By Dave Simpson
In a continuing effort to bring storage networking to wide area networks, Computer Network Technology (CNT) last month introduced technology that allows EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) data mirroring software to operate over IP-based networks. The technology is incorporated into CNT's UltraNet Storage Director, and the packaged configuration is dubbed I-Stor.
Previously, users had to run SRDF over relatively expensive dedicated telecommunications lines, such as T1, T3, or ATM. According to Mike Kahn, chairman of The Clipper Group consulting firm, in Wellesley, MA, switching to an IP network can reduce data transmission costs by as much as 50%. IP networks include the Internet, corporate intranets, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
USD with IP converts and packetizes data for travel over IP networks.
CNT's software converts SRDF data frames to IP packets and includes data compression, alternate routing, and load balancing. Potential applications of
IP-based mirroring-or replication-remote Web serving, distributed data warehousing, software distribution, and data center migration.
Although the technology is not specific to Fibre Channel or storage area networks (SANs), it is expected to be used to ex-tend the distance capabilities of SANs. And, although it is currently limited to only EMC's SRDF, the storage-over-IP technology could also be applied to remote mirroring/replication software from vendors such as Amdahl, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, and IBM, as well as with server software-based mirroring from vendors such as Legato and Veritas.
Prices for CNT's UltraNet Storage Director with IP functionality start at $75,000.