Skip navigation

Windows IT Pro Storage UPDATE--CDP Raises the Backup and Recovery Bar--November 21, 2005

Subscribe to Windows IT Pro:


Don't let overzealous antispam software block your copy of Storage UPDATE--add [email protected] to your list of allowed senders and contacts.


This email newsletter comes to you free and is supported by the following advertisers, which offer products and services in which you might be interested. Please take a moment to visit these advertisers' Web sites and show your support for Storage UPDATE.




1. Commentary
- CDP Raises the Bar for Backup and Recovery

2. From the Community
- Shared Disks Might Fail When You Create a Windows 2003 Server Cluster

3. New and Improved
- NEC Offers New Storage Products for SMBs
- SmartLine Freeware Mitigates Risk of USB Downloads
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

4. Windows IT Pro Resources


Disk Performance Analyzer for Networks is a Free utility that remotely scans your systems looking for fragmentation-related disk performance bottlenecks. Disk fragmentation is a major source of slowdowns, freeze-ups, and headaches; with Disk Performance Analyzer you can stamp out these little fires before they flare up into five-alarm blazes. Disk Performance Analyzer will save you time and reduce help desk traffic by enabling you to find and fix these problems before they find (and fix) your users and you. Get the free Disk Performance Analyzer for Networks now!


==== 1. Commentary: CDP Raises the Bar for Backup and Recovery ====
by Elliot King, [email protected]

Backup and recovery implementations have always been driven by five key criteria: time, speed, size, certainty, and cost. How long does it take to complete a backup operation, and how long must data be retained? How fast can lost data be restored? How much data must be backed up? How certain can you be that backup operations have succeeded and data can actually be restored? And, finally, how much will it cost? Over the past 2 years, the emergence of continuous data protection (CDP) has considerably raised the stakes and expectations for backup and recovery infrastructures.

Decline of Traditional Backup
For a long time--before the Web began to affect business operations--large companies would perform backups nightly. Smaller companies would often back up their data once a week or even less.

As Web-based operations and a new breed of enterprise-level applications emerged, the traditional backup scenario began to break down. As companies stayed "open for business" more hours of the day and generated more data, the backup window kept shrinking even as more information had to be managed. Some companies simply couldn't back up their data in the allotted time. Moreover, once-a-day backup was seen as inadequate. Too much data was generated each day to risk losing it if a failure occurred between backup operations.

The industry's first response was to offer snapshot technology, which began to command widespread attention with the release of the EMC TimeFinder product family. Instead of relegating backup to a single daily operation, major storage vendors began to offer the ability to take snapshots of data periodically throughout the day. If data was lost or corrupted, the system could be rolled back to a point at which its integrity was still intact.

CDP: The Next Step in Backup and Restore
CDP is the next step in that evolutionary process. "When CDP was first talked about a year ago, the idea was just to take a lot more snapshots," said Rick Walsworth, vice president of marketing at Kashya, which has released CDP appliance tuned for the Oracle and SQL Server markets.

That approach has its limits. Storing multiple data snapshots requires a lot of--often expensive--storage capacity. Moreover, you might not have a valid snapshot of data before corruption occurs, and even if you do, when you restore a file to its precorrupt state, you lose all changes made after the snapshot was taken. Finally, taking very rapid snapshots of data might cause performance problems.

CDP moves beyond snapshots. But, as with many new technologies, hype and fact about CDP are meshed together. A number of smaller companies have barreled into the CDP sector. Some of those companies, capitalizing on the market's growing enthusiasm for CDP, are positioning their technology as delivering CDP even if that isn't exactly the case.

CDP comes in three basic flavors. The most rudimentary approach provides block-level replication and logs all changes to the disk image as they occur. This process has been described as mirroring that can be rolled back. Since it doesn't store directory or file information, this CDP type is most useful for full-restore applications.

The second flavor, and most common approach to CDP, takes place at the file level. This CDP solution logs changes to files as they occur. Individual files can then be restored. File-level CDP, however, doesn't collect information about database logs or operations, and it might restore transactional systems to an inappropriate point in time.

The third and most involved approach to CDP is called application-aware CDP. This type of CDP technology understands how the application works. It applies timestamps to specific I/O and application events, creating, in effect, intelligent benchmarks. If something untoward happens to data, it can be rolled back to a point in time when the data was last consistent according to the application.

Vendors use any of several different approaches in their application-aware CDP products. For example, Kashya offers an appliance that sits outside the data and monitors write activity. Other approaches monitor both read and write activity. For instance, FalconStor Software offers a software-only CDP solution.

Despite the confusion surrounding CDP, the technology has gotten a lot of people's attention. According to a recent survey by the Enterprise Strategy Group, 63 percent of its respondents indicated that they were familiar with the concept.

At this point, CDP seems to be most appropriate for email and transactional applications. Nonetheless, the idea of continuous protection is very attractive, and its use is likely to broaden over time as IT pros gain a better understanding of CDP features and how the technology can benefit them.

==== Sponsor: Open Solutions for Data Storage ====

Increase efficiencies by centralizing storage on a single, shared device. Reduce storage costs and increase data protection with flexible storage expansion. Get more from your application servers by offloading storage services. Free PDF White Paper.

==== 2. From the Community ====

Shared Disks Might Fail When You Create a Windows 2003 Server Cluster

When you configure a new server cluster on a Windows Server 2003 computer, you might experience problems, such as the following:
- A warning icon appears next to "Checking cluster feasibility" on the Analyzing Configuration page of the New Server Cluster Wizard.
- The New Server Cluster Wizard might configure the cluster to use a Local Quorum resource instead of an existing shared hard disk.
- After you configure the cluster, some shared hard disks may be missing or marked as "Failed."

