A slew of new CDP products are rushing in to fill the gaps in tape backup.
Continuous data protection technology improves on the data protection and recoverability offered by traditional tape backup. The CDP market is still relatively young, but products are now available to fit most budgets and data protection needs.
The major problem with tape is that it leaves open a big window of data vulnerability—sometimes referred to as a protection gap—that is unacceptable for applications such as e-mail and databases. If data is compromised or hardware fails, tapes can restore data only up to the last backup point.
CDP products, which should be used in conjunction with tape, keep track of all the transactions written to disk by applications and store them into a log file. In the event of data corruption or user error, an IT manager can roll back the affected volume to a recent point in time when the data was not corrupted. In addition, because CDP products use disk-based storage, a volume restoration can be performed in a matter of minutes.
One high-end CDP product is Revivio Inc.s Revivio CPS 1200 appliance. Revivio claims that the CPS 1200, which connects to a storage area network, can recover data from a point just 1 second before a problem occurs.
The CPS 1200, which has not yet been tested by eWEEK Labs, is designed to protect enterprise-class databases and applications. It is priced according to storage bandwidth needs, not by storage capacity, starting at less than $50,000. Organizations running several transaction-intensive applications, however, can expect to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a CPS 1200 implementation.
One of the first CDP products tested by eWEEK Labs was Storage Technology Corp.s EchoView appliance, an iSCSI-based storage unit. When an application writes data to disk, StorageTeks appliance captures the activity and writes a copy of the changed data to its own appliance disks. In the event of data corruption, IT managers can quickly roll back to a previous version of the data volume or create a virtual volume on the EchoView to recover corrupted data.
The EchoView starts at $50,000 and is suitable for midsize and large businesses.
XOsofts software-based Enterprise Rewinder (formerly called Data Rewinder) starts at less than $1,000 and is a good option for small companies. Our tests have shown that it is fairly easy to use and implement.
Enterprise Rewinder doesnt introduce new hardware, which is both good and bad. On the positive side, no new hardware means lower costs and easy implementation. On the negative side, data rewinds are permanent because no hardware is in place for staging recovery. Additional hardware can be used but would negate any cost savings Enterprise Rewinder provides.
Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be contacted at [email protected].