Microsoft Ships Near-Continual Data Backup Tool - InformationWeek

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9/27/2005
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Microsoft Ships Near-Continual Data Backup Tool

Data Protection Manager does incremental backups and can take snapshots of data from Windows servers up to eight times a day.

Microsoft Tuesday shipped its near-continual data backup title, Data Protection Manager (DPM), a year after it began testing the disk-to-disk backup application in beta.

Microsoft's first entry into disk-based backup, DPM relies on Windows Active Directory to sniff out available servers, and ties with Microsoft Operations Manager's console so administrators can monitor DPM servers.

"The fact that DPM works well with other Microsoft products that customers commonly use is a big differentiator," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server group, in a statement.

Several Microsoft storage partners co-announced products that use DPM, including HP, Fujitsu, and Quantum, all which launched storage servers or appliances on Tuesday.

"DPM is all about enabling simpler storage management and reducing the amount of manual labor that customers must dedicate to backup and recovery," Muglia said.

Although DPM does incremental backups and can take snapshots of data from Windows servers up to eight times each day, it's not a true continuous data protection product, IBM argued in an e-mail to TechWeb.

"[Our] software is truly continuous, unlike software that backs up information in periodic snapshots," said an IBM spokesperson in the e-mail. "Scheduled backup doesn't help when you've lost all your work since the last backup session, minutes or hours ago."

IBM released its Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in late August.

Microsoft said that it figured to reduce backup costs at its 130 branch offices by $2.7 million in two years as it removes tape-based hardware and software, and touted a number of other customer accounts and wins for DPM as well.

"Disk-based backup is still in the early stages of adoption in enterprises, and, even then, it is mostly limited to high-end enterprises," admitted Microsoft's Muglia. "But more than half of our customers tell us they don’t feel their existing backup solutions meet their needs.

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