Tech Report: CDP

Mark Lewis

Each month storage analyst Jerome Wendt's "Tech Report" takes a new look at a technology you may want to consider implementing. Last month Jerome looked at virtual tape libraries. This month, he dives

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into continuous data protection (CDP).

"CDP is like a continual rolling database of every single change made to the system it monitors, keeping a time-stamped record of all I/O. "It's really pretty clever," notes Stephen Foskett, director of strategy services at GlassHouse Technologies. "It gives a level of protection you wouldn't get out of a conventional backup product." And it also promises near instantaneous recovery of data, pulled from just about any moment in time -- something traditional recovery methods cannot do.

While CDP may sound conspiciously like snapshot technology, it's not says Jerome Wendt.

"CDP products differ from point-in-time snapshots in two key ways. First, data changes are recorded continually, as opposed to halting an application's I/O activity to create the data snap. And second, data changes are stored incrementally rather than storing numerous data images. A growing number of products also provide the ability to: Recover from any previous point in the past, rather than certain fixed points and create a central data store that multiple servers can use for backup and recovery."

CDP is mostly being championed by startups such as Revivio, Mendocino Software, Alacritus and XOsoft. You can bet if the CDP benefits discussed in this tech report are accurate the big players will be stepping in.

   Webcast: The road to instant recovery
   Storage magazine extra: Nonstop data protection
   Additional information on CDP

Webcast: Users face a myriad of problems trying to restore data quickly with traditional backup and snapshot approaches. Tape is too slow and snapshots are both too difficult to manage and too expensive to implement to satisfy the requirements for many applications. But a new generation of Continuous Data Protection (CDP) products promise to help users solve these problems by using host and network based designs that are relatively straightforward to implement and won't break the bank. Check out how new CDP products offer administrators new ways to move data offsite asynchronously for DR purposes and recover data onsite nearly instantaneously.

Click here for the original tech report from Storage magazine. This article also includes a downloadable chart of all the CDP products and their specs.

For more information about CDP, take a look at these resources:

  • Next generation backup: Continuous Data Protection
  • Continuous backup gains traction
  • Hot technologies to keep your eye on
  • Going back in time to save your data
  • Webcast: Continuous backup
  • Mirroring data from a file server to an external disk
  • The joy of data replication

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