Because data is stored on disk, CDP provides significantly faster recovery times than tape. Files, databases, mail stores and entire systems can be recovered within minutes rather than hours. With some CDP solutions, entire sites can be brought online in approximately 30 minutes, rather than several days.
A multidisciplinary engineering firm experienced this firsthand. The company needed to deal with growing data stores, while ensuring adequate protection and access to all of the file-level, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SQL Server data. The company's distributed office structure made this difficult. Data protection was originally limited to local tape backups. Daily differential and full weekly tape backups were handled by non-IT individuals in each office. As a result, the IT team spent a significant amount of time troubleshooting problems.
CDP was the answer. The company implemented a CDP solution, setting it up to perform hourly backups. All data from remote offices is written to a set of tapes at the headquarters and taken off-site for archiving. Compression and data reduction technology eliminate duplicate data, which improves replication efficiency and reduces bandwidth requirements. Now the company can keep as much as 18 months of snapshots in each office. The IT staff can now recover data from disk in five minutes, and spends much less time dealing with tape and backup administration.
The full value of CDP became even clearer when a hurricane struck, leaving one office without power for multiple days. Members of the IT team-some of whom had little experience with the system-were able to mount replicas as live volumes from a CDP appliance at headquarters and redirect user traffic there, minimizing the total downtime to just 30 minutes. When power was restored, the team was able to replicate the data back and switch over to the local servers without users noticing.