FAQ: Backing up virtual servers today
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Near-continuous data protection (near CDP) is a general term for backup and recovery products that take backup snapshots at set intervals. The term evolved from a need to differentiate those vendor products that take snapshots on a pre-determined schedule from ones that take snapshots whenever new data is written (true CDP).
Both near CDP and true CDP support instantaneous recovery, meaning that if the primary image is damaged, a recovery image can be mounted immediately. The difference between near CDP and true CDP is the recovery point objective (RPO) they offer.
A near CDP product is an acceptable backup option when the potential loss of a small amount of data can be tolerated. Near CDP products are usually limited to a specific number of snapshots that the application or storage system can create. Once that limit is met, earlier snapshots are overwritten.
See also: backup and recovery glossary