Continuous data protection (CDP) differs from traditional backup recovery software in one essential way: whereas backup methods require data to be copied to another entity, such as a tape or a disk, CDP data is copied and then stored on the local storage area network (SAN) or the network-attached storage (NAS) system. CDP works by making frequent, incremental copies of the data itself. Essentially, CDP tracks every change made and captures continuous changes to data. CDP serves as a baseline reference to the original state of the data, it tracks the state of a file when a change occurs and tracks the change in the backup system, and it allows granular recovery for multiple point-in-time states of the data. When an incident occurs and backup recovery is necessary, CDP allows the user to go back and reset a file, dataset, or entire database to the state it was in before. So, should CDP replace traditional backup methods?
- Using CDP after the initial setup does not require intensive IT training and the backed up files can be easily accessed by the average desktop and/or laptop user.
- CDP integrates into established data protection frameworks very easily and can protect data on other storage tiers.
- CDP preserves a record of every change made to a computer.
- If a system becomes infected with a virus or a while is corrupted and the problem is not discovered until later, it is still possible to recover the most recent clean copy of the affected file.
- Data recovery is possible in a manner of seconds, much less time than with other backup systems. However, this is contingent on file size and network speed.
- Installing CDP hardware does not put existing data at risk. Furthermore, there is no gap in data when a restore occurs.