CNT Device Uses IP Nets to Store Distributed Data

FRAMINGHAM (02/11/2000) - Network managers who want to vault data to a remote location over IP networks will be interested in software that Computer Network Technology (CNT) introduced last week.

In its first storage product to use IP, CNT is taking its UltraNet Storage Director, a high-speed switch, and copying data between EMC Symmetrix disk storage systems located across an enterprise network. At present, the firm only supports EMC devices, though it promises to support other vendors in the future. Previously, CNT transported data via dedicated, leased T-1, T-3, ATM or other communication links, which are more expensive.

Companies are starting to require IP-based communications for data warehousing, software distribution or data center migration, says Dave Hill, an analyst with Aberdeen Group Inc. in Boston.

User concern about copying data over IP does not affect applications that are not online transaction-processing system intensive, or do not have to happen in real time, Hill says.

For instance, copies of read-only Web site content may be distributed at multiple sites around the country. Or, data warehouses may need to be backed up only to the last time the data warehouse was refreshed.

While critical production data or financial information is not well-suited for IP transmission, less-time-sensitive data is. There is also a growing number of companies, such a those involved in Internet transactions, that insist on IP-only traffic.

"EToys is investigating the use of data replication over IP because it would enable us to use the 'bandwidth on demand' capabilities of IP-based networks to ensure high levels of availability of our Web site content," says Kayne Grau, director of technical services at eToys, a Web-based retailer.

The initial software application will let customers with EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) mirror information across the Internet. With IP, companies can use as much or as little bandwidth as they need and pay less than they would if they were using dedicated, leased lines.

For IP traffic, the CNT UltraNet Stor-age Director connects to an EMC Symmetrix disk subsystem on each end of a link over the 'Net. SRDF data between the two Symmetrix subsystems is encapsulated by the UltraNet Storage Director in packets to transmit the nonstandard SRDF data from one system to another.

CNT is not alone in offering IP-based transmission of data across physically separated distances. LiveVault Corp., formerly known as Network Integrity, and Legato both have software and hardware applications that vault data from one location to another. Unlike CNT, however, they recommend leased lines for data transmission.

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More about Aberdeen GroupCNTComputer Network TechnologyEMC CorporationeToysLiveVaultNetwork IntegritySymmetrix

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