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Network data safeguard readied

A new software developer's kit that can build cross-platform systems for backing up network data will be released next week.

A software developer's kit will be released next week for building cross-platform systems for backing up important network data.

The Network Data Management Protocol allows an administrator to control data during flows from disk storage arrays, stripped-down "filers," or tape libraries. An application, such as a backup software tool, written to the protocol can back up data between disparate storage management and database software.

The protocol is being championed by Network Appliance (NTAP), a giant in stripped-down server systems that offer fast access to files (otherwise known as "filers") and backup tool maker PDC.

Among the 25 companies that have pledged support for the protocol are Computer Associates subsidiary Cheyenne Software and a variety of tape library and storage hardware and software firms.

The protocol has been submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force as a draft and is moving toward standardization, according to PDC officials. The software kit can be downloaded off the protocol's Web site. Commercial developers must pay a $5,000 fee for using the specification in their products.