Continuous data protection is still alive in backup and recovery

Continuous data protection is still alive in backup and recovery, and an important feature in backup applications.

By W. Curtis Preston

Only a few years ago there were a number of companies with continuous data protection applications, but many of them are no longer around. Some simply went out of business, while others were acquired in fire-sale deals. Did continuous data protection simply not work? Was it a bad idea? Or was it the Star Trek of backup products (a great idea before its time)?

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Continuous data protection's rise and fall was probably a combination of all of the above. When continuous data protection works as advertised, it's easily the best way to protect your most critical applications: zero downtime for backups, and recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs) of zero. What's not to like?

Unfortunately, storage managers tend to be most risk averse when it comes to their mission-critical applications, so few users opted to back up those mission-critical applications using a completely different method from a vendor that they'd never heard of before.

But attitudes toward continuous data protection changed when major companies got into the game. Symantec Corp. bought Revivio and eventually released NetBackup RealTime. IBM Corp. came out with Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files and bought FilesX, which became Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack. EMC Corp. purchased Kashya and delivered RecoverPoint.

CommVault built its own CDP functionality around its core Common Technology Engine. With these key players in the continuous data protection game, users can now try it in their own environments without the fear that their continuous data protection vendor may go out of business tomorrow.

Editor's Tip: Click here to go to the next part of our backup applications tutorial, and learn about the importance of synthetic backups and backup applications.

This story was originally published in Storage magazine.

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