You might have heard that Microsoft is switching to Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) model for Windows Server and System Center. You can read all about it here. In short, this means that every 6 months, Microsoft will release new version with additional features for System Center and Windows Server. You will be able to update your system if you have eligible Software Assurance. These updates will fix issues, but also include new features. But before Microsoft releases the final SAC version, they will publish first a preview version for that specific update.
The first SAC preview version for System Center is 1711 (17=Year 2017 and 11=November), and the first production SAC version for System Center will be called 1801 (18=Year 2018 and 01=January) and so on and so forth. You can find and download all System Center preview 1711 releases from here:
What’s new in System Center Data Protection Manager 1711
First, the installation experience is exactly the same as it is for DPM 2016. There are no changes in DPM 1711. Check the following article for more information about the installation experience:
If we check the feature list and improvements, we will see not so many new features were introduced in this preview release. But the major and the most requested feature by the users includes set of following:
VMware backup with Modern Backup Storage (MBS)
System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager (DPM) came with Modern Backup Storage (MBS), which leads to faster backups, lesser storage consumption and lower TCO. With DPM preview 1711, you can now backup and restore VMware VMs running on vCenter and ESXi servers versions 5.5 and 6.0. You can configure DPM protection for VMware VMs using the user interface or PowerShell cmdlets.
DPM preview 1711 supports the following VMware features:
- Agentless backup: DPM 1711 provides an agent-less VMware VM backup solution – that is, you don’t need to deploy a DPM agent on the vCenter or ESXi server to protect the VMs. Instead, just provide the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN), and login credentials used to authenticate the VMware server with DPM.
- Cloud Integrated Backup: DPM protects workloads to both disk and cloud. DPM’s backup and recovery workflow helps you manage long-term retention and offsite backup.
- Detect and protect VMs managed by vCenter: DPM detects and protects VMs deployed on a VMware server (vCenter or ESXi server). As your VMware deployment size grows, you will use vCenter to manage your VMware environment. DPM also detects VMs managed by vCenter, allowing you to protect large VMware deployments.
- Folder level auto protection: vCenter lets you organize your virtual machines in VM folders. DPM detects these folders and lets you protect VMs at the folder level and includes all sub-folders. When protecting folders, DPM not only protects the VMs in that folder, but also protects VMs added later. DPM detects new VMs on a daily basis and protects them automatically. As you organize your VMs in recursive folders, DPM automatically detects and protects the new VMs deployed in the recursive folders.
- DPM protects VMware VMs stored on a local disk, network file system (NFS), or cluster storage.
- DPM protects VMs migrated for load balancing: As VMs are migrated for load balancing, DPM automatically detects and continues VM protection.
- DPM can recover files/folders from a Windows VM without recovering the entire VM, which is known as Item-Level Recovery (ILR). This helps recover necessary files faster.
Check the following step by step article on How to Configure VMware for DPM Protection with DPM 1711.
Besides VMware backup support, the new features which were introduced recently in DPM 2016 Update Rollup 4 will carry on to DPM 1711.
Check the following article for more details:
This is pretty cool stuff and maybe there is more to come in DPM version 1801. But this article gives you a quick overview of what’s new in DPM preview 1711.
Thanks for reading!