These problems might occur if the Windows 2003 computer contains more than one host bus adapter (HBA) controller. To learn more about the problem and the fix for it, go to

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, [email protected]

NEC Offers New Storage Products for SMBs

NEC Solutions (America) introduced two new storage disk arrays, advanced management software, and preconfigured bundles that deliver high-end features and functionality to small-to-midsized business (SMB) users. The new S2400 and S1400 disk arrays provide up to 27.6TB and 13.8TB, respectively, of storage capacity and are designed to be integrated in a DAS and SAN environment. The arrays include an updated version of NEC's Storage Manager Software, which simplifies management by providing real-time monitoring and statistical performance information across all storage devices. The products will be offered as both build-to-order and as preconfigured solutions--the Availability Solution, Performance Solution, and Reliability Solution. The new products will be sold under the NEC Express Partner Program. The products are priced starting at $30,000 list. For more information, contact NEC Solutions (America) on the Web:

SmartLine Freeware Mitigates Risk of USB Downloads

SmartLine has released DeviceLock Plug and Play (PnP) Auditor, a freeware product that lets network and security administrators audit the USB, FireWire, and PCMCIA devices on a company's network. Administrators can use this information to determine how many users are uploading and downloading data to personal, portable storage devices. DeviceLock PnP Auditor uses a multithreaded engine to ensure fast, unobtrusive auditing of all activity on any computers in an organization. The software uses a multiple-document interface (MDI) structure, so that you can keep each task in its own window, and displays audit results either as a tree or a plain list. You can also export results to Microsoft Excel. For more information and to download DeviceLock PnP Auditor, go to

Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Tell us about the product, and we'll send you a T-shirt if we write about the product in a future Windows IT Pro What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions with information about how the product has helped you to [email protected]


==== Hot Release (advertisement): ====

Can you afford to have anything less than 100% Uptime for your Mission Critical Email?

Email has become mission critical to the functioning of business and every hour of downtime can cost thousands of dollars in lost productivity and revenue. In this free white paper, learn how to address challenges such as: making email truly available 24x7x365, securing against viruses, comprehensively backing up email data, and more. Download your copy now!


==== 4. Windows IT Pro Resources ====

Check out these links to a wealth of Windows IT Pro resources: white papers, eBooks, Web seminars, conferences, and other events.

==== Resources and Events ====
(brought to you by Windows IT Pro)

Get the Most from Reporting Services

In this free Web seminar, you'll learn about innovative ways to extend your reports, reporting from XML-based data, delivering reports with the new Report Viewer, supercharging reports with SQL Server 2005 CLR stored procedures, and more! Register today:

Free Tools to Stop Internet Attacks

Your network users' negligent or inappropriate activity is often the entry point for Internet criminals to access your systems. In this free Web seminar, you'll learn how to effectively implement policy, user training, and technology to mitigate Internet risks. You will take away free tools to help you analyze threats and create Acceptable-Use Policies (AUPs). Register now at

Get the Most from Your Infrastructure by Consolidating Servers and Storage

Improved utilization of existing networking resources and server hardware lets you allocate money and time where they're needed most. In this free Web seminar, learn to optimize your existing infrastructure with the addition of server and storage consolidation software and techniques. You'll get the jumpstart you need to evaluate the suitability and potential of your computing environment for the added benefits that consolidation technology can provide.

Do You Know What "High Availability" Really Means?

In this free guide, learn what high availability really means and the different strategies that you can use to improve your email systems' availability and resiliency. Download this FREE guide now and get prepared to choose the appropriate solutions to protect your messaging data at the lowest cost; with the highest reliability.

Win the NEW, full-color LCD Display iPod (for Mac or PC)

Download a Windows IT Pro podcast on Windows IT Pro Radio by your favorite author, editor, or industry figure. You'll automatically be entered to win!

Win A $100 American Express Gift Certificate!

We invite you to take 3 minutes and tell us your opinion about the email security products and services you currently use--or wish you could use. Take the Email Security Products Survey today at

==== Featured White Paper ====

Learn about the capabilities offered by the integration of Microsoft SMS 2003 and Afaria

In this free white paper, you'll learn about new functionality and benefits of Microsoft SMS specifically targeted to improving management of remote and mobile devices, challenges of managing frontline systems, how the combined solution creates value around the successful use of technology at the front lines of business, and more.

==== Announcements ====
(from Windows IT Pro and its partners)

Windows IT Pro Monthly Online Pass = Quick Answers

Sign up for a Monthly Online Pass and get inside access to ALL the articles, tools, and helpful resources published in Windows IT Pro, including exclusive subscriber-only content. You'll have 24/7 access to a database of more than 9000 Windows articles that will give you all the answers you need, when you need them. BONUS--Includes the latest digital issue of Windows IT Pro. Sign up now for just US$5.95 per month:

Save up to $30 off Windows IT Pro

You won't want to miss any of Windows IT Pro's upcoming fall issues! Subscribe now and discover the best ways to plan for Longhorn, the need-to-knows of VBScript, ways to make sense of SQL Server, the 10 Security Tools You Can't Live Without, Vista launch essentials, and much more. You'll also gain exclusive access to the entire Windows IT Pro online article database (more than 9000 articles), and you'll save up to $30 off the full cover price. Click here:


==== Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- [email protected]
About the newsletter -- [email protected]
About technical questions --
About product news -- [email protected]
About your subscription -- [email protected]
About sponsoring UPDATE -- [email protected]


This email newsletter is brought to you by Windows IT Pro, the leading publication for IT professionals deploying Windows and related technologies. Subscribe today!

View the Windows IT Pro privacy policy at

Windows IT Pro, a division of Penton Media, Inc.
221 East 29th Street, Loveland, CO 80538
Attention: Customer Service Department

Copyright 2005, Penton Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.