EMC: Not CDP, But Close

As a preemptive strike to major storage announcements from Symantec and
Microsoft next week, EMC said it has rewritten its
RepliStor software to execute several point-in-time copies data from files
and applications.

Version 6.1 of RepliStor, which EMC usurped when it purchased Legato
Systems, copies files housed in Microsoft Windows systems, avoiding data
loss at remote offices or central locations.

The software makes identical sets of data available to servers over a
network, creating Exchange 2003 snapshots on a secondary server without
impacting the system.

To do this, it integrates with Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS),
providing consistent snapshots and making data available on the secondary
server. This enables data recoverability in case of a disaster or file
corruption on the primary server.

RepliStor 6.1 will be available in the fourth quarter, starting at $1,650
per server.

Continuous data protection (CDP) is a rapidly emerging area of data protection in which vendors promise customers they will save data without losing a single file. CDP is designed to fend off outages from natural disasters, malicious attacks on computers or simple file corruption.

Fine-grained recovery across great distances is why CDP is popular. Thanks to tough corporate record retention regulations, companies
fear misplacing, losing or destroying even a single document that may be
subpoenaed for court in litigation.

By adding point-in-time capabilities to RepliStor 6.1, Rob Emsley, product
director for EMC Software, said EMC has achieved near CDP on Windows servers.

“We believe continuous data protection is a term that seems to be getting
used very broadly by the competition,” Emsley said. He said EMC would
announce a more fleshed out CDP vision next month, which is rumored to include
a reseller deal with CDP startup Mendocino.

“We absolutely believe that as we go forward into the fourth quarter, that
what we intend to deliver to the market fits a little more with the more
educated definition of what continuous data protection is,” Emsley said.
“Our belief is that RepliStor today is very much that for that
Windows-based, commercial SMB market.”

EMC will face a raft of competition.

In New York next week, Symantec will launch its new Backup Exec software,
configured for CDP and code-named Panther, while Microsoft will launch the
complete version of Data Protection Manager.

Both products have been in beta for months, and IBM and several startups
already have products in the market.

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