Microsoft set to release disk based back up system

Microsoft says that its first disk-based data backup system will be released to manufacturing within the next 30 days. The Microsoft System Centre Data Protection Manager (DPM) aims to allow IT departments to back up their information on fast hard disk systems rather than the familiar tape based systems.

DPM also has the benefit of allowing end users to retrieve lost or corrupted files on from their own desktop without having to bother the IT department. This will not only allow users to get on with their work rather than waiting for IT to find the relevant backup but also lead to less hassle all round.

The DRM can be set to back up changes to files held on multiple file servers onto a separate server up to once an hour.

The system has been in beta test for a couple of months. Microsoft says that the trial version has been downloaded from its web site about 50,000 times.

The demise of tape as the back up system of choice has been predicted for a long time. However, the tumbling cost of hard disk costs coupled with the leaps in storage capacity has now made it a serious option to compete with the venerable tape backup. With the launch of the DPM, the final demise of the tape-based system can only be a few years off.

The Data Protection Manager is expected to hit the shelves this quarter at an estimated retail price of around $950. The price includes licenses for one server and the protection of three file servers. Customers can buy additional file server licenses for $189 apiece. For the volume license customers, the maximum price is $425 for DPM with no file server licenses, and $147 per file server license.

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