Mendocino Unveils Process-Aware Data Protection

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Continuous data protection (CDP), a disk-based philosophy for backing up and replicating data at any point in time, has been gaining a lot of momentum in recent months. The cries for airtight data protection have grown louder, as corporation have been inundated with compliance regulations.

That’s why Mendocino Software is proposing a system that offers a combination of CDP and process-aware storage.

The San Jose, Calif., startup will unveil an appliance at the Storage Decisions conference today that not only recovers data on applications, databases and file systems to any previous point in time, but also provides information about the specific business process.

The key word is process, says Mendocino Vice President Eric Burgener.

“While we do leverage a foundation of CDP, we think CDP doesn’t really go far enough to solve the problem of returning an application to any previous point in time or process,” he said.

Burgener said that while CDP is based on time — the ability to pick any recovery point on a timeline — it doesn’t tell the administrator what processes are running in the application.

Thanks to a built-in policy engine, Mendocino’s RecoveryOne system will scrutinize applications after a quarterly close, a patch installation, or at database checkpoints.

Users can tell the software what they want tracked for any kind of application and mark those events. The software does not discriminate, tracking apps on anything from a Microsoft Exchange system running on Windows to an Oracle database running on Solaris.

This distinction from other “vanilla” CDP offerings, Burgener said, is that Mendocino’s technology makes it a lot easier to pick the best recovery point in a system failure.

In short, RecoveryOne complements and extends the value of the CDP timeline with information about the events that are going on in an application. This combination of time-based storage, or CDP, and event-based storage, is why the company calls it recovery management instead of CDP, the executive said.

“You get everything you get from standard CDP, plus all of the other annotations along that timeline,” Burgener said. “Our view of time-addressable storage is that it’s a lot better than once daily snapshot or tape backups, or even four to eight hardware snaps a day because you get a lot more recovery points.”

RecoveryOne collects data using a “data tap” gadget that is not tied to any volume manager or file system and is portable to different network devices. The system software runs on an out-of-band, network-based appliance that can support several servers at the same time.

To spruce up this data coverage, Mendocino next year will add plug-ins that address specific applications, Burgener said.

Mendocino also does thing a bit differently from competitor Revivio in that it doesn’t sell the products directly, relying on a chain of large original equipment manufacturers such as EMC, IBM and HP to put their marketing clout behind the boxes and selling them.

Burgener said Mendocino settled on the indirect go-to-market approach because it feels that customers will be more amenable to purchasing RecoveryOne from a big-time vendor than a unproven startup.

He said the public can expect to see specific reseller deal news from Mendocino in the fourth quarter. Indeed, EMC is already rumored to be one of Mendocino’s partners. Resellers will set their prices, but the machines are expected to start at about $70,000 to $80,000 for a 1 terabyte configuration.

CDP is a space with no shortage of competition. The technology is expected to play large this week, with Microsoft also unveiling its Data Protection Manager product at Storage Decisions and Symantec trotting out its Backup Exec 10D software.

Article courtesy of

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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