October 20, 2003 9:00 PM PDT
IBM looks at faster, cheaper data mirroring
The announcement, expected Tuesday, involves permitting IBM's TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server to replicate data using the Fibre Channel interface. Up to now, IBM's Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy software has required the ESCON interface. With Fibre Channel, data can be transferred as much as eight times faster, according to IBM.
"It's just blisteringly fast," said Jim Tuckwell, manager of Enterprise Storage Servers at IBM.
Continuous data replication, otherwise known as "mirroring," can be part of a company's disaster recovery preparations. Technology such as Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy allows a company to copy data to a site miles from the main data center in the event of disasters such as hurricanes or terrorist attacks.
Given the speed gain, companies can reduce the number of links needed for long-distance data replication, and therefore reduce the amount of telecommunications equipment required, IBM said. A customer that switches to a Fibre Channel connection can reduce telecommunications costs by up to 50 percent, IBM said.
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Last year, market research firm IDC projected that the business continuity market would grow from $29.9 billion in 2001 to $54.9 billion in 2006, an annual growth rate of 12.9 percent.
IBM also is announcing a new "Turbo II processor option" for the Enterprise Storage Server. The option, which involves more processing power, is designed to give customers a data transfer rate boost of up to 30 percent compared with the Enterprise Storage Server base Model 800, according to IBM.
Dianne McAdam, a partner at research firm Data Mobility Group, said the Turbo II option primarily targets customers that demand a great deal from their computing systems, such as large banks. "It is important for their high-end customers," she said.
IBM said the Enterprise Storage Server upgrades will be made generally available on Nov. 21.