Atempo Plays CDP Tune

Backup vendor will sell Storactive CDP to give point-in-time capabilities to its software

July 7, 2005

3 Min Read
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In a sign of things to come, backup software vendor Atempo Inc. and continuous data protection (CDP) vendor Storactive Inc. have struck up a partnership.

Atempo will sell Storactives LiveBackup CDP software with its Time Navigator backup application. Atempo is billing host-based LiveBackup as a way to reach mobile users who may not be connected to the server during scheduled backups. When those users reconnect, their data will be saved to the server whenever they make changes.

A couple of caveats: LiveBackup is just part of Storactive’s PC backup product. Its LiveServer for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Exchange servers, however, is not part of the reseller deal. Also, don't expect Atempo to rename its product "Point-in-Time Navigator" yet. Executives of Atempo and Storactive say they may do some common development down the road, but their partnership is strictly a reseller deal now.

Still, the combination of backup and CDP is likely to be repeated by other suppliers. Larger backup vendors are already looking to add CDP -- a technology that allows users to quickly restore data from any point in the past instead of only at fixed intervals.

Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) is beta testing a product, code-named Panther, as part of its Veritas Windows-based Backup Exec product line (see Veritas Uncages Panther). EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) is working on CDP for its Legato backup software and as a complement to its Invista virtualization appliance (see EMC Unveils Invista).For their part, CDP vendors need partners, at least until the technology becomes established. Although it has received a lot of attention in recent months, CDP is still finding its place in the data protection world alongside traditional replication, snapshots, and other disk-based backup methods such as virtual tape libraries (VTLs). (See Insider: CDP Streamlines Restoral and CDP: Calling It Right.)

Mendocino Software

is pursuing OEM deals with storage companies for the CDP appliance it is developing. Revivio Inc.’s sales VP, Steve Santos, says he is talking to VTL vendors about partnering to go along with the sales channel Revivio is setting up for its CDP appliance (see SANZ to Resell Revivio). Santos says the two technologies are complementary -- organizations can use VTL as an alternative to tape to back up the entire enterprise, and CDP for mission-critical applications.

Storactive CTO Brian Olson says he expects close relationships to form between CDP and backup software vendors. He says backup vendors realize they need CDP, and it makes more sense to buy it than build it. “This is a hard technology to develop from scratch,” he says.

Analyst Mike Fisch of The Clipper Group Inc. says it’s a matter of time before CDP becomes a fixture among backup technologies.

“CDP is a rising technology, and it will fit a broader role in the picture of data protection," he says. “In this case, Atempo is filling a gap in its portfolio -- backing up desktops and laptops.”Perhaps that was what Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) had in mind when it bought Alacritus in April, giving it access to VTL and CDP technology (see NetApp Annexes Alacritus).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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