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Trouble Spots

Trouble Spots

Although System Center Data Protection Manager is probably the simplest server product that Microsoft currently sells, Exam 70-658 is surprisingly difficult to pass. The thing that makes this exam so difficult is that the exam assumes that you have a basic working knowledge of several other Microsoft server products, particularly with regard to disaster recovery techniques. In order to pass this exam, you need to know how to backup and recover Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Hyper-V, and Data Protection Manager 2007.

On the surface it might appear that you can back up a resource by selecting the appropriate check box within the list of resources that can be backed up. However, there is often much more to the process than meets the eye. For example, if you are going to be backing up an Exchange Server then Microsoft recommends copying the ESE.DLL and the ESEUTIL.EXE files from your Exchange Server’s C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Bin folder to the Data Protection Manager’s C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\BIN folder. This is necessary in order for the Data Protection Manager to put the backups into a consistent state. If you fail to do so, then the consistency check will occur directly on the Exchange Server, which tends to be problematic (and violates Microsoft’s best practices) because the process is so resource intensive.

The point is that in order to answer questions about backing up Exchange Server, you need to know the names of the files that must be copied to the Data Protection Manager server, as well as the source and destination paths. You must also know that you have to recopy these files every time that you update Exchange Server with a new service pack. Finally, you need to know that Data Protection Manager protects Exchange at the storage group level, but supports granular restorations.

These are just a few of the things that you have to know about Exchange Server in order to pass this exam. When you consider that you will need a similar degree of knowledge about other Microsoft Server products, you can begin to understand why this exam is so difficult.

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