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What do you need to know about
data protection?

  True CDP   Near CDP

What is continuous data protection?

Continuous backup or continuous data protection (CDP) is a strategy that backs up all the data as and when any alteration is made, creating a journal of changes which allows restoration to any previous point in time. British entrepreneur Pete Malcolm patented continuous data protection technology in 1989. This backup strategy prevents the loss of data created between scheduled backups, mitigates loss of data due to threats such as ransomware, malware, and accidental deletion, and is sometimes necessary for compliance with strict data protection regulations.

There are two types of CDP solutions:

  • True CDP

    True CDP solutions provide continuous, real-time replication of data changes, with no loss between primary and replicated systems. CDP captures and replicates data changes instantly for a more precise recovery point objective (RPO).

  • Near CDP

    Near CDP solutions capture and replicate data changes at frequent intervals. While near CDP provides a higher level of data protection compared to traditional periodic backups, it may still result in a small amount of data loss since changes made between the intervals are not captured.

The efficiency of CDP is explained using two terms: recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). RTO refers to the intended time span between the occurrence of a failure and the moment when operations resume and RPO is the point in time to which an organization can recover its data after a disaster occurs. By minimizing the RPO, CDP helps organizations achieve higher levels of data availability and reduce the impact of disruptions. CDP can be particularly beneficial in scenarios where data loss or downtime can have severe consequences, such as in mission-critical applications, financial systems, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages of continuous data protection

It is considered best practice to plan for various cyber risks in order to achieve cyber resilience. This involves preparing for, responding to, and recovering from cyber events efficiently. By being cyber resilient, businesses can maintain their operations with minimal interruptions to their workflow and processes.

A strong evaluation of the cyber hazards that a business is expected to encounter forms the foundation of a cyber resilience strategy. Such risks comprise internal threats stemming from individuals within the organization, as well as external vulnerabilities like data breaches and ransomware attacks.


  • Minimal data loss

    By capturing changes to data in near real-time or real-time, CDP minimizes the risk of data loss and ensures that even the most recent modifications are safeguarded, thereby reducing the impact of failures or disasters.

  • Granular recovery

    CDP allows for precise recovery to any specific point in time. Users can restore data to a specific moment before an issue occurred, providing greater flexibility and minimizing downtime.

  • Improved data availability

    CDP ensures continuous data accessibility by replicating data in real-time or near real-time, especially for critical systems or applications that cannot risk downtime.

  • Protection against ransomware and cyber threats

    Continuous data protection solutions easily scale with growing data volumes, ensuring ongoing data protection as it expands, and provide storage flexibility with on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid options.

  • Automates the backup process

    CDP solutions automate backups, reducing human error and ensuring consistent, timely backups.

  • Scalability and flexibility

    Continuous data protection solutions can easily scale with growing data volumes, ensuring that as the organization's data grows, it remains protected. They also offer flexibility in terms of storage options, allowing for on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid deployment models.


  • Increased resource requirements

    CDP solutions necessitate greater resource allocation, including storage and processing capacity. The ongoing replication and logging of data modifications could potentially produce more network activity and intensify the burden on related systems.

  • Higher costs

    CDP solutions have higher upfront and ongoing costs compared to periodic backups because of real-time replication, specialized software, and hardware demands.

  • Complexity

    CDP solutions are complex and require expertise and dedicated resources for configuring, managing continuous replication, monitoring errors, and ensuring data consistency.

  • Data retention challenges

    Continuous replication can result in excessive data replication, necessitating efficient storage management and retention policies. Organizations must weigh data retention needs against storage expenses and compliance obligations, while also prioritizing quick recovery times.

  • Dependency on the replication infrastructure

    CDP depends on replication infrastructure for data protection; any issues or failures may affect the availability and integrity of replicated data.

Continuous data protection vs. traditional backup

CDP effectively solves the biggest challenges associated with traditional backups. Most notably, CDP eliminates the backup window. Whereas traditional backups often back up data at the file level, CDP is a block-level technology. As such, CDP immediately backs up any newly created or modified storage blocks. This effectively eliminates the need for a nightly backup window.

CDP also helps address traditional backup challenges by reducing the RPO. A traditional nightly backup occurs once every 24 hours, and any data created since the time of the most recent backup is potentially subject to loss. If an organization's nightly backup completes at midnight and there is a major data loss event at noon, then any data created between midnight and noon will be lost. In contrast, CDP platforms back up data almost immediately, meaning that an organization would never lose more than a few minutes' worth of data.


Why choose RecoveryManager Plus?

