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CTRC Mirrors with iSCSI

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The Cancer Therapy and Research Center (CTRC) in San Antonio, TX, has aggressive uptime goals for IT resources at its two facilities: downtime of no more than 10 minutes at a time, says Mike Luter, CTRC's CTO.

Located 22 miles apart, CTRC replicates data between two 1.8TB Clariion arrays using a Cisco SN5428 iSCSI router over a Gigabit Ethernet MAN.

By using iSCSI over Gigabit Ethernet rather than dedicated Fibre, CTRC saved 50% in telecom charges, Luter estimates.

CTRC is also using a new SN5428 feature--Network Boot, announced this October--to boot a server from a storage array located at its other location.

"If I lose a drive, [the] EMC [Clariion] protects me because I have RAID-5. If I lose two drives, EMC protects me because I have a hot spare. If I lose a server, EMC doesn't protect me," Luter says. With SN5428's Network Boot, Luter simply resets the MAC address listed in the DHCP server.

CTRC could lose a server and its Gigabit connection, but that's pretty unlikely. Says Luter: "You can never be 100%, but we're pretty close."

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This was first published in December 2002

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