Microsoft is putting its disk-based backup and instant recovery product into beta tests.

Introduced last September as Data Protection Server, the renamed Data Protection Manager will allow sysadmins to continuously back up the Windows NT file system and recover data from any point in time.

Data Protection Manager will back up as many as eight servers. In the future it will be able to back up Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server implementations.

It works with Microsoft’s Active Directory, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003. Users of Dell, EMC or HP network-attached storage appliances that use Windows Storage Server 2003 will also be able to use Data Protection Manager, and it will integrate with Microsoft’s System Center software.

IT administrators that download the beta software will be able to upgrade to the release-to-manufacturing product when it ships. The beta software will soon be available for download on Microsoft's website.

The still-unpriced Data Protection Manager is expected to formally launch this summer.