Information Center

Continuous Data Protection: Safeguarding Data in Real Time

The easiest way to think about continuous data protection is as a digital safety net. Like the autosave feature in many software applications, it keeps an ongoing record of data modification, ensuring data loss is mitigated and recovery is quick and seamless in case of a data breach, user error, or another unforeseen event.

Continuous Data Protection 101

Traditional backup methods typically involved scheduled backups at specific times or intervals. Continuous Data Protection (CDP) involves real or near-real-time replication of data changes as they occur. CDP captures every change made to data, ensuring all modifications are preserved.

CDP works by continuously monitoring data for changes at a granular level, including databases, individual files, and entire systems. When a change is detected, the system immediately duplicates it to a secondary location, whether to the cloud or a separate storage device. The process occurs entirely in the background, quietly and efficiently creating a steady stream of updated data.

CDP solutions cater to varying environments, but they all aim to ensure rapid recovery of capabilities to minimize data loss and downtime. For instance, a financial institution handling online transactions can use CDP to capture real-time account changes. In the case of a cyberattack or system failure, it could quickly recover the most recent transaction data without significant loss.

How CDP Works

CDP saves a point-in-time version of every change users make to a set of files. True CDP systems record every change and store it in a system changelog. It retains all changes until the last write before failure, allowing you to restore to any point before the data was compromised, lost, or corrupted. Here’s how it works:

  1. CDP software constantly monitors data sources at the granular level.
  2. When the system detects an addition, deletion, or modification in monitored data, it immediately records information about the change.
  3. Once the change is recorded, the system replicates the modified data to a secondary storage location, creating a real-time copy that reflects the most recent changes.
  4. As further changes occur, the system maintains a chronological history, creating multiple versions of the data that represent a specific point in time.
  5. Various software techniques, such as checksum, ensure data consistency and integrity during replication.
  6. If data is compromised or a system fails, the CDP system facilitates recovery by restoring the data from whichever point in time you choose.

Advantages of CDP

A CDP approach to data management comes with many advantages, including:

  • Minimal data loss. Because changes are almost simultaneously captured, the potential for data loss is substantially reduced.
  • Short recovery time objective (RTO). RTO is the maximum acceptable timeframe in which data can be lost during recovery. CDP offers a brief RTO that ensures little if any data change loss during a failure.
  • Fast recovery. By maintaining up-to-date data copies, CDP speeds up the recovery process, minimizes downtime, and ensures business continuity.
  • Granular recovery. In cases of data corruption or malicious attack, CDP simplifies the process of restoring data to specific points in time.
  • Automated processes. CDP doesn’t require manual intervention, making it a reliable solution when seeking constant data availability.

Bottom Line

If your organization requires high levels of data integrity and minimal downtime, CDP is a wise investment that provides uninterrupted operations and impressive recovery capabilities. By enhancing your organization's data security, you’re assured of consistent resilience against data loss and a robust framework for maintaining business continuity.

Veritas’ storage management software endlessly bolsters data integrity by providing a consistent shield against potential vulnerabilities and fluctuations. Because while no one likes to think their data will be compromised, reality demands unwavering vigilance in safeguarding sensitive information from existing and emerging threats.

By partnering with a reputable solution provider like Veritas Technologies, you can leverage advanced solutions tailored to your specific needs. 

Get in touch with us today to secure your company’s long-term future with reliable data backup solutions


Veritas customers include 95% of the Fortune 100, and NetBackup™ is the #1 choice for enterprises looking to protect large amounts of data.

Learn how Veritas keeps your data fully protected across virtual, physical, cloud and legacy workloads with Data Protection Services for Enterprise Businesses.


Frequently Asked Questions

Also known as continuous backup, CDP is a backup and recovery storage system where all of an organization’s data is replicated whenever a change is made. It creates an electronic journal of complete storage “snapshots,” one for every instant a data modification occurs.

CDP preserves a record of every organizational transaction. If data is compromised or corrupted, the system allows you to quickly recover the most recent clean copy of the affected data or file.

Each time a change is made in your organization's primary system data, it is “seen” and made in a backup copy. Because each change is recorded, it's possible to restore the system to any previous point in time.

Consider the healthcare industry, where patient electronic health records (EHRS) such as test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans are continually updated. CDP captures any changes in real time and ensures rapid restoration if an unexpected system failure, data corruption, or cyberattack occurs. Medical personnel can continue to access accurate patient histories and make informed medical decisions without delay, maintaining the institution’s commitment to high-quality medical services.