Back-up protection on tap from storage vendors

Symantec Corp., EMC Corp. and start-up Permabit Inc. this week announced software that helps customers with the replication, migration, and backup and recovery of data.

Among the introductions:

— Symantec, which acquired start-up PowerQuest in September of 2003, unveiled LiveState Recovery, disk-based back-up and instant-recovery software.

— EMC announced Symmetrix Data Recovery Facility/Star (SRDF/Star), software that replicates data to two remote data centers for business-continuity purposes. The company also announced replication software that works between its Symmetrix and other vendors’ storage arrays.

— Permabit introduced Permeon Replication, software that replicates archival data to remote locations for disaster-recovery.

Observers say users are increasingly interested in backup, recovery and replication because they are concerned about the integrity of their data. According to IDC, the market for data protection software alone, including backup, archive, hierarchical storage management, snapshot backup and replication, is expected to be US$8.1 billion by 2006.

Symantec’s LiveState Recovery captures a point-in-time operating state of a server or desktop, which includes the operating system, applications, data and settings, into one file. These snapshots are created without interrupting current applications. Users can perform full recoveries or recoveries of individual files and folders from a disk in minutes rather than hours.

“I can recover applications, data and operating systems if a file server fails and also use LiveState Recovery for backing up the servers in my customers’ networks,” says Jack Ledom, president of IT consultancy MCCS. “Because it is a disk-based package, it’s much faster to recover data than it would be from tape. LiveState Recovery is much less expensive than Veritas’ products.”

LiveState Recovery can adjust back-up routines when events such as patches occur that could threaten the health or stability of the system. Using Symantec’s pcAnywhere technology, servers and desktops can be remotely restored. LiveState Recovery is available in three models – LiveState Recovery Advanced Server 3.0 is US$1,200 per server; LiveState Recovery Desktop 3.0 is US$69.95 per desktop; and LiveState Recovery Standard Server 3.0 is US$834.95 per server.

EMC announced high-end replication and data mobility software that lets customers better protect and migrate their business-critical data. Available for the EMC Symmetrix DMX Series array, SRDF/Star lets customers replicate data to two remote data centres. Previously, EMC’s SRDF could only replicate between a host site and one remote data centre. EMC says many of its financial customers needed the new capability because they have more than one back-up data centre.

The company also announced EMC Open Replicator for Symmetrix, software that lets customers replicate data between EMC DMX systems and those from IBM, HP and Hitachi Data Systems. The software, which will be available in the first quarter of next year, initially will work with HP StorageWorks XP256, XP512 and XP1024, Hitachi Lightning and IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server. Support for midrange storage arrays from HP, IBM and Hitachi will follow.

Permabit unveiled software called Permeon Replication for its fixed-content storage arrays. Permeon Replication works between sites to replicate archival data. Because the data being replicated is archival, Permeon Replication uses an asynchronous protocol over IP, which does not require acknowledgements of data delivery.

The software also satisfies the “second copy” requirement of the Securities and Exchange Commission 17a-3 and 4 that stipulates a duplicate copy of archived electronic records must be stored separately from the original. The software is available now and ships incorporated into the Permeon appliance. It is US$2,500 for each terabyte of data replicated and requires two US$25,000 Permeon appliances, one at each end of the connection.

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