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CDP to take center stage at Storage Decisions

CDP products will dominate Storage Decisions this week, but there's plenty more on offer, too. For the lowdown on what's hot, check out this guide.

At Storage Decisions in New York City this week, Microsoft will announce the general availability of its long-awaited Data Protection Manager (DPM) -- a disk-based backup product that runs on Windows Server 2003 and allows administrators to take multiple snapshots a day of Windows file servers.

Analysts categorize DPM as "near-continuous" rather than true CDP and expect it will most likely find a home among smaller Windows shops looking to improve on the time-consuming task of recovering data from tape. It will be priced at $950, which includes one DPM server license and the ability to take snaps of three file servers.

Microsoft's DPM partners include Hewlett Packard Co., Dell Inc., Intel Corp., Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Computer Associates International Inc., CommVault Systems Inc. and EqualLogic Inc. Quantum Corp. is also expected to announce an appliance based on DPM.

Meanwhile, Symantec Corp. is set to unveil general availability of its CDP product, code-named Panther; IBM recently announced Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files and Network Appliance Inc. acquired Alacritus. A product based on its Chronospan CDP technology is expected soon.

Back in Hopkinton, Mass., EMC Corp. is working with CDP startup Mendocino Software Inc. to deliver a product in the fourth quarter of this year. Mendocino will unveil its RecoveryOne software at Storage Decisions but is keeping quiet on its partnership with big E.

Mendocino officials tout the "event addressable" data protection capabilities of its product over other products in the market that focus more on time-based recovery. In other words, a company's fourth quarter results could be time-stamped and found instantly, instead of the user having to know when this event occurred in order to recover the data.

CDP startup, Revivio Inc., will take the wraps off its entry-level product, dubbed CPS 1200i. It starts at $50,000 and can provide any-point-in-time recovery at two or more geographic locations, the company claims. Both these startups' products protect file and block-level data -- a key difference between their technology and Microsoft DPM.

Asempra Technologies will be announcing a CDP appliance, called the Business Continuity Server. The system is comprised of three 1U server boxes that sit between the LAN and the SAN. Software agents on each application communicate with the device's software, which backs up the data through the server to secondary storage. The box is "transaction-aware" -- that is, it backs up only changed data at the file, rather than the block, level. When doing restores, the box can pull data on an "on-demand" basis -- restoring it according to what users try to access, without having to restore the entire application.

In other news…

Cisco Systems Inc. will unveil the fruits of its TopSpin acquisition. Without giving too much away, the InfiniBand switch startup's software now supports all Cisco gear, including Catalyst and MDS switches, and firewalls. For company's looking to build server fabrics this means you can provision any server, regardless of the OS, from the network -- giving it the appropriate storage, I/O and security features it needs.

EMC is expected to announce an Exchange administration package for the small to mid-sized business market and watch out for the first shipping SAS-based storage arrays from InforTrend Inc.

Stay with for complete coverage of the show.

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