IBM Steps Up Continuous Data Protection

IBM is planning a major upgrade to its Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files software, a move designed to fill in a number of functionality gaps in the offering.

IBM is planning a major upgrade to its Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files software, a move designed to fill in a number of functionality gaps in the offering.

This month, the Armonk, N.Y., company will quietly roll out Tivoli CDP for Files 2.1.2, or what the organization is calling a "fix" of its inaugural CDP product. The upgrade includes a number of capabilities both within and outside its Settings tool set that are designed to ease administration, secure access rights, and provide subfile backup support for Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook files as well as other document types, said officials of IBMs Tivoli unit, based here.

The revamped version offers a host of new components, including a locked configuration, a "pause" option added to the tray, throttling, pre-emption, remote pool behavior and remote space configuration.

Another upgraded version of CDP for Files is in the works as well and is targeted for a June 2006 release. It will feature encryption, translation tools, client support for future versions of Tivoli Storage Manager, WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) support, and OEM packaging to push the software deeper into service providers.

/zimages/4/28571.gifeWEEK Labs takes a look at CDP products for tape backup. Click here to read more.

Other future development plans include GUI redesign, GUI customization and partial registry backup late next year, potentially followed by Linux and Macintosh support and CDP for applications. Beyond that, Tivolis road map features CDP integrated with Tivoli Storage Manager client, AIX and Sun Solaris support, as well as bare-metal recovery, said Tivoli officials.

Due to increasing liability and demands for speedy data recovery, CDP customers such as Winston Grey, IT manager for Consigli Construction Co. Inc., of Milford, Mass., see backup and recovery becoming a defining component of organizational efficiency next year.

"I see backup as the No. 1 priority [in 2006], right alongside security and anti-virus issues. The damage that can create can kill a company," said Grey. "You can be doing a lot of great things on the IT side, but the last thing you need is your CEO to say, I lost a file, and you cant get it. Youre going to see that industry really take off just like security."

Consigli Construction is about to move into its second deployment phase of Tivoli CDP for Files. Grey currently uses the software on laptops to back up to a local server and then onto tape. The next phase involves backing up databases within certain servers that are deemed critical—a capability the upgraded Tivoli CDP for Files should provide him.

"One of my problems has always been [Microsoft Corp.] SQL databases," Grey said. "From looking at the new features and some of the stuff they put in there, thats one of the things Im looking forward to, to be able to back up our accounting system into another server where we can then add that over to tape."

In Tivoli CDP for Files 2.1.2, all material sent to the remote target, even active files, gets attributed to the pool. When the pool becomes full, the first items to be purged will be the oldest versioned files. The new Remote Space Configuration field ability lets users control how many versions per file will be stored on remote targets.

The CDP upgrade can support two subfile backup techniques that are triggered by size. Files larger than a specified size have one of the subfile techniques applied to them. In both cases, CDP will keep only a single copy of these files at the target and will not version them.

The locked configuration feature in the new Tivoli CDP offering enables administrators to push a configuration to clients and lock it simultaneously. Via the pause option added to the system tray, users can freeze all replication threads except Tivoli Storage Manager. A right click resumes replication.

The software also includes an improved Settings panel that lets users specify bandwidth throttling, which can limit how much bandwidth CDP uses. The feature offers a per-replication-thread setting that can be set to a desired "throttle" speed.

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