Continuous Data Protection (CDP)

Delivering an Always-on Customer Experience

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is a protection mechanism that allows organizations to continuously capture and track data modifications, automatically saving every version of the data that the user creates locally or at a target repository.  Writes are saved to a journal file along with the corresponding file changes.  By utilizing change block tracking, CDP allows users or administrators the ability to restore data to any point in time with remarkable granularity.


Continuous Data Protection: The Future of Backup Webinar

Listen in as Steve Blow, Technology Evangelist, explains Zerto’s vision for the future of backup and learn how continuous journal-based protection is disrupting legacy backup.

How Backup Works

Snapshots replicate data incrementally because of their impact to production. As a result, businesses often are at risk of losing hours worth of data.

How Continuous Data Protection Works

Continuous Data Protection replicates data as block changes occur, delivering recovery intervals separated by mere seconds.

Benefits of Protecting Your Business with Continuous Data Protection

  • Real-Time Block-Level Replication – CDP utilizes change-block tracking to constantly replicate data as it is written to storage. Because CDP is always-on, it offers considerably lower RPOs than snapshot-based solutions.
  • No Performance Impact – With CDP, the journal is only used until you commit to the point in time selected, without the performance impact of many snapshots. Storing multiple snapshots on replica VMs incurs a significant performance penalty when attempting to power on replica VMs
  • Journal-Based Any Point-In-Time Recovery – Journal-based recovery keeps a constant log of all the changes users make to applications and data. Because the changes are continuously written to the datastore, CDP delivers any point-in-time recoverability to within a specified time frame
  • Enterprise Scalability – The journal can be placed on any datastore with maximum size limits and warnings – preventing the datastore from filling which would otherwise break replication. Using snapshots on replicated VMs gives no way of controlling the total space used for snapshots, making them not scalable in terms of SLAs and efficiency
  • Storage Savings – CDP uses no extra space in the source storage as no snapshots are created. Only 7-10% of the target storage is used which frees up significant amounts of space and results in dramatic savings.  Snapshot technologies require significant overhead on the storage arrays, often requiring 20-30% at both the source and target
  • Ransomware Recovery Down to the Second – CDP delivers a continuous stream of recovery checkpoints available to use for recovery. In the event of ransomware or other malicious attacks, data can be recovered to just seconds before the corruption took place, minimizing impact to the business and the brand.

Comparing Continuous Data Protection with Traditional Data Protection Models

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) offers the most effective data protection for your business applications and data.  CDP also 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.  Conversely, incremental replication and snapshots put the business at risk of data loss, corruption and availability. What companies require now is continuous journal-based recovery that provides granular recovery to within seconds of data that can go back seconds or multiple 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 the business.

Feature CDP           Traditional Data Protection
Real-time block-level replication with RPOs in seconds Yes No
Point-in-time recovery Yes Yes
Seconds of granularity Yes No
Ability to support long-term retention policies Yes Yes
No performance impact replication Yes No
Enterprise-class scalability Yes No
Low-impact storage utilization Yes No
Ransomware recovery down to the second Yes No


The Zerto IT Resilience Platform™ is the industry first offering to converge backup, disaster recovery and cloud mobility solutions into a single, simple, scalable platform. By moving from periodic, snapshot-based processes to a continuous process, enterprises can better meet today’s 24/7 demands of no data loss or downtime.  Zerto’s core Continuous Data Protection (CDP) and journaling technology delivers seconds of RPO at scale in one simple, easy-to-use interface.  To learn more, download the datasheet.


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