DPM 2012 R2 Reporting Improvements

A while back I released a custom DPM report that could be loaded in SSRS. This report is community based and only offered reporting on one DPM server at a time. It was however an improvement over the out of the box DPM reporting. More about the custom DPM report here: http://www.buchatech.com/2014/04/free-dpm-backup-summary-report/ . Finally Microsoft has taken the step to improve the out of the box reporting within DPM. Hats off to the DPM team for stepping up and taking steps to improve this. Recently at TechEd Europe new DPM reporting was announced. It is not available as of now but is coming soon.

The video covering this can be found here starting at 19:43:

Cloud Integrated Data Protection with System Center Data Protection Manager and Microsoft Azure Backup

http://channel9.msdn.com/events/TechEd/Europe/2014/CDP-B334

In this blog post I will take a look at what is coming. As you can see there is some success SLA reporting, protected data source overview on specific workloads such as Exchange, SharePoint and SQL, duration summary in hours, top backup failure reasons, bandwidth, and transfer data, and even data around deduplication! The new reporting will be surfaced in SCOM. This is what the report will look like.

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With the new reporting you can chose to use what is their out of the box or extend this further without any coding. This reporting framework will cover all of your DPM servers because it is surfaced in SCOM. The new reporting leverages the SCOM management pack and the DPM management pack. All of your DPM servers are aggregated up through SCOM and therefore will show up in reports. Below are two diagrams one that breaks down the new reporting framework and one that covers the new reporting architecture:

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To enable the reporting you will need to first have the two DPM management packs loaded in your SCOM deployment. Your DPM servers need to be discovered. You then will need to add a third DPM reporting management pack. The following screenshot shows the new DPM Reporting management pack for SCOM.

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After the new management pack is loaded the some new DPM views are added within the SCOM DW database as seen in the following screenshot. Note that the new reporting has not been released and therefore we may see more changes to the views. The new report can be accessed and used or you can build your own report based on the views using a tool like report builder.

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The new reporting is estimated to be public in January as a part of the next update rollup. Thanks DPM team for making improvements such as this to DPM. If you have specific requests or feedback about what you want to see in DPM reporting feel free to email me.

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DPM Backup Summary Report

For some time DPM reporting has been an area within DPM that has needed improvement. Since DPM version 2007 the community has asked for improved reporting or an easy way to create custom reports to fit their needs. A quick search will yield many forum threads discussing the need for better reporting in DPM.

Backup administrators need to get detailed reports on Data Protection Manager (DPM) backups. The reports that are included with DPM are not enough and do not contain the data that is often needed for reporting within organizations. Management of IT departments need to know if backup SLA’s are being met and need backup health trend reports. Backup reports and charts need the functionality to be printed, exported and scheduled. DPM already contains some of this functionality through SQL Reporting Services but as aforementioned the out of the box reports do not contain the needed data or charts.

There has been several blogs in the community on how to build your own custom reports for DPM using SQL Report Builder and the DPM SQL views (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff399120.aspx) that are default in the DPM SQL database. See these the following links on creating custom reports for DPM:

http://www.buchatech.com/2011/01/building-custom-reports-in-dpm/

http://blogs.technet.com/b/dpm/archive/2013/01/22/how-to-create-a-custom-report-in-system-center-2012-data-protection-manager.aspx

Even with the ability to create custom DPM reports the need for better reporting within DPM has not gone away. Creating custom reports is not a solution that is viable for all backup administrators out there in the community.

The solution is not viable for several reasons. The DPM SQL views are limited in the data that they allow someone to pull into a report. Therefore the person building the custom reports would need to write SQL queries to pull the data they need. The second reason is that most backup administrators do not have the SQL skills required to go in and build SQL queries. Backup administrators generally do not have the design skillset to build a report with the right charts, graphs and data using tools like SQL Report Builder or Business Intelligence Design Studio (BIDS).

I have teamed up with a buddy of mine that is a business intelligence expert. His name is Brooks Lindall and he is one of the smartest guys I know. A HUGE thanks goes out to him for joining me in trying to solve this problem. Together we created a solution that is the DPM Backup Summary Report. This report was designed with the community in mind. One goal was to make the report portable to any DPM environment so backup administrators could easily drop it in their environment and start reporting on their DPM data right away. With that in mind this report was built in a generic way so that no modifications to SQL are needed when it is installed. We also set out to incorporate as many of the data points that we could that DPM admins in the community have been asking for. We wanted to fit all of the data in a single view. The last goal was to give this report to the community for free.

This report works with DPM 2010 and DPM 2012/R2. For now the report is only for disk and tape based backups. In the future we are looking to extend this in the future to show online (Azure) as well. The features and data points contained in the report are:

  • Ability to select day, week, month (Time range)
  • Ability to select a single server or many
  • Ability to select a single protection group or many
  • Ability to select disk, tape or both backup type
  • Summary of the backup success and failures with a percentage of the successes (Success Rate/SLA)
  • Health trend of backups (day, week, month)
  • Backup detail including:Individual data sources (What was actually backed up)
    •      The status including the error (if there is an error)
    •      Date and time the backup was created
    •      How much data was transferred during the backup
    •      Total time it took to backup to complete

SAMPLE OF REPORT:

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Better Reporting in DPM through Prism

Reporting for DPM has been a problem for many DPM administrators. You need better reporting on scheduled backup jobs, success/failures of backup jobs, details on tape jobs, SLA reports, and more. Your only other option was to create custom reports in DPM using the SQL views that come with DPM. I posted on how to do this a while back here:
http://www.buchatech.com/2011/01/building-custom-reports-in-dpm/.

Working with SQL views is not the easiest way to get custom reports if you are new to or not savvy with SQL Reporting services. Well the alternative to this is Prism.

A company named Bocada has developed a product called Prism that helps you get better reporting out of your backup solutions. They have a flavor for DPM. The nice folks at Bocada gave me a demo of this product live in action. Thanks Ralph!

I am going to give you some more details about Prism for DPM in this post.

There are many pros to Prism and only a couple of cons. One of the cons is that you still cannot bring the custom reports into the DPM console. They are however web based and easy enough to access. 
There still is a slight learning curve to learn how to customize reports.

Prism is a stand alone product that is deployed on a server and accessed via a web browser. It runs on top of IIS and accesses the DPM data directly through the DPM SQL database. Once Prism has collected information about DPM it is able to present the information as reports.

Prism can be setup to gather information from multiple DPM servers for reporting therefore it can be used in enterprises with many DPM servers.

Brocada  teamed up with Microsoft to create two default DPM specific reports in conjunction with reporting DPM related data in Prism. These reports are:

  • Recovery Point Summary
    Recovery Point Summary provides a summary of the number of Non-expired recovery points, Date of the last non-expired recovery point and the average recovery point in Range for all the clients being protected. 

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  • Recovery Point Status
    Recovery Point Status lets you see the various success or failures of your daily recovery points. 

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