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HP Cuts to the Middle of Disaster Recovery

HP Cuts to the Middle of Disaster Recovery
February 3, 2005

HP (Quote, Chart) has brought new disaster recovery software to its mid-range arrays, refreshing the trend among storage vendors trying to fill in data protection gaps for medium-sized businesses.

The new packages -- Metrocluster, Continentalclusters and StorageWorks Cluster Extension EVA (enterprise virtual array) -- are middleware layers that tie application services on HP arrays to clustered operating systems and applications, thereby stretching cluster availability over the distance of a city or beyond.

The software minimizes downtime from synthetic or natural disasters, which can wreak havoc in financial services businesses that depend on continuous trades or other transactions to serve customers. Storage infrastructure providers have seized upon this as an opportunity to create additional revenue from clients that fear network outages.

While HP rivals IBM (, ) and EMC (, ) make storage software for medium-sized businesses, Kyle Fitze, marketing director for HP StorageWorks SAN, said mid-range failover products for those companies only replicate and failover either the server cluster or the storage.

Fitze said HP aims to differentiate itself by offering automatic failover for applications on both the server cluster and storage. The software checks to make sure data integrity is being preserved consistently. It also allows users to read or write to data of storage that is mirrored from afar, curtailing the effects of an outage or disaster.

Specifically, Metrocluster provides automatic data and applications failover between remote datacenters on HP-UX systems. The software can cover a cluster of up to 16 HP 9000 and Integrity servers over 260 kilometers.

Also designed for HP-UX environments, Continentalclusters supports up to 32 HP 9000 and Integrity servers. And it works with data replication products, such as HP Continuous Access XP, HP Continuous Access EVA, EMC SRDF and Oracle standby database. The software works over long distances between replicated sites.

StorageWorks Cluster Extension EVA is host-based software that integrates Continuous Access EVA remote mirroring. The product extends a local cluster beyond one data center, providing failover for metropolitan- and wide-area networks. Cluster Extension also integrates with Microsoft Cluster Service.

The three products will be available later this month.

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