What is Continuous Data Protection (CDP)? | Zerto

Continuous Data Protection (CDP)

A-to-Zerto Glossary of Terms



Continuous data protection (CDP) provides granular recovery to within seconds of data that can go back seconds or years as needed. The option to recover to many more granular points in time minimizes data loss to seconds, dramatically reducing the impact of outages and disruptions to your organization.  

What Is Continuous Data Protection or CDP ?

Continuous data protection is a protection mechanism that allows organizations to continuously capture and track data changes, automatically saving every version of the data that the user creates locally or at a target repository.

With CDP, writes are saved to a journal file along with the corresponding file changes. CDP allows users or administrators the ability to restore data to any point in time with remarkable granularity.

5 Important Questions to Ask About Continuous Data Protection

Why Choose CDP?

Continuous data protection utilizes journal-based technology to keep a log of all the changes occurring in a specified time frame, offering any point-in-time recovery in increments of seconds for the entire length of the journal. 

Unlike legacy systems, which accumulate data periodically throughout the day and then attempt to complete a backup during a time window, CDP constantly backs up your data. For example, snapshot-based recovery puts your business at risk of higher data loss due to infrequent restore points that are captured, while CDP minimizes this with thousands of restore points throughout the journal history, as shown in the figure below. 

Continuous data protection (CDP) advantage over snapshots in term of recovery checkpoint granularity

CDP offers the insurance of minimal operational impact in the event of an outage —whether natural or man-made— and is therefore a great solution for disaster recovery and ransomware recovery use cases requiring the lowest downtime and data loss.

Go from Snapshots to Streaming with Continuous Data Protection

Comparing Continuous Data Protection to Snapshot-based Technologies

Zerto Continuous Data Protection

Zerto CDP offers effective data protection for business applications and data, including:  

  • No performance impact. With Zerto CDP, the journal is only used until the point in time is selected, without the performance impact of many snapshots.
  • Journal-based, any point-in-time recovery. Journal-based recovery keeps a constant log of all the changes users make to applications and data. 
  • Enterprise scalability. Place the journal on any datastore with maximum size limits and warnings, preventing the datastore from filling, which would otherwise break replication.
  • Storage savings. Zerto CDP uses no extra space in the source storage as no snapshots are created. Only 7-10 percent of the target storage is used, which frees up significant amounts of space and results in dramatic savings.
  • Ransomware recovery down to the second. In the event of ransomware or other malicious attacks, recover data to just seconds before the corruption took place, minimizing impact to business.

What’s Make Zerto Unique? Zerto has created its own technology to deliver CDP, with its proprietary I/O Filter zDriver. As a result, it can do more, like support and deliver services with various types of hypervisors for instance. Zerto really delivers true continuous data protection.

Zerto Continuous Data Protection

Zerto Continuous Data Protection vs Competition

Other Resources


Resource Center

Discover and access content from Zerto and 3rd parties (IDC, Gartner, ESG, etc.) related to continuous data protection (CDP).

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Learn about Zerto and how it can help you solve your data protection and recovery challenges.