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Replication's All the Rage

Replication is one of the topics high-end storage vendors EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC),
Hitachi Data Systems (HDS),
and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
like to fight over when they argue about whose gear is best. (See EMC Ratchets Up Replication, Hitachi Struts Mr. Universal, and IBM Revs Virtualization Engine.) But a recent spate of news shows that replication isnt solely the province of the big vendors or enterprise customers.

Midrange and SMB customers have their pick of replication products that rolled out in the past month.

  • Kashya Inc.
    is launching a new appliance, the KBX5000, that provides remote replication for heterogeneous storage devices. The appliance allows companies to replicate data from multiple arrays to a single array.
  • StoreAge Networking Technologies Ltd. upgraded its Storage Virtualization Manager (SVM) to support clusters in remote sites. The remote clusters work with SVM’s synchronous mirroring application to provide failover in the case of application server or storage failures (see StoreAge Clusters Mirroring).
  • Sanrad Inc. launched local data replication (LDR) software for its IP-based V-Switch aimed at campuses, universities, and local government branches. The startup expects to follow with Global Data Replication (GDR) in the first quarter of next year for replication over distances (see Sanrad Offers DR).
  • Verari Systems Inc. began shipping PUREcluster ipSAN, a clustered iSCSi SAN system with virtualization software that allows remote replication (see Verari Ships IP SAN).
  • NSI Software Inc. updated its Double-Take host-based replication package for Windows, including improved data compression and a tighter integration with Microsoft Active Directory for enhanced performance with Exchange (see NSI Does a Double-Take).
  • Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT)
    rolled out Snap Enterprise Data Replicator (Snap EDR), which reduces network traffic by replicating only changed bytes of data in a file, and offers policy-based data management for moving information to lower-cost storage over time (see Adaptec Adds Data Protection).
  • Permabit Inc. announced Permeon Replication software to handle disaster recovery for archival storage. The Permeon Replication preserves Write Once, Read Many (WORM) file attributes on the replicated file system via asynchronous and transparent disk-based replication from one Permeon system to another. It also allows users to automate replication (see Permabit Launches Replication).
  • Data Domain Inc.

    made available Replicator, a software package for its DD200 Restorer disk backup appliance. Replicator includes network fault resilience and end-to-end recovery verification for disaster recovery planning (see Data Domain Adds Replication).

Bottom line? All these replication rollouts signal demand for disaster recovery via midrange storage gear.

“Everybody’s been asking for it,” says Zophar Sante, Sanrad’s VP of market development. “You don’t see a lot of people doing a full implementation, but everybody has it in their plan. Next year will finally be the year of disaster recovery.”

Replication is also popular among enterprise customers, although disaster recovery is nothing new to them. They’re looking for advanced features, like the three-way data center replication that EMC and Hitachi have planned for later this year or early 2005. And they want asynchronous replication.

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