Cutting the amount of time required for data backups by backing up changes to the data instead of the entire data set, Microsoft's new System Center Data Protection Manager application has been unveiled, albeit in the public beta stage for the time being. The software, which is aimed at integrating disk-to-disk and near-continual data protection into server platforms, discovers servers through Active Directory, and watches for changes to the data, and can take data snapshots where required. The demand for speedier backups has existed for some time, and Microsoft is answering the challenge, and at a price that does not cost an arm and a leg.

"Microsoft is trying to make sure the solution is affordable. There are other solutions. But look at their price point. They're expensive. Or they are often retrofit software with tape integration. We want a compelling solution for our platform." - Microsoft general manager Rakesh Narasimhan.