New Wave of CDP Rolls In

Mendocino broadens its CDP as EMC and DataCore add new entries

November 11, 2006

4 Min Read
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A year after major software backup vendors deemed continuous data protection (CDP) ready for primetime, we're seeing a second wave of CDP products from large and small players.

Whether they're adding new capabilities or making CDP work better, vendors are hoping to find customers more receptive to the technology.

Mendocino Software next week will launch InfiniView, its second-generation CDP application that Hewlett-Packard sells under its Continuous Information Capture (CIC) brand through an OEM deal. (See HP Launches ILM Blitz and HP Picks Mendocino .)

InfiniView is built on Mendocino's previous RecoveryOne application. But along with letting organizations roll back to any point in time to retrieve data in case of failures, the new product makes it easier for them to view files and applications for other purposes.

For instance, companies can view application binaries of production data to perform patch validation before releasing patches into production. Or software teams can develop and test their code against views of production data.Another use is for e-discovery -- customers can look at financial data taken at a certain time, then create and retain it for audit or compliance reporting.

Mendocino will also launch an add-on module for Exchange, letting administrators recover Exchange from the message, mailbox, folder, calendar, or task level.

Mendocino's upgrade comes barely a year after HP and EMC launched their first CDP products based on Mendocino. Also around that time, Microsoft and Symantec came out with "near-CDP" applications consisting of frequent snapshots rather than continuous captures. (See Microsoft and Symantec Cut SMB Tape.)

EMC has since dumped Mendocino as its CDP partner and last week said it is shipping a new version of its RecoverPoint CDP using software it gained when it acquired Kashya in May. (See EMC Coughs Up for Kashya and EMC Upgrades.) Kashya lets EMC put remote replication and CDP into the same application.

DataCore also launched its first CDP product, Traveller CPR (Continuous Protection and Recovery), based on its storage virtualization software.The new wave of CDP comes as enterprise users appear to be warming to it as part of a never-ending battle to improve data protection.

For instance, EMC RecoverPoint customer James Wonder, director of online technology for the American Institute of Physics (AIP), has never met a disk-based backup technology he hasnt embraced.

The AIP is an association of 19 scientific groups, and Wonder's team is responsible for keeping more than 120 of the groups' online publications up and running. Many of the sites are subscription based, which means downtime makes for unhappy customers.

"We have customers that want to be up all the time. They don't ever want to be down," Wonder says. "I don't take any chances. I test my DR strategy three times a year. I'm obsessed about DR."

EMC inherited AIP as a customer. The organization used Kashya's software before the EMC acquisition, and Wonder says he pushed Kashya to pair CDP with its remote replication. He also uses a Sepaton Virtual Tape Library for yet another layer of disk backup."The end game is going tapeless, at least for regular backups," Wonder says. "I'm planning to be tapeless within two years. I still have archives and things like that, but I'll be tapeless for regular rotational backups."

His strategy for going tapeless includes adding a second Sepaton VTL off site after Sepaton's DeltaStor data de-duplication software is available. Now he uses remote replication for databases and CDP for other production machines and testing. "If I have a RAID failure, I just flip a switch," he says.

Gabriel Sandu, director of technical services for Maimonides Medical Center in New York, signed on for DataCore's Traveller CDP after participating in the beta program. Sandu says his hospital has more than 100 Tbytes of storage and needs to restore in real time if there is a failure.

"We needed to implement CDP," he says. "Before we had CDP, we did a test to restore one single 1-terabyte volume. Forget about 100 terabytes, we just restored 1 terabyte. Restoring it from tape took 43 hours. With CDP, it takes between 10 and 20 minutes.

"That's why people are going to CDP, it doesn't matter what flavor. When you have a two-terabyte volume corrupted, or you lost a storage controller and lost 12 Tbytes of data, how are you going to restore? If your business is 24 by seven instead of nine to five, where do you have the time to wait 43 hours for a terabyte?"Sandu says he looked at earlier versions of CDP a year ago but didn't think the technology was mature enough. Maimonides was already using DataCore software, so he agreed to beta test Traveller and decided it was ready for primetime.

Sandu also uses VTL. He's still using tape, and isn't planning on giving it up.

"We'll still use tape because of our retention policies," he says. "Having CDP gives us a granular immediate restoration. For the first two weeks worth of changes, CDP is the preferred media environment. After that, tape will pick up restores. We do snaps once a week, and changed our backup windows from doing full backups every 24 hours with tape to once a week."

— Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • DataCore Software Corp.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • Mendocino Software

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Symantec Corp.0

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