CDP announcements are becoming a flood. IBM and Commvault are joining in. According to Reuters, IBM is going to announce Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files. It will be released September 16th and be priced at $35 per desktop/laptop and $995 per server. Stored data is sent to a remote server. The story quotes an IBMÂ’r saying snapshots are good but not continuous so data entered since the last snapshot could be lost. Storing all file-level changes prevents that.

CommVault UK's MD, Alsdair Kilgour, was asked about data storage concerns that currently interest his customers, having earlier 'no commented' on a future product plans question. He replied: "CDP is an increasingly strong driver. It needs to be application-aware ... only apply it to critical application's data ... Don't do CDP at the (disk) volume level ... Take a snapshot of (critical) data (for DR) ... take block-level changes to the DR copy. If the main system fails dismount the primary disk, mount the DR volume, re-point the server to the DR volume, you've recovered in seconds." Application users may not even see the interruption. No data that's been committed to disk is lost. Existing policy-setting technology in CommVault's Unified Data Management suite could be use to specify application files that need to have CDP applied.

Alasdair has it all worked out. You might even imagine he'd been on an internal forthcoming product briefing. He couldn't possibly comment.

CDP has been seen as a requirement for 24x7 enterprises who can't afford to lose a single byte of data. We've covered it quite a lot, mentioning Revivio, TimeSpring, NetApp and others such as XOSoft and Mendocino. Symantec's Veritas has a CDP product codenamed Panther out on beta test. Think synthetic-style backup technology with lots of saved deltas.

IBM's pricing and IBM'r quotes indicate an SMB market approach. CommVault has a good reseller channel and that would include SMBs. Naturally a small/medium business use of CDP would require it to be simple and bullet-proof to operate, also preferably integrated into existing backup and archiving routines. Cheap SATA arrays - CommVault's Kilgour says Dell is leading the way here with its EMC drive array technology - is making the hardware cost affordable. We need software vendors to get busy extending data protection software.

Data Protection, courtesy of D2D backup, is going to become continuous as a matter of course I think. All the data protection vendors will offer it, again as a matter of course. Any laptop, desktop or server with external drives might be well advised to employ CDP too. Local recovery is always going to be better than link-dependent remote recovery. Think how good it would be to have every file or record change you make silently but surely stored on a local external disk. Primary disk crashes would never have the same fears again.

What that needs is for suppliers like Maxtor with its One Touch Retrospect backup, and Seagate with its comparable product, to have CDP added by their software suppliers. Are you hearing this Dantz?