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Can CDP render backup redundant?

My brain is mush

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Comment Continuous data protection could render dedupe, virtual tape libraries (VTL) and backup software redundant. Er, run that past me again.

Alexander Delcayre, FalconStor's technical director, says that the company's Continuous Data Protection (CDP) product is block-level, not file-level. It captures every write I/O a server makes and journals it. That means that the CDP store is basically capable of becoming a disk image.

You mean, I say, you could do a bare metal restore from this? "Of course," he says.

So we have what I took to be a file recovery technology that can recover a file to any point in time, can in fact also recover a system. Physical and virtual, I asked? "Of course," he said. The CDP product running on a virtualized server contains logical sub-journals within it that save the changes to each VM's virtual disk.

Then I asked a dumb question: "Can you dedupe a CDP repository?" No, you can't but you don't need to, it only saving the changed data at a block level. Ah, cue Eureka moment. Use weekly snapshots to do full copies of disks and CDP to do the highly granular changes and you have a pretty complete disk data protection system.

"In that case, why do you need tape?" I asked. "You don't," he said.

This means, in theory, you don't need deduplication - because that's an answer to an overflow of data problem created by virtual tape libraries. You don't need virtual tape libraries either because they're an answer to a slow and unreliable file restore problem created by tape automation devices. You don't need tape automation devices - because they store data created by tape backup software - which you don't need either because backups aren't granular enough and take too much time.

The whole backup software-to-dedupe stack unravels, along with bare metal recovery products, if you use a block-level continuous data protection product that protects systems as well as files.

Tell me I'm dreaming. FalconStor is weaving a data protection reality distortion field and my brain is mush - or is it?

Update

It's not that Delcayre believes tape is for the chop. He reckons: "CDP could potentially replace traditional backup practices, as long as the customers are ready to change the data protection model. Tape is not dead (yet)." ®

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