Option not available to re-protect VMWare VM on a new DPM/MABS server

S’applique à : System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection ManagerSystem Center Data Protection Manager, version 1801


When you are using Data Protection Manager (DPM) or Microsoft Azure Backup Server (MABS) to protect VMWare VMs, there may be a need to move protection of a VMWare VM from one DPM/MABS server to another. After you stop protection, you try to add VMWare VMs to a different DPM/MAB Server, but no check box is available to enable this option. In addition, you may see the following "tool tip" message:

This item is already protected by DPM Server: <DPMServerName>


VCenter has a custom attribute called DPMServer that is used to specify the name of the DPM/MABS server that's currently protecting that VM. This prevents other DPM/MABS Servers from protecting the already-protected VM. The VMWare VM’s DPMServer attribute contains the original DPM/MABS server name.


To remove the old DPM/MABS server name from the VM’s DPMServer attribute, use one of the following methods.

Using VMware vCenter console

  1. Open VMware vCenter (SC-VMM equivalent) and locate the VM that you want to re-protect.
  2. Select the Summary tab, and then click the edit link in the "Annotations” section.
  3. In the Edit Annotations dialog box, locate the attribute DPMServer. Move your cursor over the value to display the FQDN of the DPM server that owns protection of the VM.
  1. Clear the server name from the Value to allow another DPM Server to provide protection. Do not remove the entire attribute, or all scale-out tracking will be lost.

    To clear the value, click in the Value box that contains the DPM Server name and remove the entry, leaving the box empty. Now, another DPM server can protect that VM. And when it does, the relevant FQDN name will be entered in that box.
  1. On the new DPM/MABS server modify or make a new Protection Group. Use the Refresh button to enumerate the VMs. A check box should be availablet to add the VM of interest to protection.
  2. Add the VM to protection and validate that Initial Replica job starts are moving data.

    Note Modifications of custom attributes on vCenter are not immediately committed in vCenter. A new backup or consistency check must be run against any guest that's under protection to commit attribute changes.
  3. On the VCenter server, refresh the VM to show the new custom attributes. They should show the new DPM/MABS server name.

The following example shows the properties of a virtual machine called ir-dr-cc-1disk . The DPMserver attribute shows the name of the current DPM server owner.

Using VMware vCenter console

Using Vmware PowerCli

Use one the following VMware cmdlets to overcome the issue via VMwares’ PowerCLI. 

  • Reset the value on single object (folder) 

    Connect-VIServer -Server -Protocol https -User admin -Password pass

    $f = Get-Folder –Name “Folder_name

    Set-Annotation –Entity $f –CustomAttribute “DPMServer” –Value “”

  • Reset the value on single object (VM)

    Connect-VIServer -Server -Protocol https -User admin -Password pass

    $f = Get-VM –Name “VM_Name

    Set-Annotation –Entity $f –CustomAttribute “DPMServer” –Value “”