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Tacit Marries Storage and Servers Across Wide-Area

Many companes dream of connecting servers and storage over Ethernet. But performance still stinks, and any high performance storage needs are met by expensive and intrusive Fibre Channel interconnects.
Dropping in some third-party tool could be a way to overcome Ethernet and IP performance limitations and open up the network to more storage apps. One such tool, a system from Tacit Networks Inc. that is shipping this week, is already helping Mullin Consulting Inc., a provider of non-qualified executive benefits, achieve local-like user access between Chicago and Los Angeles. Next year, Mullin sites in Minneapolis and New York should be on board.

"It would be confining to have servers at each location but it was difficult for our users to access a file that was in any other city," says Cornelio Gino, senior IT managing associate at Mullin. "The users needed a lot of time to open files, and that hampered customer service." Since Tacit was installed, according to Gino, it's like the users in L.A. and Chicago have local access to any file.

Tacit offers customers a black box-like system so they don't have to muck around with technology. One server appliance sits at a central site, a local appliance sits at every other site to be included, and both are loaded with software that helps with features like non-blocking, differencing so only changes to a file are moved, and compression.

An industry analyst thinks storage vendors talked about data sharing about five years ago, but they couldn't get to the file level, as Tacit has done, permitting it to "deliver real time data sharing over long distance," says John Webster at Data Mobility Group.