Disaster-recovery distance record smashed

Companies suffering a disaster at their main site can use SAN technology to continue running their mission critical applications from a secondary location - up to 3,600 miles away
Written by Munir Kotadia, Contributor

Sprint, Hitachi Data Systems and Cisco have combined their technologies and expertise to smash the distance record for asynchronous data replication. In a recent demonstration, the companies simulated an organisation using a 3,600-mile data replication system to continue running its enterprise application -- over its own IP network -- after suffering a major 'disaster'.

The trio of technology companies successfully tested asynchronous data replication using Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) technology. According to Sprint, the previous "feasible" distance for this kind of business continuity system was a maximum of 45 miles.

Oliver Valente, vice president of technology development at Sprint, said in a statement: "This could enable customers to replicate their mission-critical data at extremely remote locations while using their existing cost-effective IP connections, further protecting them from potential disasters that could occur at a company's headquarters."

According to Valente, the US government is expected to pass regulations that require companies in industry sectors such as financial or healthcare to have the ability to reproduce their data in "out-of-region locations".

The demonstration took place between the Sprint laboratories in Overland Park, Kansas and Burlingame, California. To create the link, a the companies used a combination of Sprint circuits, Cisco storage area network (SAN) switches, Cisco IP Storage Services modules and Hitachi's Freedom Storage Lightning systems running Hitachi's TrueCopy data replication software.

Soni Jiandani, vice president of marketing for the Storage Technology Group at Cisco, said in a statement: "This demo is real-world proof of the value that network transport technologies such as FCIP can deliver in extending SAN traffic well beyond the datacentre environment."

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