Microsoft has launched a new product called Data Protection Manager (DPM), which provides a disk-to-disk continuous data backup system. The software is capable of saving up to eight snapshots of data off Windows servers per day, and is intended for use on Windows Server 2003. This should permit IT administrators to restore files from disk faster, and to recover from disasters more quickly. Retail pricing starts at US$950 per server.

James Tarala, CIO and chief technology officer at Schenck Business Solutions in Milwaukee, said he recently purchased DPM and expects to use it eliminate daily tape backups at 11 remote offices. His plan is to replicate snapshots to three new iSCSI storage arrays at his primary data centre.

"One thing I like is the DPM product is less expensive," Tarala said, explaining that it's easier and faster to manage incremental disk backups instead of full or incremental tape backups. "From a time standpoint, one of the things that takes so much time is going back to tape to recover files."