Feature

Second-generation CDP

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Some customers have been using CDP for operational reasons. "Although the primary reason for deploying InMage DR-Scout was disaster recovery, it's a great tool for cloning production instances for testing of patches and other changes prior to production migration," says Matt Reynolds, CIO at the San Francisco law firm of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin.

Besides continuous protection of files, CDP can protect a few critical apps. Almost all CDP products protect Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server, but the level of recoverability varies. While some products can only recover complete Exchange storage groups and databases, others can recover single mailboxes and even single mail objects.

"Besides being able to reduce the dependency on tapes for backup and recovery, the ability to provide low-cost local disaster recovery of our Exchange servers and the ability to restore single mailboxes were the main reasons for deploying Asempra Business Continuity Server," says Derek Kruger, IT and communications supervisor for the city of Safford, AZ.

Application support beyond Exchange and SQL Server is sparser and varies by CDP vendor. Oracle databases, IBM DB2, MySQL, Active Directory and Windows SharePoint Services are among the apps supported by some vendors. The list of supported apps proves that Windows is currently the widest supported platform for CDP.

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While all CDP vendors support Windows, support for Unix derivatives is mostly present in higher end CDP solutions like EMC RecoverPoint, InMage DR-Scout and Symantec Veritas NetBackup RealTime Protection.

Despite implementation differences (see "CDP product sampler," below), CDP products are architected in a similar fashion and consist of two primary components: A mechanism to capture data changes of protected systems, and a CDP repository where these changes are stored.

Click here for a sample of
CDP products (PDF).


This was first published in October 2008

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