Two of the System Center products that are generally available have unusual licensing. System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 is one of those 2 unusual ones.
Typically for an installation you will buy:
- A server license: For example System Center Operations Manager, optionally with SQL Server – and don’t forget the Windows to run it on.
- Management licenses: for each machine that will be managed by the management server(s)
DPM 2010 doesn’t follow that model. Instead, you actually the the DPM server license free if you buy one or more management licenses.
Note that you still have to buy the Windows Server license that the DPM server will be installed on. You also must buy a copy of SQL Server 2008 Standard/Enterprise/Datacenter (and install SP1).
“For the DPM database, DPM 2010 requires a dedicated instance of the 64-bit or 32-bit version of SQL Server 2008, Enterprise or Standard Edition, with Service Pack 1 (SP1). During setup, you can select either to have DPM Setup install SQL Server 2008 SP1 on the DPM server, or you can specify that DPM use a remote instance of SQL Server.
If you decide to have DPM Setup install SQL Server 2008 SP1 on the DPM server, you are not required to provide a SQL Server 2008 license. But, if you decide to preinstall SQL Server 2008 on a remote computer or on the same computer where DPM 2010 will be installed, you must provide a SQL Server 2008 product key. You can preinstall SQL Server 2008 Standard or Enterprise Edition”.
DPM 2010 comes with a copy of SQL that doesn’t have a product key. If you install this SQL you can put in a purchased product key, or you can leave it blank to use the evaluation license which will expire.
“If you do not have a licensed version of SQL Server 2008, you can install an evaluation version from the DPM 2010 DVD. To install the evaluation version, do not provide the product key when you are prompted by DPM Setup. However, you must buy a license for SQL Server if you want to continue to use it after the evaluation period”.
There are a bunch of ways to purchase management licenses (agents) for DPM:
- System Center Server Management Suite Standard: For bulk managing a server with more than one System System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise: For a small virtualisation host (max 4 VMs)
- System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter: For a virtualisation host with more than 4 VMs max
- System Center Client Management Suite: for bulk management of PCs
- System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 Standard: For a server with basic backup (more later on this)
- System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 Enterprise: For a server with advanced backup (more later on this)
- System Center Data Protection Manager 2010 client management licenses: For backing up a PC
Most backup products have complex agent licensing:
- Basic backup agent
- Open file backup
- SQL backup
- Exchange backup
- Direct to disk backup … and so on
DPM is much simpler in comparison. There are two basic levels of agent for backing up a server: Standard and Advanced. The following table describes how to choose between them:
Functionality or Workload
Required Server Management Licenses
Basic file backup and recovery management by instances of the server software of:
In other words, a Standard management license is required to do basic file backup.
Backup and recovery, including basic file backup and recovery, by instances of the server software of:
In other words, an Enterprise management license is required to backup system state and application workloads.
You can read more about this and licensing for all of the Microsoft products in the Product Usage Rights (PUR) document. Note that this stuff changes from time to time and the PUR is the only official source.
So lets look at 2 examples:
I want to back up the following:
- Files only from a file server
- SQL database server
- Domain controller and System State
I would need to buy a server to install DPM on. This will require SQL Server Standard (or higher) and a copy of Windows Server.
For the file server (files only) backup I can get 1 Standard DPM ML (management license). For the other 2 machines, I will need 1 Enterprise DPM ML each. Buying DPM MLs entitles me to a DPM server license. I can even do DPM2DPM4DR replication to a DPM server in another site and get a free DPM server license for that too.
I have a virtualisation cluster (Hyper-V/VMware/Xen) with 30 VMs. There are 2 hosts, each has 2 CPUs. I can buy 30 DPM MLs … but if my reseller is doing their homework (like we do!) we’ll have noticed that buying the System Center Management Suite Datacenter edition (1 per CPU, minimum 2 per host) might work out cheaper. As a customer, I get management licenses for all System Center products for my hosts and all current and future VMs on the hosts … and for less than just buying backup licenses. If I’m a consulting company selling the solution, I know that there’s more work and solutions in that licensing that I can provide to my customer at a later point.
And once again, we’ll need a DPM server … buy the hardware, buy/put Windows Server and SQL Server on it, and install the free DPM server license.