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Home » Hacking News » Continuous back-up for Windows files

Continuous back-up for Windows files

by Nikola Strahija on July 12th, 2005 Microsoft is soon shipping a continuous data-protection software product that allows users to back up storage continuously. The System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) will back up data on Windows file servers and network-attached storage (NAS) devices as a series of as many as 64 snapshots.

The company said it differed from many other continuous data-protection products in that it allows end users to recover data. DPM 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 won't reveal how much money or how many people it is devoting to storage, but observers say it is significant. DPM represents the third tenet of Microsoft's storage strategy, according to Ben Matheson, a Microsoft product manager. -The first is to make Windows the best platform for storage, Matheson says. -The second is to work with storage partners to create a broad storage ecosystem, and the third is to introduce new storage offerings.’

-Microsoft's storage technologies - Virtual Shadow Copy Service and Multipath I/O - have been largely complementary to other vendors' products," Illuminata's Freund says. Virtual Shadow Copy Service automates the backup of network volumes; Multipath I/O lets vendors offer Windows-based multiple path redundancy between host computers and their storage-area network devices.

Unlike that software, DPM is seen as a direct competitor to offerings from companies such as Symantec, Computer Associates and start-ups such as Mendocino Software and Mimosa Systems, and storage resource-management vendors AppIQ and Creekpath.

Analysts and users say Microsoft could prove particularly competitive in small and midsize business storage networks. -Most (such) Microsoft shops will look to Microsoft for a solution first instead of introducing another layer of complexity by bringing in another vendor, says Ron Hawkins, senior technical architect for Harvard University.

-When DPM can back up applications and databases, then it's time (for other vendors) to worry, says Stephanie Balaouras, senior analyst for The Yankee Group. -Then it becomes applicable to the mid-market, 500-plus employee organisations, where Microsoft is the dominant operating system.’

Microsoft's Matheson says DPM will support Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, server imaging, and recovery of files on users' desktop drives in the second release, due in two years.

Microsoft is expected to integrate more storage resource management capabilities into its products, analysts say. The company has included a thin version of Veritas' storage resource management software in Windows Storage Server 2003. And, sources say that Windows Server 2003 R2, also known as Longhorn, will include storage resource-management software from Veritas.

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