Microsoft and Veritas start 'continuous' backup battle

EMC loves disk too

Veritas in disguise

Symantec would prefer that customers ignore DPM and have a look instead at its Backup Exec 10d - the "d" is for disk, don't you know. This iteration of one of Veritas' best-sellers includes Continuous Protection Server (CPS), which was once code-named "Panther."

Again, don't be fooled by the "continuous" pitch because Symantec is working off the same VSS limitations as Microsoft. But, hey, in most instances, users will be able to find the older version of a file they need.

Symantec keeps touting the "Google-like" nature of (CPS), which we assume means a clean web-based search GUI and not that your search results will be clouded by myriad blog entries. Customers can buy Backup Exec10d with CPS built in for $795, starting in October, or buy a CPS agent on its own for $295.

We'd provide a link to more information about CPS but can't find a product page for it on Symantec's website. Must be some merger-related integration issue. For the curious, here's the marketing material.

Joe's Bunch chimes in

EMC couldn't stand Microsoft and Symantec sucking up all the limelight, issuing a statement of its own this week, detailing a new version of RepliStor. Wouldn't you know it - the big addition to the software is support for Microsoft VSS.

"Using RepliStor, organizations can replicate critical Windows data in real-time for greater protection and availability; place data at multiple sites for ready access; and consolidate data from multiple servers in multiple sites for centralized backup, warehousing and analysis," EMC said.

Confirming that this was a "me too" release, EMC was forced to admit that the new version of RepliStor won't actually ship until the fourth quarter. It starts at $1,650 per server. EMC also reminded us that this is not its answer for continuous data protecting. The company, however, will have more to say on such a product in the coming weeks.

IBM, of course, has a continuous protection package as well.

Continuous marketing

Most of you looking out over the continuous protection landscape will probably be curious to see just how well Microsoft pulled off its latest storage foray. The company has made up huge ground in the storage market with a successful NAS operating system and now looks to take control of more and more management functions. These efforts will no doubt grow with the release of the various flavors of Longhorn.

Veritas, however, would really seem to own at least the marketing lead here. It's the Windows backup king and focuses solely on making tape and disk backups better for its customers.

All of the vendors will need to work on providing similar technology not just for Windows files but also for applications. And they've vowed to do so. Those future software packages will have to put the "continuous" back in continuous backups, if they're to be of real data center use. ®

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