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iSCSI Tackles DR

iSCSI SANs are capturing the attention of small- and medium-sized enterprises that are sick of tape vaulting and can't afford Fibre Channel for long-distance disaster recovery.

iSCSI gear faces a speed standoff with 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, which is causing many to focus on software enhancements (see IP SANs Take Softer Way). But a growing number of suppliers see replication and other facilities for long-distance disaster recovery as key to distinguishing their value. They say smaller customers are more concerned with cost than speed when it comes to DR.

"Just because a company is small doesn't mean it doesn't want to protect its data," says Thomas Isakovich, CEO of Nimbus Data Systems Inc., which makes IP SANs. Nimbus is specifically targeting disaster recovery as a key market.

Isakovich says lots of firms don't want to shell out thousands for special routers to convert Fibre Channel to IP and back again to go over long-distance links. At the same time, they're starting to mistrust old-fashioned tape vaulting (see A Tale of Lost Tapes).

Nimbus today unveiled an Offsite Replicator facility that runs with its IP SAN (see Nimbus Releases Replicator). The product adds about $2,500 to the cost of the array and is specifically aimed at promoting asynchronous disaster recovery for small companies.

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