IBM today announced new software that continuously protects information -- on laptops, desktop PCs and file servers -- from viruses, file corruption, or accidental deletion. The software, IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, is a "data safety net" that provides real-time back up for important information such as Word documents, MP3 files, digital photos, presentations, and spreadsheets containing sales and tax records.
With people today more likely to be connected to a network through high-bandwidth wireless connections in coffee shops, parks and even entire cities, continuous backup of data is now practical. Previously, users have had to back up data through a scheduled backup session. With IBM's new software, it happens continuously with one simple package that can be installed on laptops, desktop PCs or enterprise file servers.
"Nearly 90% of our employees are mobile, which means that we are constantly looking for ways to improve operational efficiencies, decrease costs and administration and protect important information stored on their systems," said Winston Grey, IT manager, Consigli Construction in Milford, Mass. "With this new software, IBM is providing instant and automated backup of data and the added capability to restore deleted files with just a few clicks of the mouse."
The software creates a copy on the local machine within milliseconds, and then sends another copy to a remote server. People on-the-go can protect and restore files that are corrupted or accidentally deleted, back to any point in time, even before they were lost - adding multiple layers of defense against data loss.
Imagine someone stuck in an airport, working wirelessly, who loses hours of work when a file freezes. Using the IBM software, that information is protected, even within the last few seconds of being entered. Additionally, while the user is working during the flight, the software continues to automatically save changes to documents locally. Once on the ground and back on the network, the software automatically sends those changes to the server for additional protection.
IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is easy to install in a matter of minutes. A CD takes users through a few simple steps, from determining where the data should be saved on the laptop, to configuring the remote server to receive the copy. Such fast, step-by-step installation makes it easy for people who lack advanced IT skills or do not have access to help desk support while on the road.
IBM studies show that loss of data, including time wasted while attempting to restore the information, is among the top problems for mobile workers. While larger companies often have system administrators who handle periodic data backup, that is often not a viable option for people working outside traditional office environments, such as sales people traveling between airports or telecommuters who work from home part-time.
IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can protect corporate data on enterprise servers, with the same fast and easy installation. The software simplifies heterogeneous storage management among enterprise servers and provides integrated data protection across all types of data formats. Working together with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, the software provides complete file protection by automatically making copies of data locally, or across the network. Data can be guarded against deletion and alteration and protects against viruses and file corruption.
The software involves more than 10 patents pending on technologies for capturing continuous changes to data in tandem with remote scheduled back-up. A beta version of the software has been available to developers via IBM's alphaWorks site for emerging technologies. By providing developers with early access to emerging technologies, alphaWorks has become a breeding ground for IBM products and initiatives that have turned into market-leading solutions.
"With this new technology, IBM is providing customers and their mobile workers with an instant backup and recovery solution to protect information on demand," said Al Zollar, General Manager, IBM Tivoli Software. "We are extending our technology in storage management software to help people access all the information they need, when and where they need it."
IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is part of IBM's storage management software portfolio, including IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, which has been on the market for more than 10 years and was among the first backup and recovery software solutions in the industry.
IBM Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files will be available on September 16, 2005, at $35 per laptop or desktop, and $995 per server processor. The software will be sold direct through IBM and IBM business partners.