Forbes is protecting its web site with continous backup using Revivio technology. Forbes business magazine circulates globally and is aimed at business leaders. The publisher like many other magazine publishers, has started up a companion web site, www.forbes.com. It serves the existing Forbes customers by providing instant access to business news and information from a source they trust and recognise. It also enables reaching out to new customers that use online business information sources.

The Forbes site is thus highly visible to extremely influential people and Forbes naturally wanted to ensure that data on it was fully protected and constantly available.

Forbes began ptotecting the site using backups and disk snapshot technology. However, this left gaps in the availability of information should on-line disks crash. There was always an interval between snapshots in which data would be lost. This wasn't acceptable.

Alternate data protection strategies were tested but rejected by Forbes.com, as they focused on making, managing and storing copies of data as it existed only at specific single points in time (so-called SPIT copies). Reducing the lost information window would only be achieved by making ever more frequent SPIT copies. This means much more effort and more expense. Also, even the best SPIT approaches often only offered fair to poor recoverability.

Forbes wanted simple and actual business continuity because the credibility and reputation of the brand is equally dependent on the site being available, up-to-date, consistent in its performance and free from downtime and outages, as it is on the quality of the editorial content.

The company checked out Revivio's Continuous Protection System (CPS). This adds time values to the storage of data on backup disks that are continuously updated. Should the main drive or drives crash then the CPS store can instantly produce a backup copy of the data correct to any point in time. This compares to the many minutes with snapshot technology or, even worse, hours if not days that Forbes' competitors face using traditional backup-based data protection systems.

The Revivio CPS fitted quite seamlessly and non-disruptively into Forbes.com's existing storage environment.

"By installing Revivio technology, we believe that Forbes.com has gained ... the ability to instantly and non-destructively recreate data as it existed at any previous point in time, the ability to restore vital applications in minutes as well as, the ability to recreate data in the event of an archival backup failure," said Michael Smith, vice president and general manager of operations for Forbes.com.

"Moreover, we are now also able to automatically audit the archival data and conduct forensic analysis of failure events. We believe this is another reason we enjoy greater business resiliency than any of our competitors."

Paul Lewis, chief executive officer of Revivio, said that Forbes.com shares, "our vision for moving data protection beyond the realm of making copies."

We note that that what Forbes.com is actually doing is making copies but making them with a far higher and time-stamped granularity than with the mass data copy - pointer-based - every few minutes that snapshotting achieves. In effect, the risk of data loss at Forbes is a thing of the past.