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Credit Union Erects Wireless SAN

Canadian firm replicates between two sites wirelessly, saving up to $70K in telco fees

Steinbach Credit Union, a credit firm based in the frozen flatlands of Manitoba, Canada, figured out the best way to satisfy its disaster-recovery requirements was to build a wireless SAN.

With more than 47,000 customers and assets in excess of a billion dollars, Steinbach found its backup and recovery operations were getting out of control.

"The growth of the organization has been explosive, and it was too expensive to keep expanding servers, so we turned to a SAN solution from XIOtech Corp.," says Denis Van Dale, LAN administrator at Steinbach. In conjunction with this, the company built a second site in Winnipeg, 40 miles away from its headquarters in Steinbach, for disaster-recovery purposes.

The next question was how to link the two sites together. After considering several options, Steinbach came up with the unusual idea of building its own wireless SAN, instead of forking out ongoing carrier costs.

Although communications carriers often have fiber-optic cabling and network switches between major cities, they may not provide network cabling directly to the customer premises. A company that wants to connect to a wide-area network (WAN) service must find the means to connect from their local facility to the carrier's point of presence. This "last-mile" problem is often a source of delay and added expense for companies that plan to implement disaster recovery, remote tape vaulting, or IP messaging over distance.

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