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Fully Automatic, Real-Time, and Self-Configured Recyclable Backup To Ordinary DVD Disk

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000168499D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Mar-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Mar-13
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Fully automatic, real-time, and self-configured recyclable backup to ordinary DVD disk

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Fully Automatic, Real-Time, and Self-Configured Recyclable Backup To Ordinary DVD Disk

Although DVDs and CDs are often used for the purpose of computer backup, there has not been a fully automated solution that transparently manages the backed-up data and recycles older material to make way for newer material and provides protection in between the manual backup process.

The problems with historical approaches to backup using optical type media include (but are not limited to):
- The user must remember to "run" the backup application.
- The backup application "burns" the CD/DVD using data-sets and does not "update" the existing file structures making a restore cumbersome.
- There is no form of backup or data protection taking place in between runs of the backup software.
- The data backed up to the media is only accessible via the application that wrote it and not accessible as natural mounted files.
- The granularity of protection is very coarse; often weeks in between versions ("runs").
- When the media is full, typically the backup application stops/fails.
- The media size is typically small (e.g. <4GB) and so the user each time must carefully select only important files that should be stored.

The invention described here has an innovative approach to using real-time continuous data protection (backup) with ordinary DVD-RW devices per use of two separate technologies. One technology is developed by Infinite Data Storage and the other by IBM Tivoli and when used together they produce a very consumable backup solution for the vast majority of computer users at an unprecedented low price.

Numerous devices today exist for off-machine backup, such as NAS devices, USB keys and disks, and even on-line services. All of those are viable, however, all of those are either costly ($80 to $2,000 for a USB/NAS device) or are more cumbersome to use and configure (on-line services in particular). There are some newer optical technologies such as DVD-RAM that "feel" like a normal disk drive but are very rare today and the media (the disk) is about 100 times more expensive than the popular DVD disks. Virtually every computer made within the last few years has a DVD-RW bay present, but as mentioned, the user can only write data using special software. This invention allows all those millions of computers with DVD-RW drives to now behave like an ordinary disk drive and when integrated with an automatic and pool-managed backup solution they become perfectly viable backup targets without any user intervention for the vast majority of people that need just their documents protected.

The main components of the invention are the following:

- Use of a special driver developed by Infinite Data Storage that allows ordinary DVD-RW drives to be mounted and used exactly like any other true disk drive, specifically allowing the following:

Create, update, and delete of files and directories anywhere on the DVD via the normal Wi...