The advantages of asynchronous replication

If some of your apps don't require a recovery time objective in seconds, asynchronous replication delivers many benefits over synchronous replication.

Storage system-based asynchronous replication is becoming the new de facto standard to recover data quickly for business continuity. But because this type of data replication requires similar arrays at both ends of the replication, be prepared to be tied to a particular vendor for a long time.

Storage system-based asynchronous replication overcomes the typical dis-advantages of synchronous replication, such as the requirement of a high-bandwidth network connection and distance limitations. In addition, when purchased as part of the storage system, asynchronous replication is more economical than add-on replication technologies like continuous data protection.

Asynchronous replication supports five IT functions:

  1. Business continuity
  2. Content distribution
  3. Data migrations
  4. Load balancing
  5. Testing and development
High-end storage systems such as EMC Corp.'s Symmetrix DMX series, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Corp.'s TagmaStore Universal Storage Platform (USP) and IBM Corp.'s System Storage DS8000 provide multiple ways to implement asynchronous replication. For example, IBM's System Storage DS8000 offers three asynchronous replication

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options--Global Copy, Global Mirror and z/OS Global Mirror--to satisfy different recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). Though each supports replication over any distance, Global Copy is intended for apps that have RPOs of hours, while Global Mirror is designed for applications with RPO requirements of seconds or minutes. z/OS Global Mirror is like Global Mirror, but is used only in IBM System z environments.

This was first published in September 2007

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