BakBone Unveils Data Replication Software

The San Diego-based storage software vendor's new NetVault Replicator allows data to be replicated on a real-time or scheduled basis to remote or on-line data centers, said Bharat Kumar, vice president of worldwide marketing for BakBone.

The application is scalable and works with heterogeneous storage environments, and features a modular architecture that allows plug-in modules for replication based on specific applications such as Exchange, SQL, Oracle, and My SQL, Kumar said.

Unlike data backups, data replication copies a complete or partial dataset in order to keep the copied data in sync with the original for quick recovery or failover if the original data is lost or corrupted..

While backing up of data is important, recovering that data is even more important, Kumar said. "Replication is high on the customer list of what to buy for high availability," he said.

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Paul Sustman, director of replication technologies for BakBone and the former CEO of Constant Data, said there are currently several types of replication technology available. Some are embedded in an application, and so are not flexible. Others replicate data at the file level, or based on content, and so may not be suitable for replicating changes in real-time, he said.

NetVault Replicator, on the other hand, offers cross-platform replication regardless of server, storage, or application vendor, and allows the replication to be done on a real-time basis, Sustman said. It replicates data asynchronously, so it operates very quickly regardless of the distance over which the data is replicated. However, it handles the journaling of the data on a synchronous basis to ensure the integrity of the replicated data, he said.

As an example of where NetVault Replicator is used, Sustman cited NASA, which has over 20 digital cameras, each of which is capable of 1000-megapixel resolution, monitoring space shuttle launches. Photos from the cameras are captured in real time and replicated to let the organization's personnel monitor the photos simultaneously.

NetVault Replicator is currently available. Pricing starts at $1,499 per Windows host node, $2,999 for Linux, and $5,999 for Unix. BakBone does not sell direct to end users, Kumar said.