EMC, Nortel team on data recovery services

In order to enable better remote mirroring of enterprise data, technology partners EMC Corp. and Nortel Networks Ltd. have banded together again, this time to deliver a joint business continuity service to their respective customers.

Announced Tuesday at the Storage Networking World event in Orlando, Fla., the new service is designed to help corporations cost-effectively and easily take advantage of optical metropolitan area network and WAN connectivity options for off-site data mirroring.

The Business Continuity over Optical Networks service includes a business continuity assessment from both EMC and Nortel to assist customers in determining the right storage and connectivity requirements to meet their disaster recovery needs. The service uses EMC’s networked storage systems including Symmetrix and CLARiiON in addition to its Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility-Asynchronous (SDRF-A) and MirrorView remote replication software, combined with Nortel’s OPTera Metro 5000 Multiservice dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) platform.

“Information protection has taken on new importance over the past several years and customers and companies of all sizes are looking for ways to safeguard their information,” explained Rick Lacroix, spokesperson for EMC in Hopkinton, Mass. “This solution is a service offering that allows customers to select the systems and software from EMC that will protect their information the way they want to protect it and to use the Nortel transport mechanism to conduct the remote mirroring of their data.”

With more than 200 joint installations completed as partners during the last three years, the companies have focused efforts on finding best practices for extending application data over distance. This collected information has been embedded into a series of tools that allows the companies to cascade it over a broader area, said Nortel’s Jack Hunt, director of marketing for optical storage solutions in Ottawa.

With the recent power outages that swept nearly half of North America, Hunt explained data redundant data mirroring and replication has taken on a whole new level of importance. He said that while many organizations typically have some sort of synchronous data replication technology – simply storing data from one point to another – many enterprises, including the Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (VanCity), are also looking at asynchronous replication.

Tony Fernandes, vice-president of technology infrastructure for Inventure Solutions, VanCity’s IT subsidiary in Vancouver, said that although synchronous data transmission is a great option, unless you are a gigantic company that can afford to spend millions of dollars on telecommunications, it can be quite an expensive proposition.

He explained VanCity has been working with EMC to develop an asynchronous mode solution, which essentially sends data over to a back-up site constantly throughout the day and doesn’t put as much stress on the network.

“The system mirrors data throughout the course of the day and it makes this a more manageable and affordable solution,” Fernandes said, adding that many companies will have different data replication strategies depending on the suite of applications, the relative importance of each application to the business, as well as how tightly integrated these applications are.

“EMC provides some very good services to do focused data mirroring,” he said. “We have been working with them to find a solution that would replicate everything considering the (financial) nature of our applications.”

The EMC/Nortel Business Continuity service is available now. The service requires EMC Symmetrix or CLARiiON installations with MirrorView remote replication software.

For more information, visit the companies online at www.emc.com and www.nortel.com.