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XOsoft Turns Back Time

Startup launches software for 'undoing' corrupt transactions. Does it have a jump on the field?

Data replication and recovery startup XOsoft believes it can bring the lyrics of Cher's hauntingly lovely "If I Could Turn Back Time" to life.

The New York-based company is gearing up to launch its new Data Rewinder software next week, claiming that the technology allows customers to literally rewind any application and database transactions to a point before a corruption or error occurred. The software enables customers to undo their actions one at a time -- like hitting the undo button in Microsoft Word -- or to jump back to a specific point in time when the database or application itself does consistency checks, the company says.

"You're starting with the garbage, and going back to a point where the data is OK," says company founder and CEO Leonid Shtilman. "The software keeps the writes in the right order, like a journal."

Unlike snapshot technology, which backs up data at regular intervals -- for instance, every 15 minutes or every hour -- Data Rewinder continuously backs up any changes made to the data at the byte level. It can therefore undo those same changes, Shtilman says.

Systems administrators can simply set bookmarks at a point where they know the data is fine, for instance before they leave in the evening. If anyone makes a mistake overnight, they can restart the data flow from the bookmarked point in the morning. According to Shtilman, the Data Rewinder software can be loaded onto the server it's protecting or onto a separate backup server without disrupting the applications.

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