Microsoft Now Has Backup-And-Recovery Software

Microsoft expects that the prospect of eliminating tape drives will be attractive to small-business buyers. For one thing, disk-to-disk systems greatly improve recovery times compared with tape drives. Microsoft says its software can recover data in minutes. Recovery using tape drives can take hours or even days, and require IT intervention.

Jeff Price, a senior director at Microsoft, says byte-level extraction makes Data Protection Server so fast. "DPS logs changes on continuous processes at the byte level, so it could replicate only a 5 Mbyte change to a 20 Gbyte file," Price says.

And Data Protection Server, used in conjunction with Active Directory, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003, makes backup and recovery a continuous--not a once-nightly--process. And, Microsoft says, it won't impede desktop functions.

Data Protection Server has been endorsed by heavy-hitting system vendors and OEM partners such as Dell, EMC, and Hewlett-Packard. And it's supported by data-protection and -replication software vendors CommVault, LiveVault, and NSI. Backup-and-recovery software maker Legato (a unit of EMC) is supporting the product, but Veritas Software Corp. is unlikely to do so any time soon.

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OEM products are expected during the second half of next year.