A new iSCSI-based storage virtualization solution allows organizations to achieve heterogeneous remote mirroring, something many organizations have been requesting for some time.
SANRAD GDR (Global Disaster Recovery) offers organizations both synchronous and asynchronous replication for multiple sites.
The system combines San Francisco-based SANRADs iSCSI V-Switch with the companys StoragePro software to allow data to be replicated between any primary site and one or more secondary sites over standard copper or optical IP networks. The system supports both one-to-many and many-to-one replication operations.
The product provides two replication mechanisms: local, synchronous data replication and global data replication. With local data replication, two sites that are physically located within a few miles of each other can experience replication simultaneously.
“With other solutions, if you want to do replication you have to go to one array and write it there, and then that array writes it to another array,” said CEO Uli Gal-Oz. “But because we are at the network, when somebody wants to write anything to one array, we immediately issue those two passes from the network so its written in two places at the same time.”
The second type of replication is global, where a write command is issued from the host, written to the local array and then written to a local drive allocated for the buffering. At that point, a replication engine residing at the network moves the data over the long distance of a regular public network.
SANRAD GDR relies on its StoragePro software, which includes the Guided Failover and Failback feature that guides users in those processes. This feature helps simplify the process of staying online in the event of a disaster, as well as simplifying the process of how the primary site comes back online. StoragePro also allows administrators to select only the volumes containing the most business-critical and frequently accessed data for replication.
The system is an improvement over array-based solutions, which require homogeneous storage at both ends, said Tony Asaro, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group of Milford, Mass.
“If the primary array fails, then the process of failing over can be very time consuming,” he said. “With SANRAD, customers can stay online and access data. Performance will most likely be impacted, but at least data will be available.”
SANRAD GDR is aimed at midsized companies with multiple campuses, Gal-Oz said.
“They may have a SAN already, but they have a lot of data outside of the SAN and need to replicate it for disaster recovery purposes,” he said. “This brings them to the point where they can talk about disaster recovery as part of their SAN strategy.”
Next up, Gal-Oz said, is development of a 10G platform that will support 10G Ethernet connectivity.