Upcoming IBM software continually backs up files
It's designed to protect data on laptops but can also be used on desktops
IDG News Service - IBM plans to release new software next month for automatically backing up files on laptop computers. The product will be aimed primarily at mobile workers and is intended to protect data in the event that files are accidentally deleted or become corrupted, or if a laptop is stolen, IBM said.
Called Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, the software creates a local backup copy of files each time changes are made, said Steve Cliff, a U.K. regional sales manager for IBM's Tivoli storage software. When the laptop is connected to a network, via a Wi-Fi connection, for example, the software also backs up the data to a remote server.
The product will join an emerging field of so-called continuous data protection (CDP) products. Other vendors include Storactive Inc. in Marina del Rey, Calif., and start-up Lasso Logic in San Francisco. In addition, Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas Software Corp. is beta-testing a CDP product called Backup Exec Panther.
Still, IBM claims its product is a novel one. Some other systems require a dedicated server to monitor and store file changes, the company said, while others back up files only periodically, every hour or so, rather than continually.
IBM is aiming its product at both large and small businesses. While IBM is marketing the software primarily for laptops, it also works on desktop PCs and enterprise file servers. It will be available via Internet download from Sept. 16 and on CD the following month, priced at $35 per laptop or desktop and $995 per server processor, IBM said.
Most businesses today are focused on backing up their file servers and databases. However, laptop use has become more widespread in recent years, and increasing amounts of corporate data are stored on those machines, making it important to back up that data as well, Cliff said.
The software is reasonably priced and could prove popular, especially among IBM's existing Tivoli Storage System customers, said Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates Inc. in Boulder, Colo. "It spreads a lot of much-needed data protection out to the desktop, and particularly to laptops," he said.
The software can be set to back up all files, including Word, Excel and MP3 files, or to create backups only for particular applications and files, IBM's Cliff said. Users can choose where the local backup file is created. That can be done on the laptop's hard disk, or on a removable storage media such as a CD or Universal Serial Bus memory device, he said.
Applications typically record file changes frequently, even when users aren't constantly saving
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