL, File server

  5. Retain data for one day on DPM-attached storage, and store data older than one day in the Azure Backup service. The goal is to protect a larger amount of data or have a longer retention range. Offloading backup data from DPM to Azure Backup provides retention flexibility without the need to scale the storage attached to the DPM server.

Protecting workloads

Use the console in the DPM virtual machine to perform all the standard backup operations like installing the DPM agent, setting up the protection group, recovering data, and monitoring backup and recovery jobs. DPM running as an Azure virtual machine also works seamlessly with the Azure Backup service to protect certain supported workloads. See the documentation on TechNet for more information.

Supported workloads

Only a subset of the workloads supported by DPM on-premise are supported for protection in an Azure deployment. The table below summarizes the backup support for Azure-supported workloads. Workloads that are not supported in Azure are not included in the table.

DPM 2012 R2 DPM 2012 with SP1 DPM 2012 Protection and Recovery
Windows Server 2012 R2 – Datacenter and Standard Y N N Volumes, Files, Folders
Windows Server 2012 – Datacenter and Standard Y Y N Volumes, Files, Folders
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 – Standard and Enterprise Y Y Y Volumes, Files, Folders
SQL Server – 2012, 2008 R2, 2008 Y Y Y SQL Server Database
SharePoint – 2013, 2010 Y Y Y Farm, Database, Frontend web server content


Key Takeaways

  1. DPM can now run as an Azure IaaS virtual machine
  2. Customers can protect workloads running in Azure IaaS virtual machines using DPM

To learn more, check out the DPM blog or click on the relevant links below to get started and do send us your comments and feedback!

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