More Than Just Backup


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CDP integration
CDP is also emerging as a must-have feature in an integrated data protection suite. CommVault is the furthest along in its integration of Continuous Data Replicator (CDR) and Galaxy Backup & Recovery software, as these two products share CommVault's CTE for storing meta data. However, CDR performs only near-CDP as it takes application-consistent snapshots of the data at regular, frequent intervals as opposed to journaling all of the changes to the data.

EMC NetWorker 7.4 and Symantec Veritas NetBackup 6.5 now include updates to their backup agents to support their respective RecoverPoint and Continuous Data Protection/Replication (CDP/R) Fibre Channel (FC) SAN-based CDP software. For instance, Symantec's CDP/R host agent uses the Veritas NetBackup 6.5 client's ability to quiesce databases so it can insert a marker into the CDP/R journal during these pauses to create consistent recovery points. EMC NetWorker offers a PowerSnap module for RecoverPoint that tracks all of the CDP snapshots in its catalog so users have a centralized view of their recovery points.

Encrypting data sent offsite also remains at the top of users' priority lists. While all backup software can encrypt data at the client level, it's now possible to offload encryption from the client and manage it elsewhere in the backup process.

Veritas NetBackup 6.5's new Media Server Encryption

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Option (MSEO) can encrypt data on the media server. Data is first backed up to disk and then encrypted by the media server when it's moved from disk to tape. This technique offloads the performance hit typically associated with encryption from the client to the media server; copying from disk to tape normally occurs during off-hours when the media server is idle.

EMC has no short-term plans to introduce media server encryption in NetWorker. Rob Emsley, senior director of software product marketing, says customers prefer to put encryption outside of the domain of backup software, and that encryption is better suited to be handled by a dedicated appliance or FC switch.

CA ARCserve added support for offloading encryption to its media servers in its r12 release. CA ARCserve passes user-generated keys or keys supplied by an external key manager to the LTO-4 tape drive, which it uses to encrypt the data. Although ARCserve currently supports only LTO-4 tape drives, CA says it's technically possible to extend this support to other tape devices.

Click here for a comparision chart of
Data protection software suites (PDF).

This was first published in February 2008

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