ManageEngine offers RecoveryManager Plus, which is a comprehensive backup and recovery solution. There are several reasons why organizations should consider using this product for continuous data protection, as outlined below:


Incremental backup and recovery

RecoveryManager Plus uses incremental backup to capture data changes, reducing backup time and storage needs and providing precise recovery options.


Schedule backups

Schedule your backups to happen at non-business hours to ensure there's minimal disruption to users.


Monitoring and reporting

RecoveryManager Plus monitors and reports on backup and recovery statuses, allowing admins to identify issues and receive alerts for data protection.


Centralized management

RecoveryManager Plus simplifies backup and recovery management through a centralized console, offering an easy-to-use unified interface for overseeing data protection.


Wide range of application support

RecoveryManager Plus supports multiple platforms and applications, including Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, Azure AD, Microsoft 365, and Google Workspace. This coverage safeguards crucial data throughout an organization's IT infrastructure from a single solution.


Flexible recovery options

he solution provides a range of recovery options, including full restoration, granular recovery of individual files or objects, and recovery to specific points in time. This flexibility allows organizations to restore data to the desired state, ensuring quick and precise recovery operations.


RecoveryManager Plus,
the enterprise backup solution

ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus is a comprehensive and reliable backup and disaster recovery solution for enterprise applications such as Active Directory (AD), Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and on-premises Exchange. With an arsenal of advanced features and an intuitive user interface, RecoveryManager Plus simplifies the backup process and allows enterprises to restore on-premises and cloud environments in just a few simple clicks.

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Common data backup mistakes companies make

  • Relying solely on one backup method

    Both using only one storage medium and storing data in a single location is risky. The 3-2-1-1 backup rule is the standard for data protection which can save you from centralized risk. This means keeping three copies of data: one primary and two backups. The two backup copies should be stored locally on different formats, with one copy stored offsite in secure storage or the cloud. The "1" in 3-2-1-1 represents immutable storage, which is different from encryption as it cannot be altered or reversed.

  • Failing to conduct audits on the backups

    A lot of organizations install and set up backup programs and consider the task finished without proper post-deployment evaluation. A backup audit should frequently be conducted, which allows you to verify the accessibility of your data in the event of a disaster, secure your backup systems from unauthorized access or interference, and validate the accuracy and integrity of your backup records.

  • Not storing backup data in physically separate locations

    toring backups at your primary site risks losing them in the same danger as your primary files. Offsite data backup can solve the problem because the backups are stored at a location separate from the main copy of the data, making them immune to any data loss incidents or data security concerns.

  • Poor data backup protocols

    Predefined strategies for data backup are in place to ensure that business data is copied and backed up, making those backups recoverable in case of a disaster. In the event of a shutdown or disruption, having clearly defined data backup policies and procedures, as well as a chain of command, can help companies take immediate action.

Protect your business data with real-time, continuous data protection.



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How does continuous data protection work?

Continuous data protection tracks and captures every single change to a business’ data. It saves all versions of the data and how that data changes across the enterprise. If the business needs to recover data, it allows for recovery from any point in time without the risk of lost data from traditional snapshot backups.

Why is continuous data protection important?

Continuous data protection is crucial for businesses that use always-on applications, particularly where certain mission-critical applications must remain operational. This solution enables quick retrieval of backed-up data in the event of system failure, cyberattack, or network outage, ensuring minimal data loss and rapid recovery. The result is near-zero data loss for organizations, with the ability to recover data immediately after a disaster.

Can continuous data protection replace traditional backup methods?

While CDP offers a higher level of data protection compared to traditional backup methods, it is not meant to replace them entirely. It still has limitations that traditional backups help address. CDP eliminates the use of backup windows, so it reduces the risk of data loss, but it requires more storage and network resources, resulting in higher costs and increased complexity. In summary, CDP enhances data protection and enables rapid recovery, but until the costs associated with this method are reduced substantially, traditional backups will be widely used.

How to schedule backups with RecoveryManager Plus

You can use the schedule backups feature to achieve near CDP for you enterprise data. Follow the below steps to configure a backup schedule:

  • Choose a tab depending on your preference for the data to be backed up (e.g. Azure AD, Google Workspace, etc.)
  • Go to Settings → Backup Settings.
  • Click the   icon located in the Action column of the tenant.
  • Select the frequency at which full backups must be taken from the list of options available (weekly or monthly).
  • Select the frequency at which the incremental backups must be taken from the list of options available (hourly, daily, or weekly).
  • Select the repository in which you wish to store the backups from the drop-down box.
  • Under Advanced Settings, you can select the check box Exclude dynamic group members backup to exclude backup of dynamic group members as they cannot be modified or restored manually.
  • Click Save.

Once you have created a backup schedule, you can edit it any time by clicking on the   icon.

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