EMC aims recovery at SAN environments

Continuous data protection (CDP) software was once dominated by startup companies like Mendocino Software and XOSoft. But now big name vendors, like EMC Corp., are entering the market. Late last month, the Hopkinton, Mass.-based storage company introduced its own CDP product called EMC RecoverPoint.

“RecoverPoint is designed for enterprise as a continued protection solution,” said Rob Emsley, director of product marketing for EMC. “We are really focusing on providing solutions for data centres, providing solutions that you implement in fibre storage area networks,” he added. What makes RecoverPoint different from other data protection software, Emsley says, is it helps customers get their business applications up and running more rapidly and with less effort.

When RecoverPoint is implemented in a production environment, the software keeps track of every change that takes place in that environment for a defined period of time. Once configured, RecoverPoint can track to the exact point a user wants to re-start an application and take a look at when a corruption occurred. The major benefit of EMC’s CDP software is better and faster recovery rates, says Emsley.

“Through application monitoring tools you’ll know what happened at 12:58 a.m. and be able to dial back to the environment at 12:57 a.m. The granularity we provide is to the second and we’re able to recreate the state of the production environment an instant before the corruption took place,” he said.

At least one analyst sees EMC’s entry into CDP as great news for a two-year-old market that has seen quite a bit of activity this year from startup companies. “EMC gives credibility to the [CDP] market and sets up the playing field. When the other big players come, they have to provide that kind of capability to their CDP solutions,” said Curtis Gittens, senior research analyst for London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Inc.

However, Gittens says CDP is limited to certain scenarios. “For mid-sized companies, they’ll get by without CDP. They can wait the hour to get data back without severe loss to their business. It’s the larger 24/7 companies that might look at this because they can’t afford to lose three hours’ worth of data,” he said.

In addition to EMC RecoverPoint, the company announced enhancements to the latest version of its Legato NetWorker, EMC’s backup-to-disk and recovery applications. The enhancements included in Legato NetWorker 7.3 are improvements in speed, ease of use and security. Emsley says RecoverPoint will eventually be integrated with NetWorker.

As well, the company introduced EMC Backup Advisor, an analysis tool combined with reporting capabilities to look at what has happened in the backup environment in order to fix problems faster.

The EMC Backup Advisor is currently available at a starting price of $US10,000 for the management of up to 50 servers. EMC RecoverPoint will be available by the end of this year with a starting price of $US75,000 to protect up to six application servers. Legato Network 7.3 will also ship by the end of the year, at $US2,995 for up to 10 servers in a Windows environment and one tape library.

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