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Insider: CDP Streamlines Restoral

If your data is lost, how fast can you get it back? That's the question at the heart of developments in continuous data protection (CDP). The speed of retrieval with CDP could justify its downsides, according to the latest Byte and Switch Insider, this publication's paid subscription research service.

To review: While some say CDP is just another word for backup and replication, a small group of emerging players insists that only the ability to pick out a specific point in time, and retrieve data in toto from there, qualifies as CDP.

It may seem like a marketing argument, but it has implications for users and IT managers. According to the report, "Continuous Data Protection: Backup to the Future," it can take much longer to restore data if CDP isn't used.

Virtual tape libraries (VTLs), for instance, usually activate just once a day, which can leave a 24-hour gap if an outage occurs. Snapshots, or images of file system data from a specific point in time, can make restoral more accurate, but administrators have to schedule them, reserve disk space to store them, and hunt through them to find a good version when restoration is needed.

Another alternative, synchronous replication, can take hours and cause performance bottlenecks, leaving more of a protection gap than many companies feel comfortable with.

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