Understanding continuous backup and recovery technologies

Continuous Backup and Recovery is designed to meet all of your data protection requirements in a single platform across your entire IT estate. The idea is to converge backup, disaster recovery and data mobility across on-premises and cloud systems.

Additionally, continuous backup and recovery tools should offer orchestration, automation and analytics to further simplify data protection.

Continuous Data Protection (CDP)

In the past, synchronous replication has been reserved for mission-critical workloads. Using Change Block Tracking (CBT) for near-synchronous replication, it is possible to back-up data in real-time without having to worry about backup windows and schedules.

CDP is always-on, operating at the hypervisor level and integrating with existing assets. You can benefit from the technology immediately without costly hardware upgrades or replacements.

Track changes with Journaling

By tracking and recording every single change in your application or server, the journal offers finely detailed recovery options. Every five seconds, the journal is updated, recording these changes as checkpoints.

Any of these checkpoints can be used as a recovery point, helping to significantly reduce RPO and potential data loss. A journal is created for all of your virtual machines – even when you have thousands, giving you total control of your production system and backups.

Each journal is also updated with a checkpoint stamp every few seconds. Checkpoints offer another potential recovery point for files, VMs, applications and more

Long-Term Retention

Checkpoints in the journal are available for up to 30 days – beyond that, your CDP solution will need to offer long-term repositories (LTR). The LTR and replicated files are located on secondary storage – often a low-cost cloud repository.

LTR can be configured to maintain files and journals for up to seven years – or even longer if required.

Multi-VM Application Consistency

Complex, enterprise-grade applications typically run across multiple virtual machines. In order to ensure consistent, accurate data at the point of restore, you must be able to select a consistent checkpoint across them all. In this way, you guarantee application consistency because all VMs are restored as a single entity back to the exact same point in time

Orchestration and Automation

The complexity of your operating environment is reflected in the complexity of your backup processes. Consolidating continuous backup and recovery into a single platform will immediately help to simplify operations. However, a leading-edge tool will also include orchestration and administration functionality too.

By configuring the setting in advance, the recovery process – and intermediate stages – can be triggered with a few mouse clicks. Much of the procedure will then complete automatically so the IT team can focus on other activities in the middle of a data centre crisis.


Understanding how your backup and recovery processes are performing is more than a pass/fail indicator. Continuous backup and recovery tools should provide you with detailed analytics so you can see trends, anomalies and issues without having to dig through event logs and reports. Using these analytics you should be able to better model “what if” scenarios for planning future backup infrastructure requirements. And to spot opportunities for improvement.

Taking the next step

The value of your data continues to increase – data loss is no longer tolerable or acceptable. To avoid problems, your business should be looking at implementing a continuous backup and recovery toolkit immediately.

To learn more about your options – and our preferred continuous backup and recovery platform, Veeam – please get in touch.

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