* This article was written in the context of System Center Data Protection Manager 2006 (SCDPM), a technology now considered deprecated with the introduction of System Center Data Protection Manager 2007. Variations may exist. *
A proper SharePoint environment should cover all aspects involved in a traditional computing environment, plus more since SharePoint can serve as the basic repository for all of your business information and business processes. One of the most overlooked aspects of a SharePoint environment however is that of disaster recovery and proper data transport planning and storage in case of an emergency, to mitigate several types of data loss risks.
In regards to data storage, there are variety of methods, tactics, and software appliances that network architects typically implement to ensure that their data integrity is sound and that in the rare case of any type of disaster, typical business operations can continue as planned. DPM can either be a new instance of this type of activity, or for an enterprise virgin to DR can be the primary player.
Purpose of DPM
So what is the purpose of DPM? It serves several purposes, integrating with other sister server platforms to encompass what Microsoft calls the Microsoft System Center. Other products that make up this category are Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Microsoft Systems Manager Server (SMS), however are not necessary if you are solely interested in the data backup options of DPM. The main reason that DPM is becoming more commonplace within those environments that leverage SharePoint is because of the disaster recovery options that exist within it, protecting your investment in your collaborations platform and more importantly the data within your SharePoint repositories.
Cost of Ownership
As your SharePoint environment becomes larger and larger, aggregating more and more business information, performing a routine with tape backup can become a costly and arduous issue. The reason to introduce DPM into your SharePoint environment is to take your central data repository, and transport this data to a central host, simplifying what is typically a large headache for systems administrators.
DPM is a way of simplifying things. If you are using SharePoint, then you are familiar with process reengineering to take tasks that were formally larger manual and laborious (i.e. document management and control, creating dashboards, and implementing effective collaboration environments), and moving them to platforms that allow you to automate, and increase the speed of them.