Acronym Wars: DPM Vs. CDP

The race between Symantec and Microsoft to protect data has spared us from vendors' crass opportunism

October 17, 2005

2 Min Read
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Maybe the best thing about the Symantec vs. Microsoft data protection race is that we were spared the crass opportunism of vendors using recent hurricane devastation to pound the point home, literally and figuratively.

Yes, that job is best left to journalists. We really get annoyed when the vendors start poaching.

So yes, unless you've been in a cave all week, you would have been hard-pressed to miss the wave of vendor announcements, with the dual anchors of Symantec and its Backup Exec Continuous Protection Server, a continuous data protection (CDP) piece of software, and on the other end, Microsoft's Data Protection Manager (DPM).

Then came the rest of the industry choosing sides, which really means: Lining up behind Microsoft. In addition to Computer Associates, Yosemite Technologies and CommVault Systems, Hewlett-Packard signed on to the DPM interface, as did EqualLogic.

But since this is the storage industry, at least one vendor (or its excitable PR firm) can be counted on to pee in the pool. Network Appliance offered up this counterpoint in e-mail late last week to what it termed the data protection "bandwagon.""True CDP--which is still being defined by the market and industry--remains a nascent technology," sniffed one NetApp exec. Not that nascency ever stopped NetApp or anyone else from climbing aboard any wagon. The sour-grapes aspect of the message was a bit odd, given that NetApp is a member of the CDP special interest group, formed earlier this year by the Storage Networking Industry Association. The group also issued this handy guide over the summer, which we thought defined CDP technology and the market pretty well.

Nonetheless, it's interesting to see how the lines are being drawn. It all makes a bit more sense when you consider which vendor has the biggest market share in backup. As my esteemed colleague Jeff Schwartz smartly points out in his coverage in VARBusiness, Symantec owns more than half of the Windows backup and recovery market, thanks to its Veritas acquisition. Riding in the wake created by Microsoft's entry here, lots of vendors are lining up to get a bigger piece of the CDP/DPM market. We hope customers use the new competition to great advantage and some new rounds of discounts and price breaks.

Terry Sweeney, Editor in Chief, Byte and Switch

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