Compaq ships replication software
Compaq Computer last month began ship- ping StorageWorks Virtual Replicator, a backup soft-ware building block in the company`s Enterprise Net-work Storage Architecture (ENSA) strategy.
While delivering esoteric-sounding features such as storage pooling and disk virtualization, officials contend Virtual Replicator provides concrete benefits such as flexible storage resource deployment and lower overall management costs.
Initially designed for Windows NT storage area networks, the host-based Virtual Replicator enables administrators to configure physical storage into pools and create virtual disks as large as 1TB.
"Think of it as being able to buy storage in bulk and carve it up as you need it," says Mark Sorenson, director of storage system software at Compaq.
Pooling storage and virtual disk space allocation enables modular capacity growth, and increased storage resource deployment flexibility means faster response to changing capacity needs. Online allocation capabilities result in lower overall costs, officials contend, because this can eliminate expensive downtime.
Virtual Replicator also has a "snapshot" feature, which helps administrators to create instant, virtual data replicas. Administrators can schedule automated backups using its scheduling and scripting features. Since snapshots are not "live" production data, they can also be manipulated for Y2K testing and with other software.
To enhance data availability and continuous access, Virtual Replicator can run on top of Microsoft Cluster Server, and supports software from Computer Associates, Legato, and Veritas. It is priced at $1,495 per server.
Similar to its Data Replication Manager rollout last spring, analysts say Virtual Replicator represents another attempt to cut into EMC`s market share.
"There are starting to be some real choices and alternatives out there," says Mike Casey, a research director at the Gartner Group consulting firm, in San Jose.