Is Your E-mail Exposed If Disaster Strikes? -

Is Your E-mail Exposed If Disaster Strikes?

If disaster strikes, will your e-mail be safe and secure off-site? If the answer to that is no, Mirapoint has what it thinks is an affordable and easy-to-deploy remedy with its Mirapoint Remote Site Replication.

Announced today, the disaster-recovery offering is designed to work with the vendor's line of appliances by replicating e-mail off-site to protect it in the event of natural disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake or fire, as well as in the case of man-made fiascos. Aimed at larger enterprises and higher educational institutions with tens of thousands of e-mail accounts, Remote Site Replication is designed to provide continuous access to a copy of all e-mail activity.

"Every business in a hurricane zone has a disaster-recovery plan, but every business could experience small man-made disasters," Adrian Hall, director of technical marketing, at Mirapoint said. As an example, Hall recounted an experience from earlier in his career when a cleaning crew member accidentally kicked out a power cable and brought down a data center. It took days to recover from the outage, Hall said.

The goal of the new product is to prevent that type of scenario by providing an asynchronous, secure dual-site system and hardware and data redundancy with user-controlled remote site failover. Mirapoint Remote Site Replication doesn't carry the cost associated with synchronous continuous copy systems, Hall said.

Remote Site Replication is aimed at existing Mirapoint customers and is designed to work with Mirapoint's mail and security appliances. Organizations, Mirapoint says, can avoid downtime and protect the integrity of their data.

Enterprises can also store data to meet regulatory and compliance requirements. The software ensures that messaging services, along with a copy of e-mail, calendaring and contact data is available at a remote location so that recovery can happen with minimal downtime.

Hall said that Mirapoint has business continuity products such as disk-to-disk backups, SAN snapshots, hot-spare appliances and mail store clusters. "Those are fine for a single site, but [Remote Site Replication] is for customers who say 'this data is so important I need backup of it off-site'," Hall said.

The other option, Hall said, is to "put a SAN in each location and to mirror the two SANs. Unfortunately, this is exceedingly expensive and can cost upwards of $100,000."

By contrast, Hall said, the Remote Site Replication pricing begins at $15,000, which includes both the replication software and the professional services to set up the disaster recovery system.

Companies can also save, Hall said, because the system at the disaster recovery site doesn't have to be as good as the Mirapoint appliance at the primary site. For example, it could be an inexpensive server with ample drives.

The new product replicates every four to 24 hours, Hall said, depending on how the user configures the software. "You do lose the live mirroring," Hall said. So you could lose some e-mail messages. But the thinking is that a few hours of potentially lost e-mail is worth the cost savings.

Dan Muse is executive editor of's Small Business Channel, EarthWeb's Networking Channel and ServerWatch.

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