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Vinchin Blog Understand CDP technology

Understand CDP technology

2019-11-14

The tape is still the most common use of long-term storage, but tape technology is increasingly out of sync with changing business needs.

Volumes are growing rapidly, so tape-based backups under a given backup window are often impractical (or even impossible). Users of large backups typically report that tape backups have been running for more than a weekend, and often for an entire weekend, which can have an impact on the network. There is also a greater focus on tighter recovery time targets (RTO) and recovery point targets (RPO). Faster recovery and better recovery points reduce the risk of data loss. Disk storage technology is increasingly replacing tape, leading to dedicated storage systems that deliver better performance and reliability. Among the latest data protection technologies, one of the more attractive ones is continuous data protection (CDP).


The traditional backup strategy is to maintain a full copy of the data, while THE CDP keeps track of the changing data -- usually corresponding to some read/write event. By recording changes in the disk, the storage administrator can restore the server or storage array (or other CDP protected storage system) to a previous normal point; From the first few seconds to the last few days. Skilled workers can very easily balance granularity to recover from errors, such as lost files, virus damage, or data loss, that may be caused by network or service errors. Some CDP products date actual events to help administrators identify potential reconstruction points.


CDP can be implemented by hardware or software. Software-based CDP is typically implemented by agents on each server you protect (such as a database server). Hardware-based CDP applications include in-band (on the data path) and out-of-band (not on the data path). The CDP implementation for hardware is usually Agentless, and some software methods are also Agentless. For instance, Vinchin Backup & Recovery is the image-based Backup solution and no need to install any agent on the guest OS(Agentless Backup), Directly Access Hypervisor which leads a zero Consumption of OS Resources, which achieves the Continuous Data protection.


While CDP can support refactoring at a variety of granularity, it does not protect against changes and transactions that occur between an error and its discovery. For example, CDP cannot prevent a virus from infecting a file, but it can restore the infected file to the previous point -- the problem is that all the work since the rebuild point is lost. Depending on the error and the impact on the data, some data reconstruction may be needed. Therefore, CDP is not very useful for regular backups. In a way, CDP and Snapshot technologies are very similar, but the two approaches are different. A snapshot is basically a capture of a system at some point in time, kind of like CDP. The difference between the two is that snapshots are treated as events, perhaps once a day or twice a day, or once an hour. When an error occurs, the data in between the snapshot and the error is lost, much like a traditional data backup. CDP, by contrast, is a continuous process, recording all activities in real-time, and returning to the previous error point. A snapshot can often be thought of as a slice of A CDP.


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