Microsoft has moved for the first time into the disk-based backup and recovery market with the launch of its Data Protection Server.
The continuous disk-based backup and recovery offering for the Windows Server System group of products will simplify backups and reduce the recovery process from "hours to minutes", the company promised.
Currently available in a private beta version, Microsoft Data Protection Server is scheduled to be generally available in the second half of 2005.
Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows server division at Microsoft, said customers had complained that backing up and recovering their data was currently labour-intensive and complex.
He added that the growth of business data volumes and new government regulations are increasing the cost and complexity of backup and recovery, forcing companies to rethink their data protection planning.
"Data Protection Server has garnered broad industry support because it will help customers of all sizes shrink their recovery time from hours to minutes and drive down the cost of maintaining storage infrastructures," he said in a statement.
At the Data Protection Server launch more than 20 storage firms, including Dell, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Hewlett Packard, NEC, Intel, Seagate Technology and Sun Microsystems, announced broad support for the product.
Data Protection Server is designed to integrate with existing Windows Server elements such as Active Directory, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003.
The product operates continuously in the background to make sure systems are being backed up. It also allows integration with tape through a backup interface under development that is based on the Volume Shadow Copy Service application programming interface included in Windows Server 2003.
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