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Fine Granularities

4:30 PM - Continuous data protection (CDP) has turned the tables on the usual market scenario. Startups are the elitists, and giants such as Microsoft Corp. and Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) are on the outside with their noses pressed against the glass.

Thats because there is a small but aggressive group of CDP gatekeepers who are extremely protective of their technology. Any vendor claims of CDP come under close scrutiny from this group, consisting of startups Mendocino Software, Revivio Inc., Storactive Inc., TimeSpring Software Corp., and XOsoft.

This is a tough bunch, adhering to a strict but not-too-specific definition, one that only a Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) special interest group could formulate:

    CDP is a methodology that continuously captures or tracks data modifications and stores changes independent of the primary data, enabling recovery points from any point in the past. CDP systems may be block-, file- or application-based and can provide fine granularities of restorable objects to infinitely variable recovery points.

Actually, CDP proponents find it easier to say what CDP isn’t. Like, it isn’t merely frequent snapshots copied to another server. That’s what Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager does. So when Microsoft announced it was developing a CDP product last year, the CDP crowd squawked. (See Microsoft's Recovery Plan.) Microsoft actually backed off and now calls DPM “near-CDP.” (See Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim.)

Then Veritas (now Symantec) chimed in with its crack at CDP, code-named “Panther.” (See Veritas Uncages Panther.) Just another case of snapshots and replication, the elitists said.

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