Microsoft has released a beta upgrade to its file-and-application server recovery software, adding support for a number of its servers.

System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2006 version 2, builds upon a previous version of DPM released last year, which itself marked the company's first move into the data protection software market.

Version 2 employs a patent-pending technology that constantly monitors data changes and can recover the data with zero loss, Microsoft said. During recovery, the new version can also draw data from tape as well as from disks.

DPM version 2 now supports Microsoft's Exchange Server, SQL Server and Office SharePoint Portal Server, plus the already-supported Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 servers. The hope is that it will replace low-end tape products with centralised disk-to-disk backup.

Gartner has written that Microsoft is expected to make gains in the field because of the wide use of Windows file servers and typically low use of file-protection software among small to medium-size businesses. DPM Version 2 employs new replication technology that reduces the input and output necessary to keep large data sets synchronised, Microsoft said.