Microsoft releases backup, recovery software

Microsoft Tuesday released Data Protection Manager, backup and recovery software and the newest member of the company’s System Center family of management tools.

The company also said it had released the beta of Windows Storage Server 2003 R2, which is expected to ship by the end of the year.

Data Protection Manager is disk-based backup and recovery designed to provide IT administrators with continuous backup and rapid recovery of data.

DPM will back up data on Windows file servers and network-attached storage devices as a series of as many as 64 snapshots. It differs from many other continuous data-protection products in that it allows end users to recover data. DPM, which costs $950 for every three servers protected, runs on a server and backs up data from local or remote file servers. It saves the data to its attached disk storage for later archiving to tape.

Microsoft already has two storage technologies, Volume Shadow Copy Service and Multipath I/O, but those two are largely a complement to products supplied by Microsoft partners. Experts say DPM represents Microsoft’s intention to compete directly with some of those partners, such as Symantec (which recently acquired Veritas), Computer Associates and start-ups such as Mendocino Software and Mimosa Systems, and storage resource-management vendors AppIQ and Creekpath.

Not to be outdone by Microsoft, Symantec Tuesday announced two continuous data protection products, the Backup Exec 10d for Windows Servers, which allows end users to restore their own files via a Web-based interface and LiveState Recovery 6.0, which allows recovery of Windows servers and desktops.

Microsoft is already planning the second release of DPM, due to ship in 2007, with support for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, server imaging, and recovery of files on users’ desktop drives.

DPM is part of Microsoft’s Universal Distributed Storage plan for building distributed storage software built on industry-standard hardware. Microsoft has said its goal is to have Windows provide more cost-effective storage management than storage area networks or on a remote worker’s desktop.

DPM also is part of Microsoft’s System Center family of products that includes System Management Server, Microsoft Operations Manager, Reporting Services and Capacity Manager. All of those products are part of Microsoft’s broad Dynamic Systems Initiative, a multi-year plan to create a comprehensive management platform for Windows.

Along with Tuesday’s announcement, a number of Microsoft’s partners announced software that integrates with DPM, including Advanced Micro Devices, CommVault Systems, Computer Associates, Dell, EqualLogic, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Intel, Quantum and Yosemite Technologies.