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Replication Products


Like any technology, replication products have a downside: Managing another software package means spending more time setting up replication, especially if you stream to tape. You also must be concerned with bandwidth: Straight copies of data will hog your pipe and slow down production systems, so you must know how well the system handles replication of partial file changes before you buy.

Back Up Replication Copies

If you're streaming to tape from the target machine, find a system that lets you schedule "suspended" replication, which temporarily stops disk writes to let the backup complete consistently. That's another schedule you'll have to maintain, so be aware of the time commitment. Vendors such as EMC Corp., Hitachi Data Systems, Maranti and XOsoft offer hardware or software products that allow suspended replication. Several error-logging and notification options are available; make sure your vendor can accommodate your existing architecture.

For remote offices, take note of how much bandwidth the replication system uses and how well it handles management without IT staff on site. Most replication systems can run months or even years without IT intervention once they're configured, but it's worth checking before you buy. Most also allow remote or centralized management with Web interfaces.


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