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Big three apps adjust to disk-based backup

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CDP and virtualization
CDP and network-based virtualization technologies provide specific benefits that array- and host-based options don't. EMC's RecoverPoint CDP product is based on Mendocino Software's technology and enables users to recover a server to any point in time. Unlike snapshots, users can pick any previous point in time, down to the second, for their recovery point.

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Backup software:
Core features
Click here for a comprehensive list of core features for backup software (PDF).

EMC's forthcoming NetWorker PowerSnap module for RecoverPoint will integrate with EMC's RecoverPoint technology and give users a central management interface to manage regular backups and RecoverPoint images. Even though the ability to create application-consistent views for instantly recoverable databases at user-defined points in time is already available in RecoverPoint, this new module lets administrators manage these images and backups under the same interface with the same user logins.

TSM and NetBackup allow end users to capture desktop and laptop data, with TSM also extending its support to the server level. Tivoli's Continuous Data Protection for Files and Symantec's NetBackup Desktop and Laptop Option use agents that create an initial image of the data on each PC. Copied writes are then sent immediately to the central NetBackup or TSM server. If the network connection to the server, desktop or laptop is offline, the writes are held in cache and then sent when a network connection is established.

Backup software:
Disk backup options
Click here for a comprehensive list of disk backup options (PDF).

However, CDP backup technologies create some issues. Because each write I/O must be copied, server performance could be affected. Secondly, CDP products don't by default create application-consistent images for databases, so administrators must make sure checkpoints are taken from time to time to ensure application-consistent images. And vendors are just beginning to integrate CDP into their main backup software management console; until the integration is complete, you must manage CDP through a separate interface and perhaps pay a separate licensing fee.

IBM's SVC, its network-based virtualization appliance, gives users another way to support a multivendor storage environment with only one snapshot technology. Snapshot modules from NetBackup and TSM can be used with IBM's SVC. It works in the same way that array-based integration works except that SVC supports different vendors' storage arrays on the back end, eliminating the need to buy all storage from one vendor to gain snapshot functionality. This gives you the flexibility to deploy any vendor's storage array to host snapshots. While the initial setup and configuration process for EMC's RecoverPoint and IBM's SVC appliances can be labor intensive, once the initial setup is completed and documented, the configurations on the initial host can be replicated more easily to other hosts in the storage environment.

This was first published in April 2006

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