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EMC Jumps Into Continuous Data Protection

RecoverPoint, EMC's first foray into the market, works in both Unix and Windows environments.

EMC this week is making its foray into the already crowded continuous data protection space with a new software application that puts the company in direct competition with rivals such as Symantec and IBM.

The Hopkinton, Mass., storage giant also is introducing a new backup reporting and analysis tool and enhanced its Legato NetWorker software with improved disk-based backup and security.

EMC’s new RecoverPoint application offers continuous data protection (CDP) under enterprise Unix and Windows environments, said Rob Emsley, director of product marketing for the vendor.

RecoverPoint saves changes to data as they occur, allowing users to dial back second-by-second to previous versions of data. RecoverPoint also allows what Emsley called “significant point-in-time” recovery, which places markers in the data to show the point at which a transaction was completed, thus enabling the application to restart from that point, if needed.

EMC’s new Backup Advisor, which marks the company’s entry into the storage resource management (SRM) space, allows users to monitor all of the components related to data backups. Data from Backup Advisor can be used to analyze backup problems and predict backup issues, Emsley said.

EMC’s move to embrace CDP comes as customers become increasingly more open to the notion of the new technology, said Dan Carson, vice president of marketing and business development at Open Systems Solutions, a Willow Grove, Pa.-based storage solution provider.

According to Carson, customers are seeking alternatives to common data snapshots. “When snapshots are done, customers complain they need to stop their I/O,” he said. “This gives them a second of vulnerability. CDP gets around it.”

EMC is actually late to the market with CDP, especially compared with IBM, which recently added CDP technology to its Tivoli Storage Manager software, said Kevin Hoffman, vice president of sales at Hoffman Technologies, a Sacramento, Calif.-based partner of both EMC and IBM.

Backup Advisor also appears to be EMC’s way of catching up to other vendors’ SRM offerings, Hoffman said. “They had to do something about it,” he said. “EMC has traditionally loaded customers up with more disk. But people have enough disk. They need [SRM] to get their arms around their disks.”

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