Answer

The benefits and drawbacks of CDP solutions

What are some of the things you should consider before deploying continuous data protection (CDP)?

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CDP is a total game-changer for backup. Even though the technology has been around for quite some time, it is just starting to catch on. One of the big advantages of CDP is that it eliminates the backup window. Rather than performing a monolithic backup each night, CDP backs up data on a nearly continuous basis throughout the day. Not only does this eliminate the backup window, but it also dramatically shortens the recovery point objective. With a traditional backup that runs once each night, any data that accumulates the next day (before the next backup) can potentially be lost if a failure should occur. With CDP, a failure should never result in the loss of more than a few minutes' worth of data.

Although CDP is a good backup solution for many organizations, there are a number of issues to consider before purchasing a CDP solution. For starters, organizations need to consider application and operating system compatibility. Like any backup technology, CDP can only work if it is compatible with the resources that need protection. Another issue to consider is cost. CDP solutions are disk-based. As such, the organization will likely have to make a significant investment in physical disk storage before deploying a CDP solution. Finally, it is important to make sure that your CDP server does not become a single point of failure. You will need a secondary means of protecting the data that you have backed up. For example, you might make an additional copy of your data to tape or the cloud for disaster recovery.

This was first published in July 2012

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