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Continuous data protection: Solutions for SMBs

In the first part of our series on continuous data protection (CDP) for SMBs, we looked

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at when to consider CDP and when to deploy it. In part 2, we'll look at CDP product offerings.

There are many options available for CDP. Some products require the use of new disk systems as a backup target along with the current backup and recovery infrastructure. Others are geared specifically for use in conjunction with storage systems managed entirely by the service provider at an offsite location.

For enterprise file, application and database servers, there are numerous choices available. Some enterprise CDP products are available as options or add-ons to mainstream backup applications such as CA Inc.'s XOsoft, CommVault Systems Inc.'s Simpana, Symantec Corp.'s Veritas NetBackup, among others. Other options include InMage Systems Inc.'s DR-Scout, Microsoft Corp.'s Data Protection Manager, and products from EMC Corp. and FalconStor Software.

However, this article focuses on choices available for desktop and laptop systems in large enterprises, SMBs or even small office/home office (SOHO) environments. The product options available include those that save data locally, along with others that are designed to store data through online services. The products and features are outlined below in Table 1.

Table 1: CDP products for SMBs

Product

Deployment type

CDP time

Encryption

Backup integration

Data Loc.

Platform

Atempo Inc. Live Backup

Hardware + software agent

Seconds

Only in transit

Yes

Atempo Server

Win, Mac

Carbonite Inc. Carbonite Online Backup

Local software agent

Hours

Yes

No

Offsite - Carbonite

Windows

EMC Corp. MozyPro

Local software agent

Hours

Yes

Limited

Offsite - Mozy

Win, Mac

IBM Corp. Tivoli CDP for Files

Local software agent

Sub- second

Yes * (with TSM)

Yes

Local and backup system

Win

Iron Mountain Inc. LiveVault

Local software agent

Hours

Yes

Yes

Offsite - Iron Mountain.

Win, Linux, Unix

Seagate - i365 Evault Small Business

Local software agent

Hours

Yes

Yes

Offsite - Seagate

Win, Linux, Unix

SonicWall CDP

Hardware + software agent

Seconds

Yes

Limited

HW and Offsite

Win, Linux

Yosemite FileKeeper

Local software agent

Seconds

Yes

Yes

Local, network, and backup system

Win

CDP is able to dramatically increase the granularity of data protection while offering significant improvements in recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) service levels. Most CDP products for SMB environments allow a degree of self service for users, which can further reduce demands on a limited or nonexistent storage staff.

As businesses become more dependent on data availability, the need for high RPO and RTO will drive other forms of data protection to integrate and adopt CDP features to deliver the high service levels required for organizations of all sizes. Moreover, for SMB environments in particular, data protection-based on CDP is a valuable option that should be investigated. The potential impact of data loss on small businesses can be just as devastating as it is to large businesses. Additionally, many SMBs lack automated backup procedures for laptops and desktops, which places these businesses at great risk. CDP is a simple solution that can go a long way toward addressing data protection issues for many companies, especially those faced by SMBs.

About the author: Russ Fellows is a Senior Analyst with Evaluator Group. He is responsible for leading research and analysis of product and market trends for NAS, virtual tape libraries and storage security.

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This was first published in February 2009

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