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IBM Shark gets new replication, remote copy features

Kevin Komiega

It's a biological fact that sharks roaming the sea never stop swimming. Now it's a technological fact that, through new enhancements to IBM Corp.'s Enterprise Storage Server, code-named Shark, the storage version of the toothy predator has the ability to never stop moving data for disaster recovery.

IBM announced Friday that its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Model 800 is available to customers and that it now features Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) Version 2. It also includes enhancements to long-distance data mirroring, using a new Asynchronous Cascading PPRC that extends the Shark's remote copy capabilities for the IBM eServer zSeries and open systems data. Big Blue also beefed up its FlashCopy options for replicating multiple data sets without application downtime, the company said.

In addition to enhanced features for disaster recovery, Shark Model 800 now includes standby capacity on demand, which allows customers to acquire up to 6.9 terabytes (TB) of "standby" capacity that would be available when needed.

David Sacks, senior consulting storage specialist for IBM, said that users have been demanding better replication tools for disaster recovery because of events like September 11 and because of increasing levels of government regulations. "The only way you can have current data at arbitrarily long distances is through our cascading feature," he said.

Diane McAdam, a partner and senior analyst at the Data Mobility Group Inc.,

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Nashua, N.H., said the Shark's new PPRC and FlashCopy capabilities are not just hype.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature is IBM's Asynchronous Cascading PPRC which, when combined with other IBM features, such as Consistency Groups and FlashCopy, can provide long-distance replication and application consistency, McAdam said.

According to the Data Mobility Group, volumes that were previously restricted to being either the source or target of a replication process can now be both source and target volumes at the same time, giving IT administrators new and less expensive ways to configure long-distance replication solutions.

McAdam said the bottom line is that IBM has eliminated the need for a point-in-time copy to exist and be managed in the intermediate controller.

On the software front, Tivoli Storage Manager now has added disaster recovery protection with a new suite of bare machine recovery capabilities. Bare machine recovery restores operating system device drivers, patches and customization back to the way they were at the time of the last backup prior to a disaster.

IBM Tivoli now offers Cristie Bare Machine Recovery for Windows NT 2000 and Windows XP. IBM Tivoli Storage Manager 5.2 offers a base feature automated bare machine recovery for Windows XP and Windows 2003, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for System Backup and Recovery provides bare machine recovery for AIX. All of these bare machine recovery functions integrate directly with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.

Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst of Enterprise Storage Group Inc., Milford, Mass., said the new Shark is "good."

"IBM has been boxed out of the performance market so, hopefully, the new system will let them take back some market share there from HDS and EMC," Duplessie said.

Let us know what you think about the story. E-mailKevin Komiega, News Writer

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