Computerm extenders target SANs
Computerm recently announced two channel-extension products--VMC 8800 RemoteCopy and VMC 8250 channel extender--which increase the distance of mirroring and vaulting applications, respectively, between two remote sites or across geographically-dispersed SANs or mainframe environments. Without channel extension, distance is limited to 66 kilometers.
VMC 8800 RemoteCopy connects ESCON-based remote data-mirroring systems, such as EMC`s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF), to a wide-area network for greater dis- tances between sites. For example, RemoteCopy can be used to extend data mirroring between two SANs for disaster recovery (see illustration). In the event of a disaster at SAN A, SAN B could resume operations for site A. Alternatively, the extender can be used to consolidate two data centers or to mirror data in a geographically-dispersed SAN for disaster recovery or migration.
In these scenarios, "VMC Remote-Copy receives ESCON channel data from the mirroring control unit and compresses it," explains Kelly Coticchia, Computerm`s director of marketing. "It then moves the data through the switch fabric for transmission directions. Afterwards, the data is sent to the converter where it is translated to a WAN protocol and sent over a telephone network [T3 or OC3]. The data is received by a VMC RemoteCopy unit at the remote location, decompressed, converted back to ESCON channel data, and sent to the mirroring control unit."
A 1Gbps data path and hardware-based logic keeps data moving quickly through the system. Computerm claims an overall latency of 4.2ms across a 250-mile WAN. RemoteCopy has six available slots, supporting up to five ESCON channel and two telephone links or four channels and four links. Management capabilities include a stand-alone monitor and SNMP support. Available in a 19-inch rackmount enclosure or cabinet, it is priced from $50,000.
Separately, Computerm late last month announced several enhancements to its VMC 8250 channel extender, including On-Channel Compression for ESCON, native TCP/IP interface, a T3 network interface, a SCSI channel interface, mixed-media load sharing, and SNMP support. Fibre Channel support is expected next year.
Initially designed to overcome the distance limitations between mainframes and storage devices, VMC 8250 now supports such open-systems applications as electronic tape vaulting between two remote SANs or across a geographically-dispersed SAN in which a server is in one location and a tape library in another.
The unit is currently available and comes in a 19-inch rackmount configuration with 12 slots. Pricing starts at $50,000.