Connected DataProtector with EmailOptimizer 7.1: Connected's Got Your Back

DataProtector automatically and securely backs up user data.

November 7, 2003

4 Min Read
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DataProtector offers several advantages over similar products: It is scalable from 15 to 20,000 users on a single pair of servers; it operates over any Internet connection; and it uses a patented compression algorithm to reduce the amount of data sent to the server. It also features 128-bit encryption that is performed on the client before data is transmitted to guarantee the security of the files being sent. DataProtector is available as a subscription service or as a licensed product run locally on a dedicated server or pair of servers.

Feature-Rich

The heart of the DataProtector package is the agent that resides on the end-users' computer. It transparently backs up user data, captures the system state and stores PC asset information at preset intervals. The initial data collection can be quite large and could therefore take a long time. Subsequent backups, which are performed in the background, are considerably faster.

To reduce the amount of information sent to the Secure Data Center at one time, DataProtector uses Connected's patented Delta Block technology, which also reduces the amount of storage required by the files. Delta Block runs file comparison on all files and only sends the blocks in those particular files that have changed--very cool.

Another technology implemented in DataProtector, SendOnce, enables common files to be stored a single time. That means the corporate phone directory sent to every person in the company is stored once on the server in a common file pool.The vendor promises that the combination of Delta Block, SendOnce and file compression can reduce the total amount of data that is stored on the server by nearly 85 percent.

DataProtector also can heal a sick computer by reverting to the last time the computer was working properly. With every backup, a snapshot is taken of the system state of the computer. If a subsequent application installation causes problems or the computer is infected with a virus, the heal process restores operating system and application settings without removing any user-created data files. The heal process can be done on a computer only if a full backup was performed when the machine was set up.

Proofing DataProtector

I tested Connected's DataProtector with EmailOptimizer using a Pentium III with Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4 and SQL Server 2000 SP3 installed. During installation, you are given the option to configure NAS (network-attached storage) for extended archive storage or an HSM (Hierarchical Storage Manager). Supported HSMs include tape libraries and EMC Centera.

I installed the client on my laptop and configured it to back up all changed documents once a day. The following evening, I checked the log file on the client after about an hour of using the laptop and realized that it had performed the backup when I logged in. The client software identified the changed files from the day before and transferred them to server transparently. The only reason I was aware of this was because I checked the logs. I tested the restore feature by going to the "retrieve view" tab on the client and recovering one of the changed files from the previous evening. Everything worked as advertised and the file, which I had changed, quickly reverted to the form I retrieved.

Web ConfigurationConfiguration is handled from an easy Web interface. All options are set here as well, including choosing which file types to include in backups, enabling or disabling the remote access feature and setting the length of time to keep backups according to user type. It is also possible to set up a number of different backup types, depending on the information that is relevant for that particular user group.

Another option lets you decentralize storage on a network, so that instead of having hundreds of gigabytes on a centralized server for e-mail storage, it is possible to have users keep their entire e-mail database locally on their own computers and leave only database changes on the server.

Connected's DataProtector software is a capable program that eases the growing burden of data storage. It can also aid in data migration when moving users to new computers.

Eric Fleming is a network administrator for KI, a furniture manufacturer in Green Bay, Wis. Write to him at [email protected].

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