EMC this week became the first storage vendor to announce integration with a little known Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 API that allows for SAN-based replication in Exchange 2010 environments.

As a result of the API work, EMC (EMC) is offering three tools for managing replication in Exchange environments.

The first, EMC Replication Enabler for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, is a software utility that integrates synchronous replication into the Exchange Server 2010 high-availability architecture. Replication Enabler supports EMC RecoverPoint Continuous Replication and MirrorView Remote Synch replication.

The second, EMC AutoStart, provides heterogeneous application infrastructure monitoring and automated restart for Exchange Server 2010 and other environments on platforms including EMC Symmetrix and Clariion. AutoStart monitors replication status and maintains availability in the event of network, server or application failures, offering both local and remote failover.

Finally, EMC Replication Manager expands features for Exchange Server 2010 by including support for Database Availability Groups (DAGs). Replication Manager creates “application consistent” copies of Exchange databases for backup and recovery.

Microsoft revamped the storage features of Exchange 2010 by unifying its Standby Continuous Replication (SCR) and Cluster Continuous Replication (CCR) technologies to manage all aspects of failover at the database level in the form of Database Availability Groups (see “Q&A: The storage implications of Exchange 2010”).

According to Microsoft, a DAG is a group of up to 16 Mailbox servers that host a set of databases and provide automatic database-level recovery from failures that affect individual servers or databases.

Microsoft developed the Exchange Server 2010 Replication API to allow third-party replication tools to hook into Exchange 2010.

Bob Madaio, director of the Microsoft global alliance for EMC, says direct integration with the API is the only way to make sure data movement stays consistent with the Microsoft architecture.

“There is no logical storage integration point for SAN-based replication in Exchange 2010 without the API,” says Madaio. “Our integration with the API allows for an alternative to Exchange-based replication.”

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