Business Continuity Dominates at Storage Decisions

A new wave of business continuity technology debuting at the Storage Decisions Conference this week will help customers dramatically enhance performance and speed up recovery and snapshot capabilities.

Expected to make the biggest splash at the New York-based Storage Decisions Conference is Microsoft Corp.’s long-awaited launch of its Microsoft System Center DPM (Data Protection Manager) 2006 offering.

Designed to back up and recover Microsoft file servers, DPM is integrated with Active Directory and a host of Microsoft platforms.

A number of third-party storage software and hardware vendors will announce DSM support and integration at Storage Decisions.

For example, Quantum Corp. will announce a disk-based appliance that builds upon Microsoft DPM with capabilities such as integrated data migration to tape, according to sources.

This week, iSCSI SAN (storage area network) provider EqualLogic Inc, based in Nashua, N.H., will introduce the PS300E—the first member of its PS Series family to feature 500GB SATA II drives.

Read details here about Oracle’s Database 10g R2.

Available Oct. 1, the box offers 7TB per array, has multi-array configurations, including the PS200E and PS2400 E, and new Native Command Queuing support allowing disk drives to accept commands, said EqualLogic officials.

The PS300E offers a scalable SAN for DPM backup and snapshots extending the technology into multi-off-site remote replication and restoration, removing the need for tape.

Awaiting the shipment of EqualLogic’s PS300E, James Tarala, CIO/chief technology officer of Schenck Business Solutions in Appleton, Wis., said he plans to replace his current installation of NSI Software Inc.’s Double-Take with DPM to replicate his data.

Tarala said that by working together the two products will help him add additional recovery muscle, have more space to keep growing snapshots and accelerate site-to-site replication.

“It’s with this current wave of [storage] technology coming out that I’ve really been able to accomplish what I wanted to do and do it within realistic budget constraints,” Tarala said. “Now the tools are finally starting to roll out, I can actually have multiple snaps of all of my major systems online and available for instant recovery while you’re on the phone with end user. I’m excited about that.”

Click here to read about EMC’s enhancements to its file replication software, RepliStor.

NSI Software, based in Hoboken, N.J., will be a launch partner of Microsoft DPM 2006 at Storage Decisions. NSI is currently working with Microsoft on joint solutions for Double-Take to address areas DPM cannot, according to Jason Buffington, director of Business Continuity for NSI Software.

Currently, DPM cannot run on domain controllers, is unable to replicate encrypted files or open files, and—arguably its biggest weakness—is lacking application-level backup to critical parts of Microsoft technology, including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server.

Buffington said DPM is best suited as a short-term restoration tool and should not be seen as a substitute for tape backup operations.

“Honestly, I get concerned about customers that say they are already considering switching from their previous data protection solutions to DPM. Most of the time, that implies that they are leaving tape backup, which is a scary proposition. DPM can only hold so much data, based on size of disk,” Buffington said.

“DPM only addresses files, not applications—forcing customers to use different data protection solutions for each service offering under their Windows umbrella, one for file, one for mail, one for each database, and [customers are] left exposed for less common or custom applications.”

Next Page: Data retrieval and “storage-agnostic” recovery round out the show.

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