ZettaServer IR Brings Instantaneous Backups

By Karen Schwartz  |  Posted 2005-03-25
Data protection and network storage vendor Zetta Systems has found a way to speed up data recovery to a matter of seconds.

With ZettaServer IR for RealTime Data Protection and Instant Recovery, organizations now can perform unlimited instantaneous backups and recovery for e-mail, databases and file servers without enduring a lengthy restore cycle. Instead, users can go back to any point in time, view a snapshot or online backup of the data, and start using it within a matter of seconds.

"Lets say youre running an e-mail server that gets a virus, which has corrupted your database. Typically, you cant run it because its been corrupted and it takes a long time to [fix it] and get it going," CEO Ganapathy Krishnan said.

"With this, you can date your snapshot from an hour before the virus attached and tell the Exchange sever to stop using what you have been using and use the database from an hour before the virus hit instead. Our part of the process only takes a few seconds, plus a few minutes for Exchange to start using the snapshot."

Although other data recovery solutions claim to offer instantaneous data recovery, most actually take about 15 minutes, Krishnan said.

"We do it in a few seconds," he said. "That can make the difference between noticing that your network is down or not."

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The power behind ZettaServer IR is its SnapWrite technology, which first creates logical disks on existing storage arrays and then uses SnapWrite to present snapshots of those disks as separate read-write volumes that can be instantly used by Windows or Unix machines.

"Traditionally, snapshots are read-only, which means your Exchange Server cant use it. SnapWrite makes snapshots available in read and write form so people can use it as a production drive. It allows you to use a previous version of a database or a previous backup," Krishnan said.

The best candidates for an instant recovery and remote data protection product like ZettaServer IR is probably midsized companies that want something better than standard backup but perhaps cant afford a high-end solution, said Mike Fisch, director of storage and networking for The Clipper Group Inc. of Wellesley, Mass.

ZettaServer IR also supports both Fibre Channel and iSCSI storage for Windows and Unix, allowing organizations to use one networking standard to view snapshots and manage a disaster recovery site and use the other at the production site, for example. "You dont have to make an automatic decision to base it on one or another, and you can switch between them easily," Krishnan said.

ZettaServer IR also is storage platform-independent, allowing organizations to use any mix of hardware. This allows storage administrators to manage data regardless of where the data resides.

Up next for Zetta is the ability to heal databases that have been so badly corrupted that they are virtually unrecoverable.

"Were trying to get to the point where we can provide automatic healing in situations where even backups have been corrupted," Krishnan said.

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