Mendocino trims down CDP

By Ann Silverthorn

—Recognizing that "true" continuous data protection (CDP) can sometimes be overkill, Mendocino Software has added a "near-CDP" option to its InfiniView software. Don't look for InfiniView to show up at Circuit City though. This CDP is still priced for enterprises.

True CDP involves real-time capture of every block- or file-level write operation, allowing users to roll back to any point in time (APIT) if they need to recover information. Near CDP can capture data many times per hour, but cannot recover data from absolutely any point in time.

According to Mendocino, it is much easier for a true-CDP product to offer near CDP than vice versa, which would require wholesale changes to the near-CDP software.

Current Mendocino users can add the near-CDP function by upgrading their software to the new 1.4 version. Upgraded and new customers can use true CDP, near CDP, or a dual mode.

Users can decide which type of CDP they need on an application-by-application basis. They may have some mission-critical applications that need true CDP all the time. There may also be applications for which true CDP is only needed for the first few days. As the data ages, near CDP might be sufficient.

"As a true-CDP vendor, we thought recovery granularity was most important," says Eric Burgener, vice president of marketing at Mendocino. "But the benefit of near CDP is that you use a lot less storage even though you don't have as much recovery granularity."

Burgener hopes this move will broaden Mendocino's market. "For someone who doesn't need that granularity and who in the past might have chosen near CDP, now [he] can get the same benefits of CDP, but if [he] wants more granularity he has the flexibility to accommodate that with a single product."

However, this will probably not be a suitable product for companies that only have a couple of servers to hook up to a CDP appliance. The software, which Mendocino OEMs to companies such as Hewlett-Packard and IBM, costs $50,000 before the OEMs add any hardware to it.

"We're targeting customers with high-performance OLTP databases, very large Exchange configurations, and environments where there will be multiple servers plugged into one appliance," says Burgener. "Those customers want transparent data capture and zero impact. Our solutions can ingest data at a much higher rate than you would get with, say, Symantec's Backup Exec 10d or Microsoft's Data Protection Manager."

This article was originally published on February 22, 2007