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Vol. 4 No. 6 August 2005

Bridging the gap

High-speed optical WANs are becoming indispensable for critical storage applications. Business continuance, remote mirroring and replication, and connecting regional data centers are all tasks that require optical WANs. With many optical options and prices, picking the best technologies and techniques to transport data is challenging. Most storage apps are time-sensitive and require high throughput (bandwidth) and low latency with zero data loss. Effective bandwidth is a measure of how much of the available bandwidth can actually be used, taking into consideration dropped packets and retransmission due to congestion and protocol inefficiency. Some vendors, including Ciena Corp., Linthicum, MD, refer to effective bandwidth as "good put" vs. simply looking at a theoretical line speed number. To pick a data transport to fit your needs, first consider your storage requirements: Distance. How far away do you need to keep a copy of your data? Bandwidth. How much data must be moved and in what timeframe? Cost. What's your budget? ...

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