B&S Insider Covers CDP

Continuous data protection brings us closer to the ideal of completely preserving and restoring critical data... but what does it really mean?

April 20, 2005

3 Min Read

NEW YORK -- Continuous data protection (CDP) comes closer than other methods of backup to the ideal of keeping a business from losing its critical data and allowing it to restore that data immediately. But controversy over the term threatens to dilute product offerings, according to a new report from the subscription research service Byte and Switch Insider.

According to the report, Continuous Data Protection: Backup to the Future, vendors clash over the definition of CDP, but purists agree that time-stamping and the ability to roll back to any point in time are the attributes that distinguish true CDP products. Whereas snapshots capture data at set intervals, CDP software records every change as it occurs, employing time-stamps to enable users to restore from any point in time. CDP also automates the process, while snapshots must be scheduled manually.

"CDP purists maintain that time travel – the ability to pinpoint exactly when a failure occurred – is essential to the technology. Turning CDP into a marketing catchall could result in products that don't fulfill the promise of CDP," says Dave Raffo, Byte and Switch Insider Senior Analyst and author of the report.

While the CDP space is dominated by startups right now, established storage vendors are involved as well, ensuring that over the next 18 months or so, a range of varied CDP products will emerge. This report looks at CDP, providing an overview of the technological issues involved, followed by a survey of the product strategies of the major players involved. It also includes a case study of an early CDP customer, the University of New Mexico.

Among the report's conclusions:

  • The growing popularity of disk-based backup is driving interest in CDP

  • CDP improves efficiency, but it also adds costs and requires extra storage

  • Startups dominate the market and have driven the technology so far, but established vendors are now ready to enter the fray: EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, and Veritas are all planning CDP products

  • For now, CDP remains an immature technology, as much concept as reality

The report examines products from the following private companies: InMage Systems Inc., Mendocino Software Inc., Revivio Inc., Storactive Inc., TimeSpring Software Corp., Topio Inc., XOsoft Inc., and Zetta Systems Inc.

Public companies discussed in this report include: EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS).

Other companies mentioned are: Constant Data Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC), Kashya Inc., Lasso Logic Inc., Mimosa Systems Inc., NSI Software Inc., Sanrad Inc., and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW).

Continuous Data Protection: Backup to the Future is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Byte and Switch Insider, priced at $1,350. Individual reports are available for $900.

To subscribe, or for more information, please visit: www.byteandswitch.com/insider.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

Jeff Claudino
Sales Manager
Insider Research Services
[email protected]

For review copies, members of the media may contact:

Gabriel Brown
Chief Analyst
Insider Research Services
[email protected]

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