BMC Software plans to roll out a suite of tools based on continuous data protection (CDP) technology from backup software startup XOsoft.
The technology is designed to help companies replicate data while keeping the two sets in sync. In the instance of a glitch or disaster, the software allows you to roll back data to a previous point in time at a very granular level.
Houston-based BMC, known for its infrastructure management software, is using the partnership to enhance its backup and recovery tool, BMC SQL-BackTrack. According to XOsoft president, Tom O'Connell, BMC is taking on all of the integration costs.
O'Connell said despite the partnership, Waltham, Mass.-based XOsoft is not opposed to customers coming to them directly and there are no talks of BMC acquiring XOsoft at this time.
"BMC's salesforce gives us geographic reach and breadth," O'Connell said, explaining how the deal benefits a small software vendor. And by partnering with XOsoft, BMC can get the product to the market faster than if it were to try to develop it on its own.
Other vendors have bought or partnered their way into the CDP market lately, including EMC and Hewlett-Packard, recently partnering with Fremont, Calif.-based Mendocino Software for a similar offering.
What is CDP?
O'Connell said IT pros had educated themselves on CDP in 2005 and that 2006 will be the year of adoption. But experts say CDP, like any new IT concept, is defined by the particular vendor selling it.
"CDP is one of those terms like virtualization," Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research said. "It depends on the vendor you're talking to when it comes to what CDP means and what the capabilities are."
Companies are throwing the term around to mean anything from automatically backing up PCs for remote employees to full database replication and rewind. Some companies offer snapshots of data with large gaps of up to 60 minutes, others can rewind data back to specific minutes or seconds. Some offerings are actually appliances and others are strictly software.
According to the definition from the Storage Networking Industry Association: "CDP is a methodology that continuously captures or tracks data modifications and stores changes independent of the primary data, enabling recovery points from any point in the past. CDP systems may be block-, file- or application-based and can provide fine granularities of restorable objects to infinitely variable recovery points."
Who makes it?
The market for CDP ranges far and wide and includes everyone from major systems vendors and storage companies to startups:
What will it do for you?
Many analysts are bullish on CDP, especially Gartner who said CDP will decrease the recovery time and the amount of data lost in outages.
"Enterprises are becoming increasingly dependent on business applications, and even the shortest of outages may have a severe financial impact," stated Dave Russell, research director at Gartner in a statement from XOsoft. "Therefore it is imperative that enterprises deploy well-managed data protection solutions that include CDP technologies."
According to King, a formal, automated backup process does make a lot of sense and is an absolute necessity in the case of public companies thanks to compliance. "Businesses are just trying to get their heads around the sheer amount of data that's being backed up. Anything that will automate that will help," King said.
Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Matt Stansberry, News Editor