Mendocino Opens Recovery Windows

Continuous data protection (CDP), a disk-based philosophy for backing up and
replicating data at any point in time, has been gaining a lot of momentum in
the last few months. The cries for airtight data protection have grown
louder, as corporations are wary of compliance regulations.

That’s why Mendocino Software is proposing a system that offers a
combination of CDP and process-aware storage.

The San Jose, Calif., startup will unveil an appliance at Storage Decisions
today that not only recovers data on applications, databases or file systems
to any previous point in time, but also provides information about the specific
business process.

The key word is “process,” said Mendocino Vice President Eric Burgener.

“While we do leverage a foundation of CDP, we think CDP doesn’t really go
far enough to solve the problem of returning an application to any previous
point in time or process.

Burgener said that while CDP is based on time — the ability to pick any
recovery point on a timeline — it doesn’t tell the administrator what
processes are running in the application.

Thanks to a built-in policy engine, Mendocino’s RecoveryOne systems will
scrutinize applications after a quarterly close, a patch installation or at
database checkpoints.

Users can tell the software what they want tracked for any kind of
application and mark those events. The software does not discriminate,
tracking apps on anything from a Microsoft Exchange system running on
Windows, to an Oracle database running on Solaris.

This distinction from other “vanilla” CDP offerings, Burgener said, makes it
a lot easier to pick the best recovery point in a system failure.

RecoveryOne complements and extends the value of the CDP
timeline with information about the events that are going on in an
application. This combination of time-based storage, or CDP, and event-based
storage, is why the company calls it recovery management instead of CDP, the
executive said.

“You get everything you get from standard CDP, plus all of the other
annotations along that timeline,” Burgener said. “Our view of
time-addressable storage is that it’s a lot better than once-daily snapshot
or tape backups, or even four to eight hardware snaps a day because you get
a lot more recovery points.”

RecoveryOne collects data using a “data tap” gadget that is not tied to any
volume manager or file system and is portable to different network devices.
The system software runs on an out-of-band, network-based appliance that can
support several servers at the same time.

To spruce up this data coverage, Mendocino next year will add plug-ins that
address specific applications, Burgener said.

Mendocino also does things a bit differently from Revivio in that it doesn’t
sell the products directly, relying on a chain of large original equipment
manufacturers, such as EMC, IBM and HP to put their marketing clout behind
the boxes and selling them.

Burgener said Mendocino settled on the indirect go-to-market approach
because it feels customers will be more amenable to purchasing
RecoveryOne from a big-time vendor rather than an unproven startup.

He said the public can expect to see specific reseller deal news from
Mendocino in the fourth quarter. Resellers will set their prices, but the
machines are expected to start at about $70,000 to $80,000 for a
one-terabyte configuration.

CDP is a space with no shortage of competition. The technology is expected
to play large this week, with Microsoft also unveiling
its Data Protection Manager product at Storage Decisions and Symantec
trotting out its Backup Exec 10D software.

News Around the Web