Mendocino Embraces Near-CDP

CDP pioneer goes 'dual mode' rather than dueling near-CDP rivals

February 17, 2007

3 Min Read
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Tired of fighting near-CDP vendors for customers' mindshare, CDP pioneer Mendocino Software is joining them.

Mendocino next week will announce it is adding the option to use near-CDP with its InfiniView CDP product, which is sold by Hewlett-Packard and other OEMs. (See New Wave of CDP Rolls In.) But while Mendocino is the first CDP vendor to hype this dual-mode capability, a few other CDP vendors support some type of near-CDP.

True CDP is real-time capture of each block- or file-level write operation, which lets customers go back to any point in time to recover information when data is lost due to a system crash or human error. Near-CDP offers less granular recovery, usually through frequent snapshots. True CDP vendors are finding customers don't need full CDP for all applications and can save storage space and CPU resources by using near-CDP when that is good enough.

While CDP vendors once looked at their near-CDP rivals as unwanted stepchildren, now they consider offering near-CDP as a good way to get their feet in customers' doors. (See Fine Granularities.)

InfiniView lets customers set policies to automatically switch from true to near-CDP for certain applications -- or after a specific number of days from when data is created. Mendocino marketing VP Eric Burgener says he anticipates customers using true CDP for the first several days after data is created, and then moving to near-CDP as that data ages.Rather than using snapshots for its near-CDP, InfiniView saves data less frequently. Customers determine how often they want to save the data.

"Were a true CDP vendor, but I can see some of the advantages to using near-CDP," Burgener says. "You use up less storage, even though you’re giving up granularity. I'm expecting you'll see a lot of true CDP vendors offer this capability. It makes sense and requires small modifications. But it's a lot harder to go the other way. Near-CDP vendors would have to make wholesale changes to their products’ architectures and the way they capture data."

EMC's RecoverPoint and Atempo's LiveServ for Exchange claim to already include near-CDP as well as CDP. The Kashya technology that EMC acquired as its engine for RecoverPoint supports continuous snapshots, typically seconds apart, as well as full CDP. (See EMC Coughs Up for Kashya.) Atempo's LiveServ includes the capability to perform traditional scheduled backup to tape as well as CDP. (See Atempo Swallows Storactive.)

It's odd to see CDP vendors embrace near-CDP. When Microsoft and Symantec first rolled out near-CDP in 2005, the true CDP vendors branded them as frauds looking to crash their party with nothing more than frequent snapshots. (See Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim and Microsoft and Symantec Cut SMB Tape.)

But enterprise CDP startup Revivio failed to make enough sales to stay in business, and it sold off its IP to Symantec in November. (See Symantec Swallows Revivio.) Now Mendocino is banking on near-CDP to give it a boost.Analyst Brad O'Neill of the Taneja Group says organizations may not need CDP for all applications, and many are reluctant to make a wholesale change to their backup process.

"The reality is, users still view full CDP as protection overkill for many applications," O'Neill says. "More importantly, they see it as a change to their protection methodology."

O'Neill also agrees with Burgener that it is easier for true CDP vendors to add on near-CDP than the other way around.

"It's a major design advantage of true CDP products that they can emulate the coverage of point-in-time protection schemes like snapshots," he says.

Still, don't expect true CDP vendors to go exclusively with near-CDP. They anticipate most enterprises will want CDP at some point, and using their products solely for near-CDP isn't cost effective. For instance, Microsoft's DPM costs under $1,000 for each protected server. Mendocino's InfiniView has a starting price of $50,000.— Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Atempo Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Mendocino Software

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC)

  • Taneja Group